It’s not easy being dead. SyFy’s Being Human is proof of that. Its sophomore season sees new hurtles for the three supernatural suitemates with Sally trying to cope with life after life, Aidan dealing with his newfound leadership role, and trouble for Josh and Nora when they fall in with the wrong pack. The show has definitely escaped the shadows of its BBC source series and come into its own and “Mama Said There’d Be Decades Like These” is no exception. This particular episode is an unusual example of Being Human’s finer traits.
“Mama Said There’d Be Decades Like These” seems to be a bit of a time-out from the chaos that Being Human has prided itself on in its second season. It’s still an engaging episode, but when compared to the episodes leading up to it, this one will probably seem tame to fans of the show. This episode is all about consequences and unfulfilled promises of horror to come. Some of the more prominent guest stars, particularly the delightfully deviant Dichen Lachman, are missing from this one, but the episode returns its central focus to the three housemates with less of a focus on their problematic relationships with others. Instead, “Mama Said There’d be Decades Like These” is one of the more introspective episodes of the season and a welcome showcase in the extraordinary acting abilities of Meaghan Rath, Sam Witwer, and Sam Huntington.
Although all three of the leads are in fine form, this episode truly belongs to Meaghan Rath who is given some phenomenal material to work with. When Being Human first started out, you’d be hard pressed to get me to say a kind word about the character of Sally. After all, she was no Annie (Lenora Crichlow, from the BBC series) but as time wears on, Sally has proven herself an indispensable element of Being Human’s charm. This episode Sally is forced to face the harsh reality of familial complications when her mother dies. While this is already heavy subject matter, matters are further complicated when Sally discovers that her mother was not the woman that Sally always thought she was. She realizes that her mother was, first and foremost, a human. As Being Human likes to remind its viewers all too often, to be human is to be flawed, and Sally’s mother is no exception. Sally’s realization of her mother’s faults and her subsequent fall from grace is just a reminder of the emotional anchor of Being Human. In a show so heavily focused on the supernatural, it would be easy to get lost in the fantastical elements of the story world, but this show cements its characters’ problems, such as family, addiction, and the complications of love, in the real world.
While “Mama Said There’d Be Decades Like These” sets up a continuation of Aiden’s struggle with his unquenchable bloodlust and Josh’s attempts to subdue Nora and his inner wolf, it’s a return to the more subdued tastes of the first season. Action is somewhat limited, but the episode spends its time well, trying to remind viewers why we love these characters in the first place. Sally’s storyline, the closest to a self-sufficient storyline in the show’s continuity, is the core of this episode. Josh and Aidan are as engaging as every other week, but “Mama Said There’d Be Decades Like These” truly belongs to Meaghan Rath. In an episode that should by any means be the most forgettable of an action-packed season, the emotional honesty that Being Human is able to channel with its core cast is its saving grace.