LadyGhosts of TV Past

Being Human Retro Recap: Episode 2.01

A month after George killed Herrick, the roommates try to adjust to normal life again, but George has some residual issues and Nina’s got a secret she’s hesitant to share.

From what I recall thinking the first time I watched series 2 of Being Human U.K., I didn’t love the first half of it. I think mostly, I was disappointed with George and Nina. The back half of the series really brings it all together for me and the last episode broke me into pieces, but let’s see if I still feel the same about the lead up.

George and Mitchell sit in a pub as George tells Mitchell all about his problems with Nina. Mitchell tries to explain how seeing him kill someone might affect her, but George has a lot of anger going on. He leaves the pub ahead of Mitchell and hears a woman crying somewhere. As he investigates, he finds a brunette who claims to have been attacked by a vampire, but as he goes to help her, her eyes turn black and she says, “Can I just say for the record? Huge fan.” She and her male vampire friend taunt George and beat him up before Mitchell can intervene. George rushes after them.

Nina is hanging out at the house with Annie and she asks if she knows how George caught the wolfness. Annie explains how he was on holiday, scratch and wolf. Nina shows Annie the scratches on her arm, but Annie is convinced that George hadn’t changed, it couldn’t have changed her. Nina is having nightmares of turning into a werewolf as she saw George do. She wants Annie to come with her in case she changes and Annie assures her she’ll be fine.

The vampires (very clearly a couple) continues running and split up, leading George to want to split up and go after him. This is the third time he’s been attacked. Mitchell wants to let it go, but George presses on after the girl, who we learn is called Daisy. She apologizes for the rudeness of her husband, Ivan. They’re just tourist vampires, she explains, they have no care for blood and domination. Meanwhile, Ivan tackles Mitchell from behind before mocking him for being clean. Ivan explains that it was his duty to attack George, even though he didn’t like Herrick. It seems that George is now quite legendary to the vampires; the Killer of Kings, as Daisy calls him while she gets a bit friendly with him. Ivan explains to Mitchell that the power vacuum created by Herrick’s death isn’t going to be clean and neat. Mitchell tells him to stay away from George and shouts for Daisy, breaking her away from her makeout session with George, who wants more of her. Mitchell tells him to clean the lipstick off his mouth before they go home.

At home, Nina waits on their bed for George to get out of the shower. She goes to leave the room and George tries to be affectionate, but gets shut down by Nina. She explains again how it’s a lot to take in and George angrily asks why she’s still there if she can’t deal with it. He’s her only constant, she explains, but George isn’t having any of it. As Nina leaves for work, George reveals that he hasn’t changed all that much as he complains about Annie putting biscuits she can’t eat into tea she can’t drink. After getting Mitchell and George their drinks, she reveals her plan: she’s getting a job at the new pub. The guys are skeptical, but she’s convinced that she needs something. George is happy that Annie has a purpose now and points out that maybe Mitchell’s so moody because he doesn’t anymore. No Herrick, vampires are going after George so it’s not all about him anymore. It’s an uncomfortable truth for Mitchell.

At the pub, Annie has shown up with a business plan for expanding the clientele, which currently consists of one customer, Jack. She’s been watching too much Apprentice and comes on a bit strongly for Huw, the pub owner’s son who is currently running the place. He gives her the job anyway.

At work, Mitchell goes to clean a toilet and finds a female doctor on a smoke break who is not very happy to see him. She unloads on Mitchell about her lot in life: she gave up a life and friends and good coworkers for a promotion to there where the other doctors are jerks, she doesn’t know anyone and her goldfish died. She tells him to leave and after a moment, he comes back and lays down his story: no girlfriend, no family and he mops up puke for five pounds an hour. She introduces herself as Lucy, who keeps screwing up. He introduces himself as Mitchell and tells her she’s in good company.

