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Being Human: Lia

Annie: “You saved me.”
Mitchell: “You saved me, too.”

A solid season opener. Apart from the gang moving to Barry Island (what’s occurin’?), it was pretty much business as usual. Annie’s still in purgatory, Mitchell's still a brooding hunk of... whatever, and George and Nina are still in love. Tonight they even ended up doing it doggie-style during their time of the month. Nasty! But Being Human does seem to have rediscovered its mojo. After the comparative darkness of season two, tonight's episode felt like a return to form. After the relative success of Being Human US, I'd forgotten how good this show can be.

Whilst reviewing the first episode of season two I did ponder what might happen should George and Nina meet in their wolf states. Would they rip each other apart? Or would George recognise Nina, as he did in the season one finale? Well, now we know. They’d screw each other’s brains out. Fairly obvious, I suppose. The George and Nina scenes were a welcome respite from the relative gloom of Mitchell's storyline. Nina trying to free George from jail whilst coping with the pangs of transformation was sublimely amusing -- as was the physical comedy of the bedroom scene. Nice outfit, Nina. (Which is an polite way of saying “phwoar!”)

To get Annie out of purgatory, all Mitchell had to do was face up to his past. Enter Lia, played by lovely ex-Eastender, Lacey Turner. I guessed early on that she'd turn out to be one of Mitchell's victims. I just wasn’t expecting something as recent as the train incident. (H12 was her seat number, right?) Mitchell coming face to face with his mangled victims was like something out of An American Werewolf in London (except less amusing.) The purgatory scenes nicely documented Mitchell's incremental fall into debauchery and murder. It's amazing what you can achieve on such small budget. Purgatory looked like the inside of a dole office.

But who is Lia really? She told Annie that something terrible had happened to her. Was that a reference to the train incident? Or is there something else going on? She seemed so cold towards Annie. Now Mitchell's owned up to his past horrors and apologised, what's keeping her in purgatory? Why hasn't she moved on? And who gave her the purgatory gig in the first place? She said something to Annie about them playing the long game. But who are they? It's almost as if some malign influence has taken over purgatory. Why would anyone think Annie was deserving of Hell? What did she ever do that was so terrible? She's an absolute pussy cat. It makes no sense.

In the beginning, Mitchell was a victim. But something happened along the way. He became hard. He stopped caring. Worse still, he started to revel in the lack of constraints and effortless slaughter his new lifestyle afforded. He began to kill with impunity. He stopped being the victim and became the victimiser. It's difficult to comprehend fully the culpability of someone in Mitchell's situation. Sure, he's done terrible things. But he has a condition. I accept that he has a human conscience. But in the same way mental illness mitigates (at least to some degree) a multitude of crimes, shouldn't Mitchell similarly be shown at least some leniency?

In the end, Annie's freedom came at a price. The time of Mitchell's death has been set. He's become a pawn in someone else's game. The question is: what's the game and who are the players? Mitchell is destined to be killed by a werewolf. So far there are four obvious candidates: Mad Dog MacNair, George (please, not him), Nina (or her) and Thomas. Will dead mean dead? Or will it mean Herrick dead. Or maybe Annie dead?

And, do my eyes deceive me, or are Mitchell and Annie about to dip their respective toes into coupledom? I definitely detected a sultry glance (or two) from Annie -- and those hugs seemed to go on just a little too long. Which kind of works. Except, of course, Mitchell's bound to screw up. He has too many skeletons in his closet to just settle down. And after the shitstorm Annie's been through between seasons, I'm not looking forwards to the what must surely be the disappointment of Mitchell's inevitable betrayal.

George's tears at Annie and Mitchell's return totally set me off. That was such a well filmed/acted/written scene. I filled up instantly on seeing Annie's tea pot spout. (Not a euphemism). Kudos, too, to seasoned blubber Russell Tovey, for pulling off the reunion with such subtlety. His face on seeing Mitchell stood in the doorway was just so moving; as was Annie taking George's face in her hands and wiping away his tears. I loved their enthusiasm at showing Annie around the new house. Nina's gift of a new tea pot. Them dancing in front of the Hawaiian beach painting. What a shame their happiness won't last.

Other Thoughts:

Paul Kaye was an unexpected casting surprise. Unfortunately, he hammed it up something rotten. He looked like a cross between Spike (from Buffy) and Keith Flint from the Prodigy. I must confess, I wasn't overly fond of the cage scenes. They seemed a little too over the top. Why didn't Jameson just stab MacNair while he was transforming? Why does nobody ever do the obvious thing? Still, at least Vincent's dead. I'm guessing Jameson won't be making a hirsute return any time soon, either. There wasn't a great deal left of him.

