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Monday, 7 March 2011

Being Human Series 3 Episode 7 - Though the Heavens Fall - Review

What’s the Story?

In the penultimate episode of Series 3, the police are closing in on Mitchell and Annie’s detective work leads her to a devastating discovery.  McNair and Tom return on the full moon but McNair and Herrick have met before... Meanwhile Herrick is becoming overwhelmed by his ‘hunger’ and is struggling to resist the lure of Detective Nancy’s blood.

What’s the Verdict?

Had I had to post this review at 10.01pm last night, I think it would mostly have consisted of ‘ARGH! NOO! NINA! MITCHELL! HERRICK! OHMIGOD!’.  Thankfully, I have had the chance to sleep on it and re-watch the episode, so hopefully my thoughts now will be a little more coherent!  It is still difficult to know where to start however, with this episode cramming so much action and drama into the hour that I felt genuinely awestruck at the end. ‘Let justice be done, though the heavens fall’; when it is Herrick saying these words, you know something is not quite right with the world and Being Human is about to deliver another rollercoaster of an episode.

Beginning again with a prequel, the opening teased us with another appearance of the old Herrick and reminded us of the glee he takes in being the orchestrator of someone’s suffering.  The ‘someone’ in question this time, was none other than a freshly scratched McNair and in this moment the seeds were sown for a final showdown between the two.  The reappearance of McNair and Tom at Honolulu Heights reignited Mitchell’s fear, as he desperately attacked Herrick again for his resurrection secret, in vain once more.

When Detective Nancy made her suspicions about Mitchell known, he saw an opportunity to rid himself of her threat and help Herrick return to his old self and there was a definite, dangerous glint in his eye as the thought crossed his mind.  Had Mitchell gone through with essentially feeding Nancy to Herrick, I think the character would have become completely irredeemable.  Although he has done terrible things in the past, we have seen his anguish, remorse and regret.  The cold-blooded sacrifice of Nancy would have been a step too far and I was so relieved that he stopped Herrick in time, the Mitchell we love is still there. 

Indeed, the Mitchell Annie loves is still there too.  Upon finally realising Mitchell was the perpetrator of the Box Tunnel massacre all along, the solitary tear rolling down Annie’s face was heartbreaking as the scales fell from her eyes.  She is devastated, disgusted even, yet still she vows to stand by her man, providing Mitchell turns himself in.  This does seem a bit naive on Annie's part but she has been thinking so much about Lia, the other victims and families, that she is not considering the bigger picture and the ramifications Mitchell's arrest will have upon them and on society.  Ultimately he is not given the option to go to the police himself and is dragged to a particularly seedy, ramshackle looking police station (someone please tell me that isn’t really the police station of Barry?), knowing that when his photograph is taken vampires the world over will be ‘outed’. And that the world isn’t ready for it.   

Lenora Crichlow and Aidan Turner were both fantastic, as the devastating secrets came spilling out and they both faced the consequences.  Indeed, everyone was feeling the consequences of their past actions in this episode.  Nina’s regret over reporting Mitchell was obvious, as she realised too late that perhaps she needs Mitchell to protect herself and her new family. McNair confidently descended upon a still terrified Herrick, finally believing he would have his revenge and never entertaining the notion that he would fail.  Even George was reminded of his brief dalliance with Daisy. 

Although lighter on laughs this week, there were so many wonderful touches entirely unique to this show and the plot threads woven into each episode finally came to fruition, building to another compelling conclusion.  If you were to put together the final ten minutes of each episode of Being Human Series 3 and watch them all together, I think they would need to be preceded with a health warning, so dramatic and heartstopping has each conclusion been. 

For those final minutes were truly incredible, from the moment Mitchell was dragged from the house and Nancy ascended the stairs I was on the edge of my seat and the reappearance of the old Herrick as he attacked Nina was genuinely jaw dropping stuff.  The writers have really toyed with our feelings and morals in this series, I have hoped for the return of the evil Herrick but certainly not at the expense of Nina.  Yet despite hating what he has just done, we are left in a position where he may be Mitchell’s best hope of escaping.

So much happened in this episode that I have not yet even touched upon the death of Daisy, how sad I am to see McNair depart, how adorable Tom is and the revelation that Nancy’s boss Cooper was a vampire all along and that Annie stepped up to save her (though it explains why he was suspiciously apathetic regarding Nancy’s investigation).

