Friday, 14 January 2011
Being Human: The Looking Glass
Mitchell's been a ticking time bomb all season and tonight he finally exploded. Despite preaching a message of peace and abstinence, he still ended up killing Chief Constable Wilson. Not that Wilson didn't have it coming, but there'll be a price to pay. In the emotional aftermath which followed, Mitchell even confessed to being a vampire. I wonder how this full disclosure will affect his relationship with Lucy. Will she be able to kill him now? Does she even want to?
There was some tasty back story for Mitchell tonight. It was almost as if Josie could read his mind. She knew his heart wasn't in the killing and, bizarrely, didn't seem particularly afraid of him. Where she got the courage to stand up to him, I'll never know. We already know that Mitchell's been struggling with his conscience since the early 60's. This is the second time he's pretended to kill someone -- instead, letting them go free. When Herrick finds out he'll go spare.
Herrick sees Mitchell as his protégé, but Mitchell's outgrown his wild past. It's telling that, despite Herrick's seeming heartlessness, he still seems to have a soft spot for Mitchell. Is it true affection, or does he just want to nurture Mitchell's inner monster? Herrick's indifference to human suffering should make us despise him but, bizarrely, I love him! Maybe it's because he's not real. Or maybe it's because Jason Watkins is so utterly brilliant, his character can get away with murder. (Quite literally.) It's amazing how a funny quip, or biting (pun unintended) retort, can cover a multitude of sadistic acts. Being a vampire isn't a curse to Herrick -- it's liberation.
In the end, Mitchell didn't kill Drakefield -- instead, he consigned him to a life in jail. Whether because of his policy of non-killing, or because he somehow sympathised with his unnatural desires, I'm not sure. Since he then went on to kill Chief Constable Wilson, I'm guessing the latter. Shame really, as Wilson provided some much needed comic relief. (T minus 30 seconds.) But, with people like Wilson around, it's hard to decide who's worse -- the people or the vampires. His methods of meting out justice were as warped as anything Herrick could've conjured up. Except for that wig. That was truly evil.
Did Mitchell kill Wilson to stop him exposing the vampire underground, or because, like Drakefield, there's something in his bones which just won't let up? At least with Wilson dead the blackmail threat dies with him. But what will falling off the wagon mean for Mitchell? Him confiding in Lucy -- as with Josie back in the 60's -- was an attempt to keep his murderous instincts in check. But with the stopper now well and truly out of the bottle, will Mitchell be able to restrain himself? And does Lucy care enough about him to act as his restraint?
There was an interesting attempt made to compare vampirism with paedophilia. A bold move, which could have backfired spectacularly. There are similarities -- but it's hard to compare a real psychiatric disorder with a mythical condition, particularly when paedophilia is so universally despised. We love Mitchell because, deep down, we know vampirism is utter bunkum. If Being Human were a documentary, I seriously doubt we'd hold him in such high regard. It's odd how often paedophilia turns up in vampire fiction. It's strongly hinted at in Anne Rice's 'Interview With a Vampire', and again in John Ajvide Lindqvist's 'Let The Right One In'. Admittedly, it's mostly used as a character trait rather than a comparison, but why the fascination I wonder?
George actually managed some growth tonight. Not particularly adult growth, I'll grant you. As Mitchell rightly pointed out, he still hasn't got over Nina, so his attempts at normalcy with Sam and Molly smacked somewhat of desperation. George's condition just isn't compatible with a normal family life -- not while he insists on keeping things hidden. With the cage gone, how will he manage his monthlies -- by resorting to running wild around the countryside again, fearful of killing some innocent? And how will he explain the moodiness, bloodied hair and dog breath?
Lucy's actually turning into a fascinating character. I wonder how much she buys into Kemp's 'we're doing this for the sake of mankind' ethos. Both seem genuine about wanting to heal mankind -- it's how they react to failure that's the concern. We know already that Kemp, despite trying to effect a cure, sees death as an acceptable side effect. Lucy seems to take a more compassionate view. She also seems to have fallen in love with Mitchell. I wonder when that happened. Did his honestly win her over, or is this something which has been developing from the beginning?
After whining last week about Annie was becoming a pain in the arse, I quite enjoyed her tonight. I thought her initial disinterest in baby Tim would turn out to be an excuse for some cheap laughs (remember the pub interview scene back in episode one?), but the story surprisingly turned on its head, and ended up being quite poignant. True, Annie's turn around felt a touch rushed. Where George and Mitchell have developed gradually over two seasons, Annie's growth has been comparability stunted -- but I'll take what I can get. Annie's sadness was genuinely moving. If she reverts back to type next week I'll scream.
Bits and Pieces:
-- Tracey Beaker was a 'kid in care' children's television show on the BBC. It was based on the book 'The Story of Tracy Beaker' by Jacqueline Wilson, which ran for five seasons, and spawned a film.
-- George's Internet password is 'Password1', his mother's maiden name is Herod, he's indifferent to competitive sports, prefers lager to beer (WTF?), doesn't understand fishing, is scared of cancer, lost his virginity on a canal boat in Tring, voices hypocritical objections to takeaways, and his favourite colour is gamboges (it's an orangey-brown.)
-- How deep a sleeper is Mitchell? I'm pretty sure I'd feel someone straddled across my chest, even if I were asleep.
-- Annie's George impression was pretty much spot on.
-- Loved the opening sequence. Only Being Human could make vacuuming and dusting around two mutilated corpses amusing. Great use of Herman's Hermits' 'I'm Into Something Good'.
-- In other music news, Annie sang La Roux's 'Bulletproof' as a lullaby for baby Tim.
Policeman: "You! Get up!"
Mitchell: “It's the library books, isn't it?”
George: "What's your cat's name, Molly?"
George: "Your cat's called Molly and you're called Molly?"
Molly: "My Dad really liked the name. Do you like cats?"
George: "Yeah, I couldn't eat a whole one though. Who am I kidding, of course I could."
George: "What is that?"
Annie: "A baby; it's one of mine."
George: "How long have I been gone?"
Kemp: "You know, one of the few things I like about you is that you don't call supper 'tea'. There are many things I hate in this modern world: secularism, showbiz news, but tea is barbaric."
George: "However crap a prospect you think you may be, I am far, far crapper."
Herrick: "Still using your granny knot, Mitchell? How many times have I told you... use a reef. What's he like?"