alex, bbc three, being human, damien molony, ghost, hal, kate bracken, kathyrn prescott, michael socha, mr rook, natasha, phil davis, review, series five, steven robertson, the devil, toby whithouse, tom, vampire, werewolf
“Some Type 2’s like to think their affliction can be controlled”
In one of my favourite Being Human traditions we begin with a flashback. Fifteen years ago when Rook was, well, Rook. Grey suited, composed, clinical but finally showing us a hint of the cracks in that businesslike facade that I wish we’d seen more of earlier. I expected him to be morally ambiguous and so far the anger at TPTB has covered that up but now we get just one tantalising little hint. A touch of humanity from the human, a small girl finding what may be the only chink in his matte grey armour. When he holds her I see a trace of regret for the life he willing gave up – family, companionship, love. But it doesn’t last and he’s worryingly keen to use that grown up girl as bait having been goaded or persuaded by The Devil to ramp up the conflict between Hal and Tom. Although why was Rook taken in by The Devil so easily? It’s not as if this whole supernatural life is new to him…
The other thing that this last but one Being Human (ever) (probably) brought me was a lovely gift – one of the things I’ve been wishing for this series. A guest star who didn’t leave teeth marks on the scenery.
Kathryn Prescott did a great job with Natasha and she had quite a job to do. It wasn’t difficult to make the connection between the young girl rescued by Rook and the young woman who stumbled into the Barry Grand and her impact on Tom was nicely done. It may have been better to have edged her in over a couple of episodes but that isn’t the style for this series – she in and she’s up and running.
“I could have shaved his poodle for all you know”
Tom fell for her like a sack of spuds – she did have some great lines – and she appealed rather cleverly to his instincts to protect and nurture; he so wants his own pack. Hal falls for her blood – which she offered very freely, too freely until you factor in what Rook had presumably instructed her to do. Mind, the inner thigh? It is – of course – the only place he could have used without the evidence showing. Yeah, right. Hal seemed to accept that she knew what he was and was prepared to let him feed with remarkably few questions.
Interesting that Tom took Natasha to the same restaurant where Cutler clinically dissected his entire relationship with Allison and trampled it neatly underfoot… Doomed again then.
“It’s just that I’ve seen you like this before”
Hal on the blood got himself all arch seducer-ish again but at least he resisted the temptation to tell Alex he liked her neck this time. He and Alex duly kissed. Of course they did and just like Annie and Mitchell it seems that we are incapable of seeing an attractive man and woman becoming friends without a romantic or sexual involvement. It does occasionally happen you know and I rather wish that Alex had got over Hal – especially after he got her killed. Bit of a passion killer that one.
When Mitchell kisses Annie in series one – sort of accidentally – he said she was cold and tingly, she certainly wasn’t solid or even squishy at that point. Alex has been a ghost for less time but her solidity didn’t seem at issue. Or maybe Hal isn’t quite so fussy. Or is terminally out of practice and can’t remember what it should feel like!
Alex was back to being bright and feisty this week thank goodness and she was onto Hal pretty sharpish. And onto The Devil. Why on earth Hal hadn’t got any kind of inkling about him is beyond me. The Old Ones really are a disappointingly ineffectual bunch aren’t they?!
The scene between Hal and Alex outside the hotel was one of the best of the series – Kate Bracken has been fabulous. Hal was frantically, desperately justifying but Alex is having none of it. Finally she sees it. He’s lied and lied and finally they are onto him. Now that Natasha has shown Tom Hal’s fang marks – with a touch of embroidery on the explanation – there are no chances left. Will they ever believe him again? Right now it seems impossible that he’ll ever regain their trust but let’s face it, stranger things have happened… *cough*Annie/Mitchell*cough*
Hal ended the episode in his local for a whole new kind of lock in and I was disappointed that the barman didn’t look up and go “The usual?” What would be Hal’s usual anyway? Mitchell was a proper badass (apparently, according to Herrick …) and he drank peach schnapps. Perhaps it’s a Tequila Sunrise for Lord Harry? With a nice paper umbrella. Rather obviously the Box Tunnel massacre came to mind – a group of people, trapped, at the mercy of a pitiless vampire but I have to say the progress in from abstainer to this was less convincing for me with Hal. Mitchell had had his illusions clinically stripped away and once he knew about Lucy retaliation was inevitable. Hal had slipped off the wagon – mostly all by himself – and he could only be disappointed in himself, Alex and Tom had done nothing but try to help. To very little thanks. For me this proves again that there never has been a good Hal, a clean Hal, one with good intentions and any level of benevolence. It’s a ruse, sustained by the saintly Pearl and Leo by locking him away. This is Hal, Die Hard vest and all. Liar. Merciless killer. Complete bastard. All kinds of evil. Looking at that list I wonder why I don’t like him more?!
