Being Human: ‘Puppy Love’ or The one where they all sort of get love interests (S4, ep.6)

Already we appear to be creeping towards the business end of Series 4. Where exactly did the time go, eh?! But anyway this week saw accidental murder, less accidental murder, the introduction of a plethora of variably suitable love interests for our 3 supernatural housemates and a damn good spooking. What more could we ask for?!…

Allison and Tom contemplate busking

What happened…

This week’s opener gave us a juxtaposition of Tom and who we soon find out to be Allison’s (Ellie Kendrick) morning rituals. The former sharpening his stake and tearfully re-reading the letter McNair left him before his death, whilst the latter sharpened her pencils and wrote a leaving letter to her Mum and Dad, setting the tone for a collision course between brains versus brawn, one of the main themes of ‘Puppy Love’. Over at the café where Tom and Hal remain dutiful employees, the vampire is putting the eggs in order of size and sorting the sugar and artificial sweeteners in an attempt to “Keep busy, keep sane” and stop himself from falling off the wagon. Feeling he needs someone in his life to pick up where his now deceased friend Leo left off, Hal asks his new werewolf housemate/co-worker if he can help him to stay on the straight and narrow. Just as Tom happily accepts, they realise they’re being watched from across the road by the curly-haired, bespectacled werewolf we’d been introduced to in the previous scene. Giving chase they catch up with her, and after being nearly deafened by her rape alarm, they take her back to Honolulu Heights where she informs them she’s been searching for Tom, who’d she’d seen the upload of his transformation of on the internet. Trying to figure out who’s responsible for the recent spate of anti-werewolf propaganda, Allison attempts to enlist the help of Hal who she envisages will go undercover for her, but not taken with the idea of being amongst his fellow bloodsuckers once more he runs back to the café to “polish the teaspoons” leaving her and Tom responsible for finding out who’s behind it all.

Just for the record this is Emrys' 'I'm not amused with this death malarky' face. He was in fact very much amused.

Meanwhile back at the disused warehouse ‘Spinmeister’ Cutler is clapping his hands and feet over the buzz he’s created by uploading the video, until vampire Events Manager Golda (Amanda Abbington) turns up with her mute and action film loving sidekicks and informs him she’ll be taking over things in relation to the imminent arrival of ‘The Old Ones’. Informing her that he’s befriended a werewolf she seems to think that a dog fight would be the perfect gift for their visit envisaging “Cage. Human. Prosecco” and orders the solicitor/vampire to get to work luring Tom, whilst she gets busy booking suitable accommodation and transport for the vampire royalty. At Honolulu Heights things aren’t exactly going swimmingly for Annie either. When somebody bangs on the door she believes it could yet again be Social Services or even somebody who’s there to harm Baby Eve, and so when she opens the door she gets her poltergeist on and blows the man all the way over the hedge. That’s when she finds out he was actually an elderly neighbour called Emrys who she’s accidentally murdered, and who as a ghost now needs her help to solve his ‘unfinished business’. Having made their way up to the docks, after debating the merits of verbal reasoning and brute strength, Tom and Allison attempt to confront one of Golda’s henchmen there and when her ‘debating’ tactics don’t work and she’s attacked by the vampire, Tom is forced to do what he does best and stake him to save her life, much to Allison’s disdain. Not knowing what to do for the best they both go to see Cutler at his office where he informs them about Golda and hints she might be behind the recent influx of propaganda. Being his usual idealistic self Tom turns to Allison and informs her, “We’re all soldiers. We’ve got to pick a side”, to which she rather surprisingly replies that she’d like to learn how to stake a vampire. Cue a rather sweet montage of shots with ‘Puppy Love’ playing in the background, where he teaches her how to stick it to a vampire and she broaches several textbooks and the advantages of reasoned debate with him, that ends with her asking “If we lived on the Moon do you think we could be werewolves all the time?” Awwwwwww!

Meanwhile back at the café Hal has a rather awkward meeting with Alex (Kate Bracken), a young woman who pops in for coffee, but who fancies her chances with a particularly flustered recovering blood addict. After batting off her advances, which include trying to explain the offside rule with the condiments and the classic asking him to pull her finger, Hal fears he’s blown it until she turns back up at the greasy spoon and Tom invites her out on a double date with him and Allison, whilst he cowers under the counter. What ensues is yet more awkwardness, but at a natural history museum this time where, after the two werewolf lovebirds are called away, Hal and Alex are given “Private time” under the woolly mammoth. As she closes her eyes and waits for him to kiss her all he can concentrate on is the blood pumping through her veins, and so runs away leaving the young woman understandably baffled. Also having man trouble is Annie, as aside from perving on Allison in the shower, Emrys has decided that his ‘unfinished business’ must be that he’s never been kissed, and as she’s about to do the honours she notices the wedding ring on his finger. As it turns out his ex-wife cheated on him with the piano teacher and Annie believes his issue might be that he has to forgive her, so they rent-a-ghost their way to her bungalow, he tells her he still loves her and absolves her wrong-doing and consesequently Annie points him in the direction of his door. Job done… or not. The door in the hallway wasn’t actually ‘his’ door to Purgatory, but a door to a cupboard. Back to the drawing board!

