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So anyway,
Because what the Net really needs is another person sharing his uninformed views
"What now Mitchell? What do we do?" 
28th-Feb-2010 10:07 pm
BeingHumanAvatar2
Well then, I guess that's Being Human series 2 over. 8 weeks just flew by...

- So I liked this, but I thought Toby's two-part finale followed the same pattern as last year's, i.e. the penultimate episode was better than the last one.
- I think for once the particular rhythm Being Human employs has worked against it: Namely the rhythm where the first half-an-hour is a bit more low-key and then things ramp up in the second half. Toby Whithouse combined this with what I would call the Spooks format where the action appears to have reached a climax way too early in the story, things seem to be calming down for better or worse, and then we have a big action/shock/twist sting right at the end. Put them together and it felt a bit wobbly to me, as after the slow buildup of Mitchell stalking the CenSSA building we had a rather quick denuement followed by the "three weeks later" scene slowing things down a bit.
- Still, overall it was exciting and a lot of good stuff going on. The George/Nina relationship was nicely played out I thought, and hopefully moving forwards it means we'll be seeing them having somewhat less bad patches, relationship-wise at least, than they did this year. Nina's guilt over taking them to CenSSA has got to be useful here. I kinda liked seeing her be on the receiving end of her own guilt-trip for once, because of how big a factor George's guilt for infecting her has been. Now she's seen first hand that their situation is even less straightforward than she realised, and any attempt to make things better can have terrible, unforseeable repercussions.
- Tovey, of course, pwned as ever. The scene of him talking Mitchell out of killing Kemp made me think of him killing Herrick in 1.6, it was George taking his place as the heart of the group. I have to admit, knowing that their initial contracts would have probably only covered the actors until this point, I was worried we might be losing George, especially what with Tovey's insane workload at the moment. I was hoping that his obvious enthusiasm for the show would make him stay on so I'm glad to see him in place for Series 3.
- Instead of course it was Annie who was shown the door (rather literally) although Mitchell's big setup line for Series 3 suggests that's not the last we've seen of her. I knew we'd get some kind of goodbye because her actual exit through the door was so quick and violent; exciting, but a bit of a hasty exit for such a central character. And of course her TV appearance at the end means Lenora Crichlow can be spotted filming in Wales as much as she likes, without us knowing if that means she's back at the end of 3.1, the end of 3.8, or not at all. Lovely work from Lenora again, obviously in her final goodbye scene but also when she makes it clear to George what made her change her mind about passing on - the prospect of George becoming cured, now that Mitchell seemed a lost cause, meant she would be really dead as nobody would see her. (Which presumably is why it was made very clear that even the two psychics we met this series could only ever hear, but not see her.)
- Mitchell remains the tricky one; this is something for next series though, what I really don't want is to start 3.1 with Mitchell apparently back to normal. Given the angst George got given this year I should hope for at least the same treatment for Mitchell, whose actions were so much worse. If, from his point of view, the whole of S3 is the story of him trying to be redeemed in the audience's eyes as well as the other characters' then that sounds about right to me. Great little writing shorthand from Toby Whithouse though that allows the story to actually continue, in the scene where George refuses to be Mitchell's confessor because he needs him too much. If George (and to a lesser extent Nina, but her connection to Mitchell isn't as strong) actually allowed himself to face Mitchell's actions he wouldn't be able to stay with him, and there wouldn't be a show.
- Another nice piece of foreshadowing was the fact that Hennesey had to die so that Annie could be exorcised; meaning his killing of Lucy heralded his own death-by-Annie. I wonder how much we'll find out about her being able to do that (there isn't even a form for that!) Is it a hangover from her being "more than" a ghost when she was still on this side of the door? Aside from being reminded of Beetlejuice I found the description of the bureaucratic afterlife Annie's stuck in genuinely disturbing. One of those really chilling ideas Toby throws in every so often, where hell (or, let's hope, purgatory) doesn't actually consist of bad things happening, but a state of perpetual terror over the unknown bad thing that might be lurking round the corner. Basically turning the horror cliche that the monster is scarier when you can't quite see it, and making it the story itself.
- A callback to Tully who, not that surprisingly, was a victim of Jaggat's chamber, but who gets to save George from beyond the grave. And his first name was Lee; I like that despite Toby's fetish for characters known only by their last names he does, eventually, let us know what their first names are as well.
- As with the first series finale, a two-part cliffhanger, one internal and one external. The external one this time is the return of Herrick and hmmm, I'll have to see about that. (Hey, was me seeing Jason Watkins in the street the other day an omen?) I love the character but I'm not sure I like the return of a bad guy who's already been dealt with, it feels like a step back. It does actually seem as if his return was a last-minute decision: Whithouse said on the BH blog that it was seeing Watkins come back for the '60s flashbacks that made him want him back. If he's more of a plot device around which to build Mitchell's aforementioned redemption, then that's cool. What I really don't want his return to mean is too much of the story centring around vampire politics, like it sometimes did this year.
- And you know, the motivation for leaving the house made sense right until the moment Mitchell said they were going to get Annie back. Because if that's what they're trying to do, wouldn't basing themselves at the place she originally haunted be a good start? Oh well.
- You know the more I've written about this week's episode the more stuff I've found that I liked, but even so it was a weird one. It certainly makes the whole series look like it's got "middle book of a trilogy" syndrome.
- Hey, I did like how a load of people got staked, but none of them were actually vampires.
- See you next year. Or, if the rumours are true, later this year.