Finally we start to see the promise that the casting of Phil Davis as The Devil has been dangling over us for what seems like an eternity. He really hasn’t had much to do – although he’s done that little very well. Now he’s rising. (I wish Alex hadn’t mentioned Viagra though! Brain bleach…) Next time lets see some ambulant evil please – and that rather dapper outfit!
Something I’ve been pondering… The Devil needed conflict between a werewolf and a vampire to gain strength. (I’m not saying rising again. Eww) Did it have to be Tom and Hal? Obviously there are other vampires and werewolves and it’s not unlikely that there is conflict. I mean, cage fights?
If Hatch has been in the Barry not-so-Grand Hotel for so many years how did he get no hint of the conflict between Mitchell and George? Or Mitchell and McNair? Or Mitchell and Nina?
If it HAS to be Hal and Tom – why?
“HE WILL RISE”
Penultimate episodes of Being Human have garnered quite a reputation for nonstop, heart in mouth thrills and spills so this one – the very final penultimate one (if that’s not some sort of oxymoron) had its work cut out.
Does it make it?
It’s not a patch on Though the Heavens Fall or Making History, it didn’t give us a guest with the emotional impact that Josie had or quite the shock that Mitchell’s darkest heart brought. It’s by far the best in series five and the last 20 minutes ramp up the tension and promise a damn good finale.
Sadly some of the impact is diluted by a sense of déjà vu – inevitably perhaps in a fifth series on the same premise. How can Alex, Tom and Hal avoid the same traps, the same mistakes and the same quandaries that befell Annie, George and Mitchell? They can’t and comparisons can’t be avoided.
I’m starting to get a suspicion that some kind of resolution for Hal will be found and I won’t be happy. I don’t care how many topless press ups he does or how much he does puppy dog eyes at Alex. Or Tom. None of that gets over the fact that he’s an unapologetic mass murderer who will never stop. Whatever he does – kill The Devil, shag Alex, buy Tom a shirt with sleeves – it’s too little too late and if he finds a happy ever after I’ll feel cheated. Vampires don’t get that.
Tom, however, I’d like to see survive – and survive to follow McNair’s last wish for him to have a normal life. After a series of being made to play dumb and dumber it’s the least he deserves.
Alex? A door please. And not for saving the world. How about for killing Hal? Cutler may have done the deed but Hal was the reason she was dead.
Although the shots of Alex sharing a cosy coffin with her own decaying corpse were clever and chilling I almost wished the episode had ended on those rather Michael Caine-esque words:
“I’m only the fucking devil, sweetheart”
Anyone thinking of blowing the fucking doors off?
Amazing how the Barry Grand has a selection of staff uniforms in just the right sizes – they fitted out the tiny Natasha and the less tiny Bobby without so much as a tuck and a safety pin.
Hal sorting paper clips into order in a desperate attempt at control (didn’t work then!) was a good image but I couldn’t help thinking – why is there a tub of giant multicoloured paper clips in the hotel kitchen?!
Why didn’t Rook guess Alex was there in the archive? He knows HH has a ghost and Hal wasn’t exactly ignoring her.
Alex and her files reminded me of Annie and her BT20 investigations.
I wonder what Rook’s human blood donors thought they were donating for? Did he get the idea for his controlled blood distribution scheme from the vampires? The alley was just a forerunner of Herrick and his human pantry after all…
And – if he’s so sure that vampires cannot control or manage their condition why distribute blood at all?
Oh! And what other vampires was he feeding??
“He will rise” from the mouth of a corpse was truly disturbing.
I’d like to see the scene where Alex steals porn for Tom and Hal has to answer his questions!
Who is going to find that knife in Honolulu Heights?
And finally… Will all the loose ends be tied up neatly (with a bow) in pink ribbon at the end of episode 6? I hope not. And I seriously doubt it. Maybe this it the time to quote Hal (and Tom):
“You’re trying to make sense of something that just fundamentally doesn’t make sense”
“That’s what I said! Sort of”
If you’re tied to a chair (hey – it’s your private life, who am I to comment!) and want to sing-along-a-Hal…