‘Being Human’: Series 5 Episode 4 review

images_160x90_B_BeingHuman_captain hatch

Desperate times make for desperate measures. They also make for very good episodes of Being Human.

As ‘The Greater Good’ begins, no one’s more desperate than Dominic Rook. It means that Steven Robertson – already one of the best things about Series 5 – is all the more entertaining as he enunciates with the urgency and precision of a Pathé newsreel announcer trapped in a fire. Sending the loveable potatoey were-man Bobby to live under the tutelage of Tom is merely the first move in a series of unfortunate events which lead him to be The Devil’s drinking buddy.

Taking care of Bobby (former Albert Square resident Ricky Grover, given greater space to puff and act comically dim here than his EastEnders stint) means that Tom becomes an unlikely but effective mentor, and leads to the kind of heartwarming humour that Tom-centric story lines always attract. Only last week he was being strung along by Larry Chrysler and doubting his own place in the world. Now he’s helping someone find theirs.

And he’s not the only one, as Hal invites Crumb & chum over to get clean through a rigorous and entertaining regime of being strapped to chairs, domino-sorting, and 1980s montage. It scrubs away the vampire but can’t remove the pernicious human flaws that reassert themselves with Crumb’s returning humanity. As his disastrous date with Alex shows us he’s a jealous, petty, and socially inept man. The sad fact is he’d probably be better off as a vampire, because at least then it would be an excuse for being so repulsive.

When he finally gets his comeuppance (or should that be Crumb-uppace? Yes. Yes, he’d appreciate such a lame pun) in the bloody Russian roulette it’s a surprisingly moving end for a character whose cartoonish jawing was always a bit much for the show. More importantly though is that it’s a last laugh. Crumb had his death stolen from him by Hal, and now he’s not just reclaiming it, but also escaping Hal’s fate: an eternity soaked in the bloody ebb and flow of vampiric cravings. That’s about as good as ‘winning’ gets in Barry.

For Hal there’s only defeat, and as the stress brings the Old One addict out in him, so we get a terrific performance from Molony. With just a change in the timbre of his voice, he moves from the recovering vampire we last year described as ‘Count Dracula in a Richard Curtis movie’ to someone who you imagine once collected heads on pikes, just so he had a hobby in between all the sexy bloodsucking shenanigans. As he chugs that flask of blood the hope we had for a clean Hal is swallowed up whole.

Desperate times indeed, but for Captain Hatch things have never looked better. He’s got an ace up his sleeve in the unwitting help of Mr Rook and, as the episode goes out of its way to point out, he’s literally holding all the cards. The chips are down, The Devil’s about to play his hand.

Are you all in?

Aired at 10pm on Sunday 24 February 2013 on BBC Three.

> Order Series 5 on DVD on Amazon.

> Buy the complete Series 1-4 boxset on Amazon.

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