Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Being Human: The Longest day

Nina: “What's your manager's number, Wendy? I'm going to unleash a shit-storm!”

Things are looking decidedly bleak for Mitchell. The sins of the past two seasons are catching up with him. Herrick's back and living in the attic, Nina's knows about Mitchell's part in the box tunnel massacre, George is threatening to disown him -- there was only Cara who seemed vaguely pleased to see him... right before she committed suicide. It's like all of Mitchell's nightmares are coming true. Let's hope he doesn't hear about The Real Hustle being fake or it'll be curtains. There's only so much a man can take.

There aren't enough superlatives to describe Jason Watkins' performance this week. He played Uncle Billy, the blank-faced amnesiac, to absolute perfection. I almost bought his innocence, too... then he smiled, and the old Herrick was back. Nina should have taken more notice of his cold dismissal of Cara. That wasn't the behaviour of a sweet old man. It was of a monster remembering who he is. And who he is, is a killer.

Herrick's dress sense seemed to reflect his mental confusion. What was up with that shirt and those pyjama bottoms? Still, anything's better than more of his bare arse. How many male buttocks have we been subjected to this season? Herrick living upstairs is a preposterous turn of events. Already, he's managing to strip away all that Mitchell holds dear. No wonder Mitchell feels like he's losing his mind -- who could have predicted a week ago that within seven days Herrick would be living under their roof, and have the support of half its occupants?

I do love Nina, but she disappointed me a little tonight. Not because she acted out of character -- her betrayal was completely understandable -- but because she trusted Mitchell and George so little. She had in her possession the pieces of the puzzle, but assembled them in the wrong order. Herrick's playing everyone like a musical director conducting an orchestra. Only Annie was able to see through the fa├žade. Maybe her gullibility last season has made her wary, but at least it means Mitchell has an ally.

Which is more than he deserves after the way he treated Annie. I knew he'd blow it. To be fair, I don't think we've ever seen him under this much pressure -- which is a nice reversal of expectations. I assumed Mitchell would be in for an easy ride this season: a bit of soul searching, maybe a spot of the smoochies. Yet, his relationship with Annie is currently hanging by a thread, as is his friendship with George and Nina. How did that happen? Mitchell admitted in “Adam's Family” that the gang are the only thing keeping him grounded. If his accountability to them vanishes, what's keeping him from going all Angelus again?

I guess the answer is Annie. Despite being at rock-bottom, at least he managed to tell her how he feels. He sees their relationship as forever. (Awww.) As long as Annie's there, Mitchell has a reason to stay on the wagon. I was relieved that he chose George, too, but it's severely restricted his options with Herrick. He can't kill him -- but he can torture him. The mystery of Herrick's resurrection is a secret worth uncovering -- especially with a prophesied death sentence hanging over his head.

I was also unhappy with the way Nina treated Wendy. I know it was mostly played for laughs, but Nicola Walker did such a fine job of bringing Wendy to life that I felt for her. She was the model of an overworked, under-appreciated, downtrodden social worker -- perpetually exhausted, fearful of negative press, but, ultimately, a caring and sweet individual (albeit off her tits on red bull). I was quite moved by her breakdown in the car, and by Annie's silent support. It just seemed incongruous that Nina would manipulate someone so obviously on the brink of despair. And all for Uncle Billy -- a man she barely knows?

The problem is, Nina can't help but care. It's in her nature, even when that concern is misplaced. I think it was Mitchell's insincerity that got to her in the end. That and George's unwavering loyalty to him. Is George the kind of man she wants as a father to her child? A man who can sentence an old man to death and then look the other way? Nina doesn't know Herrick the way the others do, but George and Mitchell's terrified reaction to him should have given her reason for pause. When Mitchell first saw Herrick he was like a man possessed. What could possibly cause such a reaction in Mitchell, a man more than capable of handling himself?

George's ultimatum was also something of a surprise. George knows Mitchell better than anyone. He knows what he's been through and has been there through the hard times -- so why the tough love? Did he really think it would bring Mitchell to his senses? Or is he simply putting Nina and their baby first? Maybe both -- but if someone doesn't kill Herrick soon, he'll be too powerful to stop. What will they do then? Enlist the help of the Old Ones? Mitchell described Herrick as a vampire at the height of his powers. Is he megalomaniacal enough to take on the Old Ones? That would make for an interesting finale.

Is Nina really the little bullet? They're throwing red herrings all over the place at the moment. Last week it was McNair, now it's Nina -- who will it be next week? There's only George and Tom left.

Bits and Pieces:

-- I don't think I've ever seen a more stereotypical psych ward. Every single person seemed mad to the extreme. Even the staff were do-twatting-lally.

-- How creepy was George bonding with Herrick over fatherhood? Herrick knew exactly what to say to get George onside, and George fell for it.

-- George's Star of David doesn't work on Herrick.

-- There was something grotesque about Mitchell beating the crap out of a defenseless and confused Herrick. It's probably the most disturbing thing I've seen on the show. (Worse than Herrick's arse.)

-- I loved that Herrick couldn't fool Annie. What he said should have played on her fears and weaknesses. She does feel ignored, inconsequential and worthless -- but she saw right through it. Good on you, Annie!

-- Herrick can't kill Annie or Mitchell. It's all about saving the dogs. Why can't George and Nina see that?

-- When Wendy first arrived George seemed to be channelling David Brent.

-- Wendy's computer rage made me laugh. I've heard that Windows error sound so many times.

-- Uncle Billy shaking hands with Wendy was just priceless. His face was so empty.

Quotes:

Annie: “We're going to have to have a treat tonight. Big tea, major pudding and, oh, just happy times. Ohh, and Jenga! I'll see you back at the house.”
Nina: (to herself) “Pissing Jenga.”

George: “It's the Jehovah's, isn't it? I knew I shouldn't have been nice.”

Annie: “It's social services, it's got to be. She looks knackered and she has terrible hair.”

Herrick: “Don't you look ugly when you're crying?”

Wendy: "Barbara, can I call you back? I'm just actually on the toilet... doing an actual wee.”

Annie: “Mmm, a knee-trembler by the bins. It's enough to put stars in any girl's eyes.”

Mitchell: “You want every little corner of me. But I just don't want to give it.”

Mitchell: “I was in love with the idea of being your hero. Your rescuer. Your saviour. That's what I was in love with. Not you. It's for the best. One day you'll realise.”

Cara: “I'm nothing without you.”
Herrick: “Well, then. You are nothing.”

Mitchell: “I think there's a poison in you that has nothing to do with being a vampire. So, yeah. I think you do enjoy it.”

Mitchell: “Nina, a little bullet. I'm going to make you so very happy.”

Annie: “What am I? Onto you... is what I am. I'm onto you... little man.”

Mitchell: "I feel like I'm losing my mind. I'm so tired and I'm losing everything.”

Mitchell: "George. I choose you.”

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