Being Human (UK): The War Child (S4 E8)

Being Human (UK): The War Child
Season 4 Episode 8
Toby Whithouse
Director: Philip John

[Photos: BBC]

This review contains SPOILERS!

You know that kind if look can't mean anything good!

A very ancient evil descends on Barry in the form of the menacing Mr. Snow. As portrayed by the inestimable Mark Gatiss with silky smooth voice and marvelous veiny semi-translucent skin, the leader of the Old Ones makes quite a menacing impression in this final episode of Season 4. His old brother-in-blood Hal (Damien Molony) is clearly terrified at his appearance, and of his own inability to stay “clean” and refrain from drinking human blood with this powerful evil influence in town.

Cutler (Andrew Gower) shows just how far he will go to get what he wants.

“I have never known humiliation, failure or obscurity. How does it make you feel?”
Unfortunately for Cutler, news of his carefully planned werewolf-reveal at the club the previous evening has been mysteriously suppressed, and Mr. Snow is totally unimpressed by this obvious failure in providing sufficient “tribute” for his long-awaited arrival. Snow pulls out all the snarky stops in demeaning the vampire lawyer in front of his crew for the breach of protocol. In fact, Snow gets some of the wittiest lines ever written for this series. (“Am I missing something? Is he giving me a television set? Because I already have a television the size of a bedsheet.”)

Annie has a hard time coming to terms with her difficult part to play in baby Eve's future.

“I’ll make sure you remember my name!”
Thoroughly humiliated by Snow and seeking revenge, Cutler (Andrew Gower) shows up on the doorstep of Honolulu Heights and forces his way in. We finally learn exactly why vampires mustn’t ever come into a residence without that all-important invitation. A combination of makeup and VFX are used to enhance the consequences of the lawyer’s defiance of vampire rule number one, and the results are simply extraordinary to watch. Cutler proves completely willing to sacrifice himself and attempts to kill baby Eve and end his own vampire kind per the ancient skin prophecy, but instead ends up being dispatched by the overprotective supernatural instincts of our Annie (Lenora Crichlow). His self-immolation and staking was quite the perfect denouement for a perfectly marvelous villain.

“Oh Hal, you weren’t hiding. I was just giving you the afternoon off.”
Hal’s old frenemy Mr. Snow shows up for a quiet little soul-crushing chat at the Diner on the Corner, where Hal is devastated to learn that his efforts to hide from his former buddies all these years have been in vain. Snow knew exactly where he was all along, and reminds Hal that there’s really no place on earth that he can go and not be found. Snow asserts that Hal cannot resist the lure of the old life, and it’s just a matter of time before he comes back into the bloodsucking fold.

Tom is confronted by Milo (Michael Wildman), the new-werewolf-in-town who is working for the Old Ones.

“Kill her, keep her, hand her over. I’ll survive whatever you do.”
Tom (Michael Socha) has his own confrontation with Milo (Michael Wildman), the quite impressive werewolf bodyguard of sorts who accompanies the Old Ones. Sporting shotgun shell slings full of vials of his own deadly-to-vamp werewolf blood and hinting at an as-yet-to-be-revealed backstory, Milo presents as one tough and interesting customer. Here’s hoping he’s around long enough to make mischief in Season 5.

Annie takes the hard way out to save humanity.

“That’s the funny thing about saviors…they can make one a little dependent.”
But it’s Annie (Lenora Crichlow) who makes undoubtedly the biggest impact in the season 4 finale. Torn between saving adorable baby Eve and saving all of humanity, our long-suffering ghost gal makes one final terrible choice and goes out in a blaze of glory, taking out the sinister Mr. Snow and most of the Old Ones at the same time. Notice I said most, as a couple of the vamps slip away just before the big finish. One of them is the little girl vamp just barely glimpsed in the last 2 eps. Surely she will reappear next season; could this perhaps be a next Big Bad-ette?

Oh Annie, we will miss you, lovely lady. *sniff* But what a bang-up job you did saving the world!

“All you had to do was save the world.”
Apparently this final heroic act by Annie discharges her remaining unfinished business on earth and after literally walking through fire she is finally rewarded with her very own personal glowy door to the afterlife. With a gorgeous smile on her face, she carries baby Eve with her into the next dimension where her all of her departed friends now reside (including presumably Nina and George, although we mere mortals don’t get to see who is waiting for her on the other side). I’d guess that Annie’s heavenly future is very bright indeed.

Alex is distressed to learn that she will be stuck in this same outfit for eternity.

When Alex (Kate Bracken) was ghostified last week it wasn’t hard to guess that yet another cast change was imminent. As sorry as I am to see our dear Annie depart our dimension for good, in looking back I now feel that this entire season could easily amount to one long, loving sendoff for her character. And what an emotional and bittersweet happy ending our first ghost gal received! Extra-special kudos to Lenora for doing such a beautiful job as Annie Sawyer for four splendiferous seasons.

Mr. Rook (Steven Robertson) makes his way through the warehouse full of supernatural secrets.

“There are things that should be seen, and things that should remain hidden.”
An interesting plot line that surfaces in the last episode is the introduction of a mysterious secret organization headed by Mr. Rook (Steven Robertson). He shows up in charge of those guys who cleaned up the werewolf/club mess and carted off Alex’s dead body from the basement under the noses of the police. This group looks to be sort of a “Men in Black”-style organization that exists to keep supernatural goings-on out of the public eye, but little more is known about them at this point.

“Why are you doing this?” “Cuz you’re me best mate.”
We finish up the season back in the living room at Honolulu Heights, with Alex looking on as Hal gets strapped to a chair by Tom to begin the detox from human blood. It was quite the special treat to watch Hal’s placid demeanor crack a little bit due to withdrawal, and especially touching to see the absolute acceptance of his condition by his friends.

What a fun ride it has been watching those two opposites Tom and Hal bonding over the course of the season, and what marvelous performances from the two actors who play our werewolf and vampire. It also bodes well for next season that Alex has already started to become an integral member of the group. Despite fans’ anguish over the major cast changes at the start of this season, BEING HUMAN seems to have survived all of the turmoil and finished up incredibly well: solid, grounded and strong. I predict more good times ahead for the new supernatural trio in Barry.

Read my review of the previous episode HERE.

2 thoughts on “Being Human (UK): The War Child (S4 E8)

  • April 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

    I’m sad to see Annie leave as well but it’s a great way to start the show fresh given all the big changes/departures. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the new cast. Thanks for another great recap as always!

  • May 26, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I adore Mark Gatiss on Sherlock, and the commentaries he’s done for those are hilarious. 😀


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