Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Being Human (UK) Season Five, Episode Four: The Greater Good

Domenic has has gone to see Bobby, who is packing up after being notified that Domenic's big plan is to approach the Chinese to get funding to continue his work. Bobby asks about Tom and Domenic gets frustrated and says that he has made a temporary arrangement and that with the electricity about to go down, they won't have any way to contain him.

Domenic brings Bobby over to the house and Tom refuses to take responsibility for him.  Hal says that after several bad interactions that they have made a pledge to avoid contact with other supernaturals. Domenic assures them that Bobby is no trouble.  Bobby simply stares and doesn't say a word because he is too shocked by the presence of Alex.  Domenic again asserts that Bobby needs to stay with people who have the experience and tools to deal with him and that the household owes him a favor for looking after Ian.  Domenic goes on to add that Crumb has recently killed six people and has formed an alliance with Alan, an ex associate.  Domenic says he wants them to deal with Crumb and Alan however they see fit.  Hal asserts that this is not his responsibility but Domenic reminds him that he made Crumb and has cost his department a lot of time and resources over centuries and says that this is his chance to give something back. Hal tells Tom that he wouldn't have to look after Bobby but Tom asks about work.  Domenic leaves saying that he will be back before the full moon.

Hal and Alex go to see Crumb. When Crumb opens the door, he is wearing blue underwear and his chest is covered in blood. This is a sight that I never need to see again btw.   When they enter the apartment, they find the walls are covered in blood and Alan surrounded by dead people that they have fed on.  Alan tells Hal that he has read his file and that he is a huge fan. Hal tells Ian that this has to stop and though he understands the thrill of this new found power, sooner or later it will give way to guilt and horror. Alex drags Hal out into the hallway and declares both Crumb and Alan nuts, then suggests that they stake them both. Hal reminds Alex that Domenic said he could deal with Ian however he saw fit, but Alex feels that this was a suggestion that they kebab Ian. Hal says that there has been enough death and violence and that they can help both Ian and Alan and do some good.  When they go back into the room, Hal tells Ian that he wants to help him. Crumb reminds Hal that when he asked for help, Hal turned his back. Hal replies that with their help, they can leave this all behind, have friends, careers, and even lovers.  Crumb holds out his hand and says that they are in.

Tom is busy ironing and Bobby is peppering him with questions, which is getting on Tom's last nerve.  Alex, and Hal enter with Alan and Crumb in tow.  Alan pauses when he sees Bobby and tells Crumb that Bobby is a wolf from the archive. Bobby says that he lives there now and that Tom is looking after him.  When Hal adds that Bobby is another temporary house guest,  Tom asks for clarification and so Hal says that Crumb and Alan will be staying there while they help them get off the blood.Tom walks out of the room in disgust and Hal and Alex follow.

In the other room, Hal says that by bringing Alan and Crumb into their pack,they are making it bigger and stronger because helping Alan and Crumb will help them.  Alex quickly asserts that she doesn't trust Alan and Crumb. Hal responds," good, don't, they're junkies but with the right sort of help they can be redeemed. If I can be redeemed surely they can as well." Alex makes it clear that she is not cleaning up any poo. Tom says that he is going to work but Hal reminds him how difficult the first stages of blood withdrawal can be and suggests that this wouldn't be a good thing for Bobby to see. Tom again says that he is not bringing Bobby to the hotel, which shocks Alex.  Tom says, "just look at him. He's smelly and hairy and asks loads of stupid questions all of the time." Hal crosses his arms and replies, "oh my God man, you're a snob."  Tom tells him to shut up but Alex chimes in with, "no, he's right. You've got a house and a job and now you've become a snob." Tom tells Bobby that they are leaving.  As they head toward the door, Hal asks Tom for some of his blood.

When Tom and Bobby arrive at the hotel, Captain Hatch is busy whispering to himself in a chair. Tom gets Bobby to sit in a chair and instructs him not to touch anything or talk to anyone excusing his abruptness by saying that they are rushed off their feet, though the dining room is empty with the exception of Captain Hatch. Bobby asks to sit in a smaller room and Tom tells him no and then storms out.  Hatch turns and fixes Bobby with an evil glare.

Alan and Crumb are now tied to chairs in a basement where Hal is instructing them that they will experience guilt, nightmares, cramps and will wish they were dead. Hal assures them that when they make it through to the other side that they will appreciate life even more. Alex reveals two glasses containing blood. One contains human blood and the other werewolf blood and then starts to spin them around making it hard to discern which is which. Hal tells Crumb and Alan that both glasses will kill them and that if at any point they feel they cannot go clean, they make take glass, but they must be prepared to die.  Crumb asks why Alex is still there given what Hal has done and she replies that everyday he is trying to be something better and she respects that.

