Being Human Series 3, Episode 1 review: Lia

It’s rare for a TV series to uproot it’s characters and move to an entirely new location. But that’s exactly what’s happened in Series 3 of [[Being Human (TV Series)|Being Human]]. The gang – now with Nina as a permanent addition – have packed their bags and moved to an awful B&B in Barry.

There’s something symbolic in moving to a guesthouse. I’m thinking that because Mitchell, George, Annie and Nina can never really blend in with humanity, they’re destined to an itinerant lifestyle, moving on when their true identities are about to be revealed. What better symbolises this ‘just passing through’ lifestyle than a B&B? Awesome work. And the place is depressingly kitsch with it’s Honolulu-inspired feature wall.

It takes a while to get up to speed – I almost forgot about Mitchell and Daisy’s massacre of a trainload of people last year. But it plays an important part in tonight’s story.

Mitchell is carrying a heavier-than-usual amount of guilt about falling off the wagon, something which undoubtedly influences him to try to find Annie in purgatory. It’s obviously a penitent act on his part, but Mitchell is ill-prepared for his journey through the afterlife. It’s down a typically dank corridor where he meets Lia (Lacey Turner), who’s his scathingly sarcastic spirit guide.

Lia takes him on a journey through several of his kills, examining his motivations – from poisoning his first victim to spare his pain, to a frenzied sexual murder where blood was spilled everywhere. Lia’s torments him with an enigmatic clue to her identity along the way – H12. A small problem with Lacey Turner’s accent here meant that I heard it as “age 12”. Which confused me.

Of course, Lia has an agenda all along – and for a final stopoff, she brings him to the train massacre. His last act of violence and one of his worst. As he walks through the carriage, the dead victims open their eyes and follow him through. It’s then that he sees Lia in seat H12 with blood trickling down her neck. Despite this, there’s humour laced in this scene, as Lia ‘introduces’ Mitchell to his victims and they wake shyly back at him. Mitchell descends into a remorseful funk, but faced with a carriage-full of his victims, his old excuses seem quite hollow.

However, having faced his demons (so to speak), Lia allows Annie to walk free – but not without warning Mitchell that he’s being freed so he can die at the hands of someone else. She refers to a werewolf-shaped bullet, but in this episode that could be any one of four people. 

Ordinarily, I’d be bothered by the fact that Annie got out of purgatory so easily. It was supposed to be a terrifying place, but it was also a disastrous plot contrivance. So I’m glad they’ve eliminated it for now. Instead, we have the suggestion that Annie and Mitchell might have a romance ready to blossom, which casts new light on Mitchell’s decision to enter purgatory to save her.

George and Nina’s dynamic is much improved already. They’re the perfect werewolf couple. But did the bedroom scene remind anyone else of Russell Tovey’s disastrous Him & Her from last year? I say that because there was a much better chemistry between George and Nina than Tovey had with his co-star in Him & Her. Besides, Being Human is an infinitely better written show.

George and Nina provided the comic foil for the episode. Tovey is so wonderfully hapless as George Sands, stumbling into ridiculous situations. Like accidentally becoming a member of a dogging group in the forest. Then getting arrested and jailed (with Rhys from Torchwood) on the night of a full moon. Brilliant stuff. And Sinead Keenan’s tics as she tried to rescue George from jail while transforming into a werewolf were excellent.

The couple took refuge in a weird cellar with strong doors, and though George was worried about them ripping each other apart as wolves, it worked out OK. According to the evidence, they had wolf sex instead!

The plot involving Robson Green as the werewolf McNair was unwelcome at first. I don’t know about you, but I was overjoyed to see these characters again. I wasn’t ready for new characters or story arcs. However, having him kidnapped by vampires and forced to work in a dog-fighting cage was a gripping twist. My memory of Robson Green is as a slightly wimpy hospital porter years ago – this grizzled, scarred, macho werewolf was an impressive creation. He was clearly bothered about having torn a man limb from limb in the cage, but knew he had to move on.

You may have recognized Michael Socha from This Is England ’86 – you’ll know that those distinctive eyebrows make him the brother of [[Misfits (TV Series)|Misfits]] actress Lauren Socha, who plays Kelly on the show. He plays McNair’s son, Tom.

This was a great return to form for Being Human. I’d been openly critical of the second series for failing to live up to the high standard that series one set. But the gang are back and I was genuinely elated to see them return. The ending of this episode reaffirmed the closeness between the characters and hopefully that theme will continue throughout this series. Last year, everybody seemed to be off acting on their own a lot, I think the foursome perform better as a unit.

Oh, how moving was it that Annie returned and poured a cup of tea for George? Beautiful moment. Welcome back, Being Human!

2 Comments

  1. jaybs

    “But did the bedroom scene remind anyone else of Russell Tovey‘s disastrous Him & Her from last year?”

    I wonder what world you are living in with this statement? can you qualify what you mean with diastrous and why a new series has been commisioned and that DVD sales were reported as having done well.

    For me there was no comparison at all with the bedroom scenes?

    Perhaps we need a cross to hold in front of you, are you a weirwolf? LOL – its good that we all have our own personal opinions.

     

     

    1. Gerard McGarry

      No Jaybs, I just thought it was tedious and unfunny. I’m a big fan of Russell Tovey in Being Human and I had higher hopes for him. Him and Her was a big turn-off for me.

      And yeah, it’s all about personal opinions! Clearly our tastes differ in this instance.

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