Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Being Human (UK) Season Five, Episode Three: Pie and Prejudice

Nine months in the past, Larry Crysler is busy doing the evening news and is not pleased with the performance of his support staff.  He walks out into the parking lot and drops something as he is standing behind his car, when a shadowy figure attacks him and scratches him. Clearly he has been attacked by a werewolf.

Tom and Hal are back at work and Tom is complaining because Hal has been made acting manager. Hal believes it's temporary until Patsy returns but Tom is not in the least bit calmed by this and says that until Patsy returns, Hal will be giving him orders. Tom threatens to walk out and reminds Hal that it's the full moon but Hal says that he cannot walk out because he has already scheduled him the night out.  Larry Crysler walks in and interrupts their conversation and asks about lighting choice because it seems that he has a speaking engagement there that night. Larry begins doing his speech.

Larry is using the bathroom and Hal approaches and introduces himself.   Tom asks for an autograph and says that it's great that Larry is famous.

Dominic smashes a radio after listening to the secretary of state talking about cuts. Clearly, the man is still very much unhinged. 

Back at home, Tom tells Alex that Hal has a girlfriend and then clarifies to say that Hal is visiting a girl.  Hal says that it's simply an acquaintance, nothing more. Alex says, "an acquaintance with the Lady Mary, surely that's prison slang." Tom reminds Hal that he is not to hang around anyone with fangs but Hal assures Tom that the Lady Mary is a ghost who died some years ago. Alex is surprised that Hal knows another female ghost and suggests that the two would get along.  Hal is not keen on this and calls Lady Mary fragile and suggests that Alex is capable of corrupting Keith Richards.

Hal is visiting with Lady Mary, when Alex appears and introduces herself. Hal quickly drags her away and she says that she has no one to talk to about ghost stuff.  Hal reluctantly introduces Alex. Lady Mary assumes that Hal and Alex are a couple but Alex and Hal make it clear very quickly that there is nothing between them.  Hal apologizes for Alex and she replies that Alex has a boisterous charm and that she wishes her finishing school was still open.  The Lady Mary quickly dismisses Hal and sets about chatting with Alex.  As soon as Hal is gone, the Lady Mary drops her 18th century persona and says that it bores her to death.

Back at the hotel Larry Crysler is busy taking food off of the tables.  Hal approaches and says that he thought Larry would be leaving today but Larry replies that his management company negotiated for him to stay there for a week. Hal asks if Larry is going out tonight and then informs him that he is to vacate his room by tomorrow morning, as Larry continues to pack food.

The Lady Mary and Alex head off to a club and Alex says that she and Hal had a date once and then it didn't go to well. The Lady Mary keeps touching people's heads so that she can read their minds. Alex points out that Lady Mary has clearly changed over the years.  Lady Mary says that she reads, watches tv, and has tried to keep up with the world. Lady Mary instigates a fight between two patrons as Alex watches.

Larry is coming down the stairs when he runs into Tom.

Back at the club, Mary is touching people who are in the bathroom having sex.  She encourages Alex to join saying that she is going to miss it but Alex says no thanks.  When the man starts to orgasm, so does Lady Mary.

The next morning, Larry returns wearing a dress and he claims to have had a crazy night but Tom tells him that he is a werewolf as well.  Tom says that though he is a werewolf that he has never been anywhere posh like Larry.  Tom lets it slip that he lives in a house with people and Larry wants to know if the people know what they are. When Tom says yes, Larry begins to chatter about the secret to his success and then asks how big the house he lives in is.

Hal is working on a puzzle, when Alex tells him that they need to have a conversation about Mary.  When Hal reminds Alex that he told her that Mary would be dull, Alex replies, "dull is not the word I would use, crazy sort of bat shit shocking is more the flavour. Mary is not the person you think she is. The whole posh totty thing is just an act." Hal asks why on earth Mary would do this and Alex replies, "I don't know and I don't care but what I'm worried about is the fact that she has been stuck her for two hundred years and it's turned her into a total frothing lune. Is that what's going to happen to me?"  Hal assures Alex that even if she doesn't pass over for awhile, he is certain that she will cope with it because Alex and Mary are completely different people. Alex points out that Mary had a thing with Hal died and then got stuck there as a ghost.

Larry shows up at the apartment and Tom introduces him to everyone as a werewolf.  Tom says that Larry is going to teach him how to become a successful werewolf and asks Hal how he feels about that. Larry asks if Hal is a werewolf as well and Hal says that he is a vampire and Alex says that she is a ghost. Larry doesn't take this seriously and believes that Hal is joking. Why in the world he would have trouble believing in ghosts when he himself is a werewolf is beyond me. When Alex points out that Larry brought along a suitcase, Larry says that he's tutoring can be extensive and that he thought that rather than go back and forth, he would just stay there for awhile. Hal says, "great the more the merrier," but Tom jumps in and says, "you're not the boss of me here. I can do what I want."

