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Being Human: Making History

Cutler: “Softly softly, massacre monkey.”

It seems strange that after six weeks of theorising over Cutler’s plans and motivations, it all comes down to Hal. Since 1950, he's been a malign influence in Cutler's life. (Despite being presumed dead for most of it.) In fact, this whole season’s been about Cutler trying to live up to his sire’s expectations. As well as conditional immortality, he wants historic immortality too. He wants statues erected in his honour. He wants Brazil. He wants the world to know that the defeat and mass conversion of humankind was all his idea. In short, he's disappeared up his own megalomaniacal arse -- and it's all Hal's fault.

Finally, we have an explanation as to Hal’s seemingly random interest in the Box Tunnel Massacre. The reservoir at Upper Neuadd is where Cutler and Hal used to dump their corpses. Which means Hal must have suspected Cutler from the beginning. The location was just too much of a coincidence. I like idea of Hal having to resist Cutler anew. The first time he simply upped and ran; this time, there's nowhere to run to. Soon, vampires will be everywhere, and Hal's support network is largely untested. Will his relationship with Tom and Annie be enough to prevent him from slipping back into old habits? So far the signs are encouraging. Despite being a little snippy with Tom, he still seems to be on the side of humanity.

The role reversal between Cutler and Hal, I found fascinating. In return for siring him, Cutler tried to destroy Hal's human connection to the world. First he killed Alex, then tricked him into drinking her blood, then spent the remainder of the episode trying to re-addict him. Yet Cutler's respect for Hal was obvious. He looked genuinely sickened to see him so weakened by his own humanity. Cutler's the living embodiment of what Hal used to be: ruthless, oblivious to the sanctity of human life, devoid of all mercy. He even uses Hal's old mantra ("making history") to motivate himself and his minions. I think he saw killing Alex as tough love. I'm not sure Hal sees it that way. Especially now he has his mind set on killing him.

Cutler's plan to firstly 'out' werewolves, then introduce vampires as mankind's sole source of salvation, feels oddly counter-intuitive to the Old Ones' code. Last season, being outed as a vampire was a crime punishable by death. Of course, with the Old Ones now planning on wiping out mankind, maybe the rule no longer applies; especially if the pay-off's an easy victory. And Cutler does have a point. It's far easier to defeat an enemy who thinks you're an ally; especially when you have eternal life to offer. Yet Eve's future was blighted by vampire violence. Has her tampering with history changed things enough to allow Cutler's future to become a reality? Or is there something entirely different in the offing?

I knew Tom’s encounter with Allison would cause problems. Although numerically an adult, Tom's still hopelessly reliant on the opinions of those around him. Despite wanting to prove himself worthy of Allison's love, it took Cutler mere minutes to undermine his self-confidence. Hal's little speech about them all being monsters didn't help much, either. Which means Tom is now about to kill a hall full of teenagers armed with camera phones; the very event which precipitates his eventual suicide. Unless Hal can stop him, of course. Will Tom be able to recognise Hal in his wolf form? (Like Nina could George back in season three.) Otherwise, Hal's in for the fight of his life.

Alex's death didn't quite have the impact it should have. Despite liking her as a character, we haven't really seen enough of her to care. Whereas Cutler killing her should (and initially did) provoke an emotional response in Hal, it was quickly undermined by her wisecracking ghost's return and the subsequent jesting which ensued. After Emrys' warning last week that Annie may have to do something "not good" before passing over, and with Annie now set on killing Eve, I'm wondering whether Alex is being groomed as Annie's replacement. If true, I'm not sure how I feel about that. Despite the relative success of both Hal and Tom, losing Annie would be a huge blow to the show. She's the last character which makes it recognisably Being Human.

Annie’s glimpse of the future was predictably bleak. Apparently everybody's dead. Which suggests humanity isn't going to be as enthusiastic about embracing vampirism as Cutler seems to think. Or maybe the Old Ones will reject Cutler's plan, and it'll be slaughter as usual. At least we know who the nemesis is. I knew Hal's titchy burn was too feeble to be of any prophetic significance. So it looks as though Annie's been tasked with the unenviable job of killing her own step-daughter. Unless they somehow manage to defeat the Old Ones via other means. Admittedly, the Old Ones look a ragtag bunch of misfits, but I dare say they pack a punch. What they need is a weapon. Say, werewolf blood?

