Sunday, July 21, 2013

BBC's Being Human • Sticks And Ropes

'Being Human' is the BBC's series that inspired the SyFy Channel's retooling. The series follows the lives of a supernatural trio, a ghost, vampire, and werewolf, as they live together and attempt to lead a 'normal' live. It blends domestic comedy and horror drama to tell the story. The show was a breakaway hit in the 2009 debut, the show continued with the success, with a hot new cast! However, it has been announced this is the final season.

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Being Human stars (left to right): Damien Molony, Michael Socha, and Kate Bracken.

When we last saw our sexy supernatural threesome, Hal and Tom, our vampire and werewolf respectively, had begun new jobs, working at the Barry Grand Hotel, in the restaurant. The ghostly Alex was there to wish them luck. This was after Tom and Alex had helped Hal 'detox' off blood. They had him tied to a chair, feeding him mushed bananas. Alex had also worked with Tom to discover what her family knew of her death, and was surprised to find out the event was whitewashed by the government-sponsored 'cleaners', who just found out they were no longer being funded. Oh, and at the end of the season premier, we also found out the Devil was living in the Barry Grand Hotel, the same Devil Hal had battled in France a century before. Yeah, I mean the real Devil, like Satan. Burning in Hell.

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The episode begins three months before, when the still-living Alex was at the carnival, rushing home for her date with Hal. She promised her brother she would bring him back to go on some rides the next day. Of course, that didn't happen, as she was not alive the next day. Back at the Hotel, Alex is chatting away, making it nigh on impossible for Hal to focus on his work. He asks her to be quiet, and she continues to talk, including about playing the piano. The Devil is listening unbeknown to the trio, in a wheelchair reading the paper. Speaking of the devil, he is joined by Patsy, the Hotel manager, who is arranging flowers. The Devil mentions Sophie, the young girl who committed suicide the day before, after speaking with him. He feigns guilt, only to be cajoled by Patsy. As he wheels away, the brand new flowers have died in his wake.

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Alex has returned to the B&B, and she decides to start practicing the piano. As be sits down, she feels a hand on her shoulder, and hears a child's giggle. She starts, and stands to look around. Back at the Hotel, Patsy brings the employees together to announce she is instituting a new policy, as she will be naming the Employee of the Month soon. While doing so, she cannot help but moon over Hal. He is offended by the idea of the competition, while Tom wants to win. In fact, he challenges Hal, convincing him to take it seriously. Back at the B&B, Alex is searching for what interrupted her. As she looks, she doesn't see a person standing in a bedroom, but hears a voice calling out from the bathroom. The faucet seems to be calling her, first with a slow drip, then a full-throated scream when turned on full. Back at the Hotel, the boys are cleaning, and Tom throws out the dead flowers. Patsy is not impressed he tossed her fresh flowers, however. Alex bursts in, the ghost announcing she believes the B&B is haunted. She demands they go home with her to figure it out. Once there, they witness the door slamming and a voice repeating what Alex says, and they are not sure what is happening. They find a boy in what looks like the room Eve was in, playing on the rug. After a discussion, the boys push Alex in to the room to speak to the boy. He introduces himself as Oliver, who also points out Hal and Tom hiding in the hall. They are soon all in the room, and he demands interaction. When he doesn't get it, he fakes being ill, with a lame cough. Soon he is riding around on Tom's back. He announces it was his house, and they didn't see him because he was hiding from the monsters, the men with sticks and rope. HE seems to be a child of privilege, and treats Tom like a servant. The trio meet to decide what to do, and the boys think Alex needs to watch the child ghost. She is not impressed, having given most of her short life to raising her brothers. Once again, Oliver fakes illness, and as Alex talks about her brother faking it, Tom and Hal slip out the door, leaving her with the child. She tells Oliver to stop playing, and decides to watch television with the boy.

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Tom and Hal return to work, and are busted by Patsy. Well, Tom is, for she didn't see Hal leaving on the security tape, which amuses the vampire, but no the werewolf. In the underground warehouse, Mr. Rook is chatting on his cellphone with Mr. Crumb's sister, who is coming to see him. The new vampire is being held in a cell by the 'cleaners'. Rook reminds Crumb he has a job for him to do, a delicate job. As he bounces around the cell, Crumb agrees, but needs to be reminded a bit. Seems he thinks of himself the world's worst nightmare, the picked on kid getting superpowers. Back at the Hotel, Tom notices Hal with a Q-Tip cleaning a keyboard, and he talks to Hal about who much he wanted to win, but thinks it is hopeless. Hal is more than willing to have both refuse to compete, but Tom still wants to win. The talk continues as they return to the B&B, where they find Alex at her whit's end, for Oliver is throwing a party! Hal is upset, for he wanted a meal ready, and a quite evening planned. Alex is angry that Hal doesn't see her time with Oliver as work. Tom thinks a bit of a fuss for the boy is a good thing. Tom plays with Oliver, while Hal just seems to dread it all. Alex finally has her fill, and she tries to correct the boy, and put him in time-out. Of course, it doesn't work well for a ghost who can disappear and reappear at will. She demands he goes to his room, but he balks. Hal speaks up, and the boy runs up the stairs. That is when Alex delivers the best line of the episode, "Oh my God, dead Victorian children are so annoying!" Tom thinks she is a bit hard on the boy, and she goes upstairs to speak to him. There she hears whispers outside the door. She storms in, and the boy says he was talking to no one. She doesn't buy it, and can hear the static coming over the radio. Soon he slams the door on her, shoving her in the hall.

