Time and logic are running a little bit fast and loose in this episode. We pick up from the last episode on the morning after Nora and Liam spent the night getting to know their better halves together. The Teen Wolves were super annoying, but you can see how they sprang from, and perverted, the lethal grace (and, to be fair, snobbery) of their Daddy, Liam. He’s elitist, but he doesn’t say a word wrong to Nora when he points out that wolves roughhouse, to be sure, but it’s humans who have evil in their hearts. He also susses out Nora’s deal better than Josh ever has after one night on four paws with her. “Humans are the only animal with a death wish. You’re more wolf than that.” Another interesting Liam-ism: “There’s no worse sin than turning on one of your own.” Dun-dun-dun…!
Or, you know, not. We jump ahead to three weeks later, during which time Sally’s one-night-stand-that-wasn’t has still not been buried. (Ugh, I hope that’s a closed-casket funeral.) She finally works up the lady balls to go to the mortuary to apologize and atone to his ghost, throwing herself into a plan to go to his funeral and tell his (surprise!) fiancée about his infidelity with her. Because, somehow, this will resolve his unresolved issues despite the fact he doesn’t really want her to do it. This being a Sally plan, she succeeds only in breaking her dead lover’s heart further when, in the course of a confession to his fiancée about his infidelity, they both learn that the fiancée was cheating on him for a year (wow, really, show?). The fiancée feels better about being a cheating piece of s*it, so much so that she’s glowing. At a funeral. Of the supposed love-of-her-life.
It gets better: as a result of this, Max the mortician, who looks like James Franco’s cousin, falls a bit in love with Sally. Because this paints her selfishness (that got a man killed, it bears remembering) as self-sacrifice, Sally warms to it immediately and leaves her undead paramour to sulk. And? Eventually ghost-die when a fake door shows up and deposits him with Donna, the Soup Wiccan, who ghost-murders him. Donna licks up his ashes (or pencil shavings, as the budget allows) and becomes a Twilight character, complete with funky color contacts and youthified looks. We learn that Donna’s been waiting for Sally to slip, presumably the better to feed her with ghost souls or whatever. Did Donna miss the notices about lover-boy’s death three weeks ago? It’s hard to remember, what with the time jump barely being addressed, but he’s been dead (and unburied, ewwwwwwwww) for three weeks, dying just outside Sally’s house. Surely, a witch on the wait for such things should be reading the paper.
Three weeks earlier, when Donna should have been reading the signs in The Boston Globe, Nora tells Josh that Liam is looking for his daughter, and then…they do nothing for three weeks, at the end of which they adopt Erin, a foster-home kid with a mean streak. (There’s a discussion, in all seriousness as to the proper terminology—“shiv” or “shank”?—for the weapon with which she’ll definitely kill Nora and Josh.) This overlooks how easily she could kill them with her own teeth and claws, seeing as she’s come into the hospital complaining of pain in and possible infection of a wound she happened to have suffered under the light of the full moon. And little wonder: the deep gouges in her back have healed with the skin still pulled apart, dried and necrotic (the sort of mark you’d see on a stray animal right before the words “humane euthanasia” popped into your head). As Nora and Liam aren’t the only wolves who might have been running wild in the city at the last full moon, there’s no immediate guilt spams from either Nora or Josh about Nora or Liam being the wolfling’s sire.
(Hi? Remember Liam? Remember that he’s looking for his daughter and has said multiple horrible and portentous things about hurting people who hurt his kind, much less his family? Look, I’m sure he’s still around, so let’s try to recall that while worrying about this otherwise completely orthogonal story line, okay?)
Josh and Nora break the news about lycanthropy to Erin slowly in a conversation that is fully awesome and awkward. It features Erin assuming that she has every STD and is in trouble for stealing painkillers from the hospital and ends with a video of one of Josh’s old transformations. Relevant admissions made: upon reaching the last stage of transformation, Josh says it feels like dying at the same moment Nora says she feels amazing. Oh please ohpleaseohplease make Nora a villain this season! After this and her speech at the hospital about how she and Erin are the same—something only villains ever say—they can’t not admit that Nora is stone cold. She’s got all the symptoms of arch nemesis-ery! Incredible power that she denies enjoying (but revels in)? A monstrous affliction that she blames for her own bad behavior? Saying her wolf, not she, is a killer? Right, because her “wolf” wanted her abusive ex dead, not her. Did she even hear what Liam said? (“Liam who?” asks the show.) Later, when the ladies go to the woods to change, Josh brings a gun to take Erin out (to which Nora puts up a half-hearted protest but ultimately accedes), proving he’s willing to jeopardize his new-found humanity and his life just to kill a wolf who has yet to prove herself a threat to anyone (unlike his girlfriend). Luckily, Erin ends up being submissive to Nora’s alpha wolf. There’s some necking. It’s not sexy, sorry folks.
