01 September 2011

Being Human (UK) S1 E3

Spoilers Ahead

Ghost love, werewolf sex, and vampire obsession: this was a fun episode. Of course none of it is easy for anyone involved. It's nice to know that life's dramas continue even when you're a monster (or dead). Then again maybe "nice" isn't the word...

Following the pattern of the previous two, episode 3 starts off being narrated by George as Annie gazes longingly at a photo of her and Owen. We then cut to Mitchell as he watches Lauren's vampire "porn" video (catch up here), his eyes going black as the monster emerges within him. The camera cuts before we can see any more of Mitchell's slide into darkness. Instead we get to see Annie as she later freaks out and manically tries to clean the kitchen with plumbing that refuses to work. She finally admits to George and Mitchell that in a few days it would have been her and Owen's wedding day. Mitchell's solution is to take Annie to a club where she can meet "kindred spirits." In this case, a 1980s new-wave ghost named Gilbert. He's melancholy and pretentious but I kind of love him. Also, he has great taste in music, no matter what any of the other characters say.

While Gilbert and Annie hit it off (sort of) Mitchell tries to encourage George to have some fun of his own. But George is morbidly afraid of losing control for even a moment. He insists that sex with someone like him (or Mitchell) isn't safe. Mitchell's not buying it (for either of them) but it's hard to argue with George when Mitchell's sex life already has a body count. A walking body count, and she shows up at the hospital desperate for Mitchell's help. Lauren claims Herrick and the others hurt her and forced her to make the film as punishment for talking to Mitchell. He can't deal with her so he walks away (yet again).

Meanwhile Gilbert takes Annie to visit her own grave. It's his weird way of telling her that the beauty of the world is still there for them. He also mentions that they're still on earth for a reason and unless they find a resolution they won't be going anywhere. Which suits him just fine as he's perfectly happy not to leave. Annie, on the other hand, decides she'd like to move on and wants to figure out what she needs to resolve. When she tells the boys George is happy for her but Mitchell is worried, wondering what she might find out.

As Annie and Gilbert spend more time together it starts becoming apparent that he's having squishy feelings for Annie. He makes her a mix tape (even if the songs are less than romantic), agrees to help her find her resolution, listens for hours to her talk about Owen, takes her out for "Gilbert fun" (dancing in the park, reading Nietzsche, telling off cops who can't see them), and even helps her play ghost housewife to Owen. She, unfortunately, is too busy still being in love with her still-living fiance to notice what's going on with Gilbert. Love sucks even in the afterlife (something to look forward to!)

Meanwhile George catches the eye of nurse Nina and, thanks to some unwanted meddling from Mitchell, ends up with a date with her. The date goes well with good food and better chemistry. They retire to George's room (with awesome gnome-patterned wallpaper!) and start with the smooches. As things get more intense George starts getting a little...growly. As soon as he realizes he's about to lose his tightly maintained control he backs off fast making an excuse that he has a problem with finishing a little too quickly in bed. Wow--willing to humiliate himself just to stay "safe." The good thing is because Nina's a nurse she's very understanding. A little too understanding. The next day at work she pulls George aside to have a talk about alternatives to intercourse. As she talks (a little too frankly, I think) George gets increasingly twitchy feeling the full moon pulling at him. Finally he lunges at her and takes her in a manly fashion, much to Nina's delight. Then he runs off to finally turn.

Not that all encounters at the hospital are so pleasant. Lauren continues to stalk Mitchell at work. This time she claims she clean, that is, she hasn't had any blood--but she's afraid she'll kill again since that's all she can think about. Wanting to help her get on the wagon with him Mitchell agrees to give her some of his own blood and then makes plans to meet her later that night. After more mutual fluid swapping he warns her that sharing each other's blood isn't going to sustain them for long. Plasma and animal blood don't do much for vampires, either. Mitchell insists the only way to stay on the wagon is to go cold turkey. Unwilling to believe it and feeling desperate Lauren runs back to Herrick.

At least Annie is happy as she takes care of Owen. That is until she realizes he thinks his new girlfriend has been the one cooking for him and ironing his shirts. Upset she runs upstairs and uses toothpaste to leave Owen a message on the mirror that could only be from her. When Owen sees it he flips out, but instead of being afraid like you think he'd be he's angry. Hmm. The next thing we know Owen is sneaking into Annie's house while the boys are out. She's thrilled to see him, as usual, and follows him upstairs to watch as he starts fussing with the toilet's plumbing. But when he pulls out a thong that was stuck in there Annie suddenly has a flashback of her death, beginning with Owen angrily accusing her of being a cheating whore and ending with him pushing her down the stairs and killing her. Luckily as Owen leaves, Gilbert arrives and Annie tells him what she's remembered.

Emotionally overloaded and awash in insecurities and self-doubt, Annie asks if Owen treated her the way he did because she is inherently unlovable. Gilbert replies that she's amazing and finally tells her he loves her. He really does. It's the first time he's ever been in love. Suddenly a door appears behind them. Gilbert realizes he's finally had his resolution. He wants Annie to come with him but she can't because it's not her door. Gilbert lights a cigarette, opens the door, smiles, and steps through. The door disappears. And I'm disappointed that we won't be seeing Gilbert again.

The episode ends with Annie telling Mitchell and Mitchell telling George about Owen (ruining George's excellent mood at having got laid). Now it's just a matter of figuring out what resolution Annie needs.

One part of me wants Mitchell and George to go all feral on Owen's ass but I'd really rather see Annie get her revenge. The only thing is, when Annie does get her resolution what's going to happen then? Would they get rid of one of the main characters? If not then how does Annie get away with not going through her door? Three episodes left this season--guess we'll find out soon enough.

Fang Files

Appearance: Human, until the vampire emerges--then pure black eyes.

Strengths: Can get by on vampire blood instead of human blood, although not for too long.

Weaknesses: Blood lust. Only fresh human blood can sustain them long-term.

Mythology: Although they don't show up on film, vampires will sometimes videotape themselves killing a person as a form of vampire porn.

Sound Bites

George: Love should be the opposite of death. It should be our biggest reason for wanting to be here. I mean, what else have we got? Football? Shoes?

Mitchell: I never know with you if it's Jewish guilt or werewolf guilt.
George: It's pretty much the same thing.

Gilbert: Fun is such a bourgeois concept.

Being Human, Season 1 Episode 3. Written by Rachel Anthony. Directed by Alex Pillai. From the BBC.

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