Oh Annie, be careful what you wish for… Last week she confided to Hal that having killed Kirby (and Kemp) (and Cooper) she was getting a taste for it; she wanted to do it again. And she did.
Nice as it was to see Annie channel some of that energy, the man at the door was less an Old One than an old sod, grumpy Emrys from next door to be exact. He must be a recent arrival – anyone who lived through the werewolf transformations and Herrick munching his way through the Barry police and forensic teams would surely be relieved to only have an eternally howling baby next door!
“Why have you put me in a cupboard?”
Annie was utterly horrified at what she’d done, especially as she realised she was stuck with the cantankerous, lecherous, compo-chasing old grump. She was determined to find his unfinished business so he could pass over – before he drove the rest of the household mad. He watched Allison in the shower to her horror and his comment when told she was a werewolf was hysterical, if a touch rude! And rather personal…
Annie – being Annie – wants to believe that resolution is good and pure. She’s probably thinking of Gilbert falling in love and scuba diving man finding forgiveness. Has she forgotten her own resolution came from driving Owen insane? Hal begs to disagree – he knew a ghost whose unfinished business involved castration! I get that. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be nice. Annie’s been told this over and over and over and maybe, just maybe, it’s finally starting to sink in. To quote Herrick, being nice isn’t really working for her… After a slightly misjudged attempt to pass over in the cupboard under the stairs Emrys finally found his door after haunting his ex and her new chap and he left Annie – and us – with food for thought. (No not the idea of a smooch!) She’s going to have to find the strength to do something pretty tough is my guess.
“When your time comes remember. It may not be a good thing you have to do”
Allison and Tom’s story starts with a neat sequence that cuts between their waking rituals – similar alarm clocks, Tom sharpens a stake, Allison a pencil, she writes while he shadow-stakes vampires and he looks at himself wearing McNairs fang necklace as she pins on her Blue Peter badge. She writes a letter to her parents and Tom reads one from his – the letter McNair wrote him before he faced Herrick and Tom’s face is heartbreaking. How much does it hurt that he isn’t doing what McNairs asked of him?
Allison finds Tom by clever means although it all seems a total mystery to him and Hal but despite that Tom is clearly smitten. When she shyly confesses to Cutler she wants to be a barrister his world is complete! Although I do wonder quite what work experience with a vampire solicitor involves? Probably filing and making coffee, maybe some shredding. Probably some shredding…
Ah yes Cutler. He has a new problem. Golda (UK Operations) has arrived to take over the preparation for the Old Ones, sweeping Cutler away as an irrelevance. His reaction is interesting – no fear, no real annoyance although a look of utter puzzlement at some of Kane’s more bizarre utterances. Constitution of an armadillo? He has a calm determination to get his own way and he uses all the tools at his disposal. That includes Allison and Tom and although both survive they do manage to take out Golda’s pets leaving Cutler to stake Golda himself. He’s killed in every episode this series and I still don’t know if he enjoys it or not! The ambiguity on his face, from horror to joy to a touch of insanity is very well done.
Every time Tom reads McNair’s letter it must make him question his life but what else does he know? His dad wanted him to give up killing, to be human but who is going to teach him? A ghost? A vampire? I think not. Maybe Allison could have tried but he was so scared she would end up like him that he pushed her away. He didn’t want a woman who wanted to kill, who revelled in the destruction and he couldn’t start to comprehend how love could work with the war he knows he’s fighting. Poor Tom. Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.
Allison was a sweetie. OK I don’t have to live with her and the earnestness (and the debating) would have seriously got on my nerves after a while but she made a perfect foil for Tom. Both odd and innocent although worldly in different ways, outcasts and isolated and looking to each other for guidance. Tom was almost as thrilled with the power of a Blue Peter badge as she was at the staking lessons! I did wonder how she was scratched though and I don’t think anyone asked her.
