SFX Blogger Narin Bahar takes back everything she said last week about episodes not written by Toby Whithouse
Written by: Tony Basgallup
Directed by: Kenny Glenaan
The One Where: Things unravel further for Mitchell when he kills Chief Constable Wilson and admits to Lucy that he's a vampire. George's relationship with Sam develops thanks in part to his attempts to bribe her daughter Molly with cheese and pickle sandwiches and children's magazines. Annie meanwhile, now an incorporeal celebrity after her victory shutting the door on the men with sticks and ropes, gets left holding the (dead) baby, and begins to realise all the things she'll miss out on in life.
Review: We all love a good baddie. Yes, in real life you'd probably cross the street to avoid them lest you fell foul of their fiendish, evil ways, but in fiction they get the best lines, do the most interesting things since they're not bothered about pesky things like goodness and morality, and just seem to be having so much damn fun. The problem is, of course, what do you do when suddenly your big bad's time is up - particularly when they have been such a great part of your show? They can't stay being a thorn in your heroes' sides forever. Either they defeat him, and he's off, or he wins, which sort of undermines the unspoken understanding that your main characters will always eventually emerge victorious, albeit battered – unless you're Heroes in which case you write yourself up an increasingly convoluted middle-way cul-de-sac to try to please everyone and end up causing more teeth gnashing than if you'd killed Sylar in the first place.
Not so Being Human where they take the pre-credit flashback and, if you'll pardon the pun, roll with it to great effect. George may have despatched Herrick in vicious fashion – and spent the entirety of the second season so far having a meltdown as a result – but the fabulous Jason Watkins is back anyway, as cheeky and incongruously, chillingly evil as ever, albeit with a (possibly unintentionally) very entertaining hairpiece. And the writers didn't even have to metamorphose him into a cockroach.
Herrick's return is a welcome one, particularly as it brings with it the return of his characteristically epic speeches ("a vampire is the only true free man") that you could see leading fanged hordes into battle for their lives Henry V style – if Henry V was a short, unassuming man with a slightly squashed-looking face and a penchant for police uniforms. But even with Watkins on such great form, this is most definitely a Mitchell episode, and the scenes between Aidan Turner and Charlene McKenna as Josie are so beautifully performed and tightly directed that the chemistry between them smoulders. Meanwhile McKenna's echoes of Clare Higgins' performance of Josie in series one adds real poignancy and depth – knowing as we do how their relationship will end.
Meanwhile in the present day, Mitchell manages to throw himself pretty much head first into the abyss - killing Bristol's head of police and narrowly avoiding getting staked by Lucy in the process. The juxtaposition of Mitchell's past and present relationships works well, while his desperate plea to Lucy - "Please, I'm begging you. Save me!" - is heartwrenching, although you can't help thinking that actually, with the daft choices he's been making since Herrick's death opened up the vampiric power vacuum, there's little Lucy could do even before her shady background and relationship with Kemp. Speaking of which, his speech, "One of the few things I like about you is you don't call supper 'tea'. There are many things I hate in this modern world – secularism, showbiz news, but 'tea' is barbaric," was very nearly quote of the week. His slightly peculiar paternalistic relationship he has with Lucy adds depth to both characters, even if actually when he was giving her protection in readiness for Mitchell's evening visit you can't help thinking he's naïve thinking a stake would be what she needed most.
George's developing relationship with Sam feels more believable and grounded this week, as well as, ironically, less rushed despite George's impulsive plans for co-habitation and dismantling of the not-S&M cage. All the grown ups involved however are upstaged utterly by the hilarious seven-going-on-47 Molly (Molly Jones, who has to get the prize for funniest child on TV outside of Outnumbered for the look on her face as she tells him: "Free make-up kit? Why don't you just put me on the game and be done with it?" ). Annie's subplot provides the rest of this week's laughs, with her increasingly desperate attempts to quiet Tim/Rufus both sweet and funny, while the moment of tearful introspection afterwards when she realises that motherhood is something she will never experience gives Lenora Crichlow an emotional moment she handles with beautiful understatement. Annie's attempt to snatch the baby back would have been more amusing if it had turned out to be a kettle she was emotionally linked to rather than the toaster though – and I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking the comedy Rentaghost disappearing noises are getting a bit much now.
Flashbacktastic: London 1969. More pre-credits semi-naked Aidan Turner, although Mitchell wearing a pair of saggy Y fronts is something only the most rabid of fangirls could yearn for. Meanwhile we find out that by the sixties Mitchell had killed “more than a hundred, less than a thousand” and Herrick was persona non grata in London after killing the mum of the city's vampire leader.
Pop culture reference of the week: Has to be Chief Constable Wilson on the paedophile he wants Mitchell to kill most likely being at home “...watching Tracey Beaker with a box of tissues.” Great reference but the kind of mental image that needs mind bleach.
Soundtrack of our times: The sixties flashbacks make for some cracking music used to great effect, including "Something Tells Me I'm In For Something Good" by Herman's Hermits, "Somebody To Love" by Jefferson Airplane and "Venus In Furs" by Velvet Underground. Meanwhile in the present, Annie's choice of lullaby for Rufus/Tim is La Roux's "Bulletproof".
Our world but not: “Affirmative action” has become a political and policing buzz phrase in recent years, but it turns out in Bristol it involves vampires killing alleged criminals for the police when they can't gather enough evidence for a conviction.
Quotable moments George: "My mother's maiden name is Herod, my internet password is password1, I am indifferent to all competitive sports. I prefer lager to beer. I don't understand fishing. What is fishing? I'm scared of cancer. I voice hypocritical objections to drive-through takeaways and I lost my virginity on a canal boat in Tring."