Two episodes into series two, and we get an episode that matches the highs of series one
Written by: Toby Whithouse
Directed by: Colin Teague
The One Where: Having planted a bug in the house, CenSSA begin gathering information about the housemates. Nina struggles to come to terms with both her relationship with George and new “time of the month” issues, while Mitchell brings an old friend-turned-fugitive to stay, further scuppering George’s attempts to prove to Nina that they can live a normal life. Annie plucks up the courage to invite Saul to the cinema, much to Hugh’s chagrin. However, she soon realises he’s not for her, after he’s incited to attack her by his telly - which is some kind of hotline to the men with sticks and ropes who, it turns out, are very keen indeed to drag Annie through the big wooden door to the other side whether she wants to go or not.
Review: Phew, another jam-packed episode with some genuinely terrifying moments. Whereas in last week’s episode the humour/drama scale was weighed down well on the side of drama, this time things are a little more balanced with the horror of Saul trying to drag Annie through the door to the afterlife nicely juxtaposed with some lovely laugh-out-loud moments: George’s difficultly trying not to show a little bit of jealousy at the fact Mitchell has lived with people before him and giving Annie a wistful explanation of why she might as well stab Hugh in the face as tell him he was like a brother to her.
Meanwhile, Ivan’s quiet, intense confrontation with George about how he had got Daisy to feel again – and his haunting sadness when he realises it’s something inherently human which he can’t understand or do – proves that despite his walk on the wild side, George is still more human than not. Interestingly, this interplay was moved from the previous episode for reasons of pacing, and arguably makes this one all the better for it, providing a key emotional anchorpoint for the episode that neatly underlines the BH-universe vampires’ malaise at the bleakness of their long existence, the other side of the glamour and forever youngness.
While George is a lot less tosserish this week, in a kind of relay of gitdom Mitchell takes the baton, with his reaction to Annie being attacked taking the prize for meanness and George getting redemption points for being the peacemaker between the three. However, all isn’t rosy for our favourite werewolf, with the treading-on-eggshells awkwardness between Nina and George at least as difficult to watch as their shouting confrontations. Seeing Nina walk out of Windsor Terrace is genuinely sad – even before her meeting with Kemp sparking the difficult-to-shake fear that Whithouse is doing a Whedon and Sinead Keenan’s new-found series regular status is just a red herring to make her death in CenSSA’s werewolf decompression tank more upsetting...
Being Human is never better than when it manages to perfectly blend humour, horror and drama and this episode hits all spot on. There may not be a huge amount of gore in Annie’s hospital room confrontation with Saul, but never has a radio been so scary. Meanwhile the continuing fallout of George turning Nina and the vampire power vacuum of the post-Herrick Bristol develops pleasingly, even while the new humans get their chance to shine – with Lucy and Hugh both providing welcome breaks from the supernatural shenanigans. Overall, everything you could want from an episode of Being Human .
Flashbacktastic: We’re promised that after last week’s “previously on” every pre-credit roll for the rest of the series will be a flashback giving us a new nugget of info about one of our heroes. This one sets up the relationship between Mitchell and Carl nicely, showing us the first time Mitchell started going cold turkey on blood sucking (Millennium Eve, fact fans) as well as giving fangirls with a penchant for semi-naked Aidan Turner something to dribble over. And he’s tied down to boot. You can almost hear the fanfic writers sharpening their pencils.
Pop culture reference of the week: If you want proof that Being Human is now officially a Very Big Thing, then two words will do it. Terry Wogan. Terry Blimmin’ Wogan! Although it turns out he’s the voice of some kind of otherworldly evil. Maybe he gave up his Radio 2 show to devote himself full time to bringing about armageddon. Stranger things have happened. Possibly.
Gone but not forgotten: Mitchell flirts with Lucy while sitting on the Lauren Drake commemorative bench. Smooth, very smooth. Meanwhile, Saul’s attack on Annie brings back memories of Owen, and a rather politically incorrect but nonetheless very funny exclamation: “What is it with me and volatile, unsuitable men? Am I Ulrika Johnson?”
Soundtrack : Mumford and Sons’ “Sigh No More” gets used to great effect early on, but for sheer silliness, the knowledge that Ivan is a closet Kate Bush fan gives “Wuthering Heights” song-of-the-week status. Narin Bahar