Hal also had a shot at romance – well, he was chatted up by the forward and feisty Alex. Hal’s confusion and total inability to be in any way responsive was cute but I did want to shout at him after a while. You’re 500 years old for goodness sake; can’t you just tell her you’re not interested?! Tom was very keen to double date and confident that Hal could cope. He has started to set Hal’s routines, and becoming the new Leo was an emotional moment for them both, although they did quickly move on in that classic manly way! Anything to avoid hugging… Alex is the forward type – she knows what she wants (Hal) – and Hal’s fixation with her pulse doesn’t bode well for her surviving another episode.
“Keep busy. Keep sane”
On the subject of Hal’s routines – are Tom and Annie really helping him? The cafe is sparkly clean and the eggs are sorted, as are the sugar sachets but are they taking his needs seriously? Tom trusts him despite Hal’s warnings and Annie is way too busy with Eve (and the oldie she killed!) to worry about his rota and list. Are they part of what will tip Hal over the edge? He survived 55 clean years with Pearl and Leo and maybe this is the end of a cycle and whatever Tom and Annie do it would have no real relevance but maybe not. Annie wanted him to kill – and I think he would have done to help her. He’s poised at the top of a very steep, very slippery slope and right now it could be anyone who gives him that last little push. Can I do it?!
All the story threads this week came down to doomed love. Emrys and his wistful hopes of a kiss from Annie and a wife who found the smooth piano playing Gwyn way more attractive. Tom and Allison with their cute puppy love (or potentially true love) and just how painful was it to watch when Tom pushed her away, desperate to do the right thing. Maybe he feels he doesn’t deserve love in his life, living the way he does. Bless… And then Hal, not to be outdone he points out he has had thousands of women (tart!) but he’s terrified of Alex – or terrified of what he might do. He may well be the arch-seducer, although he lacks a moustache to twirl, but without blood he can’t even touch her without risking his hard-won control. Even Golda had her pets; although the RSPCV may have to have a few words about the tongue thing… And I thought I played rough!!
Only Cutler was alone. Has he always been or was there someone once? Perhaps he doesn’t play nicely or share his toys? Maybe we’ll find out more but I’m starting to think it’s all tangled up with Hal somehow. Maybe that’s what the hidden agenda is because – of course – there is a hidden agenda…
Some of that agenda was trailed for next week – Hal and Cutler meet and they hug! OK… Annie is in the future with the woman who claims to be Eve and it looks pretty bleak. Hal drinks blood and then – or so it is implied – goes to meet Alex, maybe for a quick bite?
Lots to chew on while we wait, drumming fingers on the table, for “Making History” next Sunday and I am VERY impatient to see it. Can it just be on now? Please?
The Law Association. This is to certify that N. Cutler 1947 has satisfied the requirements of the Board and is entitled to practise as a Solicitor…
OK – being slightly more sensible, I’ll have 50p on Nathan and a quid on Nicolas.
Who sent Golda? And if someone did then who knows she disappeared?
“Cage. Human. Prosecco.” Have to admit it’s a bit more upmarket than popcorn and Nespresso (sorry Herrick…)
When Annie almost kisses Emrys is Hal laughing at her or with her? I’m not sure…
Allison has a seriously weird run. Why?
I love Cutler’s puppet wolf. He’s a Pelham puppet in fact, made sometime between 1963 and 1986 but now fairly rare. Sadly they didn’t make a matching vampire. I bet he loves pulling the strings, making the wolf dance to his tune!
The Old Ones will not be happy in a Travelodge. Fair enough. How about a Premier Inn? Is it room for the concubines that’s the problem? Or the lack of a miniature bottle of shower gel?
Adored Tom’s pencil fangs!
Golda and the gimps were a nice idea and Golda certainly would have been fun to have stick around – she got some great lines! They were very broadly drawn though and, sadly, Kane didn’t quite work. A shame but a consequence of the short series more than anything else – if we got 12 or more episodes they could have hung around and been a touch more subtle. Although I’m not sure subtle is on Golda’s palate…
“The last time someone spoke to me like that I used their skin as a Filofax. God I miss the Eighties!”
Well it had to be didn’t it? OK, off you go – start screaming, weeping and fainting…