Bits and Pieces:

-- Mycroft in a red wig! Hurrah!

-- I thought Annie living until Eve's eighteenth birthday might ensure her longevity in the show, but now history's been rewritten, I'm guessing that's no longer a given.

-- Evidently Eve's been doing some heavy socialising in the afterlife. She name-dropped just about every dead character in the show.

-- Tom's so terribly naïve I almost can't bear it. Why did he tell Cutler about Eve? Of course, if the goal's to eventually kill Eve, maybe Annie won't need to do it after all.

-- Vampires killing the PM on national television? How awful. I don't approve. Not at all. Not much.

Quotes:

Annie: “Do we have jet packs?”
Eve: “No, mostly everyone’s dead.”

Hal: “Fucking kill her”

Tom: “Ey up. You been on the Kia-Ora?

Hal: “Watching you negotiate grown up emotions is like watching a gorilla perform keyhole surgery.”

Eve: “Saviour and nemesis. Talk about multi-tasking.”

Hal: “We can raid the dressing up box and pretend to be human, but, ultimately, what’s the point? Sooner or later we all go back to being the monsters we truly are.”

Alex: “Christ, I was jowly.”

Hal: “Anyway, must dash. Friend about to kill lots of people.”
---
Also posted at The Time Meddler.

4 comments:

  1. Alex replacing Annie would make sense. If Annie does leave however I'm not sure I'd want the series to continue with none of the original characters. What's would be the point? This was a great episode, though. Probably the best of the season so far.

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  2. This is the first episode that felt like a proper Being Human episode for me. Just the right balance of drama, character notes and humour. The right kind of humour too - character-based stuff instead of the cringefests they've been pulling this series.

    The stuff with Eve and the history of the future was *excellent* - really well done by Gina Bramhill. I liked the idea that Eve, the legendary War Child, was raised on the stories of Mitchell, George, Nina et all. There was a nice symmetry between Eve's future, where werewolves and humans allied against the vampires, and Cutler's plan.

    Really enjoyed the stuff with Cutler and Hal: the reflection of each other was cool and they've managed to turn Cutler into a decent character: he's no Herrick or Daisy/Ivan but he isn't bad.

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  3. I loved Alex being a snarky ghost, she's got a lot of series 1's Lauren about her somehow (and also more than a dash of Amy Pond, come to think of it). Would have liked a lot more of her and Hal sniping but it's getting a little late in the series to get attached to new status quos I suppose....!

    The whole Eve/Annie thing was a good example of one of the weaknesses this series - the budget has been nowhere near big enough for what they're writing. Even some of the vamp dustings have been literally just dust blown from offscreen to save on effects and it looks cheap. Chucking in a description of a setpiece right out of I Am Legend with a monologue and some background screams was distractingly weak. It's literally show don't tell, and we're supposed to just keep imagining the worst without any evidence as such except what Eve comes up with. It's yet another version of reality that needed to play out over a whole series to have impact (I'm going to say like Sarah Connor Chronicles, because that was what they were ripping off...!).

    The other thing that bugged me was that Annie has a whole conversation with Eve about being a mother, and doesnt mention Nina once in that context - it seemed odd not to bring it into the conversation (also i think Annie would be her adoptive mother rather than step-mother though?). It seems sad not to remind her grown-up daughter that she had awesome parents in the first place who died protecting her (especially as Annie evaporates and leaves Eve alone by the sound of it!).

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  4. This episode just aired in the States this past weekend, and it's really, really hard not to jump to your review of the finale to see how the season ends!

    My guess is that Annie is definitely going away. She'll do whatever difficult thing needs to be done and get another chance at a door. I can't say I'll miss her much, if that's the case, as I think her character was definitely wasted and not developed nearly enough over the past seasons. They've kept her a bit too dense for my liking. I hope they don't make the same mistake with Tom.

    I like Tom and Hal, and, if Annie is going to go, it seems maybe Alex is meant to take her place, but I don't know how I feel about that. I did like her more as a ghost, though, than when she was alive. -Kathy

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