alex, bbc three, being human, bobby, captain hatch, damien molony, ghost, hal, kate bracken, michael socha, mr rook, phil davis, review, ricky grover, series five, steven robertson, toby whithouse, tom, vampire, werewolf
Last time we had a six episode series was way back in series one and there are some parallels between the two episode fours. Crumb is to Hal what both Bernie and Lauren were to Mitchell. Not entirely of course, unless Hal’s been having rampant and bloody sex in a hotel bathroom with Crumb. (Unlikely) Or going bowling and eating enough junk food to be sick and then exchanging porn films. (Slightly more likely)
Bernie and Crumb were both recruited by vampires who were sworn off blood in order to stop them dying – or to stop said vampire feeling guilty as them dying would be their fault. If we believe Rook’s emails to the lovely Alistair (do we??) then Bernie went to the bad. Despite the cutesy montage it doesn’t take long for Hal to realise Crumb is also doomed. After all he isn’t ‘cured’, he never has been, so why does he really think any one else can? It was interesting to hear him echo Carl’s words from 2.02 when he talked about killing Dan – how he wasn’t surprised but disappointed. Carl was probably the most successful clean vampire we’ve seen – and it caught up with him in the end. Caught up with Dan at any rate.
It was Sylvie who was disappointed when Hal killed her. She had kept Hal good around 200 years ago with the generous offer of her time and her body. Bully for her. I wonder if she knew he was popping off annually to visit the equally deluded Lady Mary whose time as the Keeper of Hal’s Clean crossed over with hers. Did he have a whole tribe of these poor idiots thinking they were doing him good? Were they doing him any good at all? I suspect an element of stinging along here. Hal seems to thrive on hero-worship and a few juicy lies help it along nicely.
I’m also doubting that Hal is anything other than the evil Hal we see in flashback – and never has been. Yes he stayed off blood with Pearl and Leo (or so we believe) but they pretty much kept him prisoner. He stayed (relatively) sane through the OCD-ish routines drilled into him by Leo and by being kept away from everything that might temp him. Which is everything really… After he moved into Honolulu Heights his routines didn’t help him. Only being kept away from the world does that – and it’s hardly practical.
I’m not at all sure about the sudden introduction to canon of the spilt personality vampire. It landed with a similar clunk to toxic werewolf blood and like TWWB it unsuspended my disbelief while I muttered WTF? In the past it’s been quite accepted that Hal’s good and bad cycles were just that – cycles. Good Hal is aware of his misdeeds or why would being good be a struggle? Bad Hal knows about his good times – in 5.01 he says how terribly dull the good cycles are. Is this dual personality something completely separate to good/bad Hal? Does it all hark back to the Trinity and to containing the devil? Or is it firmly in the TWWB camp…
In a series with only six episodes and one that was knowingly written as the last one I expected a roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I didn’t expect filler and repetition. Sadly we’re getting both. After Larry the werewolf we have Bobby the werewolf. Ostensibly they are very different – Larry newly scratched and knowing no others and Bobby a long-term wolf but locked away for all that time. Larry gave Tom (another) lesson in trust – or more accurately in not trusting everyone. Bobby gave him a chance to babysit (makes a change from Alex) and to feel he could teach someone something. The one aspect of that grated on me was that Tom is still being portrayed as stupid – yes he’s naive but he’s not a fool. Making Bobby such a hopeless case did Tom no favours – I’d have liked to have seen both characters more self-aware.
I didn’t really take to Larry’s character – not desperately subtle – and I think Bobby suffered as a result of that. Two weeks of WW story made me think the ‘Lessons of the Week’ they brought could have been combined to no great loss. Mind you I’d have been sad to have missed out on Ricky Grover as Bobby, he’s a massively underrated actor – he was fab in Getting On – and he brough to Bobby an endearing pathos that didn’t make me want to throw rocks at the screen. Which I did with Larry.
Oh, and Lady Mary at times.
Actually not stopping just for a moment. I can’t bear to go into it in any depth at all (maybe later) but…
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Crumb is dead. I’m going to say that again. CRUMB IS DEAD.
No I didn’t like him. In case you couldn’t tell.
And finally! Rook and Hatch meet. (Or Hook ‘n’ Ratch as I keep calling them…) Have they ever met before? It seems odd that Rook is so free with his confidences to a man he’s only just met. And why are they all so oblivious to his evilness? Rook is an experienced supernatural finder/jailer/destroyer, Hal is an Old One and Tom has werewolf nose and senses. Have none of them noticed a faint hint of oddity about the Captain? Or maybe they put it down to BO and the less than alpine freshness of an overloaded colostomy bag.
Hatch pushes Rook into a somewhat desperate plan – let Bobby lose in the hotel during the convenient full moon resulting in mass maulings and lots of press. Nope. Didn’t work last time either.
They play cards while they play games. I have to say I rather liked that until the utterly predictable conclusion – a timely trinity for Rook but one, two, three sixes for the Devil… He wins. He won Bobby – another well-timed whisper and all his plans of moving into HH fall to nothing. Is it wrong to admire the rawl-plugs holding that light fitting in place?
Speaking of the capital T capital D The Devil… When I first read that the series five big bad was the ultimate big bad I was intrigued – especially when TUBB (maybe that acronym is unfortunate) was to be played by the eminently wonderous Phil Davis. I’m having second thoughts now. The other BH villains – Herrick, Kemp, Cutler et al all had room for doubt, for shades of grey and levels of ambiguity – all the things that BH does so very, very well. The Devil leaves no doubt. He is evil. There is no possibility of redemption. He can’t be saved. The only thing we can’t be sure of (yet) is if he can win. If good and evil exist can you have a world without The Devil – even without the theological arguments. (Where is Kemp when you need him?!) If evil is vanquished would the evil and potentially evil supernaturals also vanish?
Would it be the end of the vampires?
Now that is something to ponder…
The dressing up box is back – third time and counting! I think Herrick kept the fairy wings though… And Wyndam had the wand up his sleeve.
If WW blood is toxic to vampires why couldn’t they smell which glass of blood was which? Vampires can smell werewolves – or at least they can when it suits the plot. Admittedly Crumb was a beginner (a stupid one) but Hal isn’t. I suspect he knew damn well what he was about to drink. It suited him rather well that Alex and Tom saw that Crumb ‘committed suicide’
Why didn’t Crumb get blood on his knickers? The thought of him changing them after each victim is WAY too disturbing! And why am I even thinking about this???? Pass the brain bleach!
Hatch can see Alex. We can see that. All except Alex, Hal and Tom. All those finely tuned supernatural instincts… Clearly The Devil has a scrambler. Maybe it’s the teeth?
I loved the way Tom had been shopping on THE eBay.
Cutler’s grand plan isn’t working any better for Rook. In fact, you could say Cutler achieved more – Rook had to clear up after him, his own plan just misfired all on its own.
Was there any point to Alan? No there wasn’t.
“He must be right, he drives a Lexus” Right maybe. Imaginative and stylish? The jury’s out!
I’m sure the chef at the Barry Grand is well acquainted with lobster. Yeah. Right.
Hal drank the blood. To quote sweetheart Hugh from the New Found Out: “Well… we all saw that coming”
“Hello Bobby-love. Hope you had a good day at school. There’s last night’s macaroni cheese for your tea so pop it in the oven. My shift finishes at 10, so get yourself to bed after Shoestring. Love you monkey”