How many times are we disappointed in life by those around us? The choices they make, the things they say, the people they become. As mentioned in the voice over, “We hold onto that idealized image of [friends/parents/mentors] even if it’s an illusion.” Cut away all the glitz and glamor and what is it you really have?
Bringing a flayed Henry to their home, Aidan has Josh invite the brutalized vampire in. Though hesitant, Josh agrees, trusting Aidan to keep things in check. For her part, Sally is out with the Reaper and he takes her to Walter, a junkie possessor who’s now in the guise of a kid. Knowing she needs to get it done, she starts the shredding but is unable to finish. The Reaper takes over from there and warns her that next time she’ll need to be the one to do it.
At the hospital, Josh runs into Julia. Things start off a bit awkward but Julia doesn’t see any reason they can’t be friends. While Josh may have been a “crappy fiancée”, he was a good friend. She ends the conversation with a challenging “your bark is worse than your bite” line that’s both apropos and seductive. Josh sees the irony in it and as he watches her walk away with eyes seeing more than a friend, he catches a glimpse of Stu, his best friend who was killed the same night Josh was mauled.
While Josh is getting reacquainted with his ghostly best friend, Aidan tends to his severely thrashed childe. Reminiscent of ‘Hellraiser’, the skinless Henry is almost begging for Aidan to kill him. He is at his lowest point and asks Aidan when was he ever good for anything. There’s a flashback to their first meeting during WWI where a mortally wounded Aidan (were he human) gets tended to by Henry. Heeding Aidan’s commands, Henry begins the painful task of removing the bullets from Aidan before a flashback to the present and Aidan leaving Henry to get the necessary food for his charge.
Still having trouble coming to terms with what she has to do Sally is shocked to see Boner in the kitchen, looking for Stevie. She guiltily avoids answering anything about Stevie’s whereabouts, silently trying to understand why the Reaper lied to her. Boner leaves, telling her to let Stevie know they miss him and she agrees, her face a mask of resolve to confront the Reaper .
Josh and Julia sit together at a sexual harassment meeting at work and do some co-worker bonding. The easy camaraderie is evident between them though Josh is having a time concentrating fully because of Stu butting into their conversation (unbeknownst to Julia, of course).
Successful in his search for food, Aidan compels two women to offer themselves up to Henry for feeding. As they enter the room, another flashback to the war shows Henry reading to a healing Aidan. It’s here that we get to see the man Henry was; a kind soul, with the power of healing on his side but nothing more. He wants to know what the power to kill feels like. Aidan suggests it’s something Henry should never want to feel. When Henry leaves Aidan’s side, the vampire uses the opportunity to feed on a blood rag left by his bed. But he’s careless and an injured soldier sees him feeding. We cut back to the present and Henry begins his road to recovery by drinking from the two feminine guests.
Not sure where to go to find out more about the Reaper, Sally turns to Nick and Zoe at the hospital. Though she’s been around ghosts her entire life, Zoe’s never heard of any type of Reaper. Sally’s at a loss, not sure where to go from here but determined to find answers.
As ex’s with a bad breakup in the past, Josh and Julia are shooting pool and doing a bit more bonding. She admits to wanting to see more of him—they are friends after all, right? But both know her words are a façade to a more dangerous road. Showing quite a bit of willpower, Josh takes off, knowing that if he stays, just where things will go. Stu—the ever present ghost over the shoulder, despite telling Josh he should get out of dodge objects when the werewolf leaves. His words are enough to change Josh’s mind and the two former lovers rekindle their physical relationship. Only, it’s not that simple. Josh wakes up with no idea of what happened until he sees the recalcitrant Stu sitting by the bed. Josh is rightfully pissed at his friend’s behavior and it’s here that Stu admits to always being in love with Julia. A bit of the past is uncovered between the two and Josh is still upset at his friend as he now has been left with two choices; bring Julia closer or push her away. No matter what he does, the potential to hurt her has only been magnified by Stu’s selfish actions.
Back at the house, Henry is ensconced in the feeding frenzy when, for some reason the glamour wears off. Aidan tries to calm the girls but they become hysterical and he has no alternative but to kill them. Henry pounces on the now dead girls, draining them and the scene shifts to the French soldier who saw Aidan feed trying to kill him. Henry intervenes and takes the stake to the gut. Aidan knows Henry doesn’t want to die and takes blood from Henry’s wound; he then goes postal, killing everyone in the medical tent before giving Henry the kiss of unlife.
When Sally gets back to the hospital, she runs into a distraught Zoe who blames her for killing all the ghosts Zoe had been helping. Sally has no idea why the Reaper did it and confronts him; he shrugs, saying that he couldn’t not take advantage of such a one stop shop. When he disappears, Sally again tries to comfort Zoe but the ghost viewer wants nothing to do with her.
After the heated conversation with Stu, Josh sits on the couch deep in thought when Julia comes in and snuggles with him. He asks her what she’s doing and she tells him she’s going to sleep. The chemistry is there, despite the years apart and when they kiss, despite it lacking the frantic coupling (thanks to Stu) of the previous few hours, it’s genuine and is a beginning to rekindling something much more. Stu sees this and he watches longingly before disappearing.
Back to the war, Aidan waits for Henry to awaken. He pushes the new vampire to his first feed though Henry doesn’t want to kill. “Yes,” Aidan concedes, “but that was before you met me…” He walks away as Henry takes his first pull of blood before returning to a distraught Aidan sitting on the porch as a nearly fully healed Henry comes out the house, ready for a light snack. Gone is the quiet Henry we’ve gotten to know over the past few episodes and in his place appears to be the fiery vampire Aidan tried so hard to mold back in the 20’s. Josh comes home as Henry is leaving and he knows exactly what happened. Horrified at his own actions, Aidan apologies to Josh, promising that they can get things back to normal but Josh in his holier than though way of things (though he does have a right) doesn’t believe it.
As the boys are outside discussing Aidan’s latest slip, Nick comes to visit Sally and offering her his help. There is no Reaper…it has been her all along. She pushes her hand into Nick’s chest just as Aidan and Josh walk in. They try to talk her out of it but she shreds a helpless Nick with a smile on her face. She stalks her two roommates, justifying her actions as the darkness within her completely takes over. Aidan knocks her unconscious with an iron poker and when she awakens in her death spot on the stairs, she’s been locked in a prison of salt.
“When I Think of You I Shred Myself” was an examination on so many fronts of what we see versus what is really there. For this entire season we’ve been under the impression that Sally was being hounded by an otherworldly being when, in reality, her own darkness has taken hold. For his part, Aidan continues to struggle with his own darkness, perpetrating actions that, while he feels guilty over doing, are still necessary as he looks to free himself from the vampire life. Josh has been hiding behind his pain of Nora leaving but the truth is his feelings for Julia were always there under the surface. Even Henry, a once gentle man who, over the last few episodes seemed to be getting back to that as a vampire has regained the power he coveted during the war and meeting Aidan. No matter what we do, we can only go so long being one thing when it goes against what we truly are. When we are faced with our true selves, do we have the courage to face it head-on, push it further down and ignore it, or let it overtake us so we don’t have to make the difficult decisions? For our ‘Being Human’ peeps, only time will tell.
Missed the previous episode? Be sure to read our ‘Being Human: I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ recap.