Upstairs Larry hands Tom a book and tells him that this is his new bible.  Hal talks about how he and McNair were never really separated and that McNair protected him from the world. Larry then takes off his suit and hands it to Tom, saying that the clothes make the man.  Larry then asks Tom to lend him one hundred and fifty pounds because he has a cash flow problem and Tom agrees to help, though he makes it clear that it's just a loan.

Tom shows up at work in Larry's jacket and tells Hal that is there to congratulate him on his new position as manager.  Tom pulls a card out of his pocket, which says Tom McNair inc, and Hal points out that there should be a phone number or an email on it. Tom takes it back and says that he will call Hal and adds that there is a new player in town. Tom then walks off and starts to shmoose with people.  Back in the car,  Larry instructs Tom to bash in the car window of a BMW. It seems that the car now belongs to Larry's ex wife and he is bitter about how the relationship ended and the divorce settlement which saw most of Larry's assets get transferred to her. When Tom resists, Larry suggests that he is pushing Tom to fast and then sends Tom to let the air out of all of the tires.

Lady Mary and Alex are talking about her life.  Mary says that she goes off and has adventures and then makes sure that she is back on time for Hal. Alex asks about Mary's unfinished business and Mary says that it's all sorted out and that she has had loads of doors appear, she just turns them all down. When Alex asks why, Mary says that Hal needs her though he has Alex and others, she and Hal have something special. Mary believes that Hal seeing her, keeps Hal clean because she was his last victim. Alex asks if this is what Hal told her and then quickly adds that it's not her business and that all of these lies are not healthy.  Alex suggests that Mary tell Hal who she really is and Mary asks what if Hal doesn't like the new her.  Alex then suggests that Mary come with her to see her world.

Back at the house, Hal asks for a word with Larry.  He asks how Tom's lessons are progressing and Larry replies that they are at a delicate stage.  Larry asks if Hal ever met McNair and when Hal says that he didn't, Larry asks if Tom was home schooled. Hal replies, "that was my understanding, though I don't think that McNair's lessons were exactly conventional." Larry says that Hal should take credit for introducing Tom to society.  When Hal replies that "Tom has been resourceful in that area," Larry asks, "are you saying that you haven't taught him anything?  I mean you're obviously a man of breeding and intelligence whereas Tom was almost literally raised by wolves." Clearly, Larry is judging Hal and when he starts to walk away, Hals says, "I suppose the greatest test of a teacher's work is whether the student thrives without them. It will be interesting to see Tom implement all the things you've taught him once you've gone. Once all of this is over. It's a big house but not that big. How odd you must find our little set up here, how domesticated. Perhaps we are a little ridged, but the structure seems to work for us and we'll do all we can to protect it."  Larry quickly leaves.

Dominic realizes that his situation is not unique and that people lose their job everyday. His problem is that without his job, he has nothing else. Dominic does not have a family or any hobbies.  Dominic is worried that if he steps aside and the tide washes over the world now, that all of his sacrifice has been for nothing. He says all of this to a sex hotline.  Clearly Dominic is floundering for a way forward.

Tom is sitting on the couch in the suit and Hal tells him that he doesn't have to keep the suit on all of the time. Hal sits down next to Tom and says that Larry is not the success he has led them to believe.  He says that Larry was fired six months ago.  Tom believes that Hal just doesn't want to see him move forward.  Hal tells Tom that he is not winning and asks about making Tom assistant manager but Tom is not pacified and yells that he wants Hal's job. Tom says, "something tells me that now that Larry has given me the skills I need, you're worried I just might get it." Hal replies, "Larry is a charlatan and a business failure."  Tom is still not convinced, so Hal suggests that Larry has been filling his head with utter nonsense and that the attitudes he has been encouraging are shallow and aggressive.  Tom admits that Larry is not a nice guy but says that nice guys finish last and that he is tired of finishing last. Hal tells him that he doesn't have to stoop to Larry's level but Hal says that he has to and that McNair would have wanted more from him than this.  Tom believes that he is letting McNair down. Tom then gets up and leaves.

Alex and Lady Mary arrive at the house. Alex introduces Mary to Tom and Larry.  Larry says that he is loving the whole "Downton Abby thing" Mary's got going on. Hal enters the room and is shocked to see Mary.  Tom invites Mary to join them for dinner and Alex quips, "So Hal, 250 years without blood, that's quite an achievement." Larry being a pig points out that Mary cannot take her clothes off and asks if this means that Mary cannot take a bath - but he is clearly talking about sex.  Mary simply replies, "even though I have been dead for more than 200 years, I'm sure that I bathe more regularly than some people I could think of." Hal gets up and excuses himself and Mary is clearly disappointed.  Larry says, "it's a really pity, a real waste that you'll never again know the love of a man." Lady Mary is done being tolerant and she holds a knife to Larry;s throat and threatens to cut his nut sack off if he ever talks to her again.   Larry gets up and says that he is going to catch up on some work.