It is the end, but the moment has been prepared for. Did you like the end?

CenSSAtional
9(47.4%)
CenSSActually pretty good
5(26.3%)
CenSSAdequate
4(21.1%)
CenSSAtive Skin (painful)
0(0.0%)
Wait, did I leave the oven on?
1(5.3%)
Comments 
28th-Feb-2010 11:45 pm (UTC)
I'm viewing Herrick's return very much in the positive. Jason Watkins was, let's face it, fantastic in the role, and his return in the flashback was a genuine highlight. Since the explosion at the funeral parlour effectively wiped out Bristol's vampires, I like the idea of him returning without a power base but with a real grudge.

I've felt that this series was a victim of its own success, with too many episodes meaning there was a treading water feel to some programmes. I hope that knowing their commission for series 3 - and being a genuine jewel in BBC3's crown, beating Lost on Sky1 - will mean that the next batch of episodes will be more cohesive and satisfying. And contain more Tovey nudity. (Sorry, that just slipped out).
1st-Mar-2010 12:49 pm (UTC)
I'm viewing Herrick's return very much in the positive. Jason Watkins was, let's face it, fantastic in the role, and his return in the flashback was a genuine highlight. Since the explosion at the funeral parlour effectively wiped out Bristol's vampires, I like the idea of him returning without a power base but with a real grudge.

I'm definitely hoping for the best - Toby is still being very definite that the S3 threat comes "from themselves" so I don't think we're going to see Herrick becoming the Big Bad again, which would feel like a step backwards. If he ends up having about the same impact on S3 that Ivan and Daisy did on S2, that'd be about right for me.

I've felt that this series was a victim of its own success, with too many episodes meaning there was a treading water feel to some programmes.

I did get the impression that Whithouse had assumed he'd get another 6 episodes, then had to adjust his plans when he got 8. Hopefully that means that when it comes to the next series he'll have been prepared for the longer run and it won't feel like there's as much filler. There's certainly already loads of directions the plot can go in, so fingers crossed.

And contain more Tovey nudity. (Sorry, that just slipped out).

That's OK, things slipping out (or very nearly slipping out, like last week) are a BH highlight.
1st-Mar-2010 11:13 pm (UTC)
I agree about Nina. She annoyed the hell out of me before with her endlessly guilt-tripping George, when having become infected was as much her own fault for barging into that room without listening to Mitchell's and Annie's warnings.

Another nice piece of foreshadowing was the fact that Hennesey had to die so that Annie could be exorcised; meaning his killing of Lucy heralded his own death-by-Annie.

I'm not sure what you mean by that? Is Hennesey the medium? But "his killing of Lucy" refers to Kemp, so I'm a bit confused.

And you know, the motivation for leaving the house made sense right until the moment Mitchell said they were going to get Annie back. Because if that's what they're trying to do, wouldn't basing themselves at the place she originally haunted be a good start?

But they thought she was forever lost to them until she 'came back' to fetch Kemp, and then made contact through the TV. So it would only make sense now, now they've come up with the rescue plan, to start thinking about going back (except that we know it's not going to happen because the new series will be filmed in Wales).

