Monday, March 11, 2013

My Review of Being Human's 5x06: "The Last Broadcast"

Written by Toby Whithouse
Directed by Daniel O’Hara

Alex (to Captain Hatch): “You forget that we are not like you.”
Tom: “Deep down.”
Hal: “We’re human.”

Now, there’s an interesting question – are they? Did Hal, Tom and Alex actually achieve the impossible and defeat the devil and become human as some kind of karmic reward or was that final scene a nice reminder that Hatch was too powerful an enemy to defeat? If so, then our guys are living a lie, though one I don’t think you can blame them for desperately wanting to be true.

Of course, if they are living a lie, then humanity is based screwed and I’m only imagining writing this very review as we speak and I also think that soufflé I cremated is also a fallacy as well. However, I should point out that writer/creator Toby Whithouse has apparently decided to add a scene on the upcoming DVD for Series 5 that will ultimately answer what really happened for the gang.

I think the ambiguity of this finale was an interesting move and obviously a good way of choosing how things panned out for our gang. I want to be optimistic, so for me I actually think that Tom, Hal and Alex completely the ritual successfully and Hatch is no longer an immediate threat for them and they’re human but I also accept the less pleasant alternative as well too.

The one thing I’ve consistently enjoyed about this show over the course of it’s five years is how the cliff hangers for the penultimate episode tend to be resolved rather speedily and here was no different either. Alex might have had trouble Rentaghost-ing out of her grave but it didn’t stop her from embracing her inner Kitty Pryde from getting out of there nonetheless and she certainly had little problems in trying to bring the group back together.

Then there was Hal. I’m beginning to think he’s actually a bit rubbish at the whole recruiting thing because impressive show tunes aside (nice singing voice/dance moves Damien Molony), his vampires barely lasted five minutes against Tom and even the whole smackdown between Tom and Hal was fairly short lived too, though surprisingly amusing too.

Alex has easily been the glue that’s held this trinity together for quite a while now and while Hal was more of his bastard self than the nicer/odd version we’re used to, it was her who got both him and Tom to work together in order to stop Captain Hatch from broadcasting his message to humanity.

Except again, it’s that thing – did our gang defeat Hatch at all? Hatch is the devil and therefore shouldn’t be physically easily defeated, especially given that he went from the body of a mad man to Rook’s body after the former body was shot on live television and then there’s also the temptations he left for our gang as well.

On screen we saw Alex being tempted by a life with her father and brothers where she didn’t go on a date that would’ve ended up killing her while Tom could have a life without the wolf but with Allison and a baby on the way while Hal could either die in the battle of Orsha or fifty years from now without becoming a vampire. The only problem was that using Leo proved to be a bad move on Hatch’s part and all of the gang still chose each other, in spite of their issue, namely Hal still being a dick at times.

However, the one thing that really does make it more likely than the gang are living a lie was the pointed way (twice) in which Hal suggested that Hatch needed to put them together for his plan to work. Perhaps Hatch really did outsmart our Trinity after all but then again, a part of me is still hopeful that he didn’t. I guess a certain scene in a few weeks time though will be the ultimate decider in relation to our gang’s true fate.

Also in “The Last Broadcast”

Aside from the obvious influences of Inception and Blade Runner, you could also argue that Whithouse might have taken a leaf out of the recent American Horror Story finale as well.

Alex: “Okay, Hatch. Okay, you bastard I am coming for you.”

I did love the use of the interludes for the broadcast segments of this story but the mafia look for Hatch was a bit on the nose. Interesting look I suppose for him.

Captain Hatch (to Mr Rook): “I never understood why you lot were so proud of being human. A monkey falls out of a tree and invents the digital watch. That’s basically it, isn’t it?”

Tom: “What’s going on?”
Alex: “Like I said, shit just got real.”

Rook was pretty underused in this episode. All he did was reveal something about his father and become a host for the Devil before Hal staked him.

Captain Hatch (to the audience): “I was supposed to be the lesson. I was the warning. I was the villain and you all became my tribute act.”

Hal: “Doesn’t matter we won’t let you win.”
Captain Hatch: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ll see.”

As well as writing this episode, we got another cameo appearance from Mr Whithouse reprising his role as Alistair Frith. More importantly we got some nice mentions of the original gang as well as the visuals at the end of this episode of them.

Hal: “None of this is real.”
Captain Hatch: “How do you know? I’m the bloody devil. How do you know I can’t travel through time?”

Tom: “I want this to be true.”
Allison: “What? Tom, it is.”
Tom: “Well, how long can it go on for?”
Allison: “As long as you like.”

I loved the scene where Hal looked in the mirror to see his reflection and Alex pigging out on all that food (while wearing Tom’s clothes) was a delight too, along with them all watching Antiques Roadshow.

Alex (re Brendan): “That was a low blow using him.”
Captain Hatch: “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t show you the whole picture. Everything you’re missing.”

Hal (to Alex/Tom): “That’s my cue to go. I have a surprisingly low threshold for passive aggression.”

Standout music: Hal’s version of “Puttin’ On The Ritz” and Tom Odell’s “Can’t Pretend”.

Mr Rook/Captain Hatch (to the gang): “Now it’s too late. I’m too powerful.”

Hal (to Tom/Alex): “Our curses came from the devil. With him dead, properly dead, they’re gone. We’re human.”

Chronology: More or less from where “No Care, All Responsibility” left off to be honest or perhaps there is no chronology given that ending.

“The Last Broadcast” will definitely go down as a much debated finale for this impressive series. It’s amazing that this series originated from a backdoor pilot into becoming easily the best show BBC3 has ever produced as well as thanking Toby Whithouse and his wonderful crew, I’d also like to thank Mitchell, George, Annie, Nina, Tom, Hal, Alex and the various monsters and people they’ve affected over five brilliant series. The ending might be ambiguous (for now) but it’s definitely a brilliant way to conclude this stunning series.

Rating: 10 out of 10

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