Written by Sarah Phelps
Directed by Philip John
Mitchell (re Herrick): “Do you think I’m enjoying this?”
Nina: “I think there’s a poison in you which has nothing to do with being a vampire, so yeah, I think you do enjoy it.”
Okay, and just when this show can’t possibly shock any further, we end up getting an episode like this one. I mean I’ve desperately wanted someone to find out about Mitchell’s box tunnel massacre and for that person to Herrick and then Nina was above and beyond in terms of perfection. Mitchell, you really are going to be up shit creek without a paddle.
But then again, much as I do like Mitchell, it’s not hard to admit that he’s actually had this coming for a while now. The erratic behaviour in the last few episodes was one thing but adding to the fact that he’s seemingly losing the plot – can anyone actually blame Nina for her actions this week?
I know some fans online blasted Nina for calling the cops on Mitchell after Herrick revealed the little journal to her but if you were in Nina’s position, wouldn’t you do the same thing? I certainly would and for all the criticisms that some viewers have given, I’m gonna commend the writers for approaching the situation as realistically as they can do.
Technically the police are a moot point – there’s very little they can actually do with Mitchell, unless they learn he’s a vampire and promptly stake him but Nina’s heart is in the right place. She’s not a nasty person and her mistrust of Mitchell isn’t hard to fathom when you take in his behaviour over the last few episodes into account.
Plus a lot of fans seem to neglect the fact that Nina’s experiences in the supernatural aren’t as lengthy as lengthy as any of the other characters. She’s only been a werewolf for the last few months and has had her life put in danger by both vampires and humans within the same time period. Not to mention the fact that she’s still unsure of what lies ahead of her with a baby on the way. For those reasons alone, I can’t bring myself to mad with her.
However when it came to Herrick, he is clearly manipulating her and maybe Nina should’ve picked up on that (especially during his scenes with Cara) but again, her experiences with Herrick aren’t the same as Annie, George and Mitchell’s and for the most part, she sees Herrick as a frightened, psychiatric patient rather than a homicidal vampire. Nina will eventually cop on to Herrick but probably at the worst time though if this series is anything to go by.
As for Nina being the wolf shaped bullet that Mitchell thought she would be – who knows. It could be a red herring but then it might not be. Just because Mitchell’s paranoia is reaching fever pitch, it doesn’t mean that he’s wrong about Nina but at the same time, Nina is not an evil person and I could never see her killing Mitchell for malicious intent or pleasure.
Nina even had a hard time trying to comprehend George’s quick agreement with Mitchell when it came to killing Herrick. Now that’s another problem for me too. Technically both Mitchell and George are right – Herrick is dangerous and it’s only a matter of time before he actually harms either George or Nina but at the same time, I could also see where Nina was coming from with this as well. Unlike the rest of them, Nina isn’t trying to be human; she’s just not allowing her supernatural side completely take over her as well.
I was worried with Herrick’s return to the show last year but after this episode, it actually felt like the character had never gone away. Jason Watkins is such an incredibly brilliant actor and Herrick throughout the entire hour kept me guessing all the time. If he’s not faking amnesia, then Herrick is just a cold hearted bastard nonetheless.
For all the scenes of him apologising to George, freaking out over the lack of a reflection or placating Nina, there were plenty to counter it as well. His brutal dismissal of Cara’s affections led to her staking herself and he certainly didn’t waste a lot of time in trying to create between George and Mitchell as well, though the latter most definitely deserved that shiner he was given.
And then there were the scenes with Annie as well. Calling her peripheral might have had an impact in the first year but I loved how instead of it making Annie want to cower in a corner and lick her wounds, it instead made her aware that Herrick wasn’t to be trusted. Annie calling Herrick a little man was one of many highlights in this gripping episode. I also loved how she gave Mitchell a good piece of her mind when he behaved like an asshole towards her as well. Annie with a backbone is definitely the kind of Annie I want to see on this show.
As for Wendy the social worker, it was a nice little guest role for Nicola Walker. Given the fact that Wendy had to go through scenes where she was being ignored because Nina was trying to calm her ‘Uncle Billy’, I think she did a terrific job when she did manage to interact with Mitchell, George, Nina, Herrick and briefly, Cara as well. Even small roles on this show are just so well written nowadays. If I only had one gripe with this episode, it was that I wished Cara hadn’t killed herself so quickly but everything else was fantastic.
Also in “The Longest Day”
For the most part, this episode did take within the time frame of a day, except for the last few minutes when Nina made a certain phone call.
Nina: “I thought I lost it.”
Annie: “Oh, but you didn’t. No, you didn’t, it’s alright, it’s okay. It can survive a transformation. I hate calling it “it”. The baby can survive.”
Cara said that Herrick had escaped from her at the hospital but given that it took two vampires to bring him back, where was Daisy? Is she going to factor into any of this at all?
George (re Herrick): “Is it him, Mitchell? Mitchell, Mitchell, what are we going to do?”
Mitchell: “Stake him.”
Nina: “What did he say?”
Mitchell: “For fuck’s sake, Annie.”
Annie: “Don’t talk to me like that.”
Mitchell: “Well say something sensible then, Jesus.”
Isn’t it a bit weird that out of everyone that Herrick has made into a vampire, that Cara was the one he told about the resurrection ritual? Maybe Herrick knew that somewhere down the line, Mitchell would betray or abandon him.
Nina (to George): “In seven months time, we’re going to have a baby. I don’t want our baby to have a father who sticks his fingers in his ears and agrees to murder like it’s nothing.”
Cara: “I’m nothing without you.”
Herrick: “Well, then you are nothing. Don’t you look ugly when you’re crying?”
Mitchell said a lot of things in this episode that I wanted to punch him for but referring to George as a dog really crossed the line for me.
Mitchell: “You want every little corner of me but I just don’t want to give it.”
Annie: “Why are you being like this?”
Herrick: “What was it that I did to you?”
George: “It’s complicated.”
Herrick: “And did you do something to me?”
George: “Yeah, you could say that.”
Standout music: “Dirge” by Death In Vegas, which was the song played when Nina found about Mitchell’s little killing spree.
Herrick: “Just tell me how you do it.”
Herrick: “Give me a clue, chuck me a bone. What are you?”
Annie: “What am I? Onto you, that’s what I am. I’m onto you, little man.”
Nina: “It’s not proof, it’s not proof.”
Herrick: “No, no, we must be careful, very careful. The others, they don’t see the sort of man he is but you and I, we see.”
Chronology: None specified since “The Pack”.
This show is really crushing my objectivity at the moment. “The Longest Day” could be one of the best pieces of televisions I’ve ever seen and the performances here were certainly sublime, particularly from Sinead Keenan and Jason Watkins. I really don’t want this season to end because I’m enjoying it so much right now.
Rating: 10 out of 10.