Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Being Human: Hold the Front Page

Adam: “We’re both trapped. We should be trapped together.”

This felt like the episode where Being Human finally reclaimed its mojo. The first half of the season has been guilty of pushing the tomfoolery way beyond what is acceptable. Tonight the humour was played to perfection. Tom Grieves did a splendid job of adding some much needed depth to Adam’s previously one-dimensional character. In fact, by the end of the episode, I actually found myself liking him. And then being disgusted by him. And then liking him again. Add an unlikely love story, a new supernatural, and some great character development, and this was my favourite episode of the season so far.

Adam's matured a lot since last season. Not physically, obviously. Or mentally. But emotionally, he’s come a long way. True, he's still the obnoxious, slightly awkward, wise cracking buffoon he's always been. But his obvious sadness over George and Nina's deaths was the first real sign he's started to grow up. It’s easy to see what Adam sees in Yvonne: she’s roughly the same age (in real years), intelligent, motherly, attractive (?), funny (??), sexy (???). What Yvonne sees in Adam is perhaps harder to determine. Despite partially redeeming himself at the end, a couple of well turned phrases hardly overturn a lifetime of knobheadery. But somehow they "complete" each other. I suspect the lewd remarks and charmless innuendo are just his way of trying to appear more grown up.

Toby Whithouse has been promising a new supernatural for a while now, and Yvonne was presumably it. Who'd have guessed at a succubus? Hal’s dream sequence was as creepy as it was hilarious. I should have guessed it wasn't real the minute Annie walked into the room, seemingly oblivious to the tension, and started waffling on about prams and cups of tea. Adam scarpering after Hal killed Tom should also have been a clue. Even Adam's not that fickle. Yet I almost leapt out of my chair when Hal staked Tom. Selina Griffith did a terrific job of playing cradle snatcher Yvonne. Having the three boys competing for her attention via Keats, filthy limericks, and the appearance of Duncan, was as uncomfortable as it was inexplicable.

Her affection for Adam, however, was plain. It was all there in the eye contact and body language. But Adam, sweet and kind? Not the adjectives I'd have chosen. Immature, maybe. Vulgar? But you can’t deny a vampire and a succubus are the perfect pairing. Tonight, they worked as each other's deterrents. Adam almost slipped off the wagon and killed that girl at the bar, Yvonne nearly ended up sucking the life out of Tom, but it was their love for each other which stopped them. Plus, Yvonne can't kill Adam. He's already dead. And Adam won't kill Yvonne, because whilst under her influence, he worships the ground she walks on. It seems like the perfect relationship. Apart from society deeming it unacceptable and wanting to publicly vilify them.

The fact that Yvonne could see Annie was obviously something of a plot problem. Realistically, it should have been dealt with immediately. Of course, if they'd done that, it would have effectively neutered the story. Some of the best laughs came before we knew Yvonne was a succubus. But they really need to stop having people they don't know over to stay. Virtually every week it happens, and it almost always leads to problems. Eve's too important to let just anyone in. They haven't seen Adam in over 6 months; Yvonne could have been anyone. But if Adam and Yvonne's visit proved anything, it's that Honolulu Heights is officially a home again. Hal and Tom don't feel like outsiders any more. It finally feels like the show is back on track.

Adam's conversation with Yvonne through the glass door reminded me of the door scene in Let the Right One In. The door symbolised the barrier between Yvonne and Adam, and the opening of it the start of their relationship proper. Adam was surprisingly charming in those scenes. (Kudos to Craig Roberts for such a nuanced performance.) Despite having to quickly come to terms with her new identity, both Yvonne and Adam somehow managed to find a precarious peace together. As did Hal and Annie, who appear to have become each other's sponsors. I loved Hal's relief at realising he could hack it in the real world after all; a world without Pearl and Leo. Let's hope he doesn't try to run before he can walk.

The Cutler story line isn’t quite firing on all four yet, but that looks set to change next week. Judging by the trailer, his plan to expose werewolves is about to kick into high gear. I'm liking Cutler a lot more now the writers have reigned in his character. His earlier role as a wise cracking vamp didn’t quite work for me. I like him better when he's in the shadows, carving up corpses, and slaughtering all and sundry.

Bits and Pieces:

-- Despite having a whacking great burn in his arm, Hal seems to think he isn't the nemesis. Maybe he isn't, but it still seems a little risky him feeding baby Eve.

-- Uncomfortably (for me), Selina Griffith (who played Yvonne), looks exactly like my Aunt Janet; which made some of the scenes weirder than they ought to have been.

-- The Bristol Echo needs to buy a better spell-checker. The front page read "Housing market Forcasts down". Oops!

-- All episode I kept thinking Yvonne’s voice sounded familiar. It turns out she's Annette Crosbie’s (of One Foot in the Grave fame) daughter. Can you believe it?

-- I wonder whether an internet werewolf exposé would work in this age of CGI and computer wizardry. Youtube's full of fantastical videos, claiming incredible things. Would anyone take a werewolf video seriously?

-- What on earth's this swimming pool business all about?

-- It didn't take Annie long to get a taste for killing. They're developing Annie in strange ways this season. I hope it works out. I thought Annie was spectacularly entertaining tonight.

-- Hal evidently doesn't mind wearing Marigolds. Mitchell must be turning in his grave. Or urn. (Thanks, Mark.)

Quotes:

Annie: “Let him in. It’s definitely not the nemesis. He’s way too much of a knob for that.”

Hal: "I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for their religion. I have shuddered at it. I shudder no more."
Yvonne: "Oh, Keats. That’s lovely, dear."

Adam: “Like a virgin. Again, inaccurate... I am a legendary swordsman.”

Hal: “Hit me!”
Annie: “What?”
Hal: “Around the face.”
Annie: “Why?
Hal: “Do it!”
*Annie slaps his face*
Hal: "Again! Harder!”
*She slaps his face harder*
Hal: “Oww!”
Annie: “Sorry.”
Hal: “God,that hurt.”

Adam: "There once was a girl from South China. She had a capacious va....”
Hal: "You really are a foul mother little oik.”

Adam: “It doesn’t matter how many thousand of miles apart, I’ll still be under your spell.”

Annie: “All that stuff about 'Chris Akabusi chased me around Morrisons. Please! You know, when I was 16, a photographer told me I was pretty enough to be in a catalogue. Yeah, a catalogue, Hal! You don’t hear me going on about it.”
Hal: “I’ve only been here a few weeks, you’ve already told me twice.

Annie: “Adam... you little twat. I’m really going to miss him.”

No comments: