“All good things…”
No matter their success or fan base, television shows have a finite lifetime. Some last too long, others are taken before their time. Only a precious few have lives that are just right and tie things up, not necessarily with a bow, but satisfactorily for those viewers who’ve laughed and cried with the characters since the first episode. ‘Being Human’ was one of those few shows whose final hour, though shocking when the news of their cancellation appeared six weeks ago, goes out with a bang that displays the organic growth of our quartet of supernatural friends. It’s a testament to how our human lives are filled with the expected and unexpected, how we live, love, laugh, rage and cry…how our relationships grow, collapse and, on occasion, are rebuilt on more solid foundation as we walk along the path towards an uncertain future.
A glimpse of a new life…
“The day they moved in was the best day. It felt like the start of something new…something good. After everything that had gone so wrong with my life, they walked in that door and they brought possibility. When you look back at your life with a person, sometimes you wonder, would we be friends if we met now? Or did the path that we went on together lead us to this place? Did every triumph and mistake along the way make us fall in love? I think that everything happens for a reason; love, life…even death. I hold onto this place for a reason, and that reason is now.”
It all started the day Sally was pushed down the steps and it’s those same steps that lead her to the memories of future glimpsed, one where Aidan kills Josh. She’s able to interfere, stopping time seconds before Aidan snaps Josh’s neck. How is this happening and what can she do? Ramona gleefully tells her “it’s never an accident” and Sally’s rage teleports her and the lupine couple to the basement, buying them a bit of time while an out of control Aidan bangs on the door. She thinks it’s something Kenny did and will drive Aidan until he finally ends Josh. Their only hope is transforming the man that has been a vampire for centuries into a man. Nora and Josh warn her not to use her magic — it’s too dangerous but Sally disagrees. “I feel like it’s all been leading up to this moment,” she confesses and, drawing from the power within her, removes Aidan’s vampiric essence. But it doesn’t come without a price and that price is Sally’s ghostly life as the spell burns her and removes her permanently from the world of her friends. Her sacrifice saves the friends but Ramona goes crazy; “she was mine,” the personification of the house screams, “you ruined it all!” The trio is able to flee and re-group at Nora’s where they spend time trying to reconcile the loss of their friend.
“Somewhere along the way we grew up and the idea of what was home changed. It wasn’t what our parents built for us, it was what we made for ourselves. Those small moments of who buys the milk and who gets the mail: who makes you smile on a terrible day. Where we were, that was home, that was family… place where we could shut the door and keep the world at bay. I know now what a ghost truly is, a thick silence in a room that fills up the space of someone you love. ”
Nora believes they call all stay at her place but Aidan wants his best friends to have their own lives. They reminisce about Sally, grappling with the fact she’s now truly gone. To break the mounting heartache, Josh and Nora take the former vampire to a burger joint, to get some real food. For the first time, he’s not wracked with guilt or worrying about the future, he’s letting things “be.” But that joy of the now, he thinks, is wasted on him without Sally there to see it all. He winds up at the trailer and drinks himself into oblivion and, when he wakes and sees his reflection staring back at him in the fridge, he sees a difference in himself, a dimming of his own light. But it’s not a positive dimming. He goes to Nora and the tests reveal that his body’s shutting down. Aidan tells her the years he cheated death are catching up to him, aggressively and without remorse. Later in the day, the three of them walk along the river, Josh musing about finding a place to pursue his cooking love when Aidan and Nora share the disheartening news that Aidan’s clock is winding down. “Did we really think that I would just come back and be human with no consequences?” It’s a valid question though Aidan seems very accepting of it. He demands that they live that week, celebrating things…including the baby. The news is a shock to Josh but he loves it, he’s ready for it…he’s ready to truly start living his life with Nora.
