Sunday, 17 February 2013

Review: Being Human 5.3: Pie and Prejudice

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Hal and the obfuscating Lady Mary.
This really is not fair. It's not fair in the slightest. Being Human is on its last series, it should be getting slowly crapper so that we don't feel so bad about its passing, and we can lament its depature and mourn for those old halycon days. But no, the writers are insistent. Against all of my expectations, this episode was bloody brilliant. If last week was the point where I accepted that the old team was gone, this was the point where I came to love the new cast just as much. Bracken, Moloney and Socha are astounding at what they do, and the scripts for this final series are allowing them to squeeze as much as they can out of their characters.
     Like the old style, the episode was split into two mixing subplots. The first involved shady weatherman Larry Chrysler (a star turn by Julian Barratt), who became a werewolf six months ago and has thus ruined his life while still pretending to be a successful personality. Tom becomes enamoured of him, and allows him access to the b'n'b in exchange for "teaching". Elsewhere, Hal revealed to Alex his old friend Lady Mary, a ghost he's been visiting for 250 years. She pretends to be prim and proper around Hal but, as Alex finds out, is thoroughly modernised and irreverent. She believes that she is the only reason that Hal is dry, wrongly believing herself to be his last victim.
     The two subplots came together in a way which allowed all of the characters to evolve. Tom was forced to come to terms withn the fact that the beast within him still affects his life outside his transformations (none of which are shown, which says something of the budget.) Alex, in seeing the delusions Lady Mary spun for herself, confronted her fear of having to be around for an eternity and accepted responsibility of Hal's inner madness. And, unknown to them all, we saw Hal's dark side when he, in response to Chrysler's taunts, lost his cool and strangled him with a TV cord. (In time to call a suicidial Rook.)
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Julian Barratt is the slimey Chrysler
     That last scene especially amazed me. Damian Moloney has always had a very different approach to vampiredom than Aiden Turner, with Hal displaying a much clearer sense of the incredibly controlled personality holding back a monster. He looks shaken up after he lets himself go, just in his mannerisms you can tell something is different now. And to speak of the scene itself, well, that was just amazing. It wasn't just anger, it wasn't even primal - it was the concentrated hate and rage of someone who has killed many, many times before.
     It's subtle and powerful acting like that that makes me more sad than ever that this series is coming to an end. Given its tone, I didn't expect Pie and Prejudice to be much, but despite the fact that the Satan arc was pushed to the side, it's by far the strongest episode of this series so far and one of the best character pieces I've seen on the show in a very, very long time. I get the feeling that this more concentrated series is really doing the show good, and if the remaining three episodes (only three, egads) are as good as this, I will be very happy.

Thanks.

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