Monday, February 13, 2012

My Review of Being Human's 4x02: "Being Human 1955"

Written by Lisa McGee
Directed by Philip John

Pearl: “What are you saying?”
Annie: “Okay, um, what I’m saying is move in here.”
Hal: “Are you somehow drunk?”

To be fair, garish decoration aside in parts of the building, there are worse places to live than Honolulu Heights but the fact that both him and Pearl showed reservations about getting involved with Annie, Tom and Eve was actually kind of smart. Of course, it didn’t last but then again, neither did a certain dynamic either.

Pearl, Hal and Leo might have lived together and been each other best friends for the last fifty years and over but here, their time together came to an end and just like Annie, Hal ended up two of the people he was closest to within proximity of each other. I suppose in some ways this should give them something to bond over in the next few weeks.

Leo was aware that coming to Honolulu Heights because an angel told him so wasn’t going to get the results that his flatmates wanted. Leo knew he was dying and he used the time to try and get both Pearl and Hal amongst a new supernatural environment and also to give himself the opportunity to tell Pearl how he really felt about her.

I’m glad that Pearl and Leo left this episode as a happy couple, reunited in the afterlife because as enjoyable as both of them had been over the last two episodes, it felt right that Hal would now have a new family with Annie, Tom and Eve, even if it’s one that’s going to take him a while to get used to.

However if I do have one complaint, then it’s a very simple one – why didn’t we actually see anything in relation to 1955? The prequels are nice and everything but a few scenes when Hal, Pearl and Leo first start living together and some of their memorable times together would’ve been nice. Then again, I suppose there’s always a chance to do that in later episodes though.

As a character, I have to admit that Hal has the potential to possibly eclipse Mitchell for me. Not just because Damien Molony seems to naturally fit within the frame of this show but mostly because Hal is not a redux of Mitchell as a character. He’s older, more overtly cautious and even manages to make tweed look as cool as the Eleventh Doctor does as well.

Leo and Pearl might have house trained Hal by keeping him away from people, implementing rules (the thing with the dominoes not being knocked down) but like all vampires, Hal still has something of a dark side and it’s one that very much can be brought out as well. Leo and Pearl passing on saw Hal nearly lose it with both Eve and the pawn shop owner and the hostility with him and Tom could escalate as well if they’re unable to put their differences aside for the greater good.

I think Tom’s hostility towards Hal was a mixed bag in this episode. During some of it, he did come across as rather belligerent but consider the history he’s had with vampires, it’s understandable that he doesn’t have the greatest of times for them and I am really glad that he interrupted Hal’s conversation with baby Eve as well. Of course, it also has the potential to become annoying too, though I do like that the show’s going for a different dynamic with Hal and Tom as they did with Mitchell and George.

Also in relation to Eve, while the older version tried to manipulate both Leo and Hal in this episode, at least Tom was being practical about the child. Annie went overboard with the messiah stuff and Tom had the sense to point out to her that she was wrong. It’s also because of this I can understand Pearl’s initial exasperation with Annie as well. Don’t get me wrong, I get that Annie’s considering the war child possibilities with Eve (as is Hal) but she does need to tone it down a bit as well.

As for the villains of the piece – I loved Cutler and his focus group watching the videos of George and Tom transforming. There’s something deliciously spineless and sly with Cutler’s character and it makes him a bit more interesting than the rather thuggish Fergus by comparison. That being said, I did enjoy seeing Fergus’s reaction when he realised Hal was in town. Now those are future scenes I am looking forward to seeing.

Also in “Being Human 1955”

What is it with Annie and her rules? So far, there’s no smoking, dialling 800 numbers, mugs on coasters, dishes properly tended to, no girls and two rings whenever Tom goes out. I wonder what she’s got lined up for Hal then.

Pearl: “Why should I have blood on my hands?”
Leo: “There doesn’t have to be blood on anyone’s hands, it’s a spider.”

Hal doesn’t like spiders, will not stop any petrol stations on the left side of the road and shouldn’t be given Kia-Ora. However if he kills your budgie, he’ll give you a letter of apology.

Annie: “No, Tom, I’m not agreeing with you. Your grammar is appalling.”

Annie: “Can you see me?”
Pearl: “Can you see me? I’m a ghost.”
Annie: “So am I.”

Twice this episode made fun of Tom’s grammar/speech – first with Annie, then with Hal. The poor bloke. Griffin also did as well last week too.

Hal (to Leo): “I think that Eve is the war child. She’s actually going to do. She’s going to rid the world of us.”
Pearl: “Us?”
Hal: “Vampires.”

Cutler (to Fergus): “Either you mean Peter Mandelson or you’re comparing me to a German composer.”

We saw the older version of Eve (or Woman as the actress is credited as) appearing through the television when Hal was talking to the baby.

Tom: “You’re a dickhead.”
Hal: “If you say so. Have we finished flirting cos I’d like to go inside now?”

Pearl: “Is this the lady in the long johns attacking my dress sense?”
Annie: “I wasn’t attacking, sorry, I beg your pardon?”

The preview after this episode was the one where Hal first met Leo. It can be watched on the red button or on YouTube if you’re not in Britain.

Annie (re Hal): “Why, what happens when he drinks Kia-Ora?”
Leo: “We don’t talk about it, Annie.”

Hal (to Tom/Pawn shop owner): “Well, gentlemen, I’m going to have to split this up.”

Both Pearl and Leo got two doors side by side each other before crossing over. I almost wished we had seen that for George and Nina.

Hal (to pawn shop owner): “Killing is the most difficult thing in the world, which is why when you actually do it, there’s nothing more exhilarating.”

Leo: “I wanted you to know you were loved. I loved you since the moment I met you and I’ll die loving you, Pearl.”

Standout music: A bit of Louis Armstrong at the start of the episode, which Eve interrupted when contacting Leo.

Hal (to Eve): “Why are you crying? You’ve got nothing to cry about, have you? Me, on the other hand, I should be crying.”

Annie: “Hal, is this how you repay Leo?”

Chronology: A few days since the events of “Eve Of The War”. Shouldn’t we have seen a funeral or something for George in this one?

I know there are some fans jumping ship and while I have a growing suspicion that this series will the last, it’s actually a shame because “Being Human 1955” certainly gave the show a new vigour. Annie’s rapport with Tom and Hal might not be the same as the ones she had with George, Nina and Mitchell but it’s certainly promising though.

Rating: 8 out of 10

1 comment:

Damaduende said...

My only complain is that at the beginning, the show was about... well, being human. Three peoplo trying to make it in a world where they didn´t actually belong. Now it has become to big, to End of the World big. And is not that I mind, I like Supernatural - whenever I get to watch it, somehow, I´m seasons behind - but I liked the struggle, the everyday things.
I like this season, I can get behind it, I still like the way its written and I will follow it till the end. But that´s the thing that´s been bugging me since this whole War Child thing began.