Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Being Human U.K. Season Two, Episode Four: Educating Creatures

This episode begins with a flashback from a year ago to Kemp talking to professor Janet aka Lucy, about a paper she wrote regarding her theory about a gene that is potentially the cause of all evil.  She tries to avoid the conversation by saying that those papers were all an intellectual exercise.  Kemp reminds her that last week she received a small sample of blood that made no sense, and that the sample was evil.  He tells her that if she wishes to learn more that she should call him.

It's early morning and Annie is following the mail man as he is doing his deliveries.  In an alley across the street, a policemen walks up to a dead body and Annie follows. When Annie sees the ghost of the dead man, she asks him if he is okay, and if he understands what has just happened to him.  "They told me to wait for you", he responds, and then attempts to drag Annie through yet another door.

Back at the house, George is awake and quite chipper and making sausages.  He tells Mitchell that he has had an Epiphany - a break.  He is making a list to make order out of his life.

When Annie becomes conscious, she meets a ghost named Sykes, who tells her that he saved her from the other side.  When he starts to leave, she follows him and says that he has to help her, because this keeps happening to her.  Sykes tells her that he does not have to do anything of the sort. "There's no automatic bond between us. We're just ghosts love" he says, as he attempts to walk away again. 

Back at the house, George says this whole time I never wanted to think about what happened to me once a month.  He says that you put a big scary animal in a cage, and thus he is going to buy a cage.  "I've been treating this whole wolf thing like this big life changing thing, running around doing jobs a monkey could do, but what is it really?  When you think about it, it's one night a month.  That's no reason for me not to live a long normal full life the rest of the time, and that is what I am going to do." Mitchell asks if that is on his list as well and George responds, "yes, yes it is in fact, number two get a better job."

Annie follows Sykes, threatening to haunt him if he does not help her.  Sykes tells her that fighting the men behind the door is grown up stuff, and she tells him that he is about nine.  Sykes goes on to say that he died when he was 23, and in ghost years he is 89. Annie stops him and says, "if you don't help me, then sooner or later they're going to get me".  Sykes responds, "you have resisted deaths door three times, which is written all over your aura, which I could teach you to read." Annie asks him to show her how to read auras at least, because apparently it's not like teaching, it's a magic trick.

At vampire headquarters, Campbell brings in a young woman for Mitchell to feed off of.  Mitchell asks what part of no blood do you not understand?  It seems that Campbell found her on a website for humans that have a vampire fetish.  He believes that this is different, because the woman is volunteering to be fed on, but Mitchell tells him that it is not different, and instructs him to get the woman out of there. Ivan tells Mitchell that Campbell's suggestion is a creative reinterpretation of the rules. Mitchell tells him that there is only one rule. 

George goes into a factory to get a cage built, and he starts to stumble when he's asked what size cage and how close the bars need to be together.  The welder asks if he wants a cage big enough for a man, because he believes that George is into S&M.  George says, "I was obviously embarrassed to say that I wanted a sex cage, but now that this is out in the open, I feel wonderful."  The welder tells George that he will throw in some handcuffs no charge.  

Back at the house, George is complaining that all the tradesmen he met that day think that he is a pervert and Skyes pipes up saying,"better they think that you're a nonce, than a werewolf surely."  When George asks who he is, Mitchell tells him that his name is Sykes and that he is dead and apparently very good at closing doors.  Mitchell asks if he can teach Annie how to do this, and when Sykes says maybe, maybe not, Mitchell asks him why he is there again.   Annie drags Mitchell into the next room and tells him that he is not her father, but Mitchell is concerned because of all the things that have been happening lately. Annie reminds Mitchell that Sykes saved her, and that she had to drag him to the house, only to have him act like an over protective father. She tells him to ease up.  Before going back to the living room, Annie asks how George is doing, and Mitchell tells her that he is manic and not talking about it.  Annie says that this not healthy, and that he needs to talk about it.

