This review contains spoilers.
3.4 The Pack
The addition of Robson Green to the Being Human cast was a no-brainer, really. Mean, moody and distant, the role of McNair seems written for him in many ways, and while he rarely steps out of that comfort zone, it served tonight’s plot well. Playing the outsider is something our flatmates know only too well, and the the character of McNair fits into things perfectly.
Not that he wants to. The very idea of werewolves hanging out with vampires clearly sickens him, and it threatened to spill over into what would have proven to be a quick and speedy end for Mitchell, with McNair having been presumed as the wolf-shaped bullet Lia prophesied.
While that never materialised, the threat still loomed large over Mitchell as the episode came to a close, as a few chilling words from McNair would prove the greasy sharp-toothed fella’s worst nightmare. It seems that escaping his own death isn’t going to be as easy as making peace with one of the toughest dogs on the block.
And McNair really is one mean old canine. Mean enough to threaten a couple of his own kind with a rusty axe. Mean enough to stand up to one of the world’s most fabled vampires. Mean enough to lie to Tom about his upbringing.
Yes, we found out that McNair killed young Tom’s parents, with the guilt leading him to taking over the doting parent role. A brave thing to come out of such a tragedy, and while his lies about ‘the pack’ of the title were misguided, at least they came from a good place.
Michael Socha, playing Tom, was handed plenty of dramatic scenes this week and he handled them really well, comfortably holding his own against the seasoned pros. His relationship with McNair Senior was nicely handled and my only disappointment is that it seems that things have been wrapped up already. I hope we’ll have an opportunity to see them again, but I fear that’s that for this particular pack.
Mitchell won’t mind seeing the back of them, of course, although he has bigger things weighing on his mind, in fairness. Things like how to have a relationship with Annie when the lust turns him into his own darkest fears.
The sight of Mitchell wanting to tear apart the unwitting victim, plucked from a club by Annie in a particularly weird solution to their many and varied sexual issues, was gripping to witness. It served as a timely reminder of how frail Mitchell is underneath all the bravado. Despite pitching himself as the most confident of the housemates, he’s the one with the most issues burning away under the surface, the one with more secrets to hide.
Most pressing of those secrets was the wolf-shaped bullet, naturally, but the ever-present threat of sliding back into the beast that caused the Box Tunnel 20 massacre is as equally disturbing to Mitchell as anything else.
Last week, he desperately wanted to get it out into the open, only for Annie to tell him that she didn’t care about his past. Something tells me that that particular dirty little morsel will be let loose in a future episode, and I can’t help thinking that Annie’s not going to react too well when it does.
Tonight’s episode also saw things turn full circle for vampires Richard and Emma, Richard being offed in the most ignoble of manners at the hands of the really rather scary wolfy, McNair.
George and Nina aren’t exactly good little dogs but, for me, this was the scariest transformation yet. It was good to see the cage fighting scenario brought back into play, too, leading to what has to be one of Being Human’s most frightening sequences. The fear was etched all over Mitchell and Annie’s faces, and who can blame them. Trapped in a cage with four werewolves baying for their blood behind bars? Not a place I’d like to find myself on a Saturday night.
Richard’s end was as swift as Herrick’s back in series one, and he is to make his first appearance in series three next week, as something of a fruitcake. We all knew it was coming and let’s wait to see what the series is planning with him over the coming weeks, but I hope that it doesn’t detract from what’s gone before.
With two plotlines seemingly dead in the water (McNair has jumped ship, and Richard is six feet under), I hope that Herrick doesn’t end up hanging heavily over the rest of the series.
Finally, I wanted to touch upon the romances I bemoaned last week. I stand by my comments made in my last review, but I will hold my hands up and say that I felt both relationships really worked this time round. While I remain unconvinced that the show needed a baby subplot, it did offer a more interesting direction for George and Nina to go than last week’s rushed revelations and boyish whimpering.
Better still was the handling of Mitchell and Annie’s blossoming coupling. Finally, Lenora Critchlow was given something to do of real substance, and also given a chance to expand on her own supernatural universe by getting around the thorny issue of sex with a ghost, while also bringing Mitchell’s own problems into the frame.
The attempts at dirty talk were very funny (the series as a whole has soared on a comedic level), and there is a clear warmth of feeling and an understanding between the two actors (as you’d expect three series’ in) that showed through in this episode more than any other I can remember.
I truly believe in their relationship now, a relationship beset with problems from the outset and one that threatens to be ripped apart at any opportunity by Mitchell’s considerable set of issues.
Tonight’s episode showcased much of what makes Being Human one of the UK’s very finest exports. Humour, drama, suspense, horror, it was all there. Here’s hoping that the reintroduction of Herrick doesn’t prove a disappointing return.
Read our review of episode 3, Type 4, here.
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