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TV Review: Being Human (UK) – “The Pack”

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The third series of Being Human, airing on BBC America in the states a few weeks behind England, is shaping up to be very exciting, owing mainly to a series of interesting guest stars. The main characters each have their own stories, too, but on the whole, they don’t seem as dangerous or urgent as past plots. In the last few weeks, we have met a young vampire named Adam, a ‘type four’ (zombie?) named Sasha, and the father / son werewolf pairing of McNair (Robson Green) and Tom (Michael Socha). The latter made their second appearance this week in “The Pack”.

Tom believes he was born a werewolf, and that his mother was killed some time ago. McNair actually killed Tom’s parents during one of his wolf nights, and found the baby boy, bloodied but alive, the next day. Not knowing what else to do, McNair takes Tom under his wing and raises him as his own. Nina (Sinéad Keenan) gets a clue to the real story after running tests on an injured Tom at the the hospital, and when confronted by his son, McNair makes a full confession. It’s hard to blame the man, as he can’t control what his wolf-self does, and he handles the situation as best he can. Tom realizes that, and sticks by his dad. A moving, fairly stand-alone story.

Tom and McNair aren’t one-episode characters. They were seen in the first episode of the season, and according to imdb.com, they will return at some point later this year. I do not know what will bring them back, since they had a nice, tidy ending this week. McNair originally threatens Mitchell, but while they still don’t like each other, they seem to end at an understanding, with McNair not planning on killing him. But perhaps something will happen to change that. Which has me wondering, will Tom or McNair be the werewolf that is supposed to kill Mitchell (Aidan Turner)?

Mitchell is convinced that he will die at the hands of a werewolf, per something he is told while rescuing Annie (Lenora Crichlow) from purgatory. Signs keep popping up, convincing Mitchell the noose is closing in on him. Mitchell is a main character, and as this series only focuses on four people, I find in unlikely he will die before a finale episode. However, BBC fare has shown more of a willingness to get rid of central characters (see Torchwood) than most American series (save for Lost), so I could be wrong. Either way, it’s a great driving arc to keep the audience interested. Though I am even more intrigued by what retribution from overseas may be coming, as mentioned this week.

Knowing that Mitchell believes he will soon meet his fate by werewolves, unless he is able to do something drastic to save himself, is also hanging over Mitchell’s budding relationship with Annie. I like the two of them together, two lost souls having found a mate. Even without the sex, they are good, though it’s a sad omission. At face value, and certainly from Annie and George’s (Russell Tovey) perspective, Mitchell and Annie are a great match, both being supernatural and unable to find a normal companion. But Mitchell’s dark secrets, as well as his homicidal urges, mean Annie doesn’t really know what she is getting into.

I find it easy to draw comparisons between Mitchell and Annie’s ex, who killed her. On the surface, both Mitchell and the other man appear sweet, at least from Annie’s point of view. But both can quickly be moved by violent instincts, resulting in other people’s deaths. Mitchell has killed many others, including his recent slaughter of The Box Tunnel Twenty, though Annie does not yet know of that incident. It seems she is stuck in a pattern, falling for the same type of guy all over again, still naively believing she has chosen a suitable mate. At least Mitchell will not be able to kill her, since she is already dead. Which narrowly saves Mitchell from being completely detestable, as he would be if he killed Annie.

By comparison, George and Nina have a much more stable relationship. Despite the rocky happenings of series two, where George quickly shacked up with another woman, while Nine hid and struggled with her new infliction of the werewolf curse, they have stabilized. While I found much of their story as a couple in the last series unrealistic and awkward, now that they are without question paired up, they have really shown the amazing chemistry and connection they first exhibited back in series one. More so, as they can be themselves with each other. I am liking the direction the characters are going.

I have a million questions about Nina and George’s bun in the oven, probably a lot of the same ones the characters themselves have. It seems to me at the end of this week’s episode that the fetus survives Nina’s transformation, so that’s one worry down. But I can’t recall another story where two werewolves have a baby. And the fact that conception happened while both were in wolf form further complicates matters, to an extent where it appears impossible that the child could be genuinely normal. The writers are treading on new territory, which is thrilling.

Next week, Herrick (Jason Watkins) makes his return. I am super excited to see what that means. Watch Being Human Saturday nights at 9 p.m. ET on BBC America. Or, if you’re lucky enough, watch it whenever it airs in its home country, weeks before we get to watch.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome is the creator and writer of It's All Been Done Radio Hour, a modern scripted live comedy show and podcast in the style of old-timey radio serials, and the founder of the Columbus-based entertainment network, IABDPresents. He is also the Chief Television Critic for Seat42F.com and a long-time contributor for Blogcritics. Plus, he works fiction into his space time. Visit http://iabdpresents.com for more of his work.
  • That is true. Cable does tend to take more chances. Which is why some of the best TV is on cable.

  • El Bicho

    Shows off broadcast networks are much more likely to kill major characters: OZ, Sopranos, Shield, Six Feet Under come to mind.

  • And I guess, I just feel like BBC shows are more likely to do it than their American counterparts. I haven’t done a detailed study, just a feeling, so I could be wrong.

  • El Bicho – That is true. However, both are there first main character to leave their long-running series. My point was that most of the time shows don’t kill off a lot of main characters. There are exceptions, and I think the ones that do are often some of the best series. Two and a Half Men is a similar situation, because the focus is on just a few characters, as is true for Being Human. But with TaaHM, it was a necessity, not a choice.

  • El Bicho

    Plenty of other shows aside from Lost have gotten rid of central characters. In the past week, Charlie Sheen was fired and Steve Carrell filmed his last episode of The Office