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Being Human: Though the Heavens Fall

Herrick: “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

With Herrick back from his sojourn in la-la land, the body count tonight was freakishly high. Standard penultimate episode etiquette dictates that, come the closing credits, at least one main character must be either dead, seemingly dead or dying. Tonight, Toby Whithouse chose Nina as his sacrificial lamb. I was so shocked by what happened to her that I actually tweeted Sinead Keenan to express my concern. In case anyone's wondering, Sinead's fine. Nina... less so.

On top of Nina's little mishap, there was a whole host of assorted carnage to enjoy. We now know that McNair killed Daisy. (So, sadly, she won't be returning for any last minute hurrah.) Honolulu Heights was a veritable blood bath come those last ten minutes. Is DC Reid dead? Or does Herrick have other plans for her? (Like turning her into a vampire.) More importantly: is Nina dead? I thought for a moment that Herrick had exhibited a rare moment of compassion. If he did, then it was short lived. I cheered when he killed Nancy. I nearly cried when he stabbed Nina. I feel so guilty for liking Herrick. How cruel of him to dangle the carrot of freedom in front of Nina, only to return moments later and knife her. Psychologically, I found that quite damaging.

In fact Nina had a terrible episode all round. Despite being right about Mitchell's involvement in the box tunnel massacre, her reporting him to the police has had disastrous repercussions for all of them. She did try to mitigate her mistake by attempting to deflect blame onto Daisy. But the damage was already done. If Mitchell's outed, then they're all in peril. Wouldn't it be ironic if Nina ended up being the one who eventually saves Mitchell? Maybe she could be his protégé? Would that make up for her betrayal? I think it would. That's assuming she lives.

The situation between Annie and Mitchell is so complex, it's making my head hurt. Mitchell's screwed up big time. There's no denying that. But, despite his crisis of conscience, it's still way too early in his rehabilitation to tell whether he'll stay the course. He almost sent Nancy to her death tonight. Admittedly, he saved her at the last minute. But it was a close thing. Short of killing himself, I'm not sure what Mitchell can do to to make amends for the suffering he's caused. Daisy's dead, so there's no justice to be had there. And he's undoubtedly making progress. He does seem more compassionate this season. But he's so on the limit. It feels as though anything could push him over the edge.

Should he have told Annie about his part in the box tunnel massacre? Probably. But it's not as though he didn't try. Annie just didn't want to listen. And, thus, the lie was compounded. Personally, I think Annie's solution to their dilemma is too simplistic. She's completely ignoring the fact that Mitchell's not a normal human being. He's a vampire, and vampires don't go to jail. They can't be photographed. If they are, then the secret's out. No wonder Mitchell implored Annie to try and understand the impossibility of what she was asking of him. What a mess.

For Mitchell, moving to Barry was supposed to be the start of a new life. It was a way of wiping the slate clean. But his past has caught up with him. The most efficient way of solving all his problems would have been to (a) let Herrick kill Nancy, (b) beat the secret of resurrection out of him before he becomes too strong, and (c) kill Herrick. Job done. I know he promised George that he wouldn't kill him, but that was before everything went to hell in a handbasket. Things are different now. What are a few more deaths on Mitchell's conscience? Like he said to Herrick, killing can be heroic. It can save lives.

But, if Mitchell wants to be with Annie, then the killing has to stop. So Mitchell's being forced to compromise his safety, the security of his friends, and the anonymity of his people... for love. Not that I'm against love. It's lovely. (Hence the name.) But Annie's solution just seems too dangerous. What kind of fool would agree to it? Plus, the Old Ones are going to be mondo pissed when they hear about Mitchell's latest indiscretion. He's already in their bad books over the box tunnel massacre. Why antagonise them further?

I was surprised that McNair died so easily. Why was there a knife lying in the middle of the Herrick's bedroom? It looked kind of heavy for a piece of cutlery. There was something sad about Herrick killing McNair. Herrick was directly responsible for McNair's condition. McNair dying felt like Herrick having the last laugh. Despite setting him free, Herrick never really let him go. Herrick seems to catch up with everyone, eventually. The Question is: will Tom catch up with Herrick?

James Watkins knocked it out of the park again tonight. I've never really appreciated Herrick's cruelty before. Barbarity seems like such a hackneyed part of being a vampire. But contrasted with Uncle Billy's helpless old man routine, it made Herrick seem all the more evil. Was there ever a chance he'd let Nina live? Or was his dilemma over whether to kill her all part of the psychology of a murderer? The galling thing is, Nina's indirectly responsible for her own downfall. If she hadn't shown Herrick compassion in the first place, and let Mitchell kill him, then she'd never have been stabbed. Oh, the cruel irony of it all.

So now Nina's half dead, George is on his way to help Mitchell, Annie's vacillating wildly between being upset and being illogical, and Mitchell's about to reveal the existence of vampires to an unsuspecting world. I've no idea where they're going with this.

Bits and Pieces:

-- What's Annie doing agreeing to stay with Mitchell? What does a man have to do to scare her away? Shoot puppys? I do feel for Annie though. She's too sweet for this kind of life.

-- Nancy Reid is a terrible detective. Firstly, she's too young. Secondly, no detective says “cocking” to people they don't know. Thirdly, when you're trying to escape from someone, don't keep shouting at them. They can hear your voice and know where you are.

