It honestly feels like only a couple months ago (though a whole year has certainly passed) that Being Human made some very brave choices in their fourth season and changed their entire lineup, bringing stories to an end for George, Annie and little Eve. But Honolulu Heights is still occupied, and we’ve got a new team who has a lot to learn. One newly-minted ghost, one werewolf who is still getting used to having friends and his own room, and one vampire with OCD who just fell off the wagon after being clean for 60 years.
Alex, Tom, and Hal are going to need some house rules.
One of the most charming aspects of Being Human is how the writers never shy away from the awful minutiae of everyday life. So when we pick up with our gang, we find that Hal is still going crazy… not from bloodlust and withdrawal, but from the fact that Tom has not been cleaning the house, and Hal cannot bear to look at it any longer. One can’t just erase all those years of fastidious conditioning with a little sanguine snack. Hal is untied, scrubs the house and creates a rotor. And of course, he and Tom need new jobs, since Hal’s time tied to a chair in the living room has gotten them fired from the cafe.
Too bad. I liked that cafe.
So here are some thoughts about what the big arcs are going to be this season. Keep in mind it will be six episodes, like the first season was, so count on these stories to develop at a breakneck pace.
It looks like Alex is going to be a beautiful addition to the show. Annie’s initial ghost journey surrounded the truth about her demise and dealt with themes of domestic abuse, which was likely part of the reason why she was often surrounded by men with unsavory motives. While some development occurred on that front, it did get awkward watching Annie constantly having to fend off the attention of creepers. Alex, on the other hand, is a no-nonsense kind of woman. She doesn’t want to be treated like a lady, and she’s having a tough time adjusting to the fact that she can no longer eat chocolate, touch someone, or change her clothes. Her outburst at Hal in this first episode hits a very harsh mark for women everywhere; the inability to parse out predators from good men and the fear inherent in that, something that was halfway touched on with Nina seasons ago when she confronted Mitchell for his matchmaking with her and George.
But what is Alex’s unfinished business? We now know that her family has already received her remains, that they have begun to move on—so what is she missing that would allow her to cross over? Of course, Tom and Hal will be there for her to aid in that discovery, but unfinished business can change the way it did with Annie. Alex may want to punish Mr Rook for cleaning up her murder, but it’s unlikely that he’s the source that’s keeping her tethered to the world.
And what to make of Mr. Rook, his mysterious organization, and his job which would seem to be in jeopardy? At first it seemed as though Rook and his people were simply the supernatural version of the Men in Black, but the character has been given new agency now that the intent to shut down his department is known. Rather than being a one-note antagonist, we now see that Dominic Rook has much to lose… and that will undoubtedly make him more dangerous. His recruitment of Hal’s new vampire friend is proof enough of that.
Which brings us to Crumb, as the new vamp is calling himself now. A perfect showcase for exactly what bullying does to a person’s psyche, this guy is gonna be real bad news. While they were playing the laugh card in the man’s opening scenes, watching him get ignored and stepped on by practically everyone he knew was a bit too painful to be humorous. And as much as we can all sympathize with Hal for not being able to let another person die, offering up the vampire apple to a man he didn’t know was not his best move yet. Neither was tying him up in the basement without properly explaining to Tom and Alex what was going on. Speaking of Hal’s good ideas, there’s that other small one that apparently played out nearly one hundred years ago—
You summoned the devil, Hal? Really? That struck you as a smart idea somehow? And then you let him wander off? I mean this in the nicest way, honey—you’re kind of dumb when you power trip.
It will certainly be an interesting addition to the Being Human mythical universe. This is the first we’ve heard about exactly how vampire’s souls are wrapped up with the scarier side of the afterlife, as well as how a devil figure might operate in this fictional world. So now we’ve got ultimate evil, and we’ve got the boys working in a hotel together where the manager has a crush on Hal, and we’ve got some highly volatile chemicals in the form of new, unpredictable characters.
How will they ever go about being human with that much on their plate?
It was a welcome way to dive right back into the show, with plenty of intrigue cropping up from the get-go, and lots of loose ends that are bound to get knotted up in a hurry. Though it does seem a shame to only get six episodes, instead of the usual eight, it’s impossible to stay away from this exceedingly clever piece of drama. Let’s do this, season five….