George gives Nina a kiss before he heads out to change. After he’s gone, Annie and Nina head out, too. They head to the room where George killed Herrick; he doesn’t wish to use it anymore. Annie notices that the bits of Herrick from the walls are gone. Nina worries about hurting Annie, but Annie assures her that she’s dead dead dead, and tries to lighten the mood by reminding her that there was a werewolf named Nina in Buffy. Nina never saw it. Despite Annie’s hopefulness, when the full moon comes, she begins to change. George changes as well, in the woods.

The old man from the end of last season has someone in a type of decompression chamber. The person in the chamber is a werewolf. Old Man explains that they think that the change has someone to do with the tides and pressure and that they’re hoping to counteract it. The guy wants to know where Professor Jaggat is. The guy starts feeling ill and the Old Man accidentally lets slip that they’ve tried the same thing before. The guy begins to freak out, wanting to know if they died. Once the full moon starts, though, he doesn’t start to change. He’s elated until his veins start to enlarge, and then begs them to let him change. He begins bleeding from everywhere and the Old Man tells the technician to increase the pressure as the guy bleeds out, screaming, in the chamber and eventually dies. “That was the last type 3,” the tech informs the Old Guy.

In the morning, Nina wakes up to a sobbing Annie. She asks how Nina is going to tell him, but Nina says she won’t. It would destroy him. George wakes up spooning a deer carcass, observed by Daisy, who taunts him more. He asks her why she’s so bent on trying to pull him over to the side of enjoying it, but Daisy doesn’t believe that he isn’t already there. She thinks that him killing Herrick opened something else in him. She explains to him that when Ivan found her, he gave her a proposal: travel. “Come see the world. And fuck. Sorry, but can you think of a better way to spend your life?” Apparently, at that moment, he can’t, because George and Daisy go at it in the woods as Ivan watches.

Annie and Nina come home to a waiting Mitchell, who knows about her. He explains to her that it’s a different life, but it’s a life, so she should give up. Nina tells him that it’s about his conscience instead: he encouraged their relationship. “You loaded a gun and you fired it into a crowd.” George comes home and everyone awkwardly leaves. George go upstairs to ask Nina what’s wrong, but she won’t speak about anything that matters. She tells him that he’s not the person she needs right now and George lets all the built up anger out at her finally, asking her why she’s still there again if she’s so disdainful of him. She retorts that it’s not like she just discovered Santa, her whole life has been wrecked and it’s his fault. He screams that it’s not about her and as he gets close, she smells the perfume on him. Same thing she smells after he was out with Mitchell. George deflects and asks her if it’s about Mitchell, because that’s what she’s accusing her of. She starts packing and he keeps berating her leading her to finally break down and tell him that he gave the wolf to her. George stares in disbelief, then walks out of the room as Nina breaks down sobbing.

At the hospital, Mitchell brings Lucy a goldfish. She inquires about joint custody of the fish, Trevor and Mitchell says he’s all hers, but he’d like to visit occasionally. Lucy says that might happen, but stutters out something about having just ended it with a guy and Mitchell says it’s okay, he’s got time.

At the New Found Out, Annie is getting ready for her first shift as a pub girl. She comes on a little too strong to the customer, putting on a hilarious northern accent, before getting a pep talk from Huw. Annie serves the guy clumsily and laughs as she tells him that it’s her first day.

Back at the hospital, George and Nina are in avoidance mode of each other as George sees Daisy walking down a corridor. He follows her as she whispers a lullaby while approaching a patient with scissors. George asks what she’s doing and she explains that she’s visiting family. The old woman in the bed is her daughter. She was five when Daisy met Ivan. She’s the last thread and Daisy contemplates cutting it. She tried to kill her once already, but it didn’t take. George tells her to just leave the woman alone. “She’s the last person who needed you,” George tells her softly. He guesses that must hurt. As he tells Daisy it’s not her fault, he realizes that it’s not Nina’s fault either and leaves Daisy sobbing over her daughter’s body. George finds Nina and for the first time in the episode, he has the softness of the George we love back in his face. He breaks down, finally acknowledging that he did this to her. Nina comforts him, reminding him that he didn’t know.

