They Tried to Make Hal Go to Rehab: Being Human Season Finale, “The War Child”

The eighth and final episode of the season. This is a very important year for Being Human. The departure of friends, new foes, and the most relevant question answered: can this show stay afloat in the wake of a year full of changes?

Let’s just say… I can’t wait until season five.

Warning: This contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the season four finale.

It’s 2022 in the future that older ghost Eve showed to Annie in the previous episode. Eleven-year-old Eve is sleeping in the car of her fake father; she’s constantly taken from place to place and different people care for her. This time, however, they have been caught by Mark Gatiss, head of the Old Ones. It looks as though he’s about to let the man and young Eve go when he reveals that he’s completely aware she is the War Child. The fake father tells Eve to run and she does. Mark Gatiss lets her run while he rips out fake papa’s intestinal tract.

Now, why would he do that?

It turns out that Hal lured Tom into an ambulance while he was transformed and he spent the night in there. It’s morning now, and Alex and Tom are both keen to get revenge on Cutler—Tom for being used as a human-slaughter machine and Alex for being murdered by the guy. Hal tells Tom that Leo had always told him that supernatural creatures were outside humanity so they could guard it. After falling off the wagon, he feels they need to earn that right back again.

The Old Ones are making themselves at home when Cutler comes in to tell them what a good job he’s done getting things ready for them. Mark Gatiss (who turns out to the be the terrifying Mr. Snow mentioned in the flashback with Fergus all those episodes ago) is not impressed with the lateness of their arrival gift, and even less impressed when it turns out that the gift is nowhere to be seen. Cutler can’t figure out why the world isn’t talking about the werewolf attack last night, even if no one was killed; plenty of people filmed the incident, so something should have leaked. Cutler tells them that he knows where the War Child is and he could kill her for them as an alternate tribute.

He’s immediately cut off. It turns out that the Old Ones have been keeping the final part of the prophecy the whole time. They know that Eve must die to make the whole “end of vampire kind” come to pass, and they’ve been hiding that fact to keep her alive. (A flawed plan at best since all the vampires have been trying to kill this kid since the start of the season.) Mr. Snow tells Cutler he’s a no one and that he’s already forgotten his name. That’s not something you should tell a guy who already has “history making” on the brain. Cutler vows revenge.

Hal, Tom and Alex sneak in and hear the whole thing, but Hal has a panic attack when he realizes that Mr. Snow is there. He claims he is the Oldest Old One, the vampire that every vampire can trace their lineage back to. (It seems likely since Snow mentions rubbing elbows with pharaohs and hanging out with Jesus.) He wants to run as far away from him as possible. The gang follow.

When they get back to the house, Annie tells them what Eve showed her, what she knows about the potential future, and what her job is in stopping it. Tom and Hal are both horrified that Annie might let someone harm baby Eve, so they decide they have to eliminate the Old Ones. Tom tells them that he has everything he needs to make enough homemade explosives to blow the whole kit and kaboodle sky high, and Hal agrees to help him. He asks Alex to stay with Annie to make sure nothing happens to Eve. Alex isn’t too excited about the prospect because she’s really not good at palling around with women, but she acquiesces.

Tom takes Hal to the cafe, where he’s been saving up all the leftover cooking oil. He does, in fact, have the material to make a whole lot of explode-y stuff. Problem is, he doesn’t know how to build a remote detonator—that used to be Papa MacNair’s job. So he figures he’ll just go in and let himself go up too. Hal won’t let him do it alone, and volunteers to go kamikaze with him. They shake on it.

Alex tries to talk to Annie about things that she thinks girls like: makeup, clothes, etc. Annie tells her she’s doing fine, and that she’d be happy to teach Alex some ghost circus tricks, just to pass the time. She teaches her how to move things and reminds her that the only rule about rentaghosting is that it can’t be done with a living thing. The “men with sticks and rope” that we haven’t heard about since practically the first season are brought up again here. It looks like we’ve finally got a little retcon: Annie says that they’re basic afterlife agents, but they’ve got no real power. Nothing to worry about. A good thing to know, as the mention of them at the start of the whole series was starting to seem weird the more glimpses we got of the afterlife on screen.

The Old Ones send their pet werewolf, Milo, to talk to Tom. He tells Tom that the best way to keep Eve safe is to give her to the vampires. Tom doesn’t understand how the guy can live with himself, but Milo would rather be the right hand of the devil than in his path, as the saying goes.

Cutler comes to the B&B, but no one will invite him in. He comes in anyway, and we see what that does to a vampire; he begins to melt, sort of like Nazis when faced with an open Ark of the Covenant. He crawls to Eve’s basinet with every intent of killing her, just to ruin the Old Ones’ plan—yup, Mr. Snow really shouldn’t have pissed the poor guy off. Ghost Eve pleads with Annie to let him do the job, but Annie can’t let it happen and stakes him. Alex figures that means that Annie’s got it together now, and leaves to find Hal.

Alex gets Hal to go take down her body, so they can get it found and brought to her family. Before they can get far, a group of men come in and clean the scene up. They’re not police, but they’re not supernatural either; they can’t see Alex. They take the body away. While Alex goes to find out where they’re heading off to, Hal licks some of her congealed blood off the floor. Alex comes back in time to see the pathetic and frankly disgusting scene, and begins to realize exactly how hard it is for Hal to keep clean.

