Tuesday, March 02, 2010

My Review of Being Human's 2x08: "All God's Children"

Written by Toby Whithouse
Directed by Charles Martin

George: “You make me nervous. It’s liking my senses are telling me that you’re dangerous.”
Lucy: “I am.”
George: “Excuse me?”
Lucy: “Not to you.”

And the testament of every season finale to end the year on something that will get fans talking but essentially reel them in for more. Needless to say, this finale did succeed with that one but maybe not the way in which Toby Whithouse might have hoped. Online fandom – what can you do?

In the space of eight episodes, objectively it’s fair to say that Kemp and Lucy don’t compare to Herrick as a season threat. Let’s look where they go wrong, first with Lucy. Being written as a love interest didn’t help her much, did it?

Some people lamented online about the lack of chemistry between Lucy and Mitchell and they’re sort of right but there are flaws on both sides. Mitchell’s being the fact that he wanted a woman to save him and showed poor judgement when it came to Lucy. Lucy’s on the other hand go deeper.

Throughout the season there seemed to be state of conflict within her. A part of her could see the humanity in monsters (stopping Nina from being killed in the decompression chamber, believing Mitchell was capable of change) but not enough to really stop with the experiments on werewolves or to blow up the funeral homes full of vampires.

Even in this episode, there’s a mass of contradictions with Lucy. There’s one scene where she’s unnerved by the vision of a former werewolf whose death she aided and then she’s telling George that she’s dangerous. Not exactly a stellar way of inspiring either confidence or sympathy for her.

Then there’s her confrontation with Mitchell itself. She’s fuelled by the same righteous anger we’ve seen in Kemp and while she does raise a point about vampires, especially after the shit we’ve seen Mitchell pull this season, it still made me wonder how Mitchell in his feral state managed not to kill her during that scene.

Then there’s Lucy’s death. I like Lyndsey Marshall but the scene where Kemp staked her, I just couldn’t care. I know there was an attempt with Lucy to try and amend her actions when she caught up with Mitchell, George and Nina but I guess by then, it was a case of too little, too late.

And then there’s Kemp. He lacked humour all season long and in the end was little more than a religious fanatic out to wipe vampires because they murdered his family. His scenes where he’s telling Mitchell that he’ll suffer lose resonance because it’s the first time they’ve interacted and Kemp has had no personal history with Mitchell to make the plot any more compelling.

That being said, Kemp did earn his odious stripes by being responsible for Annie being sent through another door. Where everyone else failed, Kemp sadly had to succeed but at least Annie managed to drag the evil old bastard through a door after he murdered Lucy. With any luck, this will be the last we see of him. Essentially Kemp had potential but lacked the same charm and intrigue as Herrick did.

Which led to the other thing – Daisy and Cara resurrecting Herrick, why? I loved him in the first season but I thought Toby Whithouse was adamant about not bringing him back to life and more importantly, shouldn’t the main villain for the third season be someone/something new? I hope Whithouse knows what he’s doing with this one. Until knowing more, I’ll keep an open mind about Herrick coming back to life.

As for Annie’s fate, I’m not emotional about it. I already know that she is coming back next season so whatever form of hell she’s currently being stuck in (which oddly enough, sounds like that waiting room in Beetlejuice), I don’t imagine that she’ll be there for too long. And besides, Annie deserves a bigger arc and Mitchell and George’s determination to rescue her makes me curious as to how they’ll succeed.

Annie got some pretty wonderful scenes in this episode. When George realised what she was up to, I think both Lenora Crichlow and Russell Tovey got some of their best material this season. Annie and George bicker but it’s clear that they’re extremely fond of one another and George was more than willing to back out of his treatment when he realised that being normal would make Annie invisible to him.

Plus the absolute agony and anger that Mitchell conveyed when he realised what Kemp had done made me wish he had actually killed. I don’t know what Mitchell has in mind to get Annie back but I mostly applaud. Even Nina was pretty cut up about Annie being sent through the door.

Ah, Nina – maybe her best episode yet. The fact that she survived it was impressive because I had a nasty feeling in my gut that she was going to die along with Lucy. Kemp certainly had no problem in threatening to kill her. Luckily for us, she’s survived to snark another day, even if she didn’t get a chance to live to her threat to give Lucy a bit of a nip.

