This was an episode of doubles and reflections, offering a chance for Tom and Hal to see what they could have become in different circumstances. For Tom, it is a life without parents, without MacNair and his influence, cast through the mirror of fellow werewolf Bobby. We see Tom adapting to life in a senior role in the hotel and feeling like he has to lie about how good he is in order to seek Bobby's approval. Not that it is needed however as Bobby is already hero-worshipping Tom from the moment that they are introduced. The comedy of their relationship was really quite sweet and developed nicely and believably over the episode. Both characters majorly struggled with parenting and confidence issues and it was good to see Tom once again acting as a character in his own right rather than as merely a foil for the other two.
We're clearly heading for more vampire-ghost romance between Hal and Alex with a couple of not-so-subtle side glances and Crumb developing a weird jealousy complex. The narrative with Crumb was one of the more interesting aspects of the episode, offering a weird sort of double for Hal to contend with. Not only is the relationship with Alex explored through Crumb's involvement, but also Hal's own personality and his way of dealing with his blood addiction. Unfortunately, it all doesn't work and it feels like Crumb is offering a glimpse into Hal's fate if he can't control the bloodlust that has been steadily brewing since the end of last series, culminating in the basement-set split personality scene.
Evil Hal is clearly on the way in and Molony sells the idea of the two personalities well, particularly in the basement scene with Crumb, switching between the two almost effortlessly. The concept of a vampire as a man with two personalities is something that has been played with before, most notably in Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Angel/Angelus. Whereas that was wholly spiritual in origin (Angel was with a soul, Angelus without), Hal's appears to be a natural extension of his psychological anxiety. With his obsessive compulsive behaviour, it sort of makes sense that dissociative identity disorder could get thrown in there too. In terms of vampiric psychology, it's a fascinating take on the mythology and I'm not sure if it's been done before so I'm interested to see how it develops.
This episode made me realise something. Before, I was sad but resigned to the fact that, after this series, Being Human would be no more. As an audience, we hadn't spent much time with this trinity just yet and it seemed acceptable that we wouldn't get to. They weren't Annie, Mitchell and George so they'd be easier to say goodbye to. But then the next few episodes happened. We saw a huge amount of character development in that time, allowing us to get to know Hal, Tom and Alex just that little bit better and let us see them bond as a trio.
Now I don't want them to go.
I'd like at least another series to allow them to develop slowly like we saw the others do, rather than have it sped up over the six episodes. The fewer episode amount has really aided this series, tightening up the usual filler stories into something more relevant and more developed. Guest stars have largely been utilised to their full potential rather than just being irritating/comical/evil for a few scenes before disappearing again. Rook, in particular, is a fascinating character and I love the fact that the Civil Service has a supernatural branch. These ideas and characters have a lot of mileage left in them yet and I'm worried that we'll not get a satisfying conclusion that does them all justice. Then again, they do say you should never outstay your welcome and if this series is anything to go by, then Being Human is going out on a high.
You can read Becky's review of previous episode, Pie and Prejudice, here.
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