This review contains spoilers.
5.2 Sticks and Rope
There’s a sense that, after last week’s difficult opener, Being Human’s second outing of the year could just sit back a relax a bit. For the current incarnation of the show, that means lots of workplace comedy from Hal and Tom, some scary ghost stuff back at the house, and more devilish antics from Captain Hatch.
We also get a flashback and some soul-searching, but this time it’s thankfully from someone other than our resident vampire. Being the most underwritten character due to her newbie status, it’s lovely to get some insight into who Alex was before she went on that ill-fated date with Hal and, while the answers are quite straightforward, it’s still sad to see her draw a line underneath her old life this early in the game. She’s mentioned her brothers before, but here we learn that she’s been taking care of them on her own for years. This means that the ghost of a young Victorian boy in Honolulu Heights strikes a particular chord with her.
Why we’ve never seen Oliver in the house before is explained during the final act, but I have to admit that his declaration that he’s been there that whole time at first confused me. Honolulu Heights has been haunted by more people than Annie and Alex? Well, no, as Oliver’s presence has been orchestrated by the titular ‘men with sticks and rope’ in order to take Alex out of the equation. Captain Hatch is using the tension between Hal and Tom to become stronger and rise from his prison, but having the third part of the trinity around could spell disaster for his plans.
His bad-guy meddling with the two boys while they compete for an ‘employee of the month’ title at the hotel should create the most tedious part of the episode but, as usual, Michael Socha and Damien Molony’s glorious chemistry wins out and makes their cat-fights and petty tiffs the best part of the hour. While George and Mitchell’s relationship might have been more epic, this union of werewolf and vampire is certainly more entertaining, and their bickering adds a levity that is becoming the reason a lot of viewers are still coming back each week. Tom, especially, has his own valid reasons for wanting to better himself and do well at the job, and Hatch knows just which buttons to press in each of them.
Meanwhile, Rook is continuing down his desperate path by forcing Crumb into a room with his sister and niece, only to throw their massacre in the faces of the government in an effort to get his department reinstated. While I’m sure we’re meant to feel sorry for him just a little bit, this is a pretty awful thing to see him do, and I’m sort of hoping that his previewed threat to kill himself is carried out. Crumb, however, breaks free from the organisation and ends up at a bit of a loss. It’s clear he’s trying to hold onto some semblance of humanity, but Hal’s disinterest is bound to come back and bite our heroes in the behind.
But this is really Alex’s story and, despite the annoying child element of the episode, her motherly instincts add a little softness to the character without making her bland and over-emotional as it could have done. The point of the episode, to illustrate the weakening of the walls between worlds, ties a creepy ghost story into the bigger arc, and I guess every episode from now until the finale will end with a “he will rise” speech from the weekly villain. I wish we could have seen more of the men with sticks and ropes, and we still might, but I’m sure we can look forward to someone else trying their luck next week.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, The Trinity, here.
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