Saturday, December 3, 2011

Review of Being Human U.K. Season One, Episode One

As I mentioned in my review of the pilot, by the time this episode airs quite a bit of recasting had been done.  Mitchell is now being played by Aiden Turner, Annie is being played by Lenora Crichlow and Herrick is being portrayed by Jason Wakins.  This change added to people of colour to the recurring cast, and Herrick is now being played by a White man.  I think this change made for a diversity that was lacking in the pilot.  The chemistry between the actors remains good and I find Turner to be far less brooding.

In this episode we were treated to quite a bit of back story. Mitchell is actually quite young in vampire terms because he was called on the battlefield during WWI by Herrick.  He claims that he made the sacrifice to save his men but Herrick points out that what he sees as a sacrifice granted him immortal life, while his friends were left to either die on the field, or later in life forgotten in an old folks home. 

The tension between Herrick and Mitchell is still quite strong.  When Mitchell finds Seth in the hospital threatening to feed off of the sick and helpless he sends him away to tell Herrick that the hospital is off limits as a feeding ground.  When Mitchell finds Herrick doing magic tricks for the nurses he is clearly upset that the message he sent via Seth is being ignored.  Herrick makes it clear that he wants Mitchell to join him on whatever nefarious plot he has to over throw humans but Mitchell declines.  Herrick warns him that he is going against his nature and points out that Mitchell is already showing signs of deprivation.  Throughout the episode, we see that Mitchell is shaking from the lack of blood as well zoning in on the sound of the heartbeat of those around him.

This episode we are introduced to Owen, Annie's ex boyfriend.  It seems that now that he has returned from Saudi Arabia he wants to see how Mitchell and George are taking care of the place.  Annie is very excited to see him and even gives Mitchell a list of questions she wants him to ask, but she promises to hide when he comes over.  Owen's visit is actually very awkward while George is in the room because George has zero social skills.  I have to say that the way that Russell Tovey plays geeky awkward is so damn adorable. 

Annie creates a problem with the plumbing, and then texts Owen using George's cell phone.  Upstairs as she waits for him to arrive, she plays with her hair and plans what she is going to say.  Unfortunately, Owen arrives with his new girlfriend and this shocks Annie. Things are made worse when he stands right in front of her and see a wall but not her.  When George comes home he is surprised to see them in the house, and so Owen tells him that he is there because he got his text.

Annie is destroyed that Owen has a girlfriend and all she has now are George and Mitchell.  She sits on the floor with George absolutely distraught. He tells her that he knows who she feels because he went through the same thing when his ex girlfriend showed up in town.  Apparently it was losing everything all over again. When Annie asks how he became a werewolf he tells her that one night he decided to go for a walk with a friend and that he was scratched and pushed aside while the werewolf rip out his friends chest and throat.  This was quite a graphic scene and was an interesting counter balance between the comfort and trust between George and Annie.  

When the  hospital holds a memorial service for Lauren, George tries to get Mitchell to come but he refuses.  As viewers we know that Lauren has become a vampire and so there is no reason to mourn her.  After the service, Lauren approaches George and admits that she is a vampire after threatening to kill him.  George is not in the least bit fazed which confuses Lauren until she smells him and realizes that he is a werewolf.  Okay, this is the point where I went huh.  Lauren has been a vampire for a few days at my estimate, so how exactly does she know what a werewolf smells like? It would have made more sense if she claimed to know because Herrick told her, instead of her being the one to later inform Herrick that Mitchell is living with a werewolf.   

George of course is absolutely livid to discover that Lauren is now a vampire.  He approaches Mitchell screaming asking what they are even trying to achieve by pretending to be normal.  Mitchell tells him that this is who he is and unlike a werewolf his monstrosity does not appear in short bursts.  Finally, finally, finally, Mitchell is admitting his nature.

I guess to ease the tension he agrees to go out for a drink with a young nurse that George is very interested in.  In the bar they are clearly hitting it off until Lauren shows up.  Mitchell and Lauren go outside where he asks her to run away with him but she turns him down because she loves being what she is and hungers to kill.  This seems to renew Mitchell's promise to himself and he returns to the bar to tell his date that he has to go home.  He offers to see her to a cab but she leaves to go the bathroom first.  After some time he stands outside the ladies washroom and asks a woman to see if she is in there.

Outside there is a shrill scream and he follows the sound to find George bent over his date with Lauren in the background.  It seems that Lauren decided to feed off of her.  George begs Mitchell to save her but he refuses because he does not want to be responsible for making yet another vampire.  Looking at what has become of Lauren it is really clear why.  Mitchell's date dies slowly in George's arms.

This episode really packed in a lot of information while advancing the plot.  We learned a bit about how George and Mitchell became what the are and saw that life ahead for Annie may be quite lonely.  This episode moved from touching to dramatic to even violent at times.  It drew me in and now I have to admit that I am absolutely hooked.