At the hotel, Bobby is hiding under the table when Tom discovers him.  Tom climbs under the table and asks how long Bobby was locked up in the institute.  Bobby replies 33 years and then goes back to asking Tom if he has an answering machine yet. Tom asks what happened and Bobby tells him that went fishing and a werewolf run past, cut his back and pushed him into the water when he was 12 years old. Tom tells him that it's not his fault but Bobby says that Domenic has told him that he is a savage and that society needs to be protected from him.  Tom tells Bobby that he is out now and that this is a chance to make things different and make something of himself.  Tom promises that tomorrow he will show Bobby the ropes.

Back at the house, Crumb has started seeing visions of the people he has killed. Alan tells him that no one is there and that it's just the lack of blood.  Alan is busy working on untying himself and is shocked that Crumb is attempting to detox for real.  Alan laughs and says that Crumb is only doing this because he fancies Alex. Alan asks why someone like Alex would go for someone like Crumb but all Crumb sees is Hazel - the woman he killed last night. Alan adds that Alex is practically shagging Hal and says, "there's Hal with the body of a Greek God and then there's you, with the body of a Greek waiter," as he undoes the last of his restraints.  Alan then gets up and starts to free Crumb, who then stakes him in a fit of rage.

Bobby is dressed in uniform and Tom  is teaching him how to answer the phones. Bobby is worried that this is moving too fast for him but Tom assures him that he did it, so Bobby can do it as well.  Bobby says that Tom is brilliant and Tom is clearly pleased with the complement.

When Alex and Tom go downstairs to check on Crumb and Alan, they find that Alan is dead.  Crumb tells them that Alan got out in the middle of the night and tried to make him drink blood. Crumb says that Alan was his only friend and that he put a stake through his heart because he wants to be clean. Crumb then points out that he didn't drink the blood because he wants their help.

The training session of Bobby and Crumb has begun.  It's actually quite hilarious. During a session of meditation, Crumb remembers the scream his niece made when he killed her and declares that he wants some blood. Hal tells him that this is good and that he needs to hold onto this memory because this is what he needs to think about the next time he wants to kill. Crumb asks what Hal thinks about because he needs to know that one can remain clean. Hal says that he thinks about a woman named Sylvie, who he killed over 200 years ago. Hal says that he loved her and that Sylvie thought that she could save him. Crumb asks if Hal is with Alex now because he can't kill her and Hal admits that he and Alex are not a couple.

Alex enters the room and Hal leaves.  Crumb tells her that doing this makes him think of all of the horrible things he has ever done in his life. Crumb then goes to stand next to Alex and asks how long they can keep up the charade. He then asks Alex if he can treat her to a fish supper and she tells him to hold that thought and leaves.  Alex goes to find Hal and tells him about Crumb's dinner invitation. Hal says that this is not a good idea and Alex replies, "I wasn't thinking it, I only told you so that we could toss our heads back and laugh smugly but once again you have ruined my fun." Hal says that he is not sure that they should continue this and wonders if they are ever really truly safe and if they can ever truly assimilate.  Alex assures Hal and points to him as an example that this is not futile. She adds that everything he said to Crumb about having a normal life is true but Hal says that they are pretending, dressing up. Alex replies that it's keeping them safe because it stops her from going loopy like Mary and him from killing. Hal replies that all they are doing is marking time until the inevitable happens. Alex assures him that they have to grab every scrap of humanity they can and says that she will go out with Crumb to prove that normality can happen.

Tom walks in on Bobby vacuuming the top of the bar and stops him to give him the answering machine he is always talking about. Bobby puts in a tape and plays a message from his mother and says that his mother used to leave him messages when she had to work late. He says that they let him to take the answering machine into the archive but it got broken in 1997.  Bobby says that he loves the machine and then hugs Tom, picking him up in the process.  Dominic comes rushing in and demands that Bobby put Tom down immediately.  Domenic begins to apologise for Bobby but Tom says that it's alright and that Bobby was just hugging him.

