Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Being Human: Long Live the King

All: “The King is dead. Long live the King.”

Who'd have thought that Hugh and George would have so much in common? Their hatred of limescale on draining boards, their love of coasters, the fact that they've both recently been dumped and can't seem to get over it.  No wonder Kirsty fell for George -- he was like Hugh's long lost twin. Add a love of kebabs and German impressionist cinema to the mix, and Kirsty never stood a chance. Yet, all it took to turn her back to Hugh was George's simple admission of love for Nina. All we need now is for Nina to have a similar revelation -- and hope Jaggat doesn't kill her.

Tonight's episode was a mixture of light and dark. The Real Hustle meltdown is probably the funniest moment the show's ever produced -- I never tire of watching it. If you don't find it hilarious, then you have no soul. Mitchell's anger, combined with Annie's befuddlement, and George's tears, are now the stuff of legend. George is slowly turning into the Sydney Bristow of Bristol. (Sydney Bristol?) Three tearful outbursts in one episode -- that's just embarrassing. Props to writer, Lucy Catherine, for her sublime scripting, comedic timing, and perfect understanding of the characters. If any single scene epitomises the essence of Being Human, it's probably this one. Mitchell wearing Marigolds pretty much said it all.

Despite Mitchell's reluctance to replace Herrick, his desire to protect his people has unwittingly elevated him to king of the vamps. The old system afforded vampires the opportunity to live in virtual anonymity. Now it's gone, they're running amok. Not all of them want to suppress their natures, nor do they share Mitchell's sense of self loathing and alienation. They don't want to live their lives under the radar. Which is going to make Mitchell's proposal that they go cold turkey all the more difficult to enforce. Even a stubborn minority is more than a match for just one man.

Does Mitchell have what it takes to lead? Obviously, he commands a certain degree of respect in the vampire community, but he struggles to control his own primal urges. How can he set an example when his own recent past is littered with death and failure? You can't turn a race of inherently violent, bloodthirsty vampires into saints overnight -- yet, reinstating the old system, did feel like a backward step. It's the same system they had under Herrick -- a system which excused murder and offered protection to the guilty. Yet without it, how can Mitchell hope to maintain the already precarious peace?

I thought the Jaggat reveal was effectively done. I didn't see it coming, probably because I wasn't expecting it so early in the season. I certainly didn't have Lucy pegged as a mad professor. I probably should have -- nobody's ever what they seem in this show. How will Mitchell react to her betrayal? I'm guessing not very well. The question is: is Lucy genuinely trying to help supernaturals, or is her religious agenda -- as with Kemp -- negatively impacting her attitude towards them?

The other thing I'm wondering is: does Lucy know about Mitchell, or is she in for a rude awakening herself? I was less enthused by the religious context of Jaggat's set-up. Perhaps religious extremists would take a hard line on vampirism, but religiously motivated fanaticism -- particularly on TV -- often comes across as clich├ęd nonsense. (Or at worst, plain embarrassing.) Hopefully they'll go somewhere interesting with it. Having Nina sign up for their wolf rehabilitation programme feels like a step in the right direction. Let's hope she doesn't explode like that poor sap in episode one.

Nina's phone call to George packed a powerful last minute punch. Tovey handled George's swing from comedy to misery with his usual flair. It's easy to sympathise with George's inner emptiness -- his life's falling apart. And Nina imploring him to be better, to strive harder, reflected perfectly Lucy's earlier plea to Mitchell. Whether either can grow whilst stunted by guilt remains to be seen.

Bits and Pieces:

-- I'm loving Ian Puleston-Davies as Chief Constable Wilson. He totally held his own against Mitchell. He actually seemed threatening. I wonder how long he'll last.

-- CTD means circling the drain. Charming.

-- If Annie can materialise a cup of tea in George's bedroom, why can't she take teabags from a shop and materialise them in the kitchen?

-- Loved George's mock sobbing and Annie smacking his arse.

-- Who has a radio in the toilet? It's not often we get a scene where someone's actually taking a crap -- in any show.

-- Mitchell didn't kill Cara. That's going to come back and bite him on the bottom -- maybe even literally.

Quotes:

Annie: "My heart yearns for your fragrant hair"?

Annie: "We're like detectives: Crockett and Tubbs."
George: "Or Randall and Hopkirk, deceased."

Mitchell: "George do you wanna watch The Real Hustle?"
George: "Oh, I would really like that Mitchell. Women, think you're such authorities, like the way you deal with emotion is the only way."
Mitchell: "It's not on!"
George: "Er, Yeah it is. It's on at 10:30."
Mitchell: "No they moved it."
George: "They what? No, you're kidding me?!"
Mitchell: "Oh I don't believe it!"
George: "No, I was looking forward to that."
Mitchell: "10:30 Thursday; that's 'Real Hustle time'. A fucking child knows that!"
George: "Could I just not just have one good thing in my life?"
Mitchell: "It just drives me insane when they move stuff around"
George: "Don't I deserve it? Don't I deserve one bloody crumb of happiness?"
Mitchell: "This is so... what? We're supposed to check, every week! Like we don't have anything else to do! Is it our responsibility? Why's it down to us?!"
George: "I saw a preview, they were going to do a con about cash-points."
Mitchell: "Really? I would have loved that. You bastards! Argh!!"
*George starts to cry*
Mitchell: "There, I'm doing the washing-up! Is everyone happy now?"

Mitchell: "Don't you know who I am!? My name is John Mitchell and I've killed more people than you've met!"

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