Season 4 Episode 4: “A Spectre Calls”
Writer: Tom Grieves
Director: Daniel O’Hara
Very spoilery, so don’t read if you don’t wanna know!
Kirby, the Not-So-Friendly Ghost
This week our supernatural trio gets a blast from the past in the shape of a ghost from the 1970s named Alfie Kirby (James Lance), who pops onto the scene purporting to be sent from Nina as “assistance.” But the real reason for his sudden arrival seems to be to spread doubt, dissatisfaction and dissent, and to try to split up the Honolulu Heights team. All these things he manages to do, at least temporarily, by carefully playing on each person’s weaknesses and deepest, darkest fears.
“She’s still crazy about you. Even though you broke her heart. And ate it.”
Clever Hal (Damien Molony) is the first to suspect that the charming Kirby is not quite the well-meaning mother’s helper he claims to be. Yet even this Old One’s several hundred years of experience on earth can’t prevent him from being rattled by Kirby’s carefully calculated chatter. Hal has difficulty enough dealing with his inner demons all by himself, and the added dose of guilt he gets from Kirby sends him dangerously close to that edge he is trying at all costs to avoid.
Past birthday presents? “A cupcake and a 4-inch skinning knife…”
Naive Tom (Michael Socha) is perhaps Kirby’s easiest victim. The sorrowful young fellow wants nothing more than a smidgeon of normalcy in his abnormal life. One look at the clippings on his bedroom wall tells you how desperately he craves the things that we ordinary humans take for granted, especially family life. Kirby builds up and then cruelly crushes the poor boy’s hopes that his roommates will make his 21st birthday special. Disappointment sends Tom on a drinking and fighting spree that lands him in jail, where evil vamp Cutler (Andrew Gower) of all people turns up as the lawyer who finagles his release. I don’t buy Cutler’s “There are good vampires out there,” explanation for one minute, do you?
“Evil is like traveling first class. Try it once and you can never go back.”
It’s Kirby’s relentless digging into Annie’s (Lenora Critchlow) myriad insecurities that eventually forces our girl to fade into the wallpaper, and quite literally. Persuaded by Kirby that she’s destroyed everyone she’s ever known and that there’s nothing left for her to hold onto in this life, she dissolves into a weeping nothingness, leaving the path clear for Kirby’s real objective all along: the disposal of baby Eve.
But Kirby didn’t count on the strength of Annie’s incredibly protective nature resurrecting her from beyond the grave. Just as Tom and Hal realize their mistake in leaving the house and rush home to find Kirby threatening Eve, our Annie surprisingly rematerialises, emanating a mysterious unearthly blue light, and saves the day! I quite like this new superpower-endowed Annie, she seems to get more nifty abilities with each episode this season, and about time, too. I hope we’ll see her flashing those angry eyes again soon, when she’s riled up she’s quite the force to be reckoned with.
A side note to American viewers: James Lance, who turns in one marvelous performance as serial killer ghost Kirby, may be a familiar face to Brits, but he’s completely unknown on this side of the pond, so his mugging might not be quite as amusing as intended to US viewers. Regardless, the sight of a any guy in a powder-blue sports coat and wooly pullover displaying Saturday Night Fever disco dance moves IS funny, whether you know who he is or not.
Junior plotlines this episode include Hal’s continued interest in the Box Tunnel murders and Cutler’s attempts to create false werewolf death reports, which I’m guessing will all tie up somehow, somewhere later in the season. We also get another glimpse of Future Dead Girl, who may or may not be the grown-up Eve, but no explanations are forthcoming yet. Best to keep us guessing, I say!
Read my review of the previous episode HERE.