Sunday, 16 January 2011
Being Human: Damage
Tonight's episode fairly fizzled with action. Mitchell lost the plot and massacred a train carriage full of people; George came within an inch of wolfing out in public; and Nina, George and Annie, all desperate for a cure, signed themselves into Jaggat's Care Home for the Supernaturally Challenged. Fat lot of good that'll do them. The compression chamber does nothing but blow people up, and no amount of praying can dis-possess Annie. So, if there's no real cure, then what's Kemp's angle? Does he simply want them all dead?
One of the weaknesses of this season has been George and Sam's relationship. Not that they aren't well suited, it's just the speed at which their courtship has progressed -- they've gone from virtual strangers to living together in just a few weeks. Do they really love each other, or are they simply drawn to the idea of being in love and the potential benefits of cohabitation? For Sam, moving in with George meant both freedom from her mother and security for Molly. For George, it meant achieving a long held ambition: to feel human again. Not that he looked particularly ecstatic after proposing. It's like he knew right away that it was a mistake.
You can't base an enduring relationship on lies. George keeping his condition a secret from Sam is what killed it. (And almost them.) Molly had her intuition confirmed when George almost transformed in front of the whole school. There's no coming back from that. It was hard not to be moved by George's tears. Watching his dreams collapse around him was sobering stuff. When George walked out on Sam, all I could think was: how can Sam afford to live there on her own now? Way to leave her in the lurch, George.
Seeing George running screaming through the streets of Bristol was both thrilling and utterly terrifying. My heart was in my mouth. It was one of those 'I can't believe they're doing this' moments. I felt sure he wouldn't make it. After another night in the cage, should we expect a resurgence of George's Tourettes? Does he truly believe Jaggat can cure him? Kemp's assurances were hardly encouraging -- he as much as admitted they'd be human Guinea Pigs -- but I'm not sure George cares any more. Does Nina for that matter, or are they both so vested in the idea that they're monsters that even death is preferable to the life they're currently living?
I found Nina oddly alluring tonight. Her reunion with George brought tears to my eyes. (Although I was peeling an onion earlier.) There was so much going on in George's face -- he looked stunned, terrified, angry and upset, all at the same time. But surely, despite giving George her blessing, the speed at which he's moved on must have come as something of a shock? Top marks to Russell Tovey and Sinead Keenan for pulling off such an emotionally complex scene.
You have to hand it to Ivan, he made such a compelling argument for vampirism, it was no wonder Daisy said yes. The war was stifling Daisy's hope. The future Ivan foresaw for her was bleak and uninspired. Lucy didn't want to become mean and impoverished -- her ambitions were just too grand. Becoming indestructible seemed like the perfect solution. Plus, Ivan's kind of hot -- which always helps the sales pitch. I didn't think we'd see Paul Rhys again after his character was so unceremoniously blown to pieces last week. Kudos to Toby Whithouse for kicking off the episode with such a dialogue rich flashback. Ivan's never looked so commanding.
Is a possession different from a haunting in terms of cure? Surely demons can be exorcised through prayer? Or are the rules of the Being Humaniverse different from the generally established rules of the genre? Annie twiddling her thumbs whilst Kemp performed his ritual was hilarious. How can Kemp promise a cure when his methods are so ineffectual? All he did is mess up the house. It seems as though Kemp is making promises his buttocks can't cash. I'm starting to suspect he may have other plans for Annie -- but how do you destroy a ghost? Is he able to summon a door or something?
Mitchell's killing spree was the moment we've all been dreading. Seeing him inebriated on blood wasn't a pretty sight -- neither was the interior of the train carriage after he'd finished. We're not used to seeing Mitchell so out of control. Sure, we're familiar with his past and have heard the stories, but tonight we got to see it in glorious Technicolor, and now he's snapped, he's virtually unrecognisable. The way he acted towards George and Annie felt completely weird. He was so aggressive, so predatory, so utterly indifferent to their humanity. (Or whatever "ity" they currently possess.)
But there was still a flicker of the old Mitchell inside, warning them to stay away from the cities. It was brief, but it was there. Maybe he's not completely lost.
Bits and Pieces:
-- Loved Mitchell using the aftershave from a magazine's scratch and sniff ad as deodorant. I also laughed when he gave his arse a good scratch. He's a total man's man.
-- Having an invisible ghost sitting in during Kemp's visit set that whole scene alight. Despite the seriousness of the situation, even Nina looked amused. It's good to have Nina back.
-- I love Aleggri's 'Miserere'. Shame it wasn't a great rendition. Give me The Sixteen any day.
-- George can do a Rubic's Cube. (Or whatever the kid's version is called.)
-- Daisy moved on quick. Ivan's barely cold and she's already writhing around naked, covered in blood with Mitchell. Does loyalty mean nothing to vampires?
-- The Father has 12 disciples? Is Kemp a Modalist? Or was it a statement followed by a partial quote from the bible?
-- Everyone knows who Professor Jaggat is now. Mitchell was predictably miffed. I wonder how George, Nina and Annie will respond next week.
-- Another gratuitous shot of Tovey's arse.
Sam: "You know, it's like you're still there. Sat in that house with Mitchell, watching The Real Hustle, surrounded by cups of cold tea."
Nina: "They might have a cure."
George: "For what?"
Nina: "Cystitis. What do you think?!"
George: "Right, so we have a defrocked priest and a mad scientist. No, no alarm bells ringing so far."
Mitchell: "Daisy needs closure. And she's decided that the best way of getting that is by cutting your throat."
Daisy: "It's healthy to turn anger outward, you see."
Mitchell: Ah no, not him again. "I thought he moved out! He's always fucking here."
George: "Oh god. Are you drunk? I hate it when you're drunk. Listen, I need to tell you something important and you'll probably want to have a wrestle, but, uh, listen. I'm going to that place with Nina and the priest and Professor Jaggat."
Annie: "And I'm going to go with him."
George: "Yeah. So, ah—"
Mitchell: "Good. Piss off. 'Cause I'm getting really sick of your dog hairs on my clothes."