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Back with the cleaners, Rook is explaining to Crumb that he needs to focus on the task at hand, but fails to fully discuss the task. Crumb just wants to be fed when it is done. Crumb equates the mission to a video game, and becomes more excited. Rook's assistant has news, however, that Crumb's sister has brought along her young daughter. But Rook refuses to let that impede the plan. Crumb goes into the room, and is locked in. He changes, and attacks his family. Of course, the CCTV cameras catch it all. Back at the B&B, Hal asks Alex for help as he tries to be bad at the job, since Tom wants to win so much. Alex, of course, sees this as an insult. He doesn't see it, and still wants her help. She agrees. She wants him to slouch in the chair, even if he says he can't with his 'dancer's back.' He tries, despite how much his OCD fights him. She wants him to ignore customers, even scoff at them. He finds the very idea barbaric. Yet at the Hotel, he tries it. Soon Patsy is flirting with him, ignoring his attempt to be bad. And they are joined by the Devil, who needs help. Patsy volunteers Tom for the job.

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Back at the B&B, Oliver is taking a fake bath, fully clothed. He likes to maintain the routine he had when still alive. Alex asks the boy questions, trying to get to know more about him. She asks about the men with sticks and rope, which causes the boy to run away, although she catches him. When he starts to speak, the radio changes stations, the room shakes and doors slam. And he tells her he did a terrible thing, he killed his brother. At the Hotel, Tom is cleaning up the Devil, telling him he plans to do a good job to impress his boss. The Devil tells the werewolf about the terrible attitude Hal offered up. The Devil makes it a discussion of the entitled versus the hard-working-men like Tom. At home, Oliver speaks of his childhood, and how he was jealous of his brother, who needs braces to walk. He fell into a tub of water, and Oliver found him. But everyone thought he killed his brother, and Oliver took rat poison to escape the whispers. She reconsiders her thoughts about the boy, and identifies with his plight. She takes him out to the carnival she was to take her little brother.

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The Devil finds Hal, and talks to him about his military past, and how he seems a better man than the rest at the Hotel. Hal buys the talk, stressing meritocratic society versus the talk of entitlement he had with Tom. At the minister's office, Rook shows off the video of the sister and niece of Crumb being killed by the new vampire, trying to fight the dissolution of his department, but it falls on deaf ears. At the Hotel, Crumb shows up spattered with blood, looking for help from Hal, who sends him away. Patsy applauds his tossing out the riff-raff, exasperating Tom. Soon the boys are fighting over table settings, both being mean to one another. The Devil is eating up the ill will. Alex and Oliver stop by to see the boys after playing on the rides, finding them sniping at one another. Soon, there is a bit of a food fight, While they are being reprimanded by by Patsy, the Devil grabs Oliver, and tells him to get Alex back to the house. Once there, Oliver has something to tell Alex, and he apologizes as the lights go out. She tries to 'pop' out, but can't. She tried to leave through the door, but cannot. There are scary noises, then the drenched brother is in the living room. Oliver screams and runs. Soon, the brother is banging on the door, asking to play with Oliver. Alex convinces him to go with his brother,to pass through the door. As he does, the brother is gone, replaced by men with sticks and ropes trying to get Oliver. Alex grabs the boy, and pulls him to safety. Once cornered, Alex agrees to go in place of Oliver, to protect him. Then the boy admits it is all a trap, to thwart the plan. But they snare Alex, who tells Oliver to go to his brother, and pass through the door. The men are weakened, but tell her the end is near, and he will raise. They then disappear.

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At the Hotel, Patsy fires Tom, sure it is his fault. Hal wants none of it, and tells the woman off, and explains that if Tom leaves, so shall he. They both leave the Hotel, jobless. Upon return to the B&B, Alex tells them Oliver is gone. Crumb is at the ocean's edge, and Rook's assistant joins him, asking to be made a vampire. They talk about fantasy games, one out-geeking the other. Crumb does as the man had wished. We then see Alex outside of her family's home, looking in at the boys. She realizes she needs to say goodbye to them, and let them go. In the car to head back to the B&B, Alex wonders aloud about the men with sticks and rope, and how they couldn't cross over to this realm. Hal says they can't. This is a sign that the wall between the worlds is weakening. This is not good.

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Meanwhile, Patsy is leaving a message on their machine, asking both boys to come back to work. The Devil motors in, telling her that was the right decision. Soon she is bleeding from her nose and eyes. The Devil begins to ramble, speaking how he needs the vampire and the werewolf to fight and have that energy carry him back to power. But he doesn't like the Trinity, and must lose the ghost from the equation. When he is back in power, he will drain the world of every bit of hope, and give man despair instead. He turns his attention to Patsy, and tells her she needs to take a long dip in the sea. Back at the B&B, Alex is playing the organ, much to Hal's chagrin. Tom encourages her as the episode comes to an end.

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Will Alex drive Hal insane? What will happen when he and Tom return to work? After all, the Devil is in the detail, isn't it? 'Being Human' can be seen at 10PM on Saturday nights on BBC America! For more about the show, visit the official website here. You can purchase previous episodes from the fourth season on both iTunes and Amazon. You can also follow BBC America on Twitter, or like them on Facebook.


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