Lady Mary disappears and Hal walks into the room and accuses Alex of breaking Lady Mary.  Alex again tells Hal that the propriety act is something Mary puts on because she believes that she is Hal's last victim. Hal asks if Alex has told Mary anything and Alex admits that she hasn't, but wants to know how Hal could let Mary think that for so long. Hal says that it's not an easy topic to bring up. Alex tells Hal that Mary is turning down doors because she believes that she is keeping Hal clean. Hal says that he can't tell Mary because he believes that Mary is far to fragile. Hal walks out  leaving Tom and Alex alone. Tom tells Alex that Lady Marry is a nutter and she strike back saying that Larry is a douche and an asshole. Alex asks what Tom is doing with Larry.

Upstairs, Tom asks Larry if he is okay and Larry says that he has forgotten all about Mary and that this is all part of the game. Tom asks when Larry is going to be back on the television and Larry says that he is taking a break to pursue other options and that he will be back on again in a couple of weeks doing the evening news. Tom suggests that they head to Larry's house tomorrow but Larry says that the house now belongs to his ex wife and that they can go if Tom wants to knock some windows out. Larry says that a house, wife, job are all just shackles. Tom then says that Hal is right and that Larry has been sleeping in his car.  Larry counters by suggesting that Hal has really gotten to him.  Tom tells Larry to stop it and asks if Larry was ever a success.  Larry replies, "if I ever lied to you, it was only to protect you.  I did have it all but then the werewolf came and gobbled it all up."  Tom wants to know what this means and Larry says that because Tom was turned as a baby, he has never known anything else. "you don't know how the wolf changes you, It's everyday and every hour. I've got instincts which I never had before, lust. I cheated on my wife and piece by piece the wolf took it all." Tom declares that he is not like that and so Larry asks how many vampires Tom has killed. Larry then points out that maybe there is a smart successful Tom inside that he'll never meet him because of the wolf.  Tom brings up the book and Larry admits that he has never even read the book and that he believes that no one stands a chance against the wolf. Tom walks out in frustration.

Lady Mary is back and Alex tells her that she needs to talk things through with Hall. Lady Mary sits down with Hal and tells him about the music she likes, that she shoplifts and pushes people over if she doesn't like their shoes or their faces. Alex then says that Hal has a secret to tell Mary.  Hal says that he knows that she has been turning down doors and that she is not his last victim.  Mary is not impressed and points out that Hal had centuries of lying, fawning and babbling about the weather. Centuries of know how she felt about him, and centuries of thinking that he felt the same. Hal quickly cuts in to say that he did care, but perhaps not in that way and that he is totally clean now.  Hal says that it must be over 50 years since he last killed a human. Mary replies, "that's okay because that only makes me an idiot for 200 years." Mary is upset and accuses Alex for covering for Hal.  Alex says that Marty is now free to passover.  Mary calls Hall and utter wanker and pops out.  Hal says, "For over 200 years, I've been visiting her and five minutes with you, she's threatening to castrate people and accusing me of onanism."  When Alex asks what that means, Hal says, "masturbation."  Alex tells Hal that this whole business makes her doubt him and she wonders if she is just the latest in a round of dead girls who he leans on and lies to.

They hear a noise and it turns out that it's Larry and he says that he is covering Tom's shift.  Hal asks where Tom is and Larry says that Tom said that it's not working out trying to be human and then he packed his bag and left. Larry suggests that this is for the best because as Hal said, that it was getting a little bit cramped.

Hal and Alex make their way into the woods to find Tom and they find the book and jacket burning in a fire.  Tom is inside a tent crying and asks how they found him.  Hal says that they know how much McNair meant to him and that his grave was a good bet.  Alex asks how the saving for McNair's grave stone is going and Tom replies that he has changed his mind about that and that he has spent the money. Alex then comments that it was Larry who took the money. Tom tells them that McNair was a surveyor before he got bit and was successful, but after turning into a werewolf, he ended up living in the woods. Tom points out that McNair raised a son. Tom believes that this is as good as it gets for a werewolf but Hal counters and tells him that he has one night a month to worry about and is therefore the closest to human of all of them. Tom replies that he used to believe that was the case, until Larry set him straight and that the werewolf is hurting him inside and keeping him dumb. Hal calls it nonsense and says that Larry is despicable. Hal stands and says that if it's true that he has a monster inside then he has to prove his worth by fighting it and spitting it in his face.  He adds that Larry's problems have nothing to do with him being a wolf and everything to do with the fact that he is a failure.  Tom says that he is not a success but Hal replies that he is by all of the measures that matter.  Tom replies, that this is just another way of saying failure and that in the woods, he doesn't have to dress up, learn stupid rules and stop pretending that he is normal.  He adds, "this is enough for me," before lying down and crying.  Hal storms off in a rage.

