Being Human blog: 'Making History'
In previous series, much like Doctor Who, it’s been customary for Being Human’s penultimate episodes to outdo the following finales. But if that formula is followed this year, then that can only mean that next week’s finale is going to be one limp affair.
The best thing, and biggest problem, with series 4 as a whole has been the reliance on comedy. Said comedy has been marvellous, but it has rather pushed the serious series arc to the sidelines, and left the show feeling relatively tension-free. This problem certainly hasn’t been helped by the fact that the chief villain, who, unfortunately, had a more prominent role this week, is unrelentingly naff.
Seriously, Cutler wouldn’t threaten Scooby-Doo. He’s a henchman at best, yet, somehow, he’s now leading the vampires’ charge to take over the world?! And there’s another problem. When a series’ major plot involves the end of the world as we know it, it’s helpful to spend a little of time in it so we can have a sense of the impending doom, and that more than the lives of our central characters are at stake.
Whether due to budget cuts or creative decisions, we’ve barely left Honolulu Heights this series, and it’s created something of a disconnection with the real world. Where George and Mitchell had a bustling hospital, Tom and Hal have an empty café, whose only customers either want to be vampires, or become ghosts as swiftly as they arrived (side note: anyone else think that, in certain shots, Alex was the spit of Rachel McAdams?)
As a result of this lack of interaction, it made it difficult to feel particularly afraid that the world truly was under threat. Also not helped by the fact that the Old Ones’ arrival had the same urgency about it as a load of pensioners returning from a 3-year coach trip round every seaside resort in the country. Cutler had to keep reminding everyone that they were coming, for purgatory’s sake!
Clunky dialogue has also been a hallmark of this series and, along with Cutler’s reminders, we were treated to another lovely bit of exposition from Eve: ‘Oh Annie, ha ha ha, a ghost can’t be in the same room as her living self, ha ha ha. Why do you think I didn’t just bump myself off in episode 1 and spare us all from Cutler’s over-/under-/whatever-he-does-acting?’ We can only presume that the reason is the same as why the eagles didn’t take the hobbits to Mordor.
Moments of clunkiness aside, the scenes between Eve and Annie were the undoubted highlights of the episode, with the one in which Eve recounted the struggle on the ship being incredibly powerful thanks to some brilliantly intense sound-work. And as for Annie, she once again made the episode (though Tom came a very close second as his heart visibly broke when Cutler taunted him about Allison), with such delightful moments as her ‘Glad I asked!’ line, and her utter joy when Eve mentioned her tea.
However, they were shining moments that couldn’t make for a polished whole. Hopefully, though, with the Old Ones now having arrived (led by a dead-eyed Mark Gatiss and, thankfully, without any sticks of rock), things should liven up next week. And they'd liven up even more if Hal turns evil! Evilness definitely suits him better, and, unlike somebody else I can think of, he has considerable menace about him... We can only pray that neither he, nor the episode itself are as bloodless as this week.
The final episode of the series is on Sunday at 9pm on BBC Three.