Thursday, March 17, 2011
BBC Being Human Season 3: Hell of an Ending
Last week, Season 3 of the BBC (original) version of Being Human just ended. (I haven’t watched the US version yet—it’s hard for me to switch once I’ve seen the original.) BH had a remarkable improvement this year in terms of writing, acting, and overall tension in the story arc. I almost gave up on the show last year, but @audreycleo kept raving about how great it was. The first season was wildly uneven and the writers seemed hesitant to explore the genre mythology behind vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. But the characters, Mitchell (Aidan Turner), George (Russell Tovey), and Annie (Lenora Crichlow) were extremely attractive—and funny! I’ve heard it said that some people find them whiny and irritating, but I think it breaks from the normal way these supernatural creatures are portrayed. In the second season, the stories involved more of the mythology, while involving the main trio in a plot that would destroy their lives in Bristol. Mitchell made a terrible mistake of reverting to vampire mode and enacting a horrific scene of revenge. That error became a terrific threat which hung over his head for all of Season 3.
The main villain from Season 1, Herrick (Jason Watkins) returned this year. I love how this actor portrays villainy, with a slight sneer that speaks a distain for all humanity. The finale involved Herrick getting back at Mitchell, George, and Nina for his earlier demise.
SPOILERS after the break…
All in all, the writing was very well plotted throughout all 8 episodes. But a few cracks appeared in the finale.
Herrick lets Mitchell off the hook way too easily from the scene in the cage with George. Mitchell has betrayed Herrick in the past and I’m not sure why he should take it on faith that Mitchell is now going to be on the side of the “Vampire Crusade”. Unless there is more going on than meets the eye. Is Herrick somehow in love with Mitchell? All the women seem to be, why not him? LOL. I can’t explain the lapse in logic any other way, than to think Herrick is swooning over Mitchell. The other problem is the scene at the end in the car. Mitchell drove Herrick to a lonely deserted beach to watch the sunrise. Mitchell starts acting all funny and poetic, but Herrick doesn’t notice anything. Then—BAM!—Mitchell stakes Herrick. Way too easy! Herrick was on top of so many details earlier, now he completely lets down his guard? I didn’t buy it.
Annie slips out of purgatory very easily compared to the first episode. I almost can see her walking in and out of the afterlife like it is a hotel! But Annie did have a lot of character development this year. Her crush on Mitchell brimmed over and answered a few things all of his wondered about--can you have sex with a ghost? No, you can't, but it was a lot of fun to see them try.
With George and Nina, there is something a bit unrealistic about the world they live in. It has been shown repeatedly that werewolves are pretty much at the mercy of vampires, save for one night of the month. Living with Mitchell has protected them from random attacks, but they don't seem to appreciate it.
A common trick for most genre shows is to have the last episode of the season set up the first episode of the forthcoming season. After Herrick dies (in a way that he cannot return from), that is what happens in the last 10 minutes. Mitchell begs for George to stake him before he kills any more innocents; I couldn’t really believe George would do it, but the hysterics had me a bit misty eyed. It hearkened back to Buffy's Season 2 finale with Angel / Angelus. The Old Ones, who were hinted at in many episodes, made their appearance and turned this scene upside down. When George finally did stake Mitchell, I was astonished. I don’t think he can come back from that—unless he becomes a ghost! I wondered if the writers were really serious, and then after I read this BBC BH blog post, the answer was YES, they are! Aidan Turner is heading to New Zealand to film the Hobbit for the next year or so. Ergo, Mitchell must die, to the sorrow of his fan club.
So many questions are left. Why don’t the Old Ones immediately kill George once Mitchell is gone? They had something in mind for him, Nina, and the baby. Annie has abilities she hasn’t explored yet? And will there be a new vampire character to take Mitchell’s place? That is a big challenge for BH's producers, to create a character that good and find an actor that charismatic to fill Mitchell's shoes. Being Human is a hit for the network and the BBC confirmed Season Four right after the season finale. Doctor Who, Sherlock, IT Crowd, Downton Abbey, I'm crazy about all these shows from the UK. Nuff Said!