by Paul Kelly
Rook: “Close your eyes. Don't look at the monsters.”
I spent the first half of tonight's episode wondering when something was going to happen, and the last half wishing that nothing had. In traditional penultimate episode style, everything went colossally wrong – leaving Toby Whithouse just with 60 minutes to either pull it out of the bag or feel the wrath of my right boot up his arse.
Of course, I jest. I have enough confidence in Whithouse's writing abilities to know that he'll do the show proud -- I just have no idea what he's up to. Sarah Dollard certainly finished off tonight's episode with a bang. The first half of this episode felt bereft of anything particularly dramatic – but what an ending! At least Alex is on to Hatch. That gives me hope – although it looks as though a confrontation between Hal and Tom is inevitable.
Tom and Hal's relationship has been a real strength these past two seasons, so it was heartbreaking to see it fall apart. Tom's face on learning of Hal's indiscretion was particularly moving, as was Hal's despair at Alex thinking he'd killed Natasha. Hal murdering a pub full of people felt reminiscent of season two's box tunnel massacre, and will presumably have similar consequences. With Hal out of control and Tom on the warpath, Alex seems the obvious choice to save the day. Unfortunately, she's six feet under, with just a rotting corpse for company. Did anyone else think her cadaver had a surprisingly long head?
You have to take your hat off to Damien Molony, he was simply spectacular tonight. Hal's such a complex character, yet Molony injects realism into every facet of his personality. His struggle with addiction was particularly well acted, as was his confrontation with Alex under the bandstand. I inwardly cheered when he asked Alex for help, and then outwardly sagged when Hatch took advantage of his weakness. Yet even in the heat of withdrawal, his first instinct was not to feed but to heal. He didn't drain Natasha's body afterwards, either -- which is surely proof positive that Hal's humanity is the stronger of his two sides? The question is: will he be able to pull himself back now that he's actually stepped over the precipice? Here's hoping his friends come to his rescue regardless.
I wish Natasha had been in the season from the start, that way Tom's feelings for her wouldn't have felt so contrived. Natasha and Tom made a cute couple. Props to Kathryn Prescott for arriving so late in the day and contributing to a character I actually cared about. Tonight's episode was a real wake up call for Natasha. Despite Rook saying she was family, he still used her to wreak havoc at Honolulu Heights. Saving people is just work to Rook, and when that work is threatened, they become pawns in a game of survival. How bad must Natasha's situation have been for her to refuse Hal's offer to save her?
I liked Alex's comment about Tom not being his dad. This season, Michael Socha's character has arguably seen the most growth. He's still a little naïve when it comes to women, but under the tutelage of Hal and Alex, he's grown into a well rounded young man. Unfortunately, now Hal's taken a turn for the worse, Tom seems set to regress back to his old vampire slaying self, with Hal as his target. Luckily, Alex has been the voice of reason all season. She's the only one seeing everything and everyone for what they really are. All she needs to do is escape her coffin and save the day. Is making everything right the unfinished business she needs to take care of before finally passing over?
At this point in the show, it seems unlikely that any of our heroes will end up with significant others. Maybe Hal and Alex are still in with a chance. It all depends upon what kind of ending Toby Whithouse has in mind. Will they all live happily ever after, or are we set to have another tragedy on our hands? Maybe Hal will die, Alex will pass over, and Tom will end up marrying Allison. I guess we'll find out in seven days -- but if it happens like I said: I totally called it!
Bits and Pieces:
-- Hal and Alex trying to teach Tom sex education was a great moment. Poor Hal. He eventually ended up sending him to the library.
-- Rook's 'no care, all responsibility' motto would have been better stretched across several episodes. After 60 minutes, I was sick to death of hearing it.
-- Alex was blown away by that tiny kiss? Less really must be more.
-- Tom's badge said 'ASS Man'. Oh dear.
-- Great newspaper headline: Is Health and Safety Turning Britain's Farmers Gay?
-- Alex casts a shadow. Some ghost.
Alex: “All you've done for the past two days is wail on your pecs and shuffle around muttering show tunes.”
Hal: “They're not show tunes! Gilbert and Sullivan wrote operettas, not musicals.”
Alex: “I am so embarrassed for you right now.”
Alex: “She made you feel feelings? What a bitch!”
Tom: “I can't do the whole pants thing because Allison's the one.”
Alex: “Gonna introduce us to your little friend?”
Tom: “Oh yeah... I couldn't get a bunny. You know sex, yeah?”
Alex: “Erm, I vaguely remember, yeah... and great segue, by the way.”
Natasha: "What changed your mind?"
Hal: "Tom. Tom is my friend."
Hal: “If I can't feel, then what's the point?”
Alex: "You're not your dad, Tom. I wouldn't want you to be."
Hal: “You think I'm capable of this?”
Alex: “I don't know, Hal. I don't know what you're capable of.”
Hal: “Then what's the point? We're done!”
Alex: “What the hell are you?”
Hatch: “I'm only the fucking devil, sweetheart.”
Alex: “Oh Christ, that's a fucking skull......argggggh!”