Monday, 10 January 2011

Being Human: Cure and Contagion

George: “Not you. Don't let me have done this to you.”

I was relieved to see George and Nina make up by the end of tonight's episode. I had visions of them dragging the story out for half a season. George now knows Nina's a werewolf, so if his self-loathing was already too much for you to stomach, imagine the depths of guilt, misery and despair he can now plumb. Poor George -- although, I have to say, his behaviour tonight was at times baffling. I'm not sure how Nina will react when she finds out about him and Daisy. I'm guessing it'll be handbags at dawn.

I felt a little sorry for George. As far as he was concerned Nina had rejected him. She'd seen him transform into a werewolf and then kill a man -- albeit a nasty, supernatural, toe-rag of a man. It was perfectly natural to assume she'd want out of the relationship. Lycanthropy and murder aren't the easiest of things to process -- especially when you don't even believe in homoeopathy. But George should have given Nina more credit. She wasn't repulsed by him being a werewolf -- she was simply struggling to adapt to her own situation, and couldn't confide in him for fear of destroying him.

But what's going on in George's head? Didn't Daisy try to lure him into a trap at the start of tonight's episode? Wouldn't Ivan have ripped him apart if Mitchell hadn't intervened? It's nice to forgive and forget, but to have sex with her as well seems a little too benevolent. Why is it so important to Daisy that George embrace his dark side? Is she genuinely attracted to the Killer of Kings? Obviously vampire sexual etiquette is markedly different to human sexual etiquette. For humans, having sex in front of your partner is generally considered something of a faux pas. How progressive of the vampire community. I think I like Daisy already.

Now George has embraced his inner wolf, he seems more self-assured -- less fragile. Yet, the realisation that he'd infected Nina, seemed to strip him of his new found confidence. Those final scenes with Nina really packed a punch. Both Tovey and Keenan deserve acting medals as big as Nina's werewolfy bosom for getting across the sheer complexity of their predicament. This was an emotionally overwrought episode for both their characters. Nina's emptiness and inner terror in particular, had me in tears, as did George collapsing on the walkover and Nina finally forgiving him. Hopefully this means their relationship is now back on track. Unless the issue of Daisy's perfume raises its ugly head again.

Mitchell seems to have the balance just about right. As well as warning the whole of vampirekind to keep its distance, we also saw a softer, more compassionate side to his nature. He handled Nina with surprising sensitivity. He even bought new recruit, Lucy, a goldfish. Goodness know what her secret will be. She's bound to be a porpoise, or half woman, half sea horse -- you know the drill: new face, new weirdness. I did enjoy Mitchell's nervousness around her, however. His 'time's one thing I've got' line was delightfully clich├ęd. (Not to mention ever so slightly pathetic.) Now Mitchell's been relegated to the status of 'deadly furniture,' he obviously has time for a new relationship. Who knows, he may manage not to kill this one.

Annie proved again that she's a great friend to have in a crisis. Who else could have kept Nina company while she transformed? Mitchell would have got his arse kicked. George... well, what would have happened to George? Would he have recognised her like in last season's finale? (Despite her being fluffier and significantly less Nina-shaped.) Or would they have ripped each other to shreds? Annie may be impervious to physical attack, but she's not immune to fear or gross out. Watching Nina go through the agony of transformation had a profound effect on her, yet she endured it for the sake of friendship.

I'm starting to like Annie. I just wish the writers would treat her with more respect. I know she's a bit dizzy, but she's not a total imbecile. When she's with Nina her character blossoms -- suddenly, she seems three dimensional. Then -- like in the pub scene -- her character reverts back to being a babbling dimwit. Not that Lenora didn't sell it -- she was splendid as a cheery Cockney barmaid -- it just felt too over the top. The humour's usually more intelligent. Sometimes it feels as though they're trying too hard to make us laugh.

Which brings us back to the question of what's going on? Kemp is experimenting on type threes (which I'm guessing are werewolves), in an attempt to artificially alter the moon's effects on their metabolism. But to what end? That guy bleeding out was pretty grotesque, yet Kemp hardly seemed to notice. Which makes me think he might not be the humanitarian he tries to make out. And we still don't know who Professor Jaggat is. Is he/she good or bad? Kemp's obviously some kind of religious nutter (which hardly ever spells good times), but if their work isn't for the good of mankind, then what is it for?

Bits and Pieces:

-- This is a show which just loves Tovey's arse. The camera can't seem to get enough of it.

-- One of my pet peeves is people wandering around, quoting mindlessly from the bible. It usually serves no purpose other than to make them look like absolute arse-heads.

-- I love it when people call George, Bouncer. Bouncer was the name of Mike Young's dog in Aussie soap Neighbors.

Quotes:

George: "I meant to ask, have you started dunking biscuits into your tea now?"
Annie: "It was the logical next step."
George: "Dunking biscuits you can't eat into tea you can't drink is the logical next step?"

Annie: "Okay, shut up! I'm gonna tell you. I have applied for a job."
George: "As what?"
Annie: "Well, it's something that I've always fancied."
George: "Marrying Colin Firth isn't, strictly speaking, a job."
Annie: "They're advertising for bar staff at the New Found Out."
Mitchell: "The pub? That's the job you've always fancied? Jesus, aim for the stars."

Annie: "Hey, there's a werewolf called Nina in Buffy!"
Nina: "I've never seen it."
Annie: "No well, I stopped watching it once, you know, I started living it."

Annie: "Why don't you just use the phone at my house? I'm only up the road."
Hugh: "Well I don't think that's such a good idea Annie."
Saul: "Yeah he's right, I might murder you."
Annie: "Oh, plenty have tried."

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