Thursday, 13 January 2011

Being Human: Educating Creature

Ivan: “You know, Mitchell, eventually it just makes children of us all.”

This was a stronger outing for Annie. I keep waiting for them to do something interesting with her character. (Instead of her current role as Barry Chuckle's marginally smarter sister.) We're not quite there yet, but I did detect a subtle shift in the force tonight. Sykes was the perfect foil for Annie to riff off. When the dialogue's this good her character shines. It's just a pity it's not like this every week.

Annie's ability to read auras may generate some interesting story ideas -- I just wish they'd given her a more practical skill. Something to aid the ensemble. Being able to tell what someone's had for lunch, sensing they've got haemorrhoids, or switching off the telly, doesn't seem like the most useful of abilities. Luckily for Sykes, Annie's a quick learner. She was able to close a door on her own while Sykes was crippled with guilt over his dead comrades. I just can't help but feel that, now Annie can control doors, they've excised her main source of tension. Where's the drama going to come from now?

Mitchell's currently stuck between a rock and a hard place. The vampires need a role model. Someone they respect. Someone who can sympathise with what they're going through. Someone like Ivan. The problem is, despite his impeccable pedigree and marvellous powers of broodiness, Ivan lacks willpower. Perhaps it's because he's been an addict for so long, or maybe he just doesn't like feeling weak. Being an Old One affords Ivan a certain notoriety within the vampire community, and now he's reportedly gone cold turkey, his popularity has sky rocketed. They treat him like a rock star. Which has put Mitchell in something of a predicament. Either he lets Ivan continue feeding (whilst keeping up a fa├žade of abnegation) and keeps the vampires onside, or sacks him and risks all out chaos.

Lucy's still pretty much an unknown quantity. We now know she's been aware of Mitchell's condition for some time, but she seemed genuinely impressed by his attempts at abstinence. She even saved Nina from the explosion chamber. Kemp seems unconcerned whether those in his care survive or not: kill or cure, either suits his fundamentalist ethos. Yet, Lucy sees things from a doctor's perspective. Curing patients is what she does, and harming them isn't in her nature. How long before their differing ethical viewpoints become a problem?

Buying a cage seemed like the perfect solution to George's monthlies. The gang sat around watching video footage of George sleeping was a real moment of group solidarity. They looked positively entranced by his sleeping form. Running around the countryside half naked always seemed like an unsatisfactory long term solution. What if George were to stumble across some random hiker? Accidents can and do happen. Nina's phone call was a real wake up call for George. Time to move on with his life. The cage seemed like the perfect first step. Other than the rancid morning-after stench, George's troubles seemed to be over.

Of course, nothing’s ever that simple. Initially, George's dalliance with teaching provided us with a rich source of belly laughs. Teaching his foreign language students to say 'shut the fuck up', coupled with his impromptu bout of Tourette's, was both funny and face-palmingly embarrassing -- but the beast needs to roam free. Tranquillising it and then locking it up resulted in its animalistic traits bleeding through into George's everyday personality -- making him one foul mouthed bastard. ('Bbbbollocks!') Kicking the crap out of the Head Master can't have done his career prospects much good.

It was hard not to be moved by the closing moments. George sat weeping in front of his cage, mourning a freedom which never quite materialised, felt like a real failure. Moving on may not be so easy. Perhaps they're all destined to remain in a state of perpetual stasis. I wonder if George will keep his job at the school or return to his hospital job. More importantly: will he keep Sam?

Bits and Pieces:

-- George has an IQ of 156. Not that you'd guess.

-- Kemp obviously sees a difference between vampires and werewolves. Vampires are beyond redemption, whereas werewolves have souls needing to be freed. Unfortunately, the compression chamber's just blowing them up. So why use it?

-- The agents were a little disappointing. They didn't seem to have any powers -- save fear.

-- Ivan's been a vampire for 195 years.

-- Loved the 'Mr Sands suck cocks' graffiti, although, would George really be stupid enough to correct graffiti? What about that IQ of 156, George?

Quotes:

George: “There must be some other reason for chatting you up, like access to drugs.”
Mitchell: “She's a doctor! She can steal her own drugs.”
George: “Ah, so she's on drugs. That makes perfect sense.”
Mitchell: “You see, it's pep talks like this I'm really going to miss.”

George: “This can't be happening to me! This can't, I teach language!”
Mitchell: “You could teach... bad language!”

Annie: “I'll haunt you!”
Sykes: “You can't haunt another ghost.”
Annie: “I'll give it a damn good go!”

George: "'Mr. Sands suck cocks'? For God's sake! It's 'Mr. Sands sucks cocks.' Singular, not plural. Have I taught you nothing?”

Annie: “Wow! Clearly someone's been watching a little too much Gordon Ramsey!”

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