Thursday, 21 February 2013

Review: Being Human Series Five - Episodes 2-3


Shortly after the series five opener aired, the BBC released some shocking news for Being Human fans everywhere; this would be the final series! Showrunner Toby Whithouse has since promised to end the show on a high note, with the finale of Series Five acting as a full, proper climax for the entire five-year-old series. Suddenly, each of the next five episodes to come became that bit more precious…but would they deliver?

'Sticks and Rope', the second episode, really covers all the bases to deliver a solid instalment of the show. There’s a lot of comedy on show, courtesy of the Employee of the Month contest at the hotel which sets Tom and Hal against each other (will those two just get on?) and the bossy ghost of Victorian boy Oliver, who is haunting Honolulu Heights. Touching moments come largely from Alex this episode as she has to accept that her family have moved on and so must she. Plus, there’s a rare moment of proper horror this episode in the form of the Men With Sticks and Rope, the oft-mentioned but never-before-seen guardians of the afterlife. 
Captain Hatch – the Prince of Darkness personified as a grouchy old man - is also hugely enjoyable to watch – as I'm sure he was to play. I'm also a fan of Mr Rook, the cool, calculating Man in Grey who seems to have a plan for Crumb (who I'm more lukewarm about). 'Sticks..' is once again a hodge-podge of all the elements but gives them all a tad more breathing space than the previous episode. 

However, while 'Sticks and Rope' suffers as the first episode did from having to continue setting up the disparate plot threads for the series, 'Pie and Prejudice' has no such responsibility - with Crumb and Hatch both entirely absent - and so seems to enjoy itself a lot more. 
This week, we get introduced to egotistical TV weatherman and werewolf Larry Chrysler who tutors Tom on how to become a success (one must aim for a bite of the success pie, apparently) and Hal’s 250-year long acquaintance ghost Lady Mary who Alex discovers may not be quite what she seems. The first half of the episode is a generally light-hearted affair although it becomes somewhat darker – and to this reviewer, more interesting – as things escalate.
Although Tom and Alex get a sizeable slice of proceedings this week, it’s Hal who gets the best moments - his motivational speech to Tom and a tense scene with Larry being the best. Hal is my favourite character of the new trinity, Damien Molony regularly gives a sturdy performance as the obsessive-compulsive vampire. The latter half of the episode's focus on Hal's struggle with his blood lust and his friendship with Tom reassured me of why I'm so fond of the character. I do hope he and his friends will get the end to their story they deserve. But I'm going to guess and say it's going to be a bumpy ride. 

Overall, although neither episode is an instant Being Human classic, both are very enjoyable episodes that, although Being Human is sadly soon to end, prove - if you excuse me this - the show is both taking its success pie and eating it. 

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