Sunday, December 11, 2011

Being Human U.K. Season One, Episode Four

This episode begins with Mitchell standing outside, smoking a cigarette and delivering the following soliloquy. It was so powerful, I decided to share it in full.

"Where do I belong? Where do I fit? Who are my people? Where do my loyalties lie?  We all choose our tribe, it's our need to belong, to live within boundaries, 'cause it's scary on the outside, on the fringes. Some labels are forced on us. They mark us, set us apart 'till we're like ghosts, just drifting through other people lives -- but only if we let the labels hold. You can piss your whole life away trying out who you might be.  It's when you have worked out who you are, that you can really start to live|.

The scene shifts to Mitchell attacking Seth, looking for Lauren.  Herrick walks into the room and says that Mitchell is always hurting her. "You just keep hurting her. You recruit her that's fine, then you just leave her. She wakes up with us, she doesn't know where she is, she's still calling for you. So fine, we pick up the pieces best we can. Then, Jesus Christ. Then, you try and take her back". Mitchell tells Herrick that Lauren came to him. Not satisfied with that answer Herrick says, "where else was she going to go? She couldn't exactly go to child find. When I recruited you, I didn't abandon you. I took care of you. Do you know why? 'Cause it was my responsibility." Mitchell protests that he was helping her; however, Herrick is not still not impressed. "What by getting her into your fad? You know what, does this have to do with you and your furry friend, raiding the fairy box, pretending to be human? It's a game. Meeting in hotels like what? Lovers? You rip her mortality away, and then you try and patch it up with this scraps of human behaviour, that is cruel Mitchell. Why can't you just let her be the thing you made her.?  Mitchell points out that Herrick forced her to screw a man and then kill him. Herrick tells him to go and do his thing, and get it out of his system, and that there will always be a place for him there, just like there was for Lauren. 

Back at the house, Annie is sweeping up broken dishes.  George walks into the room all dressed in Black clothes and white running shoes, and asks if he is dressed to flash.  Honestly, he looks incredibly geeky.  When he leaves the room, Mitchell asks Annie, if the mug moved on it's own, but Annie denies that it did. Seconds later, George comes in, wearing an even more hideous shirt.  There are couches from the 70's desperate for the material that went into that shirt. Mitchell asks if he plans to tell Nina that he cross dresses. Okay, why demean him like that?  It's obvious that George has no taste and the times he does dress in women's clothing it's because he has no choice due to the change.  It feels wrong to use naturally gender variant people to shame George.

The drawers start to move on their own, and Mitchell asks when did this start to happen.  Annie responds, "When I found out about Owen. This could be perfectly natural. You find out that your fiancee murdered you, and you become a throwing things about ghost." Mitchell simply says, "poltergeist".  Annie responds, "see you, you know the terms. You understand how this works.  Do you think I can channel it? I have been dying to get behind that freezer and clean it". Mitchell tells her that cleaning the kitchen is not the best way to deal.  George enters the room wearing a simple shirt, which actually is the best so far, but Annie tells him that it looks like he can't be arsed. 
Mitchell goes outside during the day and notices a bunch of boys bullying another.  These kids start to push Mitchell and ask him what he is going to about it.  When his eyes turn all Black, the bullies run away.  Bernie thanks him and says that he could have handled it himself.  When Bernie's mom Fleur shows up, she thanks Mitchell for saving Bernie, and invites him in for a cup of tea.  

In the house, Fleur says that the kids picking on Bernie are little shits. Fleur says that Bernie is different because he is sensitive and kind. Bernie answers, "Mom, you make me sound gay".  I was relieved when Fleur immediately corrected him, saying that she would tell his uncles that he said that. It was absolutely necessary, after the opening scene in which a father and a son, pulled away from George as he was returning home obviously women's clothing. Fleur continues saying, "There is no shame in being sensitive, is there Mitchell? Of course you can't blame the children, not when you consider the parents. You know we're not born assholes."  I love this entire scene, because it recognizes that we actively teach children to hate.

When George gets over to Nina's, she tells him that she has to cover someone's shift.  When Nina notices that he dressed up, socially awkward George says that her commitment to her job is so passionate and attractive. Nina says we may not make the restaurant, but I still have an hour before I have to leave.  He thinks that she is suggesting take away, but she clearly meant sex.  George starts to stumble once again, saying that "you might be expecting", just as she bites his ear. He screams bloody hell and she answers, "I thought you liked it rough".  "I'm not anti the rough stuff", not at all, responds George. "It won't always be like the other night".  Nina says, "thank God," and he answers, "I thought you were impressed".  They both agree to slow things down a bit.  Throwing in a nice dose of ableism Nina adds, "Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting we wear chastity rings, we're not shagging cause we're mentals". She could have made her point about the abstinence movement without descending to ableism.  George lets the comment go by saying that they should rewind to romance and flowers. I am starting to like George less and less. He may be socially awkward but he is more than willing to over look violence against Annie, as well as ableism.  At least when Bernie used the word "retard" earlier, Fleur made a point of calling him out.

