“Oh, I’ve waited so long for this”
Last ever Being Human and I demanded WOW!
What I got was more of a WOAH!?!?
First off, it was good – but it begged the question of why the hell wasn’t the rest of the series up to this standard? Had Toby become the Devil himself and wanted to keep all the best tunes? It also wasn’t what most people would have expected. Much of it had a deceptive calm that belied the apocalyptic themes and while it was epic in imagination it was less so in execution.
There is a certain amount of housekeeping that is briskly disposed off, situations that I’d have guessed would have been more important. Alex in her own coffin was a chilling image and her initial despair and determination showed off just what a find Kate Bracken is, probably one of the best young actors in any of the five series. The resolution was a bit easy though. Can I rentaghost? No. Can I pass through walls, coffin walls? Yes. OK then. What did annoy me was that although she could pass through the coffin lid she couldn’t to the same with the earth? Ghost out or dig out but not a bit of both, ending up with some partly disturbed grass and muddy clothes. An anomaly in ghost canon methinks…
Back with BigBadHal at his lock in, his BigBadVampArmy are created in the time it takes him to tie up his white tie and then destroyed in not much longer than it takes Tom to brush down his tails. Or tail. Not sure quite what the point was unless it was to underline that Hal was BadHal and Tom was back to VampKiller Extraordinaire. Anyway, we knew Hal was BadHal – he was even more pretentious in his declensions than SadHal – sorry, GoodHal. (I’m confusing myself here) Either way it lead into exactly what the Devil has been waiting for all along – a proper fight between Hal and Tom. Slightly too late as The Devil had already donned his dapper blazer and dappered off to cause more mischief.
The fight itself was neatly choreographed although I was disappointed that it wasn’t done in real time, the speeding up of the film made it feel less real – especially compared to the classic BH fight in “The Pack” when McNair, Annie and Mitchell – well, just McNair really – laid waste to a whole cagefight audience. That was full speed, full pelt and Just. Don’t. Breathe. This was a little more west end wendy…
Alex – fresh from the grave – gets Hal off the hook, or the stake, again. Anyone would think she fancied him. Saving the world from the wheelchair apocalypse is just a useful by product…
“Azazel, Old Nick, Old Scratch, Voland, The Stranger”
Not even fifteen minutes in and we’ve disposed of the action points and onto the main agenda. The Trinity are working together – sort of – and The Devil’s plan is unfurling. He’s gone through the hotel and the main roads like a dose of salts, corpse-whispering his way through the population and now he’s in the archives, tempting a confession out of Rook. Lets just say that I assume he stood on a chair, otherwise I might be quite impressed!
“He can’t whisper to everybody in the whole world”
Well. Actually he can.
Once he has the Emergency Broadcast Codes anyway. He gives a pretty speech about the pitiful human race – how, without him we should have done better but actually we’re just crap. He can do nothing worse to us than we already do to each other. Cynical and bleak it maybe but I do rather think he has a point… That speech is for me the absolute highlight of the episode, beautifully crafted and amazingly played by Phil Davis. I’d throw flowers but we’ve already seen what The Devil does to flowers… After five series of talking supernatural curses, doors and afterlife without ever really touching on religion (apart from Kemp and Lucy and I’m not letting them spoil a good point!), now at the very, very end we get revelations. Or actually Revelations. Book of.
And then The Devil does what The Devil does best. He tempts. He gives the trinity a glimpse of what might have been or what could be. What if.
All three were given a choice – for Hal and Alex it was the point of death. Hal could choose to live out what remained of his life in sixteenth century squalor. he seemed somewhat concerned about the squalor. Leo popped up in his jimjams – symbolically – to remind Hal that by dying he’d save many lives. That didn’t work did it? Alex was back in the holiday caravan with her dad – a quietly nuanced performance by Gordon Kennedy. She could miss her date with Hal. Survive and have a life.
