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Being Human: Type 4

Sasha: “Live Annie. Seize the day.”
Annie: “I will.”

Despite being mostly a stand-alone, tonight's episode had surprising depth. Sasha and Graham provided the perfect comedy foils for Mitchell and Annie. I'm not sure who was the most messed up: fanboy Siddion, or Sasha the chavalanche zombie. (Mentally, that is. Physically, Sasha wins hands down.) Sasha's dying words had a profound effect on Annie and Nina. Her carpe diem swansong forced them to reassess their choices and re-evaluate their relationships. For Mitchell, Graham's death was perhaps less of an epiphany. The shadow of his past still looms large -- and if that closing shot of Graham's scrapbook was anything to go by, Mitchell's past atrocities won't stay hidden for long.

What a gal Sasha was. She was loud, disparaging, violently drunk, visibly deteriorating, mostly dead and stank to high heaven. I think I'm in love. Which was more than could be said for our gang of grumpy supernaturals. Even Annie couldn't wait to get shot of her -- with her black teeth, loose toe nails, crunchy neck, and (slightly bloodshot) eye for Mitchell. If Annie hadn't (rather conveniently) stumbled across those hidden medical records and video footage, Sasha would have been out on her arse. Her soupiness was ruining the soft furnishings. But once Mitchell realised he was indirectly responsible for her condition, it was a whole new ball game. Mitchell storming purgatory two episodes ago somehow prevented souls from passing over; leaving Sasha existing in a body well past its sell-by date.

Sasha's slow deterioration was gruesome. I cringed at every squelch and broken bone. Annie's attempts at putting her back together were as hilarious as they were macabre. Even with a face-full of Polyfilla, and hair stuck on with Superglue, she looked horrific. Surely Annie could've done something with her teeth? She had a mouth like a bucket of frogs. The boys' reaction said it all. They were absolutely dumbfounded. Yet Sasha coped admirably with her own gradual putrefaction. She wasn't going to let a falling off face, and skin that would make a leech vomit, stop her from going out on the pull. Shame her only snog was part of a bet. Then her legs started snapping, her lungs started collapsing, and all manner of disgustingness ensued.

Sasha's deathbed scene was actually quite moving. She rued life's missed opportunities. She even regretted not loving dastardly Gethin more. And, again, I found myself warming to Annie this week. The minute she's involved in some proper drama, her character just clicks. Annie's promise to “seize the day” resulted in her telling Mitchell that she "fancied" him. Thankfully, Mitchell responded favourably. Earlier in the episode he admitted to George that he was terrified of losing her. Of course, he probably will. But for now he seems content to pursue a chance at happiness. At least they're both on the same page now. I had visions of Mitchell somehow screwing the moment up... and then us having to endure another five weeks of “will they, won't they” nonsense (when we all know they will, and just want them to either shut up or get on with it.)

Nina's back story was something of a shock. I'd always assumed Nina had led a fairly normal life prior to becoming infected. I wasn't expecting some dark revelation -- particularly pertaining to emotional and physical abuse. Is that where the scars on her stomach are from? Nina's spent half of her life believing she's worthless. Which actually sits quite nicely with her subdued personality. It isn't that she doesn't want George's baby -- nor is she afraid of what their baby might be. What scares her most is the prospect of becoming a mother. Will a dysfunctional childhood impact negatively on her ability to be a good parent? What if she turns out to be abusive too? In the end, it was Sasha's dying words which made the difference. George and Nina are going to have a little hairy baby!

Graham (AKA Siddion) turned out to be something of a tragic character. I found his hero-worship of Mitchell hilarious. He even had the same hair and jacket. Unfortunately for Mitchell, he also wanted his life. He wanted his house, his job, Annie, and his crown as the “King of Blood”. He probably had it in him, too. Killing his own children seemed to have unhinged him. Yet, despite his desire for carnage and chaos, he still felt the need to belong.

But why, knowing Mitchell's reputation, would he goad him on the train? Why try to blackmail him? And why would he leave such obvious clues? A scrapbook full of press clippings. A train timetable with the date and times of his planned attack written in Biro. All left in an unlocked locker? It was almost as if he wanted to be caught. After their conversation on the train, he must have known Mitchell would try to stop him. So why didn't he fight back? He didn't even seem particularly put out when Mitchell staked him. Did he have a death wish, or something?

I felt sorry for Mitchell, too. Killing Graham was an act of necessity. It was either that or sit back and watch him slaughter everyone on the train. He even wanted to come clean. He wanted to confess and have Annie forgive him. But Annie's high opinion of him made it impossible. She forgave him without listening. She kissed him without knowing. Annie believes Mitchell's evil deeds are in the distant past. They're not. They're recent. And Annie's going to be deeply unhappy when she finds out.

Bits and Pieces:

-- Why couldn't Sasha feel the pain of being stabbed through the stomach, yet could feel her bones breaking? And surely, with half your spine gone, you wouldn't be able to walk upright?

-- Loved the reference to Cara being “around somewhere, digging up trouble”. We all know who trouble is.

-- Why is their house always so dirty? The light switches are filthy. I'm a bloke and even I can't stand it. Annie. Nina. George. Get out a cloth, for Christ's sake!

-- Does no one say “fancy” any more? I'm pretty sure I heard it recently. Maybe it was me who said it.

-- I loved that shot of Graham massaging Annie's shoulders. Talk about getting your feet under the table. No wonder Mitchell opted for an impromptu game of the neck-grab game.

-- George taking a piss was like something out of Him and Her (also starring Russell Tovey.)

-- Annie and Mitchell will presumably have sex the conventional way. If they can kiss, then surely the business end will be functional too?

-- Tonight's Welsh actor cameo was Jonny Owen who played Banana Boat in Torchwood.

-- Loved the guys' night in. Beer, sofas and Radiohead. Yeah! Let's all just kill ourselves now.

-- Wipeout? Wipeout is nothing compared to The Real Hustle. Nothing! What an amateur.

Quotes:

Annie: “I'm a ghost, Mitchell's a vampire, and George and Nina are both werewolves.”
Sasha: “Fuck Off!”

Nina: “So we're a supernatural hostel now, are we? What next, a mummy?”

George: “No, she hasn’t told me she fancies you. She doesn’t need to. Her body language is deafening.”

Nina: “George, would you like to have a little hairy baby with me?”
George: “Yes I would.”

George: "They're dead. I think they've already had the worst life has to throw at them."
---
Also posted at The Time Meddler.

5 comments:

  1. Loved it. Best of the season so far. Maybe even the best of the entire series.

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  2. I wanted to like it, there was just so much brilliant character stuff and, like you said, Annie hitting the right notes, but the gore really put me off - I can't do gore.

    I'd always thought that Nina's brittleness came from an abusive past boyfriend, but I can see it being her mum as well. She reminds me quite strongly of Starbuck from the resurrected BSG with that revelation and her general persona.

    What I like is that George won't let her be a bad parent - the person who made her a werewolf won't let her be a monster.

    I loved the "Cara's digging up trouble line" and hope it means we'll see Herrick/Daisy/both soon.

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  3. Usually I don't like stand alone stuff but Being Human has knocked it out of the park these past two episodes. The way they mix comedy and heart wrenching drama is just awesome. I agree with Mark. Best episode ever!

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  4. Fantastic episode. Brilliant take on zombies with this one. This season is flying on all cylinders.

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  5. What a terrific episode. Cringeworthy, laugh out loud, and moving at the same time. How do they do it?

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