I have to say, if this series was the first I had seen of Being Human I think I would have stopped watching after one or two episodes. It's my lurve for the first series that keeps me coming back.
2nd-Mar-2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by that? Is Hennesey the medium? But "his killing of Lucy" refers to Kemp, so I'm a bit confused.

Yeah I was probably just writing it too quickly. I mean Kemp murdered Hennesey for no other reason than to open a door that Annie could go through; the same thing turned against him in the end when he killed Lucy and ended up getting pulled through her door as well.

But they thought she was forever lost to them until she 'came back' to fetch Kemp, and then made contact through the TV. So it would only make sense now, now they've come up with the rescue plan, to start thinking about going back (except that we know it's not going to happen because the new series will be filmed in Wales).

That's kinda my point - when they thought Annie was gone, nothing to be done about it, I can buy that they would refuse to go back to the pink house because it was Annie's, so the move to Wales (which I've always assumed was for practical reasons in the first place but I may be wrong) makes sense. But once they decide they're going to get her back, it makes a bit less sense, you'd think they'd want to base themselves at the place with the strongest connection to her. Mainly though, I imagine the justification for leaving Bristol will involve not sticking around too close to where Mitchell murdered a trainload of people.
2nd-Mar-2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
Oh right, I thought you meant the characters had not thought it through, but you were referring to Whithouse/the people behind Being Human.

As I understand the move is for practical and financial reasons, because BBC Wales is (partly?) funding the series.
3rd-Mar-2010 09:15 am (UTC)
Yeah that's why I figured it was likely to be production reasons for the move, but obviously it has to be integrated into the story, especially when the pink house is such a fan-favourite.
1st-Mar-2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
OMG....the image of a naked Herrick is just TOO painful!
2nd-Mar-2010 02:23 pm (UTC)
If it's advance payment for even more naked Tovey next year then that's a price worth paying. What did you think of the rest of the episode, anyway?
2nd-Mar-2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
OK, well I've almost got THAT image out of my mind now so I can think straighter about the rest of the episode.

On the whole I enjoyed it, I like the fact that Nina has finally realised that she isn't always "the one who is right" which I think allows for a much more interesting relationship between her and George in the next series.

I liked the fact that at the last minute Annie changed her mind about going, but was sent anyway, again lots of possibilities to find out exactly what happens through the door.

I'm not entirely convinced about Kemp as a character throughout though, I can buy the religious fanatic who's attitudes were determined by what had happened to him in the past, but the switch to homicidal maniac didn't feel quite right. Maybe I switched off my attention temporarily but I don't fully get why he killed Hennessey.

As for Mitchell....sorry but despite the "train incident" I still can't see him as anything but the hero who they all turn to. The characters largely seem to think the same. George, despite everything still seems to defer to him, no matter how much he might not want to. The fact that basically he and Nina accepted Mitchell's judgement about Lucy with only token protest suggests that Mitchell is still the Alpha male of the group. Calling to Mitchell does seem to be George's first thought whenever there is a serious threat. Not that I'm complaining, but George does seem to be doing a very good job of head in the sand about Mitchell's "slip" back into addiction.

All in all, very good, but in some ways the episode's greatest strength is the set up work it does for series 3. Bring it on!
3rd-Mar-2010 09:12 am (UTC)
I'm not entirely convinced about Kemp as a character throughout though, I can buy the religious fanatic who's attitudes were determined by what had happened to him in the past, but the switch to homicidal maniac didn't feel quite right. Maybe I switched off my attention temporarily but I don't fully get why he killed Hennessey.

I didn't mind that so much, I think it was pretty clear by then he was unhinged and would do anything just out of spite towards the supernatural; besides, Hennessey's "us freaks should stick together" implied to me that Kemp viewed psychics as pretty much a "Type 4" so would have seen him as collateral damage at best. I was less fussed about Kemp stealing Lucy's things and perving over them, it was a bit late in the day to be throwing that in. Especially since we also had Lloyd wanking over Nina getting undressed, together it felt a bit "yes, they're corrupt and creepy, we get it."

All in all, very good, but in some ways the episode's greatest strength is the set up work it does for series 3. Bring it on!

Definitely, I think it was both its strength and its weakness as it made the whole of S2 seem like little more than ssetup but at the same time was hugely exciting for where things are going to go next year.
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