Sat
Mar 3 2012 10:30pm

Adopt-a-Vampire Week: Being Human, “Being Human 1955”

It’s likely that Toby Whithouse anticipated fan concern following the almost too-epic season 4 opener. The future! A prophecy! New characters! It all might have seemed a bit too much to your average viewer, and perhaps we were in need of a little reassurance. After all, the initial premise of Being Human was elegantly simple: a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf try to achieve some sense of “normalcy” by starting a life together.

And the show is still about exactly that. Well, baby makes four. What’s intriguing is how it all comes to pass this time around….

We’re back with the new trio we were introduced to last episode; Leo, Hal and Pearl. They argue over who has to kill someone upstairs, which Hal vehemently refuses do. Pearl doesn’t want the blood on her hands, but Leo points out that they could just put him in a cup and take him outside — it turns out that they’re arguing about a spider. Hal the vampire is afraid of spiders. Do you love him yet? Yeah, keep making that brave face. You know he’s gonna get you by the end of the episode.

Sidetrack: I thought that Leo and Pearl were married in the last episode for some reason. Turns out that’s very not true. Whoops!

Leo hears a voice over the radio, presumably from the netherworld: he’s told about baby Eve, that she’s a savior living with a ghost and a werewolf, and she can help him. Reminder: Leo is dying. He won’t survive his next transformation, if he even makes it that long.

Tom is going out at night, killing all the vampires he can find and trying to hide it from Annie, who won’t allow it under her house rules (which are more like “Annie’s Commandments” since that’s what she calls them). She believes in Eve’s destiny. Tom believes she’s a baby and should be allowed to be one. Way to go, Tom! Nothing will give that kid a complex faster than treating her like the messiah her whole life, so you get the parenting points this round.

Pearl and Hal are stuck pushing their car to the B&B because Hal wouldn’t stop to get petrol at any gas stations on the lefthand side of the road. So he’s painfully superstitious to boot. (You love Hal now, right?) They arrive at the B&B, and Tom promptly tries to kill Hal with a stake. Annie is pretty unhappy about it, particularly when she realizes that Tom has been hiding the stake in her hanging plant. New Commandment to add to the list. Annie invites them in once Leo explains that they were sent by “an angel” to see Eve.

So Tom and Hal already don’t like each other, and Pearl starts bragging about how amazing she and her boys are, doing the impossible in living together. Annie feels the need to point out that she did the same, thanks. And then Pearl points out that she never needed to change her lineup in the past 55 years, though Annie is clearly down a vampire. Snap and ouch. Annie brings Eve in to see everyone and the lights flicker; Annie takes that to mean that Eve wants to help Leo. Hal notices that vampire prophecy (which he hadn’t known was real), realizes that the baby is indeed the War Child and knows he was meant to come here. Annie says that they’re going to have a ceremony to “channel Eve’s energy” so she can cure Leo.

In the meantime, the vampire Cutler is showing the werewolf transformation footage he got of George and Tom to a homeless focus group. The vampire cop Fergus from the last episode is now the man in charge before the Old Ones show up, or he wants to be. Cutler thinks he’s no man to replace Griffin, and that his own plan for introducing the world to the terror of werewolves is much more sound in their bid to take over the world.

Annie performs the worst ceremony in the history of religious healing ceremonies (it involves bad uses of Latin, Josh Groban lyrics, and a choice line from Star Wars), and Leo promptly collapses. Clearly, Eve isn’t up to saving anyone at the moment.

The next day Annie overhears Leo talking to Pearl. He explains that the real reason he wanted more time to live was to prepare Pearl and Hal to live without him. Then Annie walks in on Hal putting together a beautiful spiral of dominos on her table. We’ve seen him do it before, and now we get the explanation: Leo taught Hal to do it, to put the dominos up and take them down one by one without ever knocking them over, as a way of proving his control over his vampiric urges. Hal needs the routine to keep him clean. He likes routine. He hates it when people mess with his sense of order, as evidenced when Pearl comes in and roots through his bag in an effort to find Leo’s inhaler.

Annie knows why they were really brought here. They should move in!

Leo sends Tom to get a ring similar to one from an old newspaper ad he has handy. Hal agrees to accompany him because Leo told Tom that they should go for it together; Hal worries that this is Leo’s attempt to get them to bond with another werewolf. But they know they won’t be friends: Tom thinks Hal’s a “dickhead” and Hal thinks Tom is a “neanderthal.” (Code: it’ll take a while, but soon, OH MY GOD THEY WILL BE THE BEST FRIENDS EVER. Ahem.)

Leo gives Annie a list of things to help keep Hal clean. Just the usual stuff: keep him away from people, small dogs, and blood. Don’t let him drink Kia-Ora. Apparently unspeakable things happen then, way worse than murdering people. Did I mention that you love Hal? You love Hal.

Tom and Hal quickly and conveniently (because they’re on TV time) find a vintage shop that has a proper-looking ring, but Tom freaks out because the shop owner has a mounted wolf head on the wall. The shopkeeper says piss off, but Tom won’t until he takes it down. A hilarious scuffle ensues where the shopkeeper gets Tom in a nelson, Tom calls for help, and Hal just sort of stands there awkwardly for a minute while he tries to figure out how to get in there. Then Hal notices the shopkeeper has a bloody lip and suddenly it’s Tom having to wrestle him away. The shopkeeper is disproportionately enraged, grabs a shotgun, and threatens to kill Tom.

This leads to The Purpose of the Scene, wherein Hal explains that if the shopkeeper kills Tom, it will stay with him for the rest of his life. He knows. Though slightly transparent in its motives, watch Damien Molony sell that monologue. It’s pretty spectacular. They leave with their lives and with the ring —  Hal swiped it when no was paying attention.

