Being Scooby

What a long, strange trip it’s been: demonic supernatural forces, the battle of free will versus destiny, the redemptive power of friendship. Of course I’m talking about the season finales of Being Human and Scooby-Doo! Mystery, Incorporated.

Syfy’s Being Human did something extremely risky for its third season: it went back to basics. It wisely abandoned the kind of epic “vampire government wants to rule the world” storyline that made the UK series increasingly uncomfortable to watch. (Note: If you have a small budget; just keep the stories small.) Wisely, Being Human (US) made this season all about the relationships between the characters we care about. The threats were less global, but were more personal, thus making them all the more threatening.

Conversely, the masked monster-of-the-week familiarity on Mystery, Incorporated was blown out of the water, as the series bravely scaled up the stakes to take on an evil inter-dimensional demonic force promising to “bathe the world in fire.” Yes, this is Scooby-Doo we’re talking about here. After three years and two splintered seasons, the Big Bad of Crystal Cove was finally unleashed in the series finale, “Come Undone.” If you weren’t expecting a half German parrot/half Cthulhu monstrosity, maybe you should re-read H.P. Hatecraft’s Char Gar Gothakon: The Beast That Hath No Name. The Scooby Gang comes to grips with the knowledge that their whole lives have been manipulated to serve the ridiculously circuitous plans of the Entity. Would they have even been friends without the supernatural influence forcing them together?

On Being Human, Josh, Aidan and Sally face the same sort of quandary. Initially friends by circumstance, how far are they willing to go to protect one another? As Nora rails against Aidan’s violent nature (um, hello, she-wolf!), Josh pleads with her to understand his bond with the vampire bad boy. As Aidan is tortured by alpha jerk Liam, he makes false confessions and faces death to protect Josh and Nora. Then, just as Sally is faced with a solitary fight for her soul with the wickedest witch of them all, Aidan and Josh leave the corporeal world to fight by her side. What are friends for, after all?

Just as Sally’s goodness makes the badness go away, so too does the Scooby gang’s love for one another destroy the Entity and its hold on Crystal Cove. Things are wrapped up a little less neatly with the Boston Scooby Gang in their season ender (with the Scooby-inspired title “Ruh, Roh”), as Aidan, Josh, Sally and Nora realize that even when they try to do the right thing, it just blows up in their faces. You know what they’re missing? A talking dog. Though I guess that’s what the werewolves are for.

Aidan’s noble (but selfish) gesture in turning sickly Kenny into a vamp backfires, as the side effects of the vamp virus/wolf cure wreak hybrid havoc on the siring process. Poor Kenny looks worlds away from the teen model hybrids on Vampire Diaries, yet Aidan’s familial flashbacks prevent him from offing the kid once and for all. Surely that won’t come back to haunt him later.

Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby survive their battle with the Entity and return to a brighter, sunnier Crystal Cove…and a new timeline! Seems they’ve restarted the universe and the creepy side effects that made the Cove the “most hauntedest” place on Earth have all been erased. Will Fred go by “Fred Chiles” now? Or will he always be Fred Jones, Jr.? The gang soon realizes they’ve created a town without mystery, which is an alternative lifestyle they just can’t tolerate. Luckily, they receive an invitation from Harlan Ellison to join him at Miskatonic University (Go, Pods!) for all the mysteries they could ever want or need.

After Josh and Nora tie the knot (while Sally’s corpse moulders upstairs and Kenny’s corpse transforms in the basement), Alpha Liam tracks them down and attempts to educate them on the hybrid problem. He warns them about protecting their family, and while he means just the two of them, they, of course, think of Aidan, proving once and for all that some families are born and some are made.

The Scooby Gang agrees. Even though their own families have been returned and/or restored from the Entity’s grip, the only future they see is with each other. Fred leaves behind the parents he never knew. Daphne gives up her parents’ sudden acceptance of her relationship with Fred. Shaggy forgoes his parents’ newfound pride and joy in his many accomplishments. Even Velma steps away from new love interest Marcy. As they ride off into the sunset, the iconic gang’s commitment to their own little family of misfits is clear.

When faced with another attack from an outsider, Josh, Nora, Aidan and Sally do what they do best: protect each other. Even Kenny is ultimately revealed to be a risk the Being Human family just can’t afford. But just like in the world of Scooby-Doo, there’s always a new mystery around the corner, and the third season of Being Human ends with a couple of quick, shocking mysteries to keep viewers guessing.

Luckily, Syfy is bringing Being Human back for a fourth season. Sadly, Cartoon Network has completed its clumsy and negligent handling of Mystery, Incorporated, unwittingly sealing its fate as a cult classic for generations to come. (Hey, Syfy! Take some of that Defiance cash and pick up Mystery, Inc!) I guess that just leaves the witches, alphas and other ne’er-do-wells of Being Human to shake their fists at the sky and proclaim they could have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling…monsters.

Catch up on episodes of Being Human on Hulu and Syfy and Scooby-Doo: Mystery, Incorporated on Netflix.

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