This review contains spoilers.
3.6 Daddy Ghoul
After last week’s story was speeding toward a series climax, this episode felt like it pulled off the motorway at the next services for a light snack only moments before reaching its destination. It wasn’t an entirely wasted trip, but it did feel like the bulk of it, started by George reading his father’s obituary, was an excursion that should have come earlier in the journey, either in this series, or even in a prior series.
A brief glimpse of 1933 Paris reminded us of Herrick and Mitchell’s long-term pairing and reinforced the notion of being brought back from true death, adding it’s a legacy passed down to a protégé, a secret for an heir that was never shared with Mitchell in all the years he and his creator killed together.
Then the sunshine drenched scene of Nina and George’s cosy bedroom conversation made it apparent that, besides a throwaway line by Nina, the couple had all but forgotten the horrific and relentlessly tense events of the prior episode and the tone was set to be much more light-hearted in this hour.
The talks between George and his father were amusing, with extra patented George squeaks and squeals, but there was none of the pathos you’d expect over the death of a parent, or even the three-year estrangement from his family since he was bitten, and George, his parents’ and Nina’s interactions were all played for laughs.
That’s fine, but all of the actors are more than capable of something beyond one-note scenes and Being Human is as good as it is because it blends humour and drama almost effortlessly in the same episode. But there was little of the latter here.
Some intentional crossed wires and confusion was cleared up when, in a rather anticlimactic scene, we learn that George’s father wasn’t really dead, and their earlier meeting, when George assumes that his dad is a ghost, lead his father to assume that George has been round the twist and his questions about the details of the door to eternal afterlife make more sense.
George and Nina both misinterpret George’s father’s comments to mean he knows they’re werewolves, but we don’t learn, until the reunion of his mum and dad, that that, too, was wrong. (These scenes are even better on a rewatch, as you can appreciate dialogue like George’s ‘howling at the moon’ line for how his father took it at the time.)
But, other than getting his mum and dad back together and having them question his sanity, not much was resolved for George and Nina. Mum and Dad Sands Sr don’t even know about the baby yet.
Similarly, it was disappointing that Annie’s too brief moment of strength in the last episode wasn’t revisited and she returned to the clumsy, comedic role she’s been relegated to too often. Her magically morphing grey marl top has more variation than her character is treated to.
Given her constant childlike actions, it’s too farfetched to then see her in a mature relationship with the world travelled Mitchell, and that partnering seems more and more unlikely with every attempt to make Annie the jester or juvenile of the group.
I was a bit bemused at why she’d visit the police station, when, from all appearances, DC Nancy had left the house with no indication that Mitchell was under further investigation. Those scenes of Annie’s meddling were blatantly, and for this fan, awkwardly forced to serve as our eyes and ears, and for her to see the crime scene incident board and recognise the photo of Lia.
But both George and Nina’s and Annie’s trips outside the Honolulu Heights B&B did serve two more meaty purposes. They made the house empty for Herrick and they made those few precious scenes of his much more tension-filled and threatening, especially in comparison to the light aspects of the rest of the story.
I have to say, too, that Herrick’s sucking on a discarded blood-soaked tissue, used to clean Nancy’s injuries, was more disturbing and creepy than any vampire feasting scenes I’ve ever seen so far.
From the short clips of the next episode, it looks like Nancy may be in more danger from Mitchell than a danger to him. And we still don’t know what form the wolf-shaped bullet Mitchell fears will take. Is it the petite form of Nina, whose betrayal tipped off the police, a returning McNair and son, or some as yet unseen hirsute pursuer?
Unless that reveal is being left as the series’ cliffhanger, we should be back in the fast lane next week, where we may find the answer to that and newer questions. Will Mitchell create a protector, a dark angel of his own? And who might that be?
Read our review of episode 5, The Longest Day, here.
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