This review contains spoilers.
3.7 Though The Heavens Fall
Following last week’s rather disappointing detour, we returned to the main thrust of the series tonight, namely the threat of discovery.
One of the show’s most interesting themes has always been how our three (and Nina makes it four) characters would react if the wider world ever found out of their existence. George, well he’d most likely squeal. A lot. Annie would probably embrace the world and all of its foibles, just for a chance to interact with others and feel normal again. Mitchell, however…
Mitchell has the most to lose in all of this. He understands better than anyone about the chaos that could potentially ensue were the cat to be let out of the bag. Desperate to keep the vampire clans at bay, he has also been hiding rather a large and dirty little secret from Annie. That of butchering quite a few innocents on a train one fateful day.
Both issues have been threatening to rear their heads from the start of this third series, and with just one episode to go, it wasn’t surprising to see so many revelations laid bare tonight.
Can I just say for the record, that while anyone could have predicted things would develop this way, everyone involved in the show deserves one heck of a pat on the back for executing it in such a pitch-perfect manner. Tonight’s episode was one of the finest the show has ever produced, if not the best.
From the opening pre-title sequence starring Herrick and a much younger McNair, to the closing snap-click of an anguished Mitchell, it was an episode that grabbed you by the neck and refused to let go. Gripping, exciting, shocking and gory, this is exactly why I love Being Human.
By allowing the characters to interact with each other, by allowing the actors to take their lines and soar with them, the episode easily reached the heights fans know it’s capable of. If I’ve been critical of a few episodes of this current run, it’s that I still believe the show would benefit from cutting out a few extraneous plotlines and stick to a six-part series. The reason I still believe this is a fair argument, is that at its core remains a well-woven, wide-reaching tale of outsiders just trying their best to get on in life, to deal with the hand they’ve been given.
Mitchell’s tale has always been at the show’s heart. The ever-present threat of vampires walking among us is thrilling in itself and his determination to right his past wrongs and kick the habit is rarely less than fascinating. Tonight, however, it reached new levels for me. This is chiefly down to his relationship with good old Uncle Billy. So desperate is Mitchell to discover how Herrick came back from the brink, he’s prepared to risk the lives of his friends and the world around him by restoring his memory and bringing the old boy back. Naturally, the best way to do this is to make him taste blood once more, and what an opportunity the snooping DC Nancy Reid represented. Mitchell’s about turn on putting her in Herrick’s grasp was gripping stuff, his sudden realisation that what he was doing was tens bags of wrong all too clear.
Obviously, he’d stirred something in Herrick by doing so and DC Reid’s was clearly on borrowed time. Mind you, at one point it looked for all the world as though her end was coming at the hands of another vampire working the thin blue line, only for good old Annie to save the day (briefly) with a stake in her hand and a song in her heart. Again, gripping stuff.
Less effective, for me at least, was Annie’s denial that Mitchell could be the killer in the first place. She does know his past, after all, and the evidence was rather stacking up against him. Love lies deep and all that, but it still smacked to me of yet more poor writing on her behalf. She’s off to purgatory next week. Part of me can’t help thinking that I hope she stays there.
A potentially more interesting revelation came from camp Nina, as George discovered that she was the one who called the cops in the first place. A tester, this, as George decided to back his best friend, albeit in a rather wet manner. ‘You stay there’, he cried as he ran off to the police station to see Mitchell. Ah George, you just can’t pull off the hard man routine, I’m afraid.
So, who is he going to back: Mitchell or Nina?
A tough one, made all the worse by the episode’s genius final minutes. Herrick’s attack on Nina was a masterstroke, showcasing the true evil he represents as well as the wily, conniving nature that so defines Herrick. Decked out like the boys in blue, it was just like he’d never been away and as entrances go, this one was pure class. Beginning with the Propellerheads/Shirley Bassey’s History Repeating and ending with a knife to Nina’s stomach, with an audacious pan of a lot of dead policeman in between, Herrick clearly had a lot of catching up to do. What a way to do it.
And what about McNair? The episode was so packed with incident that I haven’t even touched on his demise at the hands of Uncle Billy, or the impact that’s going to have on Mitchell’s wolf-shaped bullet ideas and McNair’s charge, Tom. Once again, hats off to Robson Green for adding yet more theatrical weight to an already rock solid cast.
So to next week, where all loose ends must be tied up, for this series at least. Will Mitchell survive Lia’s prophecy after all? Will George choose to back love or friendship? Will Nina survive, full stop? Will Annie be given anything more interesting to do than blindly protect her beloved Mitchell?
All, I’m sure, will be revealed next week. Can’t wait.
Read our review of episode 6, Daddy Ghoul, here.
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