It has to be emphasised again however just how well written, directed and acted this episode was, with some inspired music choices really complementing the action.  I do have one minor quibble though, that Annie appearing and disappearing at convenient moments is in danger of becoming a bit too contrived.  Last episode she decided to disappear just as Mitchell confronted Nancy in the hallway, this episode, despite saying she would go with Mitchell, she is nowhere to be seen at the police station, then not at the house when Herrick slaughtered the police officers and stabbed Nina.  Just where on earth did she get to?  As I say, it is a minor quibble, that does not affect my enjoyment of the show, but I do think the writers are more than capable of coming up with an explanation to this, or utilising this power of Annie’s in a slightly more skilful way. 

In summary though, this was a fantastic episode, which wove the threads of the series together to set a genuinely shocking chain of events in motion.  We knew that eventually Annie would have to learn the truth about Mitchell, and in some ways have been waiting for the moment to come, so credit to the writers for still managing to do this in a creative and compelling manner.  By the end of the episode, everything had changed and we look set for a truly memorable finale.  Let’s just hope my heart can take it!

Best Scene

The soundtrack in Being Human has always been used to a fabulous effect and the montage to Duran Duran’s ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ was a particular personal highlight.  The attention to detail in this show never ceases to amaze me and the little touches in this sequence evidenced what makes this show so entertaining.  Tom producing a massive chicken on a string and Nina’s playful nod to George as he produced his comparatively inadequate chicken was hilarious but then the cut to Herrick silently pocketing the knife Mitchell used last week (presumably only seen when Nina changed his bedding) demonstrated how well the tone has been balanced this series between comedy and drama. 

As much as I loved this montage however, the standout scene yet again revolves around Herrick, as he dons his police uniform once more.  It is immediately apparent he is back to his old self as he toys both with Nina and us as the audience, mulling over his ‘dilemma’ in such a calm, matter of fact manner that makes him all the more terrifying as a villain.  Jason Watkins and Sinead Keenan were both excellent, with the fear in Keenan’s eyes obvious as Herrick descended. I could hardly bear to look and yet at the same time could not look away, I felt so relieved when he walked out and horrified seeing him virtually glide back in.  I expected Nina to suffer repercussions of her naive yet admirable defence of Herrick, but certainly was not expecting him to stab her in the back quite so literally!  I don’t think I have made any secret of my love for Nina this series and really hope she pulls through this.  As twists go however, this was one hell of a shocker!

Best Lines

‘I mean you’re what 19, 20? You shouldn’t be killing vampires from a shitty camper van, you should have chlamydia. And a 24 hour hangover’ – There’s just something odd about George of all people giving this advice to Tom.  I mean, it’s George!

Tom: You people really do swear a lot don’t you? Just an observation.  McNair says it suggests a limited vocabulary.
George: Oh right does he, well actually I can speak six different languages, so McNair can just.....piss off.

Nancy: ‘Why has John and now you given me the name of someone who died before the cocking coronation?’

Cooper: You’re not really getting this aren’t you? We can’t be arrested.
Nancy: What are you? The bastard masons?

Herrick: I’ll assume that you are the victim of another barbarity I am supposed to have committed
McNair: Another barbarity? Fucking Southerners.  -  Sorry Southerners, but being as Northern as Robson Green I did laugh at this one!

Dr Hayley Hamilton : You’ve got twigs and stuff in your hair
George: Oh god, we went camping last night
Nina: Yeah that’s the other thing, we always get really worried after we’ve been camping.  You know the cold and stuff.
Dr Hamilton: So don’t go camping.
Nina: George....makes me....

Mitchell: ‘Please let me go. It can’t happen like this, not here. Not in Wales!’ – Er ...what?

Police Officer : Right then Gloria O’ Swanson, Time for your close up. – Sorry but I happen to love Sunset Boulevard and therefore must document all references!


Will Nina survive? And the baby? I suspect only one of them will make it. What will happen when the police see Mitchell has no reflection? Was there any actual significance to the ‘Not in Wales!’ line? Do vampires have any plans in place if one of their own is arrested, will they descend on Barry to rescue him? What about the Old Ones and the ‘retribution from overseas’? After Episode 1 I asked ‘Is Lia a Liar?’ We still don’t know, but we now have fewer candidates for the ‘wolf-shaped bullet’. What will Tom do when he finds out about McNair? And George about Nina? What did McNair write down before his transformation and one-way trip to the attic? Nancy looked very much alive to me, did she get that ‘evolutionary promotion’ after all? Can we all cope with another episode as intense as this one?!

EDIT - One more question following the death of McNair, do werewolves get a door when they die? I don't think we've seen a werewolf go through a door yet have we? Any thoughts on this?
Tune in to the series finale, Sunday night, 9pm on BBC3, check out the Being Human blog at  for chat and and behind the scenes videos and follow @bbcbeinghuman @russelltovey and @sineadkeenan on Twitter.

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