Bobby asks how it went with the Chinese and Domenic says that they were more interested in what they could get from their investment "because keeping the world safe, clearly isn't enough of a fucking return!" This moment of outrage catches the captain's attention. Domenic then turns to Bobby and says that he may be able to rig up some emergency lighting in the archive for the full moon.  Bobby tells him that Tom says that he can change in the cellar of his house. Tom adds that he used to change there but it's alright and he can just go out into the woods. Domenic tells Bobby that this cannot be a permanent arrangement and reminds him that they agreed that this wouldn't be safe. Tom stands and says, "I know you like locking people up but I am looking after Bobby now. He's not an animal, he's a nice guy. He's got potential." When Bobby moves to hug him, Tom tells him to keep it inside him. Bobby tells Domenic that Tom is going to teach him mountaineering and swimming because Tom is one of the country's most sought after life guards.

Crumb, Hal and Alex show up and Dominic is shocked to see that Hal has decided not to kill Ian. Crumb tells Domenic that he has come along way since Domenic made him kill his niece. Domenic replies, "as I told you at the time, that was a tragic accident. I thought seeing his family would have a stabilizing effect." Crumb says that it's fine and that is all behind him because he has developed coping strategies and has developed positive outlets for his energies.  Crumb then says that tonight he will be enjoying a meal with a young lady.  Domenic then asks about Alan, and Hal says that he was irredeemable and was killed by Ian to stop him from going on a rampage. Domenic says that this is wonderful and that he never imagined that Ian and Bobby would adapt to the world so smoothly. Crumb moves to leave and Bobby suggests that he work there but Domenic says that the Ministry of Agriculture is looking for a junior researcher. He is clearly not happy and says that after running a department with an annual budget of 100 million pounds that it could be considered a bit of a backwards step but needs must.

As Domenic heads for the door, he is stopped by the captain. They share a drink and the captain tells him that he was tied to a chair by vampires and was saved by Domenic's department. Hatch says that he was shocked to find a werewolf and a vampire working there and that he wanted to call Domenic's department right away.  Domenic asks how Hatch knew that Hal is a vampire and Hatch replies that  Hal is careless and stands in front of mirrors and then runs away.  He adds that when someone points a camera at Hal that he nearly jumps out the window to get away.  Hatch says that he guessed that Tom is a werewolf because he disappears every full moon and then returns looking exhausted. Hatch asks which one he is after and Domenic replies that both Tom and Hal seem to be rehabilitated. When Hatch asks if Domenic believes this, Domenic replies that it doesn't matter what he believes because his department has been shut down.

Crumb and Alex sit down to have dinner and when he tells her that he can only spend 12 pounds, she replies that she cannot actually eat and encourages him to order what he wants. Crumb replies that she can never get fat and that this is just as well because no one likes a fat girl. He winks and adds that not all fat girls are jolly.  Crumb then rudely snaps his fingers and calls for a waiter, who just happens to be Hal.  When Hal arrives at the table, he asks how things are going, and Alex lies and says well and that Ian is fascinating.

Hatch is still sitting with Domenic and he points out that there is a full moon tonight and asks how many werewolves there are.  Domenic says that they have 35 registered and estimate about the same number exist which are at large and unknown. Hatch says that with all of those monsters out there makes one's blood run cold and that with Domenic's department gone, there is nothing to stop them.  He adds that it is only a matter of time before one attacks a party of girl guides.  Hatch then suggests that the powers that be should get a taste of the chaos they are about to unleash. Domenic admits that he tried something like that when he allowed Ian to kill his entire family and then showed it to the minister.  Domenic reports that the minister said that this is within allowable figures of carnage. Hatch asks how many the minister wants dead and says that you cannot choose how many people vampires and werewolves savage. Domenic says that Bobby is going to be locked in a cellar and questions what would happen if Bobby didn't make it.

Tom hands Bobby the keys and tells him to get going in the next ten minutes.  Hatch is at the bar and instructs Bobby to change the barrel of beers.  When Bobby goes downstairs to do this, Domenic locks him in. Bobby calls for help and says that he has to be somewhere very important.

Upstairs, Ian is going on about video games and the conversation is not going well.  When he sees Alex smiling at Hal, she admits that she wanted to show Hal that people like them can do normal things.  Ian says that he thought that she was there because she like him and that earlier she gave him a look of irritation and pity.  Ian says that she doesn't even see him and only Hal.

Bobby manages to call Tom and say that he is locked in but thinks that it will be okay.  Tom replies that the room is not sound proof and that someone will hear him.  Right after Bobby changes, Domenic unlocks the door and then takes off  running to Hatch's room.

Bobby appears in the dining room in full werewolf form and Hal instructs everyone to stay calm.  Alex pulls the fire alarm to get the people out of the hotel.  Hal instructs Crumb to keep Bobby between them and not to let him see that he's scared. Crumb says that he is not staying to be bait and takes off running, but Alex locks the door before he can escape.  Crumb sits on the floor and declares that he has had an accident as Alex and Hal go chasing after Bobby.  Hal gets trapped in a hallway with Bobby and Tom comes crashing through the window.  Tom and Bobby start to fight, and Alex locks them in a room.