When they walk back into the living room, George is telling Sykes that if he can help Annie, that he has a responsibility to do so. Sykes says, "Do you want to know why I don't want to teach you? It's because there is only one passing grade. Anything less than an A+, and they've got you, and I really don't want that on my conscience."  Annie responds, "Sykes if you don't teach me, then I'm gone anyway." He tells her that they can meet a 9 tomorrow, if it's okay with her two dads, and walks out of the house.  George says that he liked him, and then mentions that he wants to switch rooms because of the size thing with the cage. 

Back at vampire central, Campbell stands up and announces that he is a blood addict and that it has been nine days since his last drink.  Really? They are actually having the vampires act as though they are in AA.  Talk about sick appropriation.  Ivan says to Mitchell, "please don't tell me that you got this idea from me. It's ridiculous, like when they dress up those bears and make them dance for the tourists in Istanbul." Mitchell tells Ivan that he wants him to sign up and go clean with them. He says that he is one of the old ones and if Ivan went clean that it would legitimize this whole process. "This is just the beginning" Mitchell says. "When it starts to bite everyone of those poor bastards, they're going to go through hell. The pain, the memories the desires, just think Ivan, all that feeling, each moment a stab of pure undiluted sensation."  

George is sitting with a young woman in an office waiting for an interview.  When he finally gets an interview, he asks what's wrong with him.  George says that he thought that it might be a problem and points out that he has been a hospital porter for two years.  Pablo says that brings him back to his original question of what is wrong with George. George tells him that two years ago that he had an accident, but now he feels ready to re-enter the world.

Sitting on a hill, Sykes tells Annie, "For their agents, they normally pick the mentally weak, the depressed, the insane, alcoholics, but learn to read auroras, and you can spot them a mile off."  He points to a group of people, and asks Annie what she thinks. She looks at a man and finally sees something grey. Sykes tells her that he has a tumor.  When Annie suggests that they have to let the man know because this is terrible, Sykes tells her that he probably already knows. "So theoretically", Annie says, "I could read your aura".  When Sykes says that she can theoretically, Annie answers, "go on let me. It's not like your wearing ladies underwear are you?"  He gets angry and says, "please stay out of there, I am warning you. Look, I will do what I can to help, but this is my only rule."  Annie says that she is sorry and agrees to his terms.

Mitchell approaches Lucy at the hospital and says that he has been thinking about their date, and that he will agree to answer 20 questions.  When she asks where he was yesterday, he tells her that he was at an AA meeting.  When she points out that she saw him have a drink the other day, Mitchell tells her that alcohol was never his drug of choice, but that he has been clean for years. Lucy tells him that if she is doing the whole 12 step thing, that she should be on his list when he gets around to making amends and that he is not off the hook yet. When Lucy walks away, George appears pushing a patient in a hospital bed.  He tells Mitchell that Lucy is out of his league. George tells Mitchell that he has handed in his notice, and that as of now, he is a language teacher.  When George crashes the patient into a wall, he tells Mitchell not to worry, because the man has enough tranquillizers to knock a horse out. Mitchell then proceeds to secure some tranquilizers for George, who scratches them off his list. 

Back at home, George has the cage set up and a camera aimed to record his change.  At the institute, Nina is in the same contraption as the werewolf from a previous episode, with Kemp watching her on the monitor. She is wearing a hospital gown and is having trouble with her hearing. Lucy walks into the control room and asks if they have changed anything about the procedure since the last attempt, and the technician says no, but that Nina's physiology is different.  Inside the machine, Nina starts to have a nosebleed and she asks what is happening.  Kemp tells Lucy that this will help them prepare for the next one, George Sands, but Lucy suggests that the best way to reach him is through Nina.  In the contraption, Nina starts to scream while holding her head. Back at the house, George is lying in his cage but the change has not started for him and he is absolutely quiet. Lucy tells the technician to lower the pressure, otherwise Nina will explode like the last one. The reduction of pressure allows Nina to change, and Lucy says, "there you see, it wasn't a complete waste of time. We now know that a werewolf doesn't have to be conscious in order to change.  When she changes back to normal, tell her that we had a malfunction. If you want to bring George Sands in, we need to keep Nina alive and believable."
The next morning at the house, George plays the tape he made last night, and tells Mitchell and Annie and that the video represents eight hours of a sleeping werewolf.  George says, "I've done it. I have put the wolf to sleep and I'm free."  Mitchell tells him to take a shower because he stinks.  Later that day, George is in class teaching English as a second language, when a student holds up his hand and asks what the f word is. George says that it is not on the lesson plan, but the student asks what is fuck.  The student then goes on to say that people laugh at them, because they don't know what these terms mean.  George says for 10 minutes every lesson, he is going to teach them about swearing. As he is teaching his students what STFU means, Pablo walks into the room and asks for a word.  In the hallway Pablo says, "I took a very a big chance on you. Say that you understand that." George says, "I understand that you took a very big risk in employing me."  Pablo goes on to say "what I didn't expect to see in your very first week, is you teaching my students profanities."

