Being Human Series 4 Finale: The War Child – Episode review

by Gerard McGarry
Annie (Lenora Crichlow) and Alex (Kate Bracken) in the Being Human finale

Annie and Alex get ready to fight. This is going to be HOT!

Tonight’s Being Human finale opens in 2022, in a grim, dystopian future where the vampires have taken over the earth, and humans need “internal travel visas” to move around the country. As we kick off, we see Mark Gatiss’s sinister Mr. Snow interrogating a trembling father who’s innocently visiting a sick relative with his daughter. Or is he?

The War Child completed the cycle of change that this series of Being Human began eight short weeks ago. We’ve lost beloved friends, but gained some intriguing new ones. The mythology of the show has changed, but yet as the titles rolled, the show had returned to its roots, with a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost all living under one roof in apparent harmony. Spoilers after the jump! Seriously.

Obviously this was meant to be the epic climax of the series, one in which Being Human’s scope grew enormously. We were dealing with vampires bringing down civilisation and it all hinged upon George and Nina’s baby, the “War Child” of the title. In many ways, it felt like an exercise in ticking boxes – Mr. Snow (Mark Gatiss) stomping around being stereotypically evil, while the sense of helplessness and confusion from Annie, Hal and Tom continued to grow.

Sadly, Mr. Snow’s rehashing of quotes from scripture became annoying, and there was the crucial point during that explosion where you asked yourself “Was baby Eve really integral to that at all?”

Helpless Hal – Upon discovering that Mr. Snow is in Britain, Hal promptly freaks out. Alright, he’s concerned that the oldest of Old Ones will be able to easily command him to do bad things (heh, sneaky True Blood reference there). But, that’s overlooking the fact that Hal is one of the old ones and surely must have some semblance of self-control. No? Okay, so what made him think that walking into the vampires’ lair with a bomb strapped to his chest was going to work? Of course Snow was going to stop him. Total botch up.

Ever-prepared Tom – Yep, Tom’s been stocking up to build a bomb. Because McNair taught him to. But he comes up against mercenary werewolf Milo, who convinces him that the vampires are actually the safest place for baby Eve to be. No, I didn’t quite understand the motivations here either, but Michael Socha continues to rule the group as the delightfully childlike werewolf. “M’team – with me!”

On a side note, did anybody else get the impression Milo was saving Tom at the end? He’d told Tom earlier on that he had to go through a lot to gain the trust of the vampires, and when the tide seemed to be turning, he pulled Tom outside and started beating him. But he was always blocking the way back to keep Tom out. Interesting.

Annie goes through her door in the Being Human series finale!

Goodbye, Annie

Goodbye Annie – Yes, tonight we said goodbye to Lenora Crichlow as Annie finally found her door. And Annie had her pick of epic moments in The War Child, from going all Poltergeist and staking Cutler to some very Matrix-like throwing around of vampires. It almost seems inevitable now that having overseen this wonderful new era of Being Human, Crichlow should step aside for the new cast to have their own adventures.

Hello Alex! Yep, we’ve got a new ghost haunting Honolulu Heights! Some of the fans are reacting badly, but I love her! That Scottish sarcastic streak that’s been missing from the show. And I reckon Alex has the potential to be more badass than Annie and her Ugg boots ever were! Watch out for Kate Bracken, should the series come back for a fifth series!

Summing Up!

As much as I loved the beautiful bits of character interaction in this episode (Alex getting a masterclass from Annie, Hal and Tom bonding and Cutler’s ego being deflated like a slashed tyre), it was less perfect than I’d hoped for. Hal as suicide bomber was never going to work, and he should have known that. And Eve didn’t have to be present for the vampires to be blown up, Annie simply needed to see sense enough to go in and pull the trigger.

I suppose, if we’re being charitable, it was a matter of timing and all the pieces being in the right place at the right time?

Let’s say that Kirby had killed Eve a few episodes ago, or Cutler had managed it in tonight’s episode. With no senior vampires around, there would have been no explosion, and no abrupt end to their genocidal plans.

Still, there was plenty of time devoted to a new “Big Bad” for the next series of Being Human. Imagine Britain had a paranormal version of Men In Black. Well, that’s these silent, humble men who go around and mop up supernatural crime scenes. Kind of makes you wonder why the vampires needed a police cleanup crew back in the beginning…

Quotes from The War Child:

  1. Alex: Well, we can poke around in my business later. First, I want to beat seven shades of shite out of Cutler. Hal: Unfinished business tends to be something more life affirming than beating someone up. Alex: Not if you’re Scottish.
  2. Hal: Leo said that we were on the outside of humanity so that we might guard it. He made it sound like a privilege rather than a burden.
  3. Cutler: I’m the only one that’s left. Everyone else either run away or got proper dead.
  4. Mr. Snow: I last came to Britain in 1779. My people took me to a village. We killed all the adults and used the bodies to create tableaux of scenes from our history. The children sang to me. And then we made wine from their blood.
  5. Hal: You don’t understand. Snow is one of the first. The blood that’s passed from vampire to recruit, generation after generation, you can trace it back to him. He’s in our DNA.
  6. Mr. Snow: These eyes have looked upon pharoahs, and the son of the carpenter. And now they must look upon you, showing me your ideas like a child with a handful of its own excrement.
  7. Hal: This is Alex. That drank my blood.
  8. Tom: Always be kind and polite and have the materials ready to build a bomb.
  9. Alex: They? The men with sticks and rocks. I saw them when I died. I thought they were evil Moris Dancers.
  10. Alex: I’m stuck like this? Forever? But I look like a girl.
  11. Hal: Tangentially. I was involved tangentially. Alex: You weren’t drinking my blood tangentially…
  12. Alex: I thought it was a momentary blip? Your cafe is cleaner than most operating theatres and yet here you are licking congealed blood off a floor?
  13. Mr. Snow: Oh Hal, you weren’t hiding. I was just giving you the afternoon off.
  14. Tom: I have a condition. I stay with her. With you, to make sure nothing happens to her. Mr. Snow: You’ll be given chores. You won’t like them.
  15. Mr. Snow: There’s no shame in this. I want you to know that. It’s the death rattle of your humanity. Mercy’s last hurrah. Let it fade and decay, Hal. Fade and decay.
  16. Mr Book: For as long as there have been creatures like that, there have been men like me. Silent, modest men, whose job it is to keep the secret things secret. Think of us as the domestic staff of the world.
  17. Hal: But I’ll scream and shout and plead and threaten you. Tom: We don’t understand most of what you say anyway.

Oh, one last thing… Being Human has been renewed for a fifth series. It was announced tonight after the show!