Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Being Human - Series 4 Episode 7 - Making History - Review
What’s the Story?
In this years penultimate instalment of Being Human, we are taken through the past, present and future of our trio with surprising results. Through flashbacks to the 1950s we learn more about Hal and Cutler while Tom grows closer to Cutler in the present and Annie crosses over once again and sees what the future has in store. And it’s not jetpacks.
What’s the Verdict?
Toby Whithouse returns to pen this years penultimate episode of Being Human, appropriately titled ‘Making History’ and you can’t help but feel our characters past and present actions are going to start having some serious consequences on the future of humanity. Yes, the stakes really are that high and after a few weeks of entertaining, light-hearted episodes, things take a darker turn. Personally, I loved it. That is not to say however that there weren’t funny moments, you can guarantee that every episode of Being Human will contain some sparking one-liners and this was no exception.
It wasn’t however a particularly action-packed episode and was in fact rather dialogue-heavy. Huge amounts of exposition had to be delivered and so important plot points were slowly revealed throughout the episode, little by little.
This episode undoubtedly belonged to Damien Molony and Andrew Gower as Hal and Cutler. I have suspected the two are linked for the last couple of weeks but the revelations in this episode were still shocking. Not so much that Hal was Cutler’s maker, but seeing just how dangerous, violent and frightening the Henry York of 1950 was. Molony captured the charm and the menace of the character perfectly and never more so than when he spoke to Cutler’s unsuspecting wife. Cutler himself has been an intriguing character throughout Series 4. He has never exuded the menace of Herrick but instead uses intelligence and cunning to manipulate situations to his advantage. He seemed genuinely pleased to see Hal and despite everything he had done and was planning to do, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him as the truth of his relationship with Hal was revealed. We have grown to love Hal over the last seven weeks but here we are forced to accept that he was quite barbaric and destroyed Cutler’s human life. Consequently, the Cutler of the present has become ruthlessly single-minded in his quest to be a history-maker and the death of Alex served to remind us of this.
Kate Bracken built on her impressive debut last week with another strong performance as doomed holidaymaker Alex. Her confrontation with Hal as a ghost was both darkly funny and deeply sad, I find myself hoping that she sticks around for a while longer. It feels like Annie may soon be departing and I would be very sad to see her go, but there is certainly a place for Alex in future series, with or without Annie too.
Meanwhile Annie crossed over with Eve and was shown what her future will be if they fail to stop the Old Ones. The BBC3 budget clearly didn’t stretch to showing the scenes Eve described, though by adding sound effects the production team did their very best to evoke the sense of desperation and let our imaginations do the rest. With the colour drained from the screen and no signs of life, the future looked bleak indeed. Due to the mysterious nature of the character, Gina Bramhill has not had much opportunity to show the personality of Eve, but finally through interacting with Crichlow’s Annie, I could feel that there was a warm relationship there. Annie and Eve bickering like mother and daughter was one of my highlights of the episode.
Michael Socha as Tom did not have quite as much to do this episode, but what he did do was very significant, taking small steps to ultimately making the potentially fatal decision to trust Cutler. Cutler’s reveal to Hal of his plan to out werewolves did seem a tad overlong, given that I’m sure most of the audience had already worked this plan out. It led however to another gripping final ten minutes, with Tom transforming in a packed nightclub and Hal’s desperate attempts to save the lives of the unsuspecting humans.
Everything is set now for the finale, with Annie seemingly considering heeding Eve’s advice. According to Eve, the final scroll said that she must die to fulfil her destiny as the Saviour, surely however she has died. By killing herself, she was indeed her own Nemesis. Therefore, Annie should not need to let baby Eve die, as by killing herself and sending Hal to the house she has already changed history. He stopped Tom hurting the innocents and together they can stop the Old Ones. Then again, in a purely practical sense, does Whithouse really want a baby around in future series, permanently tying one character to the house? But they can’t kill off a baby. Can they?
We will find out very soon and with the arrival of the brilliant Mark Gatiss as the leader of the Old Ones, Mr Snow, it looks like we are set for a gripping, dramatic and potentially heartbreaking finale. I can’t wait.
I have to go with the juxtaposition of Hal offering Cutler blood in 1950 and Cutler returning the ‘favour’ in the present. As the music kicked in the tension ramped up and you immediately knew that something terrible was going to happen. The performances of both Molony and Gower were perfect and you could completely believe how the role-reversal had taken place. Personally, the realisation regarding Mrs Cutler hit me when Hal laughed in such a self-satisfied and genuinely quite malevolent way. Then I remembered vaguely registering someone get up and leave the bar after Alex and the whole horrible thing came to me in an instant, meaning I half watched the next few moments through my fingers. Despite suspecting what was coming however, seeing Alex’s body was somehow still a shock. This scene was Being Human at it’s darkest; unsettling, scary and utterly compelling.
Hal - ‘Three people can’t have dinner together. That’s barbaric!’
Hal - ‘You’re becoming the drunk who never buys a round. All we require…is everything’.
Tom - *reading from cards* ‘All me life, I’ve felt like a weapon. Something blunt and simple. But I want to be human now. To argue our case like a human. I want to be clever and subtle and to use proper words and be tactical.’
Annie - ‘So this is the future? Really?’
Eve - ‘For you, yeah.’
Annie - ‘Ooh do people have jetpacks?’
Eve - ‘No. No, mostly everyone’s dead’.
Cutler - ‘All I ask for in return is that when they write the history of what’s about to happen they give me a mention. And a statue. And…maybe Brazil’.
Alex - ‘He manages to find the only dyslexic tattooist in all of South Wales. I don’t know how but this guy manages to spell ‘Arsenal,’ with a K!’
Hal - ‘I like your mouth’
Alex - ‘Thanks sugar, I’m sure that sounded less creepy in your head. Oh, I’ve bought you a drink by the way, but you were late so I drank it.’
Hal - ‘I’ve been drinking already.’
Alex- ‘Ooh creepy and a day drinker.’
Alex- ‘I think I preferred it when you were Forrest Gump.’
Tom - ‘So how do I look? Splashed out didn’t I, went to the Cancer Research shop.’
Eve - ‘I’m sorry Mum’
Annie - *sniffs* ‘Have you been smoking?’
Tom - ‘Hey up, you been on the Kia Ora? You’re drunk?’
Hal - ‘And you’re stupid. But in the morning I’ll be .. Something something something.’
Eve - ‘Saviour and nemesis. Talk about multi-tasking’.
Alex - *looks at her own body* ‘Christ, I was jowly’
Eve - ‘And I make a bloody good cup of tea’
Annie - ‘That’s my girl!’
Hal - ‘We have to stop Cutler, you don’t know what he’s going to do.’
Alex - ‘I do actually. Before he killed me, he monologued the whole thing. I didn’t think people actually did that.’
Will our trio be able to defeat the Old Ones and at what cost? Cutler knows Eve is still alive and Eve said Annie will have to choose to let her live or die. What will Annie's decision be? Could we be looking at a Hal, Tom and Alex trinity in Series 5? Has the history adult Eve experienced already been changed?
Tune in Sunday nights, 9pm on BBC3 to find out, check out the Being Human blog at www.bbc.co.uk/beinghuman for chat and and behind the scenes videos and follow @bbcbeinghuman and myself @LikeTheMonth on Twitter. Comments and RTs always welcome and appreciated.