When it goes quiet, Hatch tells Domenic that their plan has all gone wrong.  Domenic says that he is going to check but Hatch tells him that he has to do something about Hal and Tom because they'll ruin everything. Hatch says that they'll never have the chaos they need while Tom and Hal are around.  Domenic suggests that they try a different approach but Hatch tells him  that he has made his choice and he's already soaked in blood.  Domenic stands up and pulls his hand away and Hatch apologizes.

Outside the room, Alex asks if Tom will be okay and Hal replies that if he had the wherewithal to look after him that he should be able to look after Bobby.  They share a quiet moment before Crumb shows up and says that they make a handsome couple. Hal again says that Ian has the completely wrong idea about his relationship with Alex but Crumb goes on and on and announces that he needs to go home now. Back at the house, Hal tells Crumb that it's perfectly normal to have a spike in a need for blood after something like a werewolf attack and says that he will strap him in the chair for the night.  Crumb asks if it's true about Hal and Alex. Hal replie that it's been along night and they will talk more tomorrow.

The next morning, Tom and Bobby wake up in the room.  Tom admits that he told Bobby a few fibs to make him feel good about himself.  Bobby says that he figured as much.  The two start to hug and Alex pops in and asks if they want to be alone. When they are downstairs, Bobby starts going on about his plans for the future and says that he will be staying with them permanently.  Alex then realises that Hal is missing. Tom leaves Bobby in charge and heads home with Alex.  The moment they leave, Hatch appears and whispers in Bobby's ear.

Hal is awakened to find he has been tied to a chair by Ian. Crumb tells him that he did this so that Hal could know what it felt like to be him. Hal says that he only wanted to show him he could have a normal life, but Crumb believes that Hal was simply trying to turn him into another version of him.  Hal tells Crumb that he needs to be released because his vampire is coming and he doesn't feel well.  Crumb continues to go on about how he can never be like Hal and how he can never have Alex. Hal screams that he has killed and destroyed anyone he has ever cared about.  Hal's vampire comes to the fore and Crumb backs into a corner. Hal's vampire appears and says that it's only a matter of time before he's loose again and though Hal might even make it fifty years, he always finds a way to roam free.  Hal regains control and says that his monster is getting closer again. When Crumb asks if this is going to be him someday Hal nods again.  Crumb then releases Hal and they both stand over the glasses of blood. They each grab a glass and Crumb downs his and Alex appears in time to knock Hal's out of his hand.  It turns out that Crumb grabbed the werewolf blood and his body dissolves. When Alex asks Tom if he was going to drink the blood, he admits that he doesn't know.

Back at the hotel, Tom is searching for Bobby. When they find him, they discover that Bobby has hung himself.  Domenic puts Bobby in a body bag and when Hal thanks him, Domenic says that his department is closed and that he had to call in a lot of favors to deal with this and to cover up the mess from last night.  Alex says that Bobby was so happy and that he was looking forward to moving in.  Tom blames himself but Alex says that it doesn't make sense and that something must have happened.

Alone, Hall unscrews a mickey of blood and then drinks it all back.  His eyes turn black.

Okay folks, we're getting there, only two episodes left. More than other episode to date, Being Human is really stressing that the issue with vampires at least is addiction.  As we recently wrote, this is extremely problematic because it literally constructs someone battling with addiction as monstrous. It is further problematic that Alex is ready to simply dismiss both Crumb and Alan as crazy.  For her, it's not their nature that makes them violent it's a mental health issue.  This language is without doubt absolutely ableist.

One of the things that I have noticed this season is that many of the victims of violence are women. Yes, we have Alex as a main character but she was murdered last season. We don't actually have any living women on the show whatsoever.  That gender plays a huge role in who lives and who dies is something the series is more than happy to overlook, even as it encourages us to have sympathy for the men that kill them.  It's a way of devaluing the lives of women.

I was glad to see both Hal and Alex call out Tom's treatment of Bobby.  The truth is in very many ways Tom and Bobby are alike.  His reason for rejecting Bobby however is not snobbery as both Hal and Alex suggested but a recognition by Tom of his similarities with Bobby.  Everything that Bobby is represents things that Tom has been striving to change about himself.  Tom wants to be an important person and it isn't until Bobby compliments him that Tom is able to welcome him.  Tom essentially wants someone who he can be superior to, as he already feels inferior to Hal.  This is about power for Tom.