Being Human episode 5 & 6: finale review

BBC's repeat performance of supernatural flat sharing ends with a ripping finale and a tempting lead in to a second series...

So, in the end it was all about George’s bountiful love. George’s love for Mitchell. George’s love for Nina. George’s love for marrowbone. Yup, this sly old dog had so much love to give that in the end he simply couldn’t contain himself. And he ripped Herrick’s head off. Lovely.

I missed last week’s episode so had to catch up on the Beeb’s iPlayer service. Watching a couple of episodes of the show on the trot gave me flavour for what viewing the series on DVD might be like and it did enhance the experience further. Both episodes segued wonderfully into each other, the fifth of the series the set-up to the barnstorming finale.

Barnstorming for several reasons, not least the werewolf/vampire face-off between Herrick and George, a truly fantastic scene that was expertly executed with just the right amount of emotion to match the blood-letting on display. Or rather not, as the Beeb fell short of really upping the ick factor, instead providing us with the full extent of George’s transformation once more.

Unfortunately, the effects department let itself down again here giving a final wolfy incarnation that was more cartoon than CGI. It didn’t detract from the high action-drama on display, though, thankfully, largely once more down to the fine acting talents of Jason Watkins (Herrick) who has provided most of the series’ acting plaudits for me. Russell Tovey also came into his own in the final episode, although the whine and wimper did return in the penultimate one. Shame.

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As for Lenora Crichlow and Aidan Turner, well they have proved solid throughout the show, Turner in particular demonstrating a powerful screen presence that makes me want to see him in much more drama on the BBC.

So which loose ends were tied up? Well, Annie is now stuck with her housemates with the other lost souls (occasionally popping up in her head to disturb a good night’s kip), George finally got to kick some serious arse and professed his love for Nina, while Mitchell turned bad for an episode before getting by with a little help from his friends. None more so than ex-girlfriend Josie who gave up her life for him to receive some much-needed blood having been stabbed in the heart at the slightly rubbish cliffhanger at the end of episode five.

Herrick’s hissing and stake stabbing was all a little panto, one of the few duff points of this double-header. Mitchell also turned saviour, of sorts, to the acting travesty that was Lauren, driving a stake through her heart as a thank you for saving them all from the vampires’ funeral home lair. I think we all gave a loud ‘hoorah’ when that happened.

The other plot highlight of episode five was Annie’s haunting of Owen. Starting off all a bit B-horror movie and then resulting in a rather excellent scary Mary moment (that whisper was a master stroke) that had Owen running for the nearest police cell.

Annie’s haunting abilities took another turn for the better/worse (depending on whether your the victim or not, I guess) in the final episode when she suddenly discovered how to move everything and anything through the air, including vampires. The decent effects budget got spent here apparently, which was a shame, as surely George’s four-legged freak deserved the most attention.

Speaking of George, it was nice to see how Nina’s calming influence turned him from a rabid dog into a little bag of calm. It will be interesting to see how this plotline is developed for series two, which is obviously coming given the series cliffhanger. Just who is Professor Jadat, how does he know about the three and what does he want with them? I guess all will be revealed when the second series airs.

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Being Human has been a generally excellent series, albeit with the odd dip here and there. With a little more effects budget and a few less obvious plot devices, this could be one of the Beeb’s very best. For now, though, I say goodbye to Mitchell’s brooding glare, adiós to Annie’s grey sweater and sayonara to George’s naked bottom. 

Check out our review of  episode 4 here.