Hal heads back to the cafe and Mr. Snow is waiting for him. He does the whole “come to the Dark Side” spiel, but Hal can’t figure out why he won’t be more blunt about it. Mr. Snow tells him that Hal was never hidden. He has been aware of everything Hal has done for the past half century, down to the names of his friends and where Leo’s barbershop was. He won’t ask Hal to join them because he knows that when the time comes, Hal will be there for them.

Tom goes home and grabs baby Eve; Milo convinced him, and he’s going to take Eve to the Old Ones so she’ll be safe. When he arrives, he offers to hand her over on the condition that he gets to stay with her. Mr. Snow agrees, though he teases Tom about the awful chores he’ll have to do. Snow takes the baby and holds her aloft like a teeny tiny God.

That’s when Hal comes in covered in Tom’s explosives.

Mr. Snow talks Hal down. In fact, he appears to have a hypnotic power where vampires are concerned, and Hal takes his place among them without seeming to realize what he’s doing.

That’s when Annie charges in with Alex at the rear, demanding that the vampires “give her back her fucking baby.” You heard that right. Get out of the woman’s way, she’s not playing.

Milo takes Tom outside to fight it out between werewolves while Hal, Annie and Alex fight the Old Ones off. Mr. Snow stops the show. He hands baby Eve back to Annie and tells her that she can raise the baby herself. Clearly Annie will be a good mother, and she’s fiercely protective and powerful enough to keep the kid out of harm’s reach. Annie is stunned. She asks what sort of world Mr. Snow is planning on creating with the War Child safe and sound, and Mr. Snow tells her… he will be the child pulling legs off of a spider. Annie understands. It took her this long to come to terms with the reality of the situation, but she knows what she has to do. She gives Alex a key command: Hal isn’t a living thing.

Alex rentaghosts Hal out of the building, Annie takes the detonator in hand, tells Eve she loves her, and blows them all to hell.

Well, not exactly. She finds that after she has killed them all, her door appears. On the other side of it is infant ghost Eve. Older ghost Eve is there as well to congratulate her for settling her unfinished business. You know, she only had to save the world. Annie asks if this is really it, but Eve points out that rules have never stopped Annie; she shows her a door with bright white light on the other side of it. Older Eve begins to fade—after all, this version of her never existed now. She thanks her mother, and vanishes. Annie goes to the door and happily steps through with her ghost baby cradled in her arms.

The man who cleared up Alex’s body—named Mr. Rook (Steven Robertson, who played fake “Sam Tyler” in Ashes to Ashes)—is talking to one of the young people who filmed Tom’s werewolf transformation on her phone at Cutler’s bash. It turns out that he is part of a very old secret organization that prevents people from knowing about the supernatural. He’s the reason that the werewolf videos never got out. His society is like Men in Black for vampires, werwolves and ghosts, I guess. Mr. Rook goes to an underground bunker to drop off the evidence in a giant catalogued warehouse. So the guys in this organization seem crazy to boot. Best guess, they’re next season’s big problem.

Back home, Hal has been tied to a chair by Tom while he slings profanity at the werwolf and Alex. He instantly apologizes, acknowledging how his slides backward have always brought forth a worse man than he was the time before. Alex thinks he can break the cycle if he only keeps at it. Hal asks Tom why he’s willing to put up with him, and Tom tells him the level truth: because Hal is his best mate. And the shiny new trio are left to begin a life together….

To start with a question, who thinks they understand exactly where Annie went after she found her door? Is the idea that she has exited to heaven and is going to meet George and Nina there? It seems the most likely explanation, but the writing in that scene—and what we are shown—is incredibly vague, so it could be any number of places. I’m guessing it was purposefully handled that way.

It’s a shame that Cutler is gone already, though it’s easy to understand why he had to go. A little too intense for his own good. Too bad also that we won’t be getting more Mark Gatiss, though you knew it couldn’t last. Still, his depiction of the vampire grandaddy was wonderfully layered; you could find yourself believing that all the most famous vampire stories in our history had been based on him. As though Bela Legosi’s Dracula patterned his mesmerizing cadence on Mr. Snow. My only question is how on earth a vampire who has been around for so long could possibly be a straight-up white guy. It’s a little unlikely, folks. The new nasties are going to be different from what we’re used to in the Being Human universe. They’re clearly awful, but they also look like they have the potential to be a lot of fun.

Like I suspected, this season became one elaborate curtain call for Annie. It was a beautiful way to send off the old crew in their entirety, and to welcome a new set. The fact that accepting her role as a mother became integral to the end of Annie’s journey was beautifully handled as well. It’s doubtful that many shows in the history of television could have gotten away with this much of a change up, but I was instantly attached to Tom and Hal, and Alex is lovable as all heck. Toby Whithouse has actually pulled off a full cast replacement without hurting his story.

Hal really deserves the closest examination for being perhaps the most compelling depiction of a vampire that I have ever seen on screen. This is in part due to Damien Molony’s spectacular acting chops, but also due to some divine writing on the part of Toby Whithouse and crew. Rarely do we see a vampire who truly suffers from the duality that his nature forces on him, and Hal’s struggle to not fall back into a worse pattern than before makes his internal dilemma seem more real and less vampire-sexy-angst.

Of course, we still have to wait another year before we get our new gang properly in action. But for the moment, let’s focus on the fact that we just had one dynamo season and eagerly await news of the next one. For the record, Season Five has indeed been confirmed as a go for next year.

Emmet Asher-Perrin cannot believe how much she loves this show again. You can bug her on Twitter and read more of her work here and elsewhere.


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