Being Human series 2 episode 8 review: series finale
The second series of Being Human draws to a close - but did it go off with a whimper or a bang?
As series closer's go, this was a suitably creepy, edgy and nervy end for a run that has already provided its fair share of high points. It also left no-one in any doubt as to the existence of a third series, with a brief announcement at the end of the episode about information available on the Being Human website – more on that later.
Let's deal with how series two was wrapped up first, though, and it was a dark, brooding affair for all concerned. Hats off to the writers for taking the show in this direction, the religious element of the villainous Kemp coming to the fore in quite a disgusting manner while all the time ensuring that the show's scariest character of them all, Mitchell, was at his menacing best.
Keeping all the characters within the compound was a masterstroke, upping the claustrophobia for the viewer while the flickering lights and dark corridors helped to add to the palpable tension. This had quality direction, quality production values and a script to die for.
Literally in the case of Kemp's minions who were being offed one by one by Mitchell, now having firmly embraced the bad-ass vampire within. Head down, eyes up for the bulk of the episode, plus a liberal dabbing of blood around his chops, this is an image that will remain with me from this season as for the first time we've really been privy to his berserker mode. Who knows whether we'll get to see it again.
While he was offing bible bashers, George and Annie were contemplating taking Kemp up on his offer to rid them of their demons – George openly, Annie secretly. George was only really doing this for Nina, however, and to make himself feel less guilty about turning her into a very different breed of canine.
As for Annie, she'd finally had enough of the endless existence facing her, plus the thought of one of the only two people left who could see her not being able to any more when he turned human – George, of course – proving too much to bear.
Excellent acting all round in this episode but I must doff my cap to Lenora Critchlow who played the anguished soul superbly. I've bemoaned the treatment of her character for the last couple of episodes and wondered what else the writers had to do with her and last night I was proved right, to some extent, when they decided to get rid of her in genuinely heartbreaking fashion.
The look in Annie's eyes as a door not meant for her sucked her through was deeply upsetting, and while I may not have responded to her character much in this series, Critchlow's acting has never come into question.
Worse still was the disturbing image of the afterlife that Annie told of from beyond the television, having saved Mitchell, George and Nina from a fate worse than Kemp. Queuing up for a number and waiting to be ushered into a room, then to be forgotten by all the other souls, this wasn't the happy ending anyone would have wanted for Annie and made it all the worse for the viewer. And what was with Mitchell's link with Annie, him feeling her pain as she got sucked through the door? If anyone knows, please enlighten me.
Before getting to that point, George and Nina had to realise that all was not what it seemed, Nina proving particularly annoying at times in this respect, and were it not for a well-placed piece of writing from fellow werewolf Tully (a nod to series one, there) they would have been none the wiser. Was this a bit tenuous? Of course. Did it really matter? Not really, or at least not in the sense that several plot points throughout this series have been built on coincidence and questionable decisions.
It's fair to say that this slapdash treatment of the show had bothered me at times; a feeling that the writers have been too keen to get to point Z from point A and that they have bypassed several letters of the alphabet along the way in the process. The re-emergence of Kemp at the threesome's newly adopted Wales home a case in point.
Having escaped Bristol – we were told this was three weeks later – and relocated to a rather lovely stone cottage, it felt to me like the writers felt the show needed one more shock to wraps things up. 'Let's have Kemp kill Jaggat,' says one. 'Then let's have Kemp try to kill the others,' says another. 'But how to do so?'. Well, how about having Nina check up on Lucy so that she follows her paper trail, while Kemp can then track down Lucy?
This all felt forced and contrived to me – you may not have felt the same – although it was a cracking showdown nonetheless. Annie's reappearance and subsequent television confession were strokes of genius.
And then our minds were forced to wander to the impending third series, not only by Mitchell's assertion that they would bring Annie back – how, I wonder – but also by the glorious return of Daisy, Cornish vampire and, of course, the resurrection of Herrick. Hoozah and hoorah, Herrick will return for series three. Made sense I suppose, our three heroes having little to fight against now that Kemp's plans have come to a sticky end. It will also hark back to the show's first series, pitting the vampire uprising against Mitchell and his friends. Can't wait.
As for that series three preview, I couldn't find it at the time of writing this review – i.e., this morning – so if anyone who has seen it can post a comment on how things are looking, that would be grand.
All in all, this has been a strong series that has taken several bold steps towards becoming one of my favourite BBC shows in recent years. Its mixture of geek with kitchen-sink drama has worked a treat and the high quality of the acting, largely strong storylines and fabulous production values have left me very satisfied indeed over the course of the past eight weeks. The odd misstep aside, this was a better series than the first and I just hope that a third series isn't pushing things a little far. I have faith, though.
Check out our review of episode 7 here.