Back at the house, Sykes and Annie are sitting in front of the television and he tells her, "that they use them to recruit agents and sometimes they even come through. If they're in control, there's a frequency that you can feel. It's low like a bass hum. If that happens here, you're done. When he turns on the television, someone is doing the weather, and Annie uses her mind to turn off the television.  Sykes congratulates her and tells her to try again. When she does try, she feels like someone is blocking her and it turns out that Sykes is blocking her, because he is attracted to the weather girl. She tells him that she needs to expose him to some modern culture, like Sex and the City, and while she is talking, the weather girl starts to motion for Sykes to come closer.  He finally gets Annie's attention and she turns off the television with her mind, and then suggests that they should try something else.

Back at vampire headquarters, Mitchell asks who would like to start and Ivan stands up.  "My name is Ivan. I'm a blood addict. It's been a part of me for so long you know, it's defined me. The thought of life without it seemed absurd, to futile to even try. Then I realized that I belonged to this hunger, a 195 years of servitude. You think about that. Think about that and tell me that it isn't time to stop."  Everyone in the group applauds.

George is meeting for a lunch with a woman, named Sam, who met when he was waiting for his interview and orders a whole chicken.  When she looks at him curiously, he says, "what I'm hungry," and then proceeds to tear off hunks of chicken with his bare hands.  She tells him that she has seen is CV, and believes that he will be out of there in six months. He tells her that he has lived a dangerous life, and that normal and boring is wonderful to him now. When he picks up a glass to try and take a drink, he notices that his hand his shaking.

Later in the day, George has prepared three different dishes to help Annie with her sense of taste.  She puts her hand on George's face, and Sykes tells Annie to imagine that she is opening the dish and eating. On the first bite George takes, she figures out that he is having lemon sorbet.  When they move on the next dish, and George is eating meat, Annie gets a flash of his wolf and quickly withdraws. When George asks if she is okay, Annie says yes, and that she does not feel very well. George looses his temper, and tells her that it's fine, and that he will just throw all of the food in the bin, and walks away.

At vampire headquarters, Ivan tells Mitchell that he can't do this, but Mitchell tells him that it has only been a few days, and that there are a lot of people in that room because of him. Ivan tells him that he is not going to quit, because he is many things, but he is a man of his word.  Ivan tells him that he will stand in that room and say whatever he needs, but that he cannot do it dry.

Sam and George get together when she tells him that all of his information got lost.  When she leans in to get a folder behind him, he leans in to kiss her and Sam backs away.  George apologizes and she admits that the whole thing really was a set up, and that she is indeed interested in him. Later that night, he sits naked in front of the television watching the video of him as a wolf.

The next morning, he meets Sam outside of work and tries to kiss her again, and she pulls away. As they walk along, he starts to scream profanities and runs away from her saying that he is ill.  It seems that the result of drugging himself through the change leads to Tourette syndrome, to which I can only say is a disgusting appropriation of disabled people. I don't understand why they had to go there, and I for one am sick and tired of the supernatural comparisons to marginalized people. Later that night in the house, George explains what happened to Mitchell and Annie. He says that he had an incident in class, which had his students swearing because he swore.  Annie and Mitchell start to giggle, but George tells them that this isn't funny. He then attacks Mitchell and attempts to punch him.  George says, "have you noticed that I've been a little bit angry. I thought that I could put the wolf to sleep, like it would be that easy. It's like I can feel him pacing in his cage up here and he feels cheated. He feels aggrieved because I didn't let him out, I didn't let him rage and he wants to rage so very badly.  On the bus home today, there was a little kid about 16, and he was playing one of those phones that has a little speaker, and he was playing it really loudly, and nobody was saying anything and I wanted to kill him.  I really wanted to kill him. I pictured myself picking up that phone and smashing it into his face, over and over and over". George and Annie try to comfort him and remind him that he controlled himself, and George answers that the kid got off the bus.