Mitchell leaves the house the next day, and runs into Bernie who says that he is on his way into town. Mitchell offers to take him out, and asks if Fleur minds, because she hardly knows him.  When she looks through her mirror, she sees only Bernie walking away, because Mitchell's reflection does not appear in the mirror.  Mitchell takes Bernie bowling and Bernie asks, "what did you want to be when you grow up?"  Mitchell says, "just happy. People really didn't have careers where I come from, mostly they were in the army or in the church".  This has me wondering whether I should revise my estimate that Mitchell was turned in WWI.  He goes on to say, "it was different back then, there was less choice about what happy people do".  Lauren shows up in the bowling hall and Mitchell drags her away.

Mitchell looks at her and says, "You're killing again. I can see it in you, I can smell it".  Lauren responds, "it's all about the blood with you".  Mitchell asks if they can just skip to the part where she makes him feel guilty.  Lauren tells him that they've got the message and that they're leaving him alone. She walks out and he follows her asking, "Is this a trick?"  Lauren says, "It's okay, what you did to me. There's no bitterness, I love it.  Take care of yourself."

Bernie and Mitchell return to the house with shopping.  Annie asks, "am I invited to this party?" When George and Mitchell look at Annie, Bernie asks what are you looking at. Annie says that she always thought that she and Owen would have parties like that.  When Annie gets upset a plate breaks.  On his knees, cleaning up the mess, Bernie sees a statue of Laurel and Hardy.  Mitchell sends Bernie up to his room to get a Laurell and Hardy CD. George says, "you my friend have a very soppy streak."  Mitchell tells them that being with Bernie helps his human side come through, like the real him.  

At home, Bernie goes to put the Laurell and Hardy DVD on, and it's clear that it's the wrong CD.  His mother slowly lifts her head off the table, and realizes what he is watching. The next morning George and Mitchell are having breakfast, when Fleur bangs on the door and says, "get out here you sick twisted low life".  When Mitchell asks what this is about, she says that she is going to tell the whole world his secret.  She says loudly that he makes friends with defenseless children and then shows them naked man filth.  

Back in the house, Annie is yelling at Mitchell about keeping the DVD.  George asks why hide it inside Laurel and Hardy?  "This is just what we didn't need Mitchell, to draw attention to ourselves".  Mitchell bangs on Fleur's door and begs to explain but neighbor approaches, and tells him that if he has any sense, that he will pack up and leave.  The neighbors spray paint the door with the word pedo and start throwing eggs and tomatoes at it. The children hold signs saying, "pervert get out". The entire neighbourhood turns on them, to the point of children spitting on George as he walks by saying, "pervert."

Inside the house, George says, "if they want us out then they're succeeding," but Mitchell tells him not to say that, because of Annie. "We have been deluding ourselves that we could ever be accepted here by proper human beings. We are monsters Mitchell, we deserve to be cast out".  

At work, when Nina asks if they are still on for tomorrow, George says, "no I don't think we are. I can't do this anymore.  I am sorry Nina it's over".  She says, "don't I get told what I've done?" and he answers, "it's not you it's me. Everything I touch turns to shit. Trust me there is stuff you don't know about me, really dark and dangerous stuff".  When she tries to touch him, George says, "no Nina I mean it," with tears in his voice.

Back at the house, Mitchell says that Owen is on his way over. Annie gets upset and says, "I can't have him in this thing, not knowing what is happening to me", as the stereo blares and dishes and plates start to break.  When they enter, Janey asks, "have we walked in on a domestic?" She then hands George an envelope, saying that it was on the porch, but when he opens it, it's filled with excrement. Owen asks, "So Mitchell what's this all about?" Mitchell says it was a simple mix up and that he never meant for the kid to see it.  Janey interrupts and walks back into the room asking if,  he told them.  Owen says that he cannot afford to piss of the neighbors, and that he is giving them their notice.

Upstairs, Janey says, "I don't know why you didn't just tell them straight that we were moving back in".  Janey and Owen are standing in the room that, Annie had planned for a nursery.  With each passing word, Annie gets more and more upset. Owen asks if they can do this another time, "because it's not tactful with those two downstairs".  The chandelier falls from the ceiling, and Owen says let's go, get out now" as he shoves Janey out of the room.Unseen and unheard, Annie says, "there's the Owen I recognize."

When Nina goes to the house, Fleur yells out, "you want to stay away from that lot, they're sick".  When George answers the door, Nina says, "so this is your secret."  George answers,  "do I look like a pedo?  You don't need me and my problems in your life," he adds, as he tries to clothes the door.  Nina asks, "who was she George? What did she to do you?  I would have listened, years from now, when you have pushed everyone away, let that haunt you. I would have listened."