Hal returns home and tells Larry to get out. Larry surmises that this has to do with Tom, and says, "whatever he has chosen, has nothing to do with me and we both know that he's not the sharpest tool in the shed." Hal tells Larry that he has five minutes to pack his things.  Larry says that this is his home now.  Hal tells him that there is only one person to blame for what's happened to him. Larry tells Hal to shut up and says that he doesn't know him.  Hal tells him that there is something inside him that wants to get free and that is his only chance to be the wise man who walks away and gets to see another day.

Dominic is sitting at a desk with a loaded gun and has set a watch.  He holds the gun to his head.

Alex is still with Tom and talks about how Mary is all alone and mad as a badger. Tom says that he is not like that and Alex replies neither am I.  Alex tells him that he has got to stay anchored. Alex asks him to come back because without Tom and Hal that she will turn into Mary.  Alex adds that he is the best out of all of them.

When Alex returns home, Mary is trying to force Hal to stab himself with a stake.  Hal tells Mary that he is grateful to all the years she dedicated to his well being.  Mary brings up the cycle of him going clean and then drinking and asks how many lives she will be saving if she kills him today. Alex takes control of the stake and moves it away from Hal. Mary pushes back and re-aims the stake at Hal but Tom grabs it.  Alex says that they have control of it and that it's their job to make sure Hal doesn't kill again. Alex suggests that it's time for Mary to let go, though her heart is breaking.  Mary lets go and Tom falls to the floor with the stake.

Mary and Alex are outside and she asks Mary what next. Mary says that it's time for a new country. Alex tells her that Hal is not a bad man and she asks where he heard this before. Alex says goodbye to Mary and she says that the man who killed her isn't gone and just sleeping. Mary asks how long it will be before Alex is the one holding the stake then bows before Alex walks away.

Back at the house Hal tells Tom that Larry has left. Tom apologizes for Larry and says that he just needs to try harder and can be anything he wants to be. Hal asks about the assisstant manager position and Hal assures him that it is if he wants it.  Tom calls him a good bloke and leaves.

We get a flash to Larry and Hal and Larry tells Hal that he is too wild for his liking. Hal instructs him to take a step back and Larry calls him a fraud and then starts to smack and push Hal.  Hal then rveals himself and chokes Larry with the cord of a lamp until Larry dies.

Dominic is holding the gun to his head and then decides not to shoot when his phone goes off.  It's Hal who says, "I believe I have some work for you." Dominic promises to be right over.  Hal sits to wait and we hear Mary ask, "how long until you kill again?"

I have always known that vampirism is a metaphor for drug addiction but perhaps no other episode of Being Human (UK) has made this more clear.  In other vampire stories, vampires need blood to survive wheras in Being Human (UK) the change is really is an addiction.  Vampires crave blood before they even taste.  This is a problem because it literally casts the addicted person as monstrous.

There was a lot of ableism in this episode.  I actually lost count of the time that Mary was called crazy as a way of attacking her choices and behaviour.  Yes, it was intrusive when she touched the couple fucking in the bathroom, but understandable that she would want to feel sexy and have orgasms.  I actually quite liked her character and the challenges she brought to the forefront.  If Hal has been lying to her for over 200 years, what's to say he isn't lying to Alex. Another question is why is it that the female victims he kills are around him as a support network but not the men?

Class was also really well explored with Tom.  Clearly he bought into the idea that success means having things in life.  How much chance did Tom ever have when he didn't get any formal education and was hardly integrated with society?  In some ways I think that this is a comment about insular communities as well as how hard it can be to break the cycle of poverty.  What I did love about this storyline was Hal supporting him, throughout his emotional break down. 

I don't know what it is they want to do with Hal.  On one hand he is antiqued and uses words like onanism and then he compares Alex to Keith Richards.  Hal's sexism is supposed to be about the fact that he has old world sensibilities but at the same time, he shifts into modern slang or uses modern references quite easily.  If Hal is meant to be antiquated they should simply write his character that way and not just to justify his sexist attitude towards women.

At this point, we are half way through the final season of Being Human (UK). I was quite surprised to see no meta in this episode, considering that there isn't much to the remainder of this season.  It's a shame because I find that I like Hal and Tom far more than I imagined I would.  I very much have the feeling that this is going to end with Hal's death because like Mitchell before him, he seems to have no control over his actions.  I guess we will have to wait to see if there is some big moral message to this all in the remaining episodes.