[This is a review of Being Human Season 4 Episode 8. There will be SPOILERS.]
Now that we know that Being Human is coming to an end following this season, the six remaining episodes have taken on a new level of importance while this season's previous seven must be viewed with a new perspective. Combined, these chapters mark the last creative gasps of the series and a payoff for fans who have shown fidelity through Being Human's four seasons.
To those fans, last night's episode - "Rewind, Rewind" - may either infuriate or fascinate with its willingness to take a sledgehammer to the show's foundation, but make no mistake, it was made for them. This is not an episode that you can slip into if the cancellation news brought you back into the fold. Casual viewers will likely be confused or lost as Sally's abuse of powers finally reach their apex point as she gleefully rips the wings off of butterflies in the past, altering everything that fans have come to know, trust, and love about the show. Even the cinematography is different as producers seemed to employ a harsh brightness and a more handheld and voyeuristic approach to filming the action.
Sally's use of magic, first Donna's and then her own, has been turning into a funnel cloud since last season. Despite her big heart, Sally is reckless and dangerous and that finally seemed to really sink in, not because someone laid it out for her - as Donna previously has - but because she saw that by striving for better, she made everything so much worse because she is an unnatural thing.
Before that revelation, though, we are treated to a few interesting new realities as Sally jumps into her past self (and gets stuck there), fights back against Danny, and quickly meddles with the order of things. A calamitous decision that is born from Sally's big-hearted intervention into Aidan's backslide and his eventual, and regrettable, nosh on the red-headed nurse from the pilot episode; something that leads to Sally tell Aidan about their shared future.
To Aidan (played with wonderful vulnerability by Sam Witwer in this episode), who is struggling to embrace his human side (his characters stated and occasionally abandoned flight plan throughout the show's run), Sally's boasts seem to give hope. Aidan is looking up from a dark well's bottom at the start of Being Human and Sally is telling him that he will see the light again. That faith is enough to push Aidan into bringing Josh into the fold, nearly re-creating the living arrangement at the heart of the show, save for Sally's beating heart, which breaks when it turns out that Danny is fated to be a killer, taking out his aggression on Sally's friend Bridget.
That Sally doesn't do more to avenge Bridget's death is shocking, but she is pre-occupied by her now romantic relationship with Aidan. This version of the timeline is all about Sally's reward as Meaghan Rath's character almost drunkenly flits about, changing things because she can. To Sally, she can have her cake and eat it too - Aidan for her and Nora for Josh - but when things break bad costing Josh the destiny with Nora that Sally teases, he begins to slowly question whether her presence and her blueprint for their lives is a positive force.
Eventually, Josh will pull away and align with Ray (his maker), rejecting a shared life with Aidan and Sally, but it is Aidan's response that really breaks things apart. Aidan has swapped an addiction to fresh blood for an addiction to Sally. He is smitten and distracted by their love, so when Josh says he is leaving, Aidan is unmoved because he has Sally; a chain of events that pushes her to realize that the real Aidan would never give up on his friend and that she and Aidan are not "meant to be"; another decision that has dire consequences.
It's interesting that Sally would both believe in fate as someone who has trivialized it with her actions in the past and that she would judge Aidan for allowing his happiness to block him from helping a friend in the same way that she did with Bridget, but as we've seen, Sally's actions are usually insulated from her own moral judgments.
Does the shocking conclusion to "Rewind, Rewind" give us a glimpse into what the new normal is for these characters or will Sally find a way to get back to the timeline that Being Human fans have embraced over the last three and a half seasons? Is the past an etch-a-sketch that can be shaken clean, or did Sally go and "Sally" all over everything for good? Right now we don't know, but it seems more typical that Sally will find redemption after being confronted by her sins, swooping in to save the day and miraculously heal Josh and Nora's shattered relationship, bless Aidan with normality, and find her own kind of peace at the last minute. Closure is what everyone seems to seek now when talking about series finale's and that often seems like a code word for "happy ending", but in that Being Human just presented such an atypical and bold episode at the start of this march toward the end, maybe it's foolish to forecast their next move.
Being Human returns next Monday on Syfy @9PM