At vampire headquarters, Ivan and Mitchell meet.  Ivan tells him that there are so many vampires not drinking because of him and Mitchell responds, "yeah I'm a fucking hero."  Tied to a bed is the young woman who volunteered earlier to be fed upon. As Mitchell walks away, he tells Ivan not to kill her.

Back at the house, Sykes tells Annie that he thinks that she is ready for her exam.  He asks her where she died, and she points to the bottom of the stairs.  He tells her to turn on the radio and anything electrical. When she asks how long it will take, he tells her that it won't be long.  The radio announces that a woman died in a tragic fall, and Annie gets a vision of herself dead at the bottom of the stairs.  A door opens, and the vision of her starts talking and says, "poor little me. I feel down the stairs and now I'm dead. My fiance did it and he never loved me."  The fake Annie turns to Sykes and says "of all the men who died because of you, because of your mistake," and he begins to hear air raid sirens.  Annie tells Sykes to get a hold of himself and then to fake her she says, "you're one of them aren't you? You might have put on my face, but you're one of them. It's just tricks, you put on a mask to frighten me, you convince people to hurt me, you want to keep me scared, because you can't actually do anything. I thought you were an army of devils, but you're not, you're a magician." Annie walks up to the open door and slams it shut.

Back at the institute, Lucy says that it's unprecedented to have a nest of vampires who have abandoned blood led by one who is clean. Kemp points out that the vampires have moved back into the funeral parlor, which makes it very convenient to get rid of bodies.  He goes on to say that they are trying to free an innocent soul, and that with the vampires, the battles lost; there's no soul to save.  Lucy says, "he is capable of change and I will prove it."

Back at the school, George walks in on Pablo flirting with Sam, and it enrages him.  He has to leave and walk into his classroom.  Sam walks into the room and asks if he is okay.  Sam says that she has heard about what's been happening, his swearing and wants him to know that it does not matter to her.  George is surprised, and Sam says that it does not bother her, because he is the nicest guy that she knows.  In the bathroom, George finds a sign that says, "Mr. Sands suck cocks."  His boss walks in and catches him in the act of adding an s to suck.  Pablo makes George apologize for swearing at the students, and writing graffiti on the mirror. Pablo adds for daring to date a woman out of your league.  George loses his temper and beats Pablo up, and says that if you tell anybody about this, I will come back and finish you off.

Outside, Annie tells Sykes that she does not understand why people still cannot see her.  He tells her that she was never meant to be seen, because there is life and then there's the ghost.  He tells her that there is something different about her, "a crease in the cloth". She asks him what happened to him and Sykes says, "in battle you don't have the time to think everything through.  You make the right choice, your men live. I made the wrong choice and I have had seventy years to think about it.  That's why I didn't want to help you. I didn't want to have responsibility again. I didn't want more blood on my hands."   Annie asks why he is still there and Sykes says, "I go through that door and I know who's waiting for me. Maybe they will welcome me now, but maybe not.  On the plus side you don't have to worry about the gatekeepers now. Whatever happens will be your choice." Annie tells him that she cannot imagine choosing to through the door, and Sykes responds, "the world will change around you. You'll see people fall in love, have children, grow old and die, all the things you can't do anymore. It's like watching the world through a glass wall and eventually it becomes unbearable. But then you will find something else - the next adventure."  When Annie asks what he means, he tells her that, that's strictly on a need to know basis before walking off by himself.

At the end of another meeting at vampire headquarters, Mitchell watches Ivan hug people.  It's clear that he is still very conflicted by what he has done. And back at the house, George is lying naked in his cage crying. I suppose they are both wondering if the compromises they have made are worth it and if they will ever have the normalcy they so desperately seek.