Speaking of necks, Aidan asks Josh to stick his out so that he and Henry can feed off of pre-screened flu-free patients who come to the hospital. Josh focuses his freak out over how Aidan has the worst track record when it comes to not out-and-out murdering people when he gets good and hungry, to say nothing of Henry. Actually, as far as the show has demonstrated, Henry’s lusts are actually better managed than Aidan’s, or, at least, involve significantly fewer bloodbaths. Point is, portrait of restraint Aidan is not, but because Josh likes him, Josh conveniently doesn’t see this. I wonder when the show will actually address Josh’s hypocrisy vis a vis the felonious and too frequently murderous actions of his friends and lovers. Today is not that day, however; Josh gives Aidan a name to keep Aidan in blood, possibly just to win the pissing contest with Henry over who loves Aidan more. There’s no way this plan can backfire horribly, especially not since the three-weeks-girlfriend-free Henry is mad with the blood crazies worse than Aidan (who, we’re supposed to believe, went a year without any blood besides his own and isn’t neck-hoovering every biped in sight).
One interesting point to note: despite being older by centuries than his progeny, Aidan is worse at hypnotizing people than Henry. I suppose this is meant to be an indication that Aidan is a better man for not developing this inherently abusive talent. What it really demonstrates, without meaning to, is how lazy and entitled Aidan is versus how resourceful (if ruthless) Henry is. When he wasn’t snacking on donated blood at the hospital, Aidan relied on Bishop (and then the power structure under Suren and Mother) to clean up his messes. Whereas Henry, the outcast child, had to survive using his wits and wiles and every bit of supernatural advantage he could muster. It’s just pathetic that Aidan would waste two-and-a-half centuries not learning to do what Henry mastered in one.
Henry’s skill with hypnotism is meant to seem repulsive and abusive, especially in the light of how Henry weathered the plague that took out the rest of his kind, but, given the risk, his solution actually seems rather clever. For certain, he’s a lot more dangerous now that he’s starving on the streets, screening strangers for weeks on end. For the show, it’s just another excuse for Aidan to criticize Henry for not getting a hold on his hunger (pot, kettle?) and for Henry to whine about how hard it was to watch other vamps die, hence his bad behavior with the girlfriend. (Which in no way reconciles his current careless behavior with what he saw, and besides wasn’t Henry not exactly in favor with any of the other vamps for most of his life? What does he care if they died?)
After so many aphorisms about how “strong” Henry is supposed to be, you know he’s doomed. And lo, he is. On their one and only hospital victim visit, Aidan discovers a gnarly growth on Henry’s shoulder that gives away the game. Some of this scene, including the attack on the victim, is shown from the point of view of the front seat of a van, so it’s possible, on top of this bad news, they have been observed jumping people on the street. Could be an artsy shot, could be relevant to the plot, so I’m mentioning it even though this is not developed on further in the episode. Aidan hauls Henry away so that he can go from a single skin lesion to full-blown vampAIDS in the course of two days. And he’s not going gracefully either. Henry dumps Aidan on the street, with a spiteful “Everyone who loves you dies,” as he leaves to die anywhere not around Aidan. This would seem a harsh way to end a father-son relationship, but it’s among the least cruel of exchanges between them. I hope we see more of Henry before he succumbs because through him more uncomfortable truths are told about the characters on this show than through any other. It will be hard to lose that and have to rely solely on the warped mirror that is Nora for reflection.
Next week: After Henry’s assumed death, Aidan is suicidally feeding on random living folk and Sally is going to snap him out of it with sexy night time threats of staking. Yes, threats of death will definitely snap him out of his death-obsessed funk. That’s our Sally, always thinking