Tom’s situation was very different and of the three he had the hardest choice. Hal and Alex – despite everything – had something to go back for. Tom’s supernatural life, the only life he’s ever known had systematically taken everything away – his real family, McNair, George and Nina, Annie and Eve. Even Allison. The Devil’s offer to Tom added a family. I wouldn’t have blamed him for one moment if he’d chosen to open the box.
In the end they went back – having managed to completely miss The Antichrist under the noses for five weeks now they see right through him. They go back but Hal sows an unfortunate seed.
“You know where you went wrong. You should have put us together”
And we’re back in the room. Or the studio.
In the only frantic action section of the finale The Devil senses a threat and expels his essence like a swarm of gnats. He then expels some French. Presumably insane 1918 French. Rook shoots him and it’s all over.
Back at the house and the cover up story of poisoned gas and demented pensioners on the news and it’s time to stake Hal. Again. And again he’s off the hook, this time by a timely knock on the door – somewhat reminiscent of 1.05 when Herrick knocked on the door as George let out a little wee. Hopefully no accidents this time although luckily Hal is wearing dark trousers…
At the door is Rook. But Rook isn’t Rook, he’s The Devil and they have another go at the ritual and this time, finally, at long bloody last they manage to get something right. Alex fades, the boys wriggle around on the floor and the gnats are back. And back in Rook. Who Hal stakes.
I hope you’re keeping up?
So The Devil is destroyed and the Trinity are dead. Or not.
I admit I was shouting at the TV for a while here. Mostly “NOO!!!” and “I HATE YOU TOBY WHITHOUSE”
Luckily the end twisted to suit my dark and bitter heart. I didn’t want a happy ending. No one else got one and Hal certainly didn’t deserve it. I’m going to come back to the ending and what/who/how/when/why otherwise this review is going to be as long as one of Hatch’s speeches! I will lodge a plea here though and say I believe that Alex, Hal and Tom are in an alternate reality, trapped by The Devil when it looked as though they were going to thwart him and survive the – still utterly unidentified – Trinity ritual. The Devil still exists, just not in human form and this is his revenge. It’s not the reality he showed Tom though, despite the origami werewolf. That version had Allison in it and this one doesn’t. In this one Tom is destined to be the perpetual gooseberry, his flower perennially unplucked as Alex and Hal continue in their never-ending spiral of approach and retreat. The Devil is cruel and this is a cruel trap with no resolution or happy ending despite the cosy camera filters and warm lighting.
Why aren’t they human? Because they can’t be – there are too many reasons why not and that’s for the next post!
And finally – and it’s just a thought – about that mantelpiece of souvenirs and memories. Maybe it wasn’t that at all.
Maybe they are The Devil’s hunting trophies…
That was quite a generously sized coffin Alex had wasn’t it?
And if she was buried in Scotland near her family that’s a pretty decent rentaghost back to Barry!
“I’d do a trick for you. I’d turn water into wine but it’s been copyrighted”
BadHal’s accent is somewhat of a moveable feast…
I can probably go with vampires and werewolves being curses from The Devil – if I must – but not ghosts. Most go through their doors – even if not straight away. Why is UFB suddenly The Devil’s work?
My favourite part of all the AU scenes? The Devil, on the battlefield at Orsha, in a deckchair, with a thermos. A Cluedo moment…
The Devil distracts us with shiny things? Yes. Knew the bead and jewellery addiction wasn’t my fault!
What is it with Being Human and appalling dressing gowns? It’s not quite mustard polyester paisley but maroon towelling wasn’t much better…
“Resurrecting the anti-Christ? All to safeguard your pension”
If you’re familiar with the film Bladerunner you may – like me – have been shouting “Unicorn! UNICORN!!” at the origami werewolf.
If you haven’t seen Bladerunner you’ll be scratching your head – and you have to go and see it without delay. Now. Go on…
For those of us nodding sagely here’s Ridley Scott explaining the unicorn and what it meant…