TV REVIEW: Being Human - Pie and Prejudice

This week sees another ghost and a werewolf join the gang at Honolulu Heights whilst Rook makes an important decision about his future, or lack of it.

Tom (Michael Socha) and Hal (Damien Molony) still continue their squabbles in the hotel after Hal is promoted to acting manager following the suggested death of poor Patsy in last week's episode. Tom's feeling a little worthless but is perked up by the arrival of another werewolf, Larry (Julian Barrett), who he feels can educate him in the ways of being successful. Elsewhere, Hal takes part in his yearly visit to old friend Lady Mary (Amanda Hale), a ghost who he has known for 200 years. Alex (Kate Bracken) decides to tag along so she can meet another ghost, but soon discovers that Lady Mary isn't really who she appears to be and that the two share certain similarities. Meanwhile, Rook (Steven Robertson) faces a life of unemployment, left with the horrors of his work, until a solution appears in the form of an unlikely alliance.

With only six episodes in this series, a lot of work has been done to establish the three leads and their relationships as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Last week saw Captain Hatch (Phil Davis, though absent for this week) comment on how a trinity is a thing of strength, and something that could possibly stand in his way. So this week, we see the three divided, each worried about their own struggle and what might just happen to them if they're left alone. Lady Mary stands as an example for Alex of a woman who has waited around for Hal only to be betrayed by him time and again without her knowledge and then . Tom sees in Larry what he could become and almost accepts a lonely defeat whilst Hal is just downright dangerous when left to his own devices.

Naturally, by the end of the episode, we have it made clear that these three rely on each other for their survival and for their humanity. Whilst it is something that we saw a lot of in the Mitchell/Annie/George years, we hadn't had a moment so far that solidified this relationship for the new trio of supernaturals. It also gave us some all-important character development individually, particularly for Alex, who has always been so fiercely autonomous that her plea for the boys to remain with her for her sake held much more weight. She understands the importance of their unique dynamic in terms of keeping each other safe from themselves and others. Of course, with Hal going off the rails quite spectacularly, it can't all last.

Am I the only one though who wants to see Hal let loose a bit? We've all seen what happens when Mitchell fell off the wagon (Box Tunnel Massacre anyone?), but we've only actually heard and seen in flashes just how bad and evil Hal can get. With the added pressure of the Devil rising in strength, I can only assume that this might mean we get to see what we only saw a glimpse of this episode. He's a fascinating character and I think the one who I am going to miss most in the future; a vampire with OCD anxiety issues was an inspired bit of writing and Molony's performance has only gone from strength to strength. The character feels like it has many avenues within it to explore and it will be a shame that we probably won't get to see all of the possibilities Hal has.

The shining light of this episode though was Michael Socha's performance as poor, lost Tom. Although the plot was a slight retread of George's experiences with Sully in the first series, this was more about replacing a father figure than a dodgy, smelly flatmate. Tom's floundered a bit so far this series as a character, more as a foil to Hal than anything in his own right. Here, we get to see what a lost little boy Tom really is, having not been brought up to know anything but the rough life of a vampire-killing werewolf. His misguided notion of success as a person was heartbreaking to watch yet also quite pertinent to a culture of people obsessed with owning the next best thing or having the most money. It led to some nice scenes between the three leads, particularly the scenes at the tent; Alex and Tom had never really interacted before, but being the two experiencing the most anxiety about their situations, it felt natural that they should confide in each other.

Alex's thread of plotline with Lady Mary was a mixed affair throughout the episode. After the initial comedy of Mary not being all Hal had cracked her up to be and some rather flagrant language, the jokes wore off quite quickly, particularly the nightclub scene and the incessant use of profanity afterwards. I wouldn't consider myself easily offended when it comes to language, far from it (and if you know me, you know I can turn the air blue with the best of them), but this felt as if it was just done too much for effect. There's only so much novelty to be wrung out of a woman in full Regency regalia saying 'fuck' repeatedly. On the other hand, it was important to show the effect that Hal has had on his victims, lingering on in their lives despite having destroyed them quite readily before. Though he has shown regret with Alex, this is clearly a foreshadowing of what could possibly define their relationship.

All in all, this was a solid, if not great, episode that befits its position in the middle of the series. With a lack of Captain Hatch, the menace levels were decreased but there was still enough development to keep the plot ticking along nicely. We've now passed the halfway point so I think we can expect things to start ramping up towards the big finale quite quickly.

- Becky

You can read Becky's review of Sticks and Rope here.

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