At the hospital, Herrick shows up to say that he and Mitchell need to have a chat, because of what has happened in the neighbourhood. Herrick tells him, "you talk to me and I can deal with it".  Mitchell says, "I didn't do anything, someone found the DVD".  Herrick answers, "I do admire your restraint, back in the day we would have handled this very differently".  They begin to reminise about a man Mitchell killed in a bar.  Herrick says, "you just leave this to me, anymore trouble just give me a call," but Mitchell says that he does not need any help.

That night, as George and Mitchell are watching an horror movie, George says, "we're not fit to live among descent people," and Mitchell responds," it's a good job we don'"t.  George then goes on to say, "we are cursed Mitchell, to damage anyone who comes near us, Nina, Bernie".  When George sees a fire, he screams, but when they get out there, they find Annie, burning all of her memories of Owen.  She says, "now I have a purpose, a reason to be here. Owen has taken everything he could from me. He's not taking you two or this house. I've never felt more alive." 

There is a ring at the front doorbell and when Mitchell goes to answer, he sees that  it's Bernie.  Bernie says, "Mitchell, I want to say sorry".  Mitchell replies, "what for, none of this was your fault?"  Bernie answers, "it is, I knew it was the wrong DVD, as soon as I put it on. I should never have kept watching".  Mitchell tells him that he has got to home, and that he has nothing to apologize for.  The neighbour interrupts and says, ""we told you that we want you out of here. As the action gets heated, George comes out to try and restrain Mitchell, as Bernie screams from the background, "leave him alone, he didn't do anything wrong."  Fleur comes out into the street, and yells to Bernie to come to her, but as he crosses a street, a car runs him over.  Mitchell runs to him, but Fleur says, "don't you touch him."  

When Annie comes around the front of the house after hearing the sirens, she asks, what happened, and a woman responds, "kiddie got hit and it doesn't look good".  Annie is surprised that the woman can see her, and is even more suprised when a man bumps into her and apolgoies.

George makes his way to Nina's house, and on the door step he says, "I have just seen a child killed in front of me". He curls up in her lap and says, "when I tell you that I am a man with secrets, I'm being as honest as I can be right now".  When Nina asks if he is ready to tell her what those secrets are, George says no, and asks if she can deal with it.  He starts to cry as Nina stands up and says, "I want to show you something". She lifts her shirt. and shows him a bunch of scars on her stomach. Nina adds, "people can be bastards, that's all you need know. If I talk about it, I'll have to remember".  George reaches forward, and touches her abdomen saying, "I never want anything like that to happen to you again". So, I suppose that means that if George is sleeping with a woman and she has a history of violence then and only then can he feels sympathy.  At least we know that not all violence against women is a joke.

At the hospital, Fleur says to a comatose Bernie, "It was all to protect you," and Mitchell walks over  saying, "he knows".  Mitchell then continues, "I can help you Fleur, the both of you". Fleur asks, "How? He's not coming out of this, they told me that.  I am here to watch my son die, how can anyone help me through that?"  Mtichell answers, "I know that death doesn't have to be final, I'm proof of it".  Fleur responds, "oh no, not the Jesus belief".  Mitchell says, "that car hit two people, Bernie, a human and me.  You were there, you saw it okay".  When Fleur shakes her head, Mitchell asks her for a mirror. He shows her that his image cannot be captured and asks, "where am I Fleur? Why aren't I beside you?"  Fleur tells him that it's insane.  "You can cling to your old way of seeing the world. or you can let me help", Mitchell says." Us vampires are not born. we're made. We're snatched from human life, at the moment of death. I can give him life, if that's what you want". He tells her that he died a 100 years ago, but that he's lived more since then. Okay, so I was right, Mitchell did die in WWI. Fleur asks, "if you were me. would you choose that life for your son, 'cause I don't see much happiness in you Mitchell. Would Bernie really thank me, if I let him live on like you?"  Mitchell simply tells her that she has to choose because Bernie does not have much time.

In a room alone, Fleur cries over Bernie's body and kisses him.  A nurse enters the room, and covers Bernie with a sheet.  Later, outside at the train station, Fleur asks "will you stay on here?  I told the neighbours that I got it wrong, and I said that you tried to save him".  Mitchell tells her that it doesn't matter anymore.  Bernie climbs the stairs and Fleur asks, "what will happen when I die? Should I become one to"? Mitchell tells her that she needs to stay as she is. You have to remind him, and keep him good. When Bernie turns to thank him, Mitchell walks away.  

Mitchell goes to see Herrick and says I'm in.

It's clear that he now does not see any good in humanity and blames them for Bernie's death.  It's true that the neighbours jumped to conclusions, when they accused him of being a pedophile; however, most people will react strongly to even the smallest possible threat like that to their children.