Annie finally realizes what all the light flashing has been about in the house; it’s not Eve, it’s Pearl. She’s mourning for Leo because she loves him and has never told him. Annie encourages her to admit her feelings before he’s gone, but Pearl worries that it’s too late. She goes to tell Leo, only to find that he’s waiting with the ring he sent Tom and Hal after. He tells her that he saw her point to it in an ad 50 years ago (the same ad he gave to Tom — he’d been carrying it around all this time), saying that she wished she had been loved in her life. That someone had given her a ring like that. He says that knows it’s 50 years too late, and apologizes for being too young and shy and stupid in the past. But he wanted her to know she was loved. And she tells him she loves him too.

So, you’re already crying, and then Leo starts dying and Annie calls Hal upstairs. When Leo passes, it turns out that there are two doors waiting: Pearl’s unfinished business was telling Leo how she felt, and she’s meant to cross over with him. Hal is horrified, now realizing that he’ll be completely alone (more crying), and Pearl offers to stay with him, but everyone tells her that’s a bad idea, Hal included. She and Leo leave together. You need lots of tissues.

Hal, struggling with that sudden loss, goes to see baby Eve alone. He picks her up, holds her, and it looks like he might be contemplating his first fall off the wagon in 55 years. (Babies probably taste better? Who knows.) In a very creepy turn, the woman from the last episode who died to go back in time and kill the baby appears on the room’s TV screen, unbeknownst to Hal. She clearly wants him to kill Eve. (Maybe she was the “angel” who got Leo to come to the house in the first place?) But Tom interrupts him, tells him that if he ever sees Hal near the baby again like that, he’ll kill him. Hal goes downstairs, knocks over his dominos (uh oh) and heads back to the vintage shop with every intention of drinking that shopkeeper dry.

Luckily, Annie notices the fallen dominos and drags Tom after Hal. Tom saves the shopkeeper from Hal, stake in hand, and Hal picks up the shopkeeper’s shotgun in retaliation. Annie brings us to The Point of the Episode as she shouts them both down: that they’re all doing stupid things to handle their grief, and none of them is living up to the people they loved.

The tension is diffused and they all go home to drink tea and figure out how to live with each other. Annie points out the Eve may not be the savior, but she brought them all together. Hal tells them that he hopes she still is; he’s all too keen for the Great Vampicide.

Unfortunately that shopkeeper calls the police and tells Fergus all about the attack and the fact that the man with pointy teeth was called Hal. So now the vampire’s are aware that Hal’s around and kicking.

Brilliantly acted all the way around, and showcasing all the things that fans loved about Being Human in the first place, this episode offers a great deal of hope for the future of the series. These new relationships are going to be a treat to watch grow and develop, and it looks like there’s a lot more in store for us. A shoutout to scriptwriter Lisa McGee, who wrote two of the best episodes in the last two seasons and can now tuck another solid win under her belt.

 

Check out the Being Human recaps here. This article originally appeared on Tor.com on February 14.


Emily Asher-Perrin knew you’d love Hal. You can bug her on Twitter and read more of her work here and elsewhere.

8 comments
politeruin
1. politeruin
Well i liked it a lot even if it appears nobody else does. I feared they were going to overreach themselves with last week's new direction but this was right back to the personal the show does so well. Some great lines and yeah, hal's speech was pretty excellent, hal is pretty excellent generally though. But why did they miss the golden opportunity for tom to yank the wolf's head off the wall as an act of defiance?
Emily Asher-Perrin
2. EmilyAP
@politeruin - It is interesting that Tom let the wolf head stand as it was when it probably would have been pretty easy to rip it down. Who knows how these things are worked out when you're filming, I guess? Glad someone is enjoying it as much as I am, though!
politeruin
3. politeruin
Thing is, i can't decide whether the guy who plays tom is great or really awful, if it's character naivete or he just can't act for toffee. I'm moving more towards really liking him though, this conversation being a highlight of the episode for me...

Tom: "Right, we're gonna do this thing to channel Eve's energy, because she's god and that. Erm... and hopefully that might help you not die or whatever."

Hal: "Are there subtitles for this conversation?"
John Massey
4. subwoofer
Is this the UK version? From what I hear Season 4 has some rapid departures of 2 of the regulars and I am having mixed emotions about it. I got into the series just last year and have almost finished with the last season but am not sure about the new direction being taken.

Regardless, I'll give it a chance as I watch most of the stuff on Space:)

Woof™.
politeruin
5. politeruin
UK version. The first episode initially seemed like a radical and unwise departure but at the moment it appears to have grounded itself again, so who knows where it'll lead. It may be sacrilegious to say that i am not entirely missing george, mitchell and nina. Herrick on the other hand...
Emily Asher-Perrin
6. EmilyAP
@politeruin - I'm going to go with Tom's character just being downright naive and wonderful. There's definitely a deliberate choice going on in the writing to juxtapose Hal's "poshness" with Tom's "layman" background. Looks like they're just trying to reestablish that Odd Couple dynamic that had with George and Mitchell in a different way. It seems to be working out incredibly well. :)

@subwoofer - Entirely my personal opinion here, but I would absolutely stick with the series. It's hard not to miss George and Mitchell, but the new crew are shaping up effortlessly, and a lot of the charm that the series had in its first season is back fullforce.
David Thomson
7. ZetaStriker
I initially didn't want to keep watching after the season premiere; George was integral to my enjoyment of the show, and I was worried what it would be like without him. But you make this episode sound so interesting! I guess I'll have to come back around.

Also, I laughed at this line, as it reminded me that we're watching a BBC show.
The tension is diffused and they all go home to drink tea and figure out how to live with each other.
politeruin
8. Everett McNulty
I love this new cast.

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