Alex using the fail-safe 'Pull my finger' chat up line on Hal.

Back in loved up puppy land, revelling in the fact she’s just despatched Golda’s other henchman, Allison thinks it’s time to get hot and heavy with Tom when they get back home, but Tom really isn’t happy thinking she’s changed and not for the better: “You’re not a soldier.” As she heads off in a huff to the warehouse to confront Golda about the recent bad publicity for her species, Tom finds out that her parents have put a notice in the paper asking for her safe return and goes after her, getting there just in the nick of time as she’s about to make her second killing of the day. Talking Allison down by telling her she only ‘really’ changes once a month (yes the possibility for period jokes is wide and vast), the lady werewolf turns her back on Golda who goes to attack her with the disregarded stake, but is apprehended by Cutler who happily plugs her in the heart, removing yet another one of his enemies. This guy isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty is he?

Back at the house, in the relative calm after the storm, Hal asks Allison and Tom if they know anything about Jenny Wilson’s (the pathologist from a couple of week’s ago) body being found, as reported in the paper. They both mistakenly reassure him that now Golda is gone there’ll be no more worrying stories in the paper that hint at the existence of the  supernatural, little do they know that their ‘friend’ Cutler is actually the master puppeteer. Seemingly pacifying him, they go on to convince Hal to leave a voicemail message on Alex’s phone and truly get back in the saddle once and for all. On the other hand Tom decides that Allison shouldn’t see him again because he’s frightened he’ll turn her into something she’s not, and after a kiss and a shedding of tears the Norwegian-speaking werewolf toodles off out of a heartbroken Tom’s life. That just leaves the whole ‘Unfinished Business’ business with Emrys needing to be tied up. Deciding that what he has to do might not necessarily be a ‘good’ thing, they go back his ex wife’s house and decide to give her and her    and her piano playing lover a damn good spooking, ruining their music session by hammering down on the piano keys and throwing books across the room sending the pair running and screaming out of the house that his money had paid for after the divorce. It’s only then that Emrys’ actual door appears and he walks through it, but not before telling Annie, “When your time comes, remember it might not have to be a good thing you do.” (Foreshadowing, much?) About to return home ‘Future Eve’ steps through the door and tells her Annie that she has to go with her. Understandably after her last trip to Purgatory the ghost isn’t exactly keen, but the other woman tells her “There’s never been anything more important”, and goes on to inform her of something we’ve suspected all along; “I am the baby… I’m Eve.” Duh! Duh! Duh!

The Verdict…

I have to say I really enjoyed ‘Puppy Love’. There was an astute balance between plot, character development and the dark humour we’ve grown to love over the past four years. There were also some really nice little touches such as the unforced exposition in the scene where Tom and Allison go to see Cutler in his office and the first shot was a close-up of his certificate from The Law Associated awarded in 1947. No clumsy piece of dialogue that gives away the era he probably became a vampire, just a rather clever clue. I’m equally enjoying Hal’s weekly domestic karaoke. Whoever’s behind it, keep it up! There’s nothing quite so attractive as a man who can sing AND who can give your floor a damn good mopping. It’s also great to see the burgeoning bromance between Hal and Tom, and I can’t help but feel this will feature prominently over the last two episodes. I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t sure the writers/casting directors could match Mitchell and George’s/Turner and Tovey’s on-screen chemistry, but after a slightly faltering start Moloney and Socha seem to be doing almost too a good job proving me wrong. As I’ve said before it’s great to see Annie front and centre and driving proceedings after years of more or less reacting to one crisis or another. Finally in the driving seat now, it’s looking like the fate of humanity will ultimately rest in her seemingly pretty powerful, ghostly hands. So bring on the apocalypse, the ‘Old Ones’ and more of Hal singing. Topless. If you must.

Hal looking terrified of Tom's backside. Too much broccoli?

Next Week…

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About Optimistindisguise

I blog therefore I am. I think.
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