On his own for a bit, Aidan visits Sally’s grave before heading back to a bar where he spots Jeremy, a vampire who’s not cut out for the life of a blood drinker. He tries giving the newbie lessons on how to go about it all but finally admits that he wants Jeremy to turn him. Back at the apartment, Nora and Josh are back to discussing their future and, though he wants to be there and is ready, can’t help but worry if he can maintain control over the beast inside of him. “I know who you are,” Nora confesses. “And I trust you. But I need to know that you can trust yourself.” With Nora’s words heavily on his mind, Josh leaves to meet Aidan at the bar and comes across Jeremy in the midst of turning him. Josh is pissed and screams about Aidan’s selfishness. They go back and forth until Aidan admits that he’s afraid to die. Vampires don’t get doors and his blip of time as a human won’t be enough to wipe out the atrocities he committed in his time as a monster. “It turns out that I’m a coward,” Aidan laments but Josh is steadfast in his belief. “No you’re not,” Josh tells his best friend and they leave the alley behind.Accepting death
The next day at the trailer, Josh brings Aidan some burgers and a paper. It just so happens that said paper carries Ramona’s message—her murder of the construction worker earlier in the episode—loud and clear. The two friends know they have to do something about it and resolve to meet at the house in an hour. But Aidan has other plans. He goes right away and confronts Ramona, hitting onto the fact that she’ll not get her pound of flesh from them and that her own time will be up one day. But she battles back, hitting on Aidan’s own fears of dying and the payment for his transgressions. The angry spirit attacks Aidan, reveling in his slow torture taunting him on his soon-to-be fall into nothingness. Whereas earlier he was afraid, now Aidan accepts his fate. “I’ve lived my life, and this is my death,” he says facing her one last time. “I’ve died for my family before…I’m happy to do it again.” She hurls him down the steps, those same steps that ended Sally’s life. But before he passes into the unknown, he pulls out the lighter and tosses it on the gasoline he’d poured in the living room. The house, Ramona, and the dying Aidan go up in flames as he speaks upon life and love, glancing over to his right…in the spot his Sally would be.
Josh and Nora get to the house to find the charred remains and find a way inside. Josh promises to be there for Nora and the baby when Ghost Aidan shows up. The three laugh and joke, aware that their ‘experiment’ has been successful. Aidan is ready to move around when the surprise of a lifetime appears—Aidan’s door. He can’t believe it’s for him but Josh knows it is and “Don’t think for a second you don’t deserve it.” Before he opens it, Aidan wants Josh to know the last few years have been the best. “We love you,” Josh tells his best friend and brother, “well, we’ll live a ridiculous life in your honor.” Steeling himself, Aidan opens the door and finds Sally there…waiting for him. As it should be.
The four friends are in the kitchen, enjoying life and their time together. His voiceover stresses his time and how it all changed him.
One happy familly
“The day we moved in was the first day of my life. Before then…before them, I had no chance, I didn’t think I could feel human, feel love. The little things—coffee grounds, laundry day, sleeping late, living life—thank you for every small moment of this world.”
Alas, the moment was but a dream, one Josh and Nora seemed to have shared. “Do you think it’s them?” She asks and Josh is convinced it is, not just their imaginations missing their two friends. They wake up to check up on Aidan and Sally, their two beautiful children…the experiment has now concluded.
There are so many things I could say but it’s hard to express them as I sit here writing this, fighting back the heartache and tears—happy tears mind—that threaten to spill as I spent my final hours with Aidan, Josh, Nora, and Sally. What I can tell you is that, over these last four years, ‘Being Human’ was much more than a show about ghosts, vampires, and werewolves. It was about that uncertainty we all feel at one point or another when we ask the question of “where do we belong in this life?” It’s a question that’s never easy to admit to ourselves and even harder to admit to others but, and you may call me a dreamer or unrealistically optimistic, I have it on good authority that, despite the bumps and bruises, the aches and pains, we’re able to fight through the hard realities of life and find our purpose. And in those moments when we least expect it, our doors will appear and when they do, our only course of action is to muster the courage to reach out, push it open and walk on through. After all, our futures will be waiting on the other side.
I leave you now with a final memory of ‘Being Human’. Aidan’s words as he lay dying captures the essence of the series and life so poetically, nothing else needs to be said on these pages. Thank you for sharing these moments with me and the tremendous cast.
“When the end comes rushing up at you and everything that you was thought was real starts to fall away, you consider the meaning of the life that you lived and you realize that only thing that means a damn thing at the end is what you loved. And you think of who you loved…and you let it take you home.”