- 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?
CenSSActually pretty good
CenSSAtive Skin (painful)
Wait, did I leave the oven on?