As for Nina and George, they did seem to get back together quickly. There were some nice moments between them where they got to be totally honest with each other about their feelings but it did seem a little rushed. Oh, what do I care? I like these two as a couple and I hope that there are some good times ahead for them next season as well.

Also in “All God's Children”

There was no flashback to open the episode but we did see Lucy’s vision of victim Amy McBride.

Kemp: “What’s the alternative? We simply allow the possession to spread?”
Lucy: “Are you saying win-win?”

Where exactly did George, Nina and Mitchell move to? I know from next season onwards they’ll be shooting in Cardiff but their location wasn’t specified.

George: “You really thought that? Nina, you are worth a thousand of me.”
Nina: “Just the one will do nicely. What happens now?”
George: “I’ll stay.”

Annie (to George): “But you boys, I love you boys because it was through you two that I really truly lived.”

George and Nina should’ve acted earlier to try and stop Kemp from expelling Annie, given how easily they escaped from the decompression chamber.

Nina (to George): “I can’t tell one smell from another. I think everyone stinks now.”

Mitchell: “So you took it upon yourselves to do a bit of ethnic cleansing.”
Lucy: “Don’t you dare, don’t you fucking dare try to legitimise ...”

One of the decompression chamber victims was Tully – the same Tully from last season?

Lucy: “You are poisonous. You are wearing other people’s clothes. You’re not human.”
Mitchell: “You have such a reductive view of the world.”

George: “I can’t be your confessor, Mitchell, not now. I need you too much.”

The DVD for this season is due out later in the month. I hope there are some decent extras for it.

Lucy: “I betrayed my lover, I betrayed my faith. I don’t know who I am anymore.”
Mitchell: “I guess you’re a monster now. Just like us.”

Annie (to Mitchell/George): “Please don’t forget me, will you?”

Chronology: There was a three week time up towards the last ten minutes of the episode.

As a finale goes, it got me talking; it certainly interested me but not as much as I had hoped. Season 2 has had a very hit and miss feel to it but not enough to stop me watching or reviewing the series.

Rating: 8 out of 10.


Placey said...

Better late than never - a very belated response from me following the final ep of season 2 - maybe because I was a little disappointed with how it all wrapped up?
Kemp finishing up on a killing spree prior to his demise, it didn't quite seem his style at the beginning of the season, did it?
Great summary of Lucy - I think you accurately predicted a couple of eps ago that she just wasn't strong enough to go in to bat for Mitchell & Co, her belated guilt and action, as you say, a bit 'too little, too late'.
I'm also somewhat bewildered by Herrick's return. Yes, I loved him as a character in Season 1, and I am curious to see what comes of his return in Season 3, but felt the plot writing was a little '...and then I woke up, at had all been a dream'.
Interesting to hear a bit from Annie about the 'other side'. I had some theories about this based upon characters from last season: Lauren the vampire's last words after Mitchell staked her were "Oh My!" and she looked in awe rather than frightened of what she was seeing. Gilbert the ghost headed toward his door and seemed to give a little smile as he looked upon an unseen light and then walked through. Contrast these 'deaths' with Mitchell and Annie both agreeing not to discuss what they had seen of death with George (presumably in order not to frighten him), and Mitchell's comments to Herrick whilst they wait for a newly turned vampire to wake "the things he will have seen". I had this great theory that it was all to do with those who were ready to 'pass over'(as Lauren and Gilbert seemed to be), compared with those who were in flux or about to join the undead - Mitchell, Annie, anyone returning to this world and not yet ready to move on to the next world.
Yes, I believe that Tully from the decompression room note is the same werewolf we met last season - sad ending for him.
I am hoping for a bit more cohesion in Season 3, and more of that togetherness for Mitchell, George, Annie (and Nina), although presumably Annie's rescue from the other side will be required first.

shawnlunn2002 said...

Glad you got round to seeing the finale, it's been a while here and I'm hoping that S3 will be a little more cohesive. I have some reservations about Herrick's return but I'll give it a chance though.