Being Human (UK): The Graveyard Shift
Season 4 Episode 3
Writer: Jamie Mathieson
Director: Philip John
Very spoilery, so don’t read if you don’t wanna know!
“My friend can get a bit carnal. Pretty girls bring out the beast in him.”
After two episodes dripping with dire vampire prophecies and heart-wrenching farewells, it was about time for the more mundane aspects of human life to take precedence at Honolulu Heights. In need of additional funds for the rent and to pay for diapers for baby Eve, Annie convinces a most reluctant Hal to (gasp!) go to work alongside Tom at the café. What a comedown this seems to Lord Harry, who it turns out is actually one of the original Old Ones himself, a fact he’s kept secret from his new roommates up to this point. Unlike most of his fellow vampire elite, Hal doesn’t seem all that proud of his bloody past; nor, should I think, of that caterpillar he used to wear on his upper lip, a brief glimpse of which we get to see in the pre-credits teaser.
“I used to blush when I took a free sample. What’s happened to me?”
For the most part, “The Graveyard Shift” is much lighter in tone than the first two episodes of the season, a fact one can quickly deduce from the opening scenes where Tom is seen gearing up as if for battle in preparation for taking baby Eve to the local discount supermarket, and Annie does her share of ghostly shoplifting for baby food.
“Kill me. Seriously, kill me now.”
This much-needed change of pace is a relief after all of our past heartache over losing Mitchell, George and Nina. In fact, it looks like the new trio has already become a natural team, as I hardly missed the dearly departed except for when they were briefly and affectionately mentioned by remaining roommate Annie. Rather than being tempted to grieve this week, I was instead tickled by the humorous interaction of natural enemies Hal (Damien Molony) and Tom (Michael Socha), who despite trying their level best to hate one other are continuing to take giant leaps closer to becoming true friends. In fact, their amusing male bonding sequence, a half-hearted competition over the self-absorbed and self-proclaimed “weird goth girl” Michaela (Laura Patch), was one of the highlights of the episode.
“They’re not lodgers. They are my friends.”
Even Annie is beginning to see the new fellows as “her boys” now, taking a loving and motherly attitude towards the two she sees as vital corporeal protectors of baby Eve. Thus we return to the original excellent premise of a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire living together and attempting to go peacefully unnoticed amongst humankind. Until the next really bad guy crosses their path and all hell breaks loose again, of course.
Speaking of Annie (Lenora Crichlow), she develops a striking new talent in this episode, but you have to look quick to catch it. I was glad to see some growth for her here, as I was worried that this season’s emphasis on new character Hal and Tom might leave her to stagnate. Happily, the show remains firmly planted on three sets of shoulders, and this trio of roommates becomes an even more well-established unit by episode’s end.
“Remember the old days? Me and you? A girl on each arm, and one tied up in the booth…”
Discovering that deliciously nasty Fergus (Anthony Flanagan) had a past connection with Hal only to have this promising vampire henchman suddenly offed at the end of the episode seemed a bit of a cheat, however. After all, it looked like he was working up to some seriously demented bad guy behavior towards both humans and his fellow vamps, especially his rival Cutler (Andrew Gower). But I suppose the writers need more room to develop the Cutler character (who was not even seen in this ep) and the rest of those Old Ones who have been “on their way” since last season. At least we have finally learned that they are coming by boat. (Perhaps they are being held up at Customs? Does UK immigration allow coffins as carry-ons?)
“Ignore him, he’s never happy unless he’s miserable.”
And Mark Williams may have played the part of Regus, Vampire Recorder less broadly this time around, but I was still not unhappy to have him depart for parts unknown by the end of the hour. I’m not sure that his acting style gels so well with the rest of the cast’s. Even so, I think we may see his character reappear later in this series, as pieces of that vampire prophecy always seem to need additional expository decoding. I did get quite a chuckle out of his “Team Edward” t-shirt, though.
One last intriguing note: who is the mysterious apparition slipping through an afterlife portal just prior to the end credits, and what can his arrival mean for our crew?
Read my review of the previous episode HERE.