-- When George said “we've got guests,” what did Mitchell mean when he said “That's five”?

-- I guess Herrick wasn't faking his amnesia after all.

-- Nina's baby is 16 weeks in size after just 8 weeks. I hope the little fella lives.

-- I think we can rule McNair out as being the wolf-shaped bullet. Nina, too, probably. Which leaves Tom and George.

-- Tom's chicken was much bigger than George's. Ain't it always the way?

-- What was all that grunting at the police station about? They didn't do that when I went and reported my bike missing.

-- What did McNair write down before he died?

-- That was totally a safety razor Nina used to shave Herrick. You could see the lines in the foam.

-- How big is their house, exactly? The soundproofing must be awesome. Mitchell's been kicking the crap out of Herrick for days now and no one's heard him?

Quotes:

Mitchell: “This is first contact. It's biblical.”

Nina: “You're not going mad. But any other reaction in this house would be insane.”

George: “You shouldn't be killing vampires from a shitty camper van. You... you should have chlamydia and a 24 hour hangover.”

Mitchell: “I know you're in there. You old bastard! I can see you sniggering behind his eyes.”

Annie: “There has to be justice. Whatever the cost.”

Mitchell: “Prophecy, my arse.”

Annie: “Was Daisy even involved?”
Mitchell: “Yeah, but it was my idea.”
Annie: “Thank you. That's probably the first honest thing you've said to me in months.”

Annie: “It spreads, Mitchell. What you've done has contaminated us all.”

Mitchell: “You've no idea what you've done.”

Nancy: “Get your coat love, you've pulled.”

Policeman: “Date of birth, Mr Fuck You?”

Mitchell: “It can't happen like this. Not here. Not in Wales!”
---
Also posted at The Time Meddler.

13 comments:

  1. If Nina dies, I think I would have lost my several stands of interest in BH. But I am LOVING having Herrick back. All we need is some Tully and I will be all good and dandy.

    Being a fan of Wire In The Blood, I am happy to see Robson Green in this season. Although it is a bit strange seeing him as a kind of baddie, and not the good guy.

    Despite the Mitchell/Annie disaster (Not a fan of that ship. It should sink and never come back), I really liked this episode.

    Great review, Paul! (:

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  2. About time Mr.Kelly.....

    I think Herrick stabbed Nina in the stomach not to kill her, but to kill the baby, like he said he wants George to hurt, but feels a strange affection (for Herrick anyway) toward Nina. Its a good way to get rid of what i consider to be a step to far, Werewolf baby.

    As for Jason Watkins, man, what a performance, this guy deserves to break Hollywood, a far more convincing and scary vampire than anything Tinsletown have knocked out for years

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  3. Makes sense, Anon. The blow was struck out of shot and Herrick did know about George's baby. Nice theory. So who's would that make the wolf-shaped bullet? George? Tom by accident. Or will Mitchell kill himself in a fit of angst over the death of George's baby, making the baby the wolf-shape bullet? ;o)

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  4. I reckon George, It just wouldnt feel right anyone else doing it would it? It would also add a nice symmetry to the end of Series One, but reversed and with Herrick watching. I think it kind of fits in with Herricks own brand of cruelty as well, he likes to amuse himself, and what better way for vengence then have his best freind rip him apart, two birds with one stone. He hurts George twice.

    Like the song said when Herrick found his mojo ....... "Its all just a little bit of history repeating"

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  5. Id also like to add that the camera panning through the house revealing the bodys was a masterstroke, dont know whether it was down to the director or the cinematographer (if thats what there called in the TV world, would that make them Teveeotographers?), But it was beautifully done.

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  6. Hey, Anon. So what would be George's motive for killing Mitchell? Are you assuming he'd do it in wolf form? If so, wasn't the full moon last episode?

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  7. I think it will mirror the way Herrick died, maybe both tricked by Herrick to be at a certain place just as Herrick and Mitchell were by George in series one, I think wolf form as well, cant see George being violent any other way, no matter how angry he is. Just not in his nature (unless its a full moon),and theres nothing to stop the episodes climax being set 28 days later.

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  8. Setting Herrick’s bloody comeback to “History Repeating” by The Propellorheads featuring Shirley Bassey was just brilliant.

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  9. Re: the question Paul Kelly asked: "When George said “we've got guests,” what did Mitchell mean when he said “That's five”?" - Mitchell said "That's fine," not "That's five."

    As for the werewolf bullet, I thought of George from the beginning - any werewolf would have to be a suspect, after all.

    This was a superb episode, and much welcomed after the annoying departures from the norm by Annie and Nina, although Annie is still irrational here. If Mitchell does die, it will be interesting to see how they resurrect him next series.

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  10. Hi Anon. Initially, I thought he said "fine" too. Yet, after several re-listens, I'm pretty sure it's "five". The subtitles say five too.

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  11. NOOOOOOOO!!! Not Nina! I love Nina! All the cop bodies shocked me, too. Geez Louise!

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  12. In regards to the 'That's five.' line- Mitchell mutters it as he sees McNair and Tom, who bring the total number of werewolves (including Nina's baby) in the house up to five. Five walking talking time bombs, each a potential wolf shaped bullet aimed at Mitchell. You can see why the fella's just a wee bit stressed.

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