Annie and the customer, Saul, are getting on like a house on fire. He’s a property developer, but when he got dropped off in the area, he left his coat, phone, money, everything in the car. Huw tells him that there’s a pay phone on Windsor Terrace, but Annie offer to just let him use the phone at her house. Huw cautions her against it, but she says it’s okay. She takes him home and makes him a cup of tea as he makes his phone call. George and Nina come home after some post-work drinks and George and Mitchell tease Annie for bringing home a guy already. Nina thinks he’s handsome, too. Nina tells the roomies she doesn’t know what to do now and Mitchell assures her that they’ll help her through it, the help they didn’t get. There’s a knock at the door and the gas company lets them know there’s been a leak and they’re needing to move everyone out for a minute. Annie’s superior tea skills work to her advantage as she brings out cups of tea for all the neighbors who’ve been moved out as well. An old woman apologizes to Mitchell for all the trouble with the pedo episode and Mitchell tells her it’s water under the bridge. He stands in the crowd and sighs, “My god, finally.”

In the house, the gas man isn’t really a gas man, he’s the tech. The Old Man comes in after him as the bring in some machines and a psychic. The Old Man asks if there’s anyone in the house they can’t see, any spirits. The psychic says there’s been a lot of activity, leaving a residue, but it’s not here now. The Old Man goes upstairs and recites an ominous Bible verse as he looks in all the bedrooms.

So… George and Nina. How do they hold up? Well, overall, they still infuriate me. George’s complete obliviousness to the situation combined with his acting act seem so out of character to me. I know now that they’re setting up a couple of things that come down later in the season, but I almost feel like the writers felt that they had to have a monster in the house and since it was Aidan last season, they wanted it to be George in season two. It makes sense that there are some unresolved anger issues from his killing of Herrick and when I remind myself that this all happened less than a month ago, it makes his actions and behaviors slightly more understandable. It also makes me glad that they resolved the situation differently in the U.S. version: besides fitting the plot better, I don’t think that U.S. viewers would have stayed on Josh’s side in season 2 with his behavior mirroring George’s. As for Nina… I am so conflicted about Nina. While I understand her hesitancy to tell George (especially before she knows for sure), I feel like it is unfair that she sulks around and blames George for not being there for her without actually letting him know what he needs to be there for. There’s a massive breakdown in communication on both parts and it’s difficult to watch because it’s so real and raw. They are both processing the events of the night that Herrick was killed but feel that they can’t put the burden on each other. They are being selfish and selfless all at the same time. It makes sense that they would turn to Mitchell and Annie to be their confidants in this time. These things all make sense to me, but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch, especially when George is screaming at Nina to just leave already.

As a season opener, this episode really brings the oppressing sadness for 90% of the episode. Things get resolved, though and Annie can find her place in the world while Mitchell can finally breathe and relax in the normalcy of it all by the end. Unfortunately for Mitchell, we know that darker things are lurking ahead for the roommates so we can’t feel the same sense of relief that they do. Who is the Old Man? Who is Professor Jaggat? What do they have planned for out roommates?

By Crystal Coleman

Florida girl living on the west coast. During the day, I consult in social media and community management. I have a really cute puppy (Elphaba) and a British husband (I keep him for his accent) as well as an unhealthy relationship with parentheses.

2 replies on “Being Human Retro Recap: Episode 2.01”

When I first watched this episode, I was so angry with George that I could taste it. It’s a testament to Russell Tovey’s abilities; he really is a terrific actor (and from I understand, quite a nice fellow IRL). As for Nina, I find myself always wanting to like her, but then she does something that makes me want to smack her upside the head. That’s what the show’s about, though, right: the characters who are searching for their own humanity are oblivious to the fact that it’s their flaws that make them human?

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