Being Human: The Graveyard Shift

Tom: “I don’t think we need this any more. I’ve got your back, mate.”

Despite offering up a few morsels of main arc development, tonight’s story took a break from the ongoing War Child saga, and focused on the private lives of our supernatural trio. Being Human's always been about the small things, so it's no surprise Jamie Mathieson managed to find some great character moments in the minutiae. Finally, Honolulu Heights is starting to feel like home again. The gang even have a new TV show to obsess over. It may not be The Real Hustle, but it's a start.

The heart of tonight’s episode was the growing relationship between Hal and Tom. The beauty of both characters is they’re nothing like George and Mitchell. They feel less like replacements, more like supplements. I love the subtlety Damien Molony brings to Hal. He's an actor whose face is as good as a dozen lines. His expression when Michaela started throwing money at him was perfect. He seemed so utterly confused by her lack of respect. Likewise, the sideways glance he gave Annie when she touched his leg; that moment really cemented their friendship for me.

For someone so old, Hal’s attempts at "chatting up" wannabe vampire goth, Michaela, were laughable. Is he just 55 years out of practise, or has he always been this rubbish? Not that Tom fared much better. He likes bees? Is that seriously the best he could do? Despite the five hundred years age difference, their pulling chops were more or less on par in terms of ineptitude. Hal's the product of a more chivalrous age, whereas Tom's a graduate of the Tony McNair Werewolf School of Child Rearing. No wonder they can't hack it in the real world. Virginity is a flower, and Nuts magazine is evil? How these guys ever kill anyone is beyond me.

I loved that Hal included Annie in their guess-the-worth-of-the-antique game. Annie seemed genuinely pleased to be asked. But Annie seriously needs to wise up to what's going on around her. Taking Eve to the park minutes after being warned to lay low by Regus could have had terrible consequences. She needs to get her head in the game. Especially now she appears to be developing some useful superpowers. As well as the mind meld, she also seems able to throw objects around at will. (Or at least during times of duress.) Maybe Annie is special after all. Let’s hope she puts her new skills to better use than she did her ability to repel agents.

I even enjoyed Regus this week. In the season première, his OTT antics felt at odds with the show’s normal humour. Tonight, Regus was far less slapstick, and made me chuckle several times. (Team Edward anyone?) His mind meld with Annie, although initially creepy, ended up supplying probably the most amusing moment of the episode. ("I don't like it... make it stop!") It'll be a while before he tries that again. Despite Regus being a self-confessed good guy, I’m not sure how "good" he actually is. On top of trying to get off on Annie's sex memories, he also (somewhat unsuccessfully) tried to eat someone for dinner. Obviously, his definition of "good" is open to debate.

I'm not sure I entirely bought Regus' reasons for helping Eve. Is vindication before one's peers really worth dying for? I'm also not sure how this new prophecy fits in with what we already know. The rune seemed non-gender specific. It simply said "nemesis". So why does Regus think the nemesis is a man? Has Regus mistranslated, and the nemesis is in fact "the woman"? (Possibly future Eve.) Or does Eve now have two nemeses? If so, could the second individual be one of the Old Ones? We know both Wyndham and Ivan are dead, and Hettie hasn't been seen since the season two prequel (Ivan and Daisy). Which leaves Jacob and Mr Snow. It'll be interesting to see whether either show up with a burnt arm.

Bits and Pieces:

-- I was a little surprised to see Fergus offed so quickly. I always had Cutler pegged as the vamp most likely to come to a sticky end. (Probably by falling onto the "end" of an actual "stick".)

-- Hopefully, now Regus has a new sex toy, we'll be spared from any further forays into voyeurism.

-- Lord Harry is one of the old ones. Despite all his bowing and fawning, Fergus didn't seem particularly afraid of him. Maybe the Old Ones aren't that powerful. Or maybe Fergus was an idiot and underestimated Hal completely.

-- That was a magnificent fake tache Hal was sporting. It didn’t look even remotely real.

-- After Regus being too OTT in episode one, and Annie in episode two, this week it was Michaela's turn to behave ridiculously. I don't mind so much when it's a peripheral character. At least we don't have to endure them every week.

-- That bloke from purgatory's going to need some new clothes ASAP. What a clip.

-- I couldn’t quite work out why Fergus didn't take Eve from Annie at the park. So what if it was crowded? Annie’s invisible. Nobody would've seen her struggle.

-- Muriatic acid for cleaning the swimming pool? What swimming pool? Why do people keep mentioning swimming pools?

Quotes:

Hal: “I cannot sleep in a barn, or a tent, or a caravan, or anywhere without central heating, carpets and Radio 4. Now, that should be on my list, really it should. You make me do that, I won’t be responsible for my actions.”

Regus: “I told them I killed her.”
Annie: “Oh, thank you.”
Regus: “But if they found out I didn’t... say they spotted you shopping with her in bloody Aldi... then they’d come for her again, and I would get a wooden enema.”

Hal: “Kill me. Seriously, kill me now. You can tell Annie I attacked you or something.”
Tom: “Maybe later, If you work really hard.”

Regis: “My lunch fought back. I’d rather not talk about it. But who takes a crowbar with them when they walk the dog? Who does? It’s just weird.”

Tom: “I like your tights. You look like a bee and I like bees.”

Fergus: “I don’t like it... make it stop... make it stop!”

Fergus: “I think you need to feed me.”
Annie: “You do know I’m dead, huh? So you can try biting me, but all you’ll get is an ice-cream headache.”

Hal: “I used to ride a horse, once.”
Michaela: “What? What’s that got to do with it?”
Hal: “I had a sword. I was respected; better than that, I was feared. Peasants had their backs flayed for looking at me funny.”
Tom: “Are you all right, Hal?”
Hal: “It was brutal, but it worked. We had order, we had respect, and now we have this?”
Tom: “Okay then, mate, let’s go in the back and have a bit of a chat, shall we? Come on.”
Hal: “And I had a shield. A red one!”

Tom: “Were you just going to hand me over?”
Hal: “Not exactly hand you over. More just step aside. But I’ve changed my mind.”
Tom: “How do I know that?”
Hal: “I don’t know, maybe because we are whispering in the dark behind a counter.”

Tom: “I can’t believe I binned my big stake for you.”
Hal: “A stake. You binned a stake, Tom.”

Michaela: “I assume you’re taking the piss?”
Regus: “They started it.”

Regus: “Yeah, well most of my friends are arse-holes. There’s a couple of them in the hoover.”

Annie: “What will you do now?”
Regus: “Keep moving. See the world. Try not to end up in a hoover bag.”
---
Also posted at The Time Meddler.

2 comments:

Mark Greig said...

Thanks to Tom and Lord Hal, this was the first episode of season four I really enjoyed.

Sam B said...

Michaela - I really hope we don't see her again