Robson Green I actually did like. I wasn't expecting to. I was never a fan of Soldier Soldier, and his singing career with Jerome Flynn was atrocious. So I was none too jazzed to hear he’d been cast. But there was none of the usual cheeky Geordie chappie about MacNair. I didn't find the fight scenes particularly convincing. Even clever editing couldn't rescue those. But I do like Mad Dog. I also like the father/son werewolf pairing. It looks as though George and Nina are going to have some furry play-pals soon. Let's just hope Mad Dog doesn't sing.

Bits and Pieces:

-- No signs of Herrick yet. But it’s still early days.

-- What was Rhys doing out dogging? He’s obviously taking advantage of Gwen being in America. Isn't he supposed to be there, too?

-- George seemed almost reluctant to save Annie. Was he simply afraid of losing Mitchell as well?

-- Michael Socha looks so much like Lauren Socha (Misfits) it's uncanny. His accent is less pronounced, but you can still hear it.

-- Another gratuitous arse shot of Tovey. And a topless shot of Nina. Were those tits real or fake? Answers on a postcard please.

-- How comes Thomas had a chicken on a string? Did he know Tully as well?

-- Spit spot? It's Mary Poppins!

Quotes:

George: “Feel the burn. Who’s your daddy? Say what you see.”

Vincent: "Stake and chips, anyone?'

George: “It’s our friend Annie. She’s in Midsomer Murders.”

George: "What are you doing? Why have you got a chicken on a string?"

Annie: "Where are we? This isn't Bristol."
Mitchell: "No, that's the other thing, we sort of moved to Wales."
Annie: "Oh, I wanna go back."
Mitchell: "To Bristol?"
Annie: "No, to purgatory."

George: “We can’t wait to start our Hawaiian dream.”

Annie: "Humanity isn't an species, it's a state of mind. It can't be defeated. It moves mountains, it saves souls. We were blessed as much as we were cursed."

Annie: "In this little enclave of the lost, I witnessed the very best of being human. We were safe here. While outside, the monsters prowled."
---
Also posted at The Time Meddler.

6 comments:

  1. Haven't seen much of this show, but ended up staying up to watch the repeat, just to feel smug about correctly guessing the conclusions for two out of three storylines! The fact that they'd dressed a (much less attractive) vampire in Spike's exact costume from Buffy season 2 was a bit of a giveaway. So, two sexually attracted werewolves together don't kill each other, they shag (as in Buffy season 4) and any kind of ghostly guide who appears at random to a vampire will be one of their victims (similar to Buffy season 3). I want to like Being Human, but whenever I watch it, it seems too derivative of Buffy, among other things, and I can't see Mitchell as anything other than a murdrous b*****d who should be staked.

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  2. Juliette, I loved Buffy too but it was hardly the most original show out there. Young girls falling in love with naughty vampires is a standard vamp fiction cliché. As are witches drunk on power turning to the dark side. Also the episode 'lies my parents taught me' was a direct plot steal from The Vampire Lestat.

    People accuse the Vampire Diaries of being a ripoff of Buffy - but which came first? Obviously the Vampire Diaries books (on which the show's based). Notice any similarities? Broody male vampire with dark past falls in love with beautiful young girl. Vampire love triangles. Witches. Werewolves. And all before Buffy.

    Virtually everything in vampire fiction is derivative these days but that doesn't stop me from enjoying Buffy, Being Human, The Vampire Diaries or Twilight. Personally I thought tonight's episode of Being Human was brilliant. Will there be any more reviews of the third season or are you concentrating more on the US show now?

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  3. Fiona, in answer to your question: yes and no. Yes we'll be continuing with our season three reviews, and no we're not concentrating more on BH/US than BH/UK. I think Billie said in her most recent review that she was done for the time being with BH/US... unless next week's episode is a scorcher. (I'm paraphrasing, obviously.)

    Speaking for myself, I intend to continue reviewing season three, although, I'm off on holiday in a week or so and have no idea whether I'll have wifi or TV access. I'm not even sure there'll be humans or oxygen -- although I'm hoping for both. I've grown fond of breathing. If there is, then I'll be posting reviews as and when I can. Any missed episodes I'll catch up with on my return. I know it's not ideal, but it'll have to do for now.

    And kudos to you for bothering to stick with the VD novels. I found them tedious and could only manage the first two.

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  4. Yeah, H12 was the seat number. The camera zoomed in on it briefly. I too have been wondering why Annie's having such a hard time. Unless there's some evil backstory, I'm as baffled as you are.

    Great opening episode. They lost me a little during season two, but this one reeled me back in.

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  5. I've been enjoying the American Being Human but how inferior was it compared to tonight's episode? Very. There's only one Mitchell!

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  6. I think BBC America did some judicious censorship because from Paul's description, we definitely missed some R-rated stuff. Ah, well. It was still a terrific season opener. I loved Mitchell going to Purgatory to find Annie and I am definitely getting couple vibes. And Nina at the police station was hilarious. I love Nina. Do we have two supernatural couples sharing a house in Wales, now?

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