Sunday, 10 March 2013

Review: Being Human 5.6: The Final Broadcast

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The trio get together to fight The Devil.
Five years ago, in February 2008, there was a TV pilot with a simple but unendingly fun concept. Now that concept has run its course, with the ominously titled The Final Broadcast bringing the series to its end after its shortened fifth series. Character changes and a lack of focus made this final season less epic than it could have been, but I still admired the commitment to characterisation that the show managed to balance with good humour and a mythos remarkably complex for a BBC Three sitcom. BBC shows have a habit of ending in very painful ways (looking at you, Merlin), but this was pretty much the best ending I could come up with.
     With the Devil telling everyone to kill themselves, the world is going very much to shit. Tom confronts an evil Hal and slaughters his newly recruited vampire army, but their confrontation is stopped by Alex, who reveals to Hal the Devil's presence. Deciding that they're willing to be peaceful while they fight the Devil, the three run into Rook, who reveals that Hatch has gone to a TV station to use emergency broadcasting to sweettalk the whole country. When the three try to carry out the ritual to destroy Hatch, he stops them and brings each into a parallel world of their own - Hal gets to die in the 1400s, Alex gets to live out her life with her family, and Tom gets to have a family with Allison. Despite being tempted, all three fight back because they're not with each other. Hatch inhabits Rook's body, setting the three unawares, but they finally cast the ritual at home and kill the Devil after all. They discover to their shock that with him gone, all Supernaturals have become Human.
     The finale was rather thorough in its identification of what all three of the characters were tempted with, and there were several nice summaries of what Being Human really means. Hal's musing towards Tom that their plan to be human had succeeded the moment they desired humanity really reached back to those first few episodes and the final scenario of the three finding humanity again (despite the inception-inspired twist shot) is just poetically perfect in a way which I couldn't really have imagined.
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Phil Davies gets an episode full of awesome monologues.
     What struck me was just how much of the original spirit still remains, even this far down the line. Our characters may have changed since the beginning, our setting, our understanding of the immediate power situation. But we still have our three characters, desperate to simply live a normal life that celebrates the excitation of the mundane. And it's still funny - it was the funniest episode of this series, certainly, even while trying to fit that around a lot of quite sad and dramatic stuff to do with our characters.
     I expected to be emotionally drained and sad and miserable. In a wonderful, wonderful way, Being Human delivered a finale that left me with happy tears rather than sad ones. It was a perfect culmination of not just the ideas in this last series, but of the themes that run through Being Human as a whole, and I am so glad that Whithouse was given the chance to write a series knowing it to be the last one. I loved this finale, I loved this series and I am just madly, deeply in mourning for what has been one of the most consistently inventive shows that BBC Three has brought us. Thank you so, so much, Being Human. I'm going to miss you.

Thanks.

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