How do you solve a problem like Wolfie? Help him to forget all his recent troubles and move on by doping him up with tranquillisers and shoving him in a sex cage in a soundproofed room. Simple, right?
As a temporary solution, George’s list – which also included eating a better diet and polishing his shoes – was, on paper, genius. Turns out that the beast cannot be so easily contained, however, and by the episode’s end he’d almost beaten the living daylights out of a young boy on a bus – mobile ringtones are very annoying, after all – and actually repeatedly punched oh-so-annoying head teacher (played by Vincent Franklin, most recently seen in The Thick Of It) in a particularly menacing manner. Word of caution: don’t mess with George, folks. Beneath that slightly dweeby exterior lies something rather darker.
George’s attempts to re-assimilate back into society, making use of his high IQ, provided this latest outing with an awful lot of humour. From teaching foreign students how to use “fuck” in common phrases (as in S.T.F.U. – Shut The Fuck Up), to choosing a cage to house himself in (receiving some handcuffs as part of the deal was a lovely touch), to his frequent bouts of Tourettes and shouty mood swings, Russell Tovey was given further opportunities to demonstrate his comic oeuvre. And yet, the episode’s final scene, panning out on a weeping, and naked, George in his sex cage was deeply affecting. Tovey, you deserve plaudits a-plenty, sir.
Handing George all the funny lines also meant that normal order could be resumed when it came to Annie’s story too. Lenora Critchlow handles drama far better than the ditzy comedy she was offered earlier in this series and, as I’ve stated before in these reviews, I’ve been waiting for her to be given a meatier stab at things. Well, that was exactly what we got here as the devils were at the door, trying to take her back to where she belongs once more.
Fortunately, this time, friendly ghost Sykes was on hand to help out, not just to keep her from her own door but also to help her read auras, turn off the ghostly frequencies on the house radio and generally up her ghostly powers. I’m hoping that this is the beginning of a wider arc for Annie with this self-awakening perhaps leading to greater things. If she is left to slip back into whimsical Annie mode next week, I won’t be happy.
And so to the episode’s two main events – the vampire equivalent of AA and the continuing saga of Jaggat and Co.. In a clever turn of events, Mitchell decided to launch a Blood Addicts society to keep the clan dry. This enabled the mighty Ivan to return – brilliant, brilliant acting for a tip-top character, too – pretending as he was to be as dry as the rest to pull them in. Only he wasn’t dry and the sight of Mitchell’s gothic ‘present’ for him was grisly, gritty and just a wee bit disturbing. Still, at least she gets her bus fare home (great line that, by the way).
Mitchell also made a slick move to get back into Doctor Lucy’s pants, although we now know that Lucy, aka Prof. Jaggat, has ulterior motives for wanting to get a little closer to our Irish charmer.
The flashback at the start of the episode suggested a slight skew in the balance of power between Jaggat and chief hoodlum Kemp. Jaggat’s work on genes had led her to write research on particularly unexplainable happenings within certain people, while Kemp is on a clear religious bent to be rid of our plucky gang and their like. Lucy Jaggat still has a conscience, too, as her guilt over the treatment of Nina suggested. Kemp? Not so much. Collateral damage is more than acceptable in his wider quest.
And so, the fourth episode flew by at a heck of a pace, packed in a hell of a lot of plot once again and saw Annie given the dramatic plotting she deserved.
Next week’s trail suggests that George’s new relationship (he moved on very quickly) could blossom further and that Aidan Turner isn’t about to leave all the nakedness to Tovey. Oh, and George is told he has dog breath. Quite.
Check out our review of episode 3 here.