Syfy's Being Human ended its first season exactly as it should have: with an emphasis on the bond between its three main characters, a fight between two of the supernatural world's finest, and a cliffhanger that could shape Season 2. But it's that first item—the character bond—that really gave the episode depth.
Through flashbacks we learned how Josh (Sam Huntington) and Aidan (Sam Witwer) first met, and that set the stage for Josh's admirable behavior in the present. Josh was in a bad place before Aidan helped him climb out of his hole. Two years ago, the being-a-monster thing was new to Josh; Aidan, however, was centuries into his inhumanity and served as a competent mentor. In short, Aidan was Josh's only friend.
So was it any wonder that Josh was ready to put his life on the line for Aidan? To trust his wolf side to take down a powerful 500-year-old vampire? It was one of those friendship-cementing moments that have become too rare in television these days, and Huntington completely sold it with his flexible brow and soul-searching eyes. That kind of sacrifice and willingness to take of a bullet (or fight an extremely pissed-off bloodsucker) reminded me of another program's core: Supernatural's Winchester bromance, which makes sense because Being Human showrunner Jeremy Carver is a former writer on the CW show.
I love decapitations, vampire-on-werewolf brawls, and salacious storylines as much as the next guy, but give me a solid, believable tale of friendship that survives the toughest trials and tribulations, and I'm a happy guy.
We should also thank Being Human's producers for making the effort to change the finale just enough so that that those of us who'd seen the original UK version still didn't know what was going to happen. That said, if I'm going to play fair, I'd have to say the original pulled it off better. I don't want to give too much away for fans who might go back and watch the UK version while Syfy's is on hiatus, but let's just say Josh's sacrifice is more than a gesture.
Last night's spotlight didn't linger much on Sally, though she missed her doorway to the other side and consequently became more solid. But aside from one whiny moaning session, her path through the first season has been one of growth, much more so than either Josh's or Aidan's, and after all she's been through, she's giant-sized.
It's a bittersweet farewell for Bishop, who we came to know as more than just a jerky vampire leader before he was demoted to just a jerky vampire in the final few episodes. The sharp turn in his behavior, particularly after we took his side in those '50s flashbacks, didn't help us feel sorry for him in the end. He had to go—but I wish there was a little more oomph to his goodbye, because his character, and Mark Pellegrino, deserved it.
The episode's most unexpected touching moment came just after Josh's transformation, when he, as werewolf, sniffed out his lady and unborn son under the door. And while our attention was diverted by the potential were-baby, now lost (I believe), one of the season's biggest moments snuck in right at the end: Nora got scratched by Josh's claws. This is either a step in the right direction for their relationship or a major deal-breaker. Nora did seem surprisingly okay with Josh's secret, so maybe the two lovebirds will enjoy romance for every 27 out of 28 days, and one night senselessly slaughtering woodland creatures.
Being Human wasn't without its first-season hiccups, but strong acting, great production, and relatable storylines make the show one of the biggest (positive) surprises of the year.
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom