LadyGhosts of TV Past

Recap: Being Human UK, Episode 2.05

Annie and George get domestic as Mitchell gets a little wild and proves that a tiger never changes his stripes.

Flashback time. Mitchell wakes up in a blood-drugged haze with a dead girl next to him. From his unconditioned hair (and the text on the screen), we learn that it’s London, 1969. He gets up and walks into the hall and almost stumbles over another dead girl. A toilet flushes, but it’s just Herrick. Mitchell doesn’t even know where they are, so Herrick reminds him about the drugs and the four hour car ride. They need to clean this up, but Herrick doesn’t want to call in the local crew. They don’t get along… Herrick killed the leader’s mom, oops. Herrick has to find the car, so leaves Mitchell to clean up the mess. Mitchell seems to have a moment of regret as he stares at one of the girls. He cleans up, scrubbing down the surfaces (badly), straightening paintings, carrying bodies out, vacuuming. As he leaves (stealing some milk on the way), the police are already in the building (how they knew about the crime scene so quickly is a wonder). A woman comes out of her apartment and he grabs her, pushing her back into her apartment to hide. She thinks it’s because he took the milk. He wants to know if there’s a way out and no, there’s not. As the police knock on her door, Mitchell asks, “Are you going to cause me a problem?” “Depends,” she replies, “Are you going to hurt me?” Mitchell thinks for a second before saying, “Right now it’s about 50/50.” The police question her and she keeps it cool. But she knows he’s a killer now. He asks her to take her cross necklace off. “What happens now?” “We wait.”

Back in the present, it’s all very deja vu-y as the police are knocking at the house door. They rush in, past George and past Annie and grab Mitchell from his bed as George and Annie protest. “What’s he done?” Annie wonders. “How far back do you want to go?” George supplies. At the station, the police rough Mitchell up as they bring him in and toss him in with the constable. Constable tells him about a child molester who they haven’t been able to convict. He’s been in and out of there multiple times and re-offends every single time. “I want this man sent kicking and screaming to hell and you’re the one to do it,” he explains when Mitchell questions why he’s here. He figured Mitchell might enjoy it, but Mitchell corrects that he’s clean, he doesn’t kill anymore.

At home, George is showing kid’s magazines to Annie, asking her opinion, which she thinks Sam’s daughter would like. She thinks that’s a bit too much responsibility for him. Mitchell comes home and they ask if he’s okay, but he’s typically evasive and conversation moves back to George and Sam. Mitchell doesn’t approve of Sam and confides to Annie that he thinks George is still in love with Nina. George heads to Sam’s flat. Molly answers and tells George that he has dogbreath before putting down both his choices of magazine. She is pulling the brat card pretty hard, to be fair. Sam reveals that they live with her mom. As she goes out for a moment, George sits on a chair in the kitchen. Molly says that’s where her dad used to sit. He leans on the counter. That’s where the cat sits. “You can sit on the bin,” she offers.

Back at home, Annie is surprised to have a ghost visitor, who (more surprises) has a ghost baby with her! Sykes told GhostMum all about Annie, she’s like a celebrity. She explains that a leaky boiler did them both in (presumably a gas leak) and that the GhostBaby will stay a baby until they cross over. The point of her visit, though, is that GhostMum has a date with a dead fireman and she wants Annie to watch the baby so she can go. Annie’s not keen on the idea, but GhostMum hands the baby over and tells her to keep him clean, happy, and cold before zooming out of there.

At the funeral home, Mitchell is taking care of some admin work as Campbell, one of the office staff vampires, hangs around. Campbell reveals that he’s been dreaming about his ex. He tried to recruit her, but she died instead. He hasn’t thought about her in 15 years, but now it’s all flooding back. Mitchell assures him it’s normal and that it happened to him, too: “in glorious technicolor.” We’re back in 1969 London and the girl has come out of the bathroom, but written HELP on the bathroom window, so she gets tied up now. She wants to know why he did it; he must have a motive. They discuss being only children, their parents, how many people he’s killed: “More than 100, less than 1000,” Mitchell estimates.

Back in the present, Mitchell comes upon Lucy, who’s on her way home to sleep for a few days after a week of nights. She’s still up for their date tomorrow though, she’s already downloaded Nigella to guide her. As she turns the corner, Kemp is waiting for her. He doesn’t like the relationship between her and Mitchell. They’re supposed to be getting rid of evil, he reminds her, but she insists that a reformed vampire isn’t part of their project.

Back in 1969, Mitchell is still talking to the funny little girl. She’s not scared of him and asking lots of questions. She brings up that he probably didn’t even know the names of the girls he killed and this touches a nerve. She threatens to tell him her name and he yells at her to shut up. She still doesn’t understand why he does it and doesn’t think anyone’s ever asked him before. He shouts that he has to kill and she believes it, but thinks he doesn’t want to. Mitchell gags her.

George and Sam drop Molly off at school and he thinks he’s done horribly. Sam says he did great; she bit the last boyfriend. She explains that they live with her mum cause she can’t afford anything else, expects George to leave and he jokingly does when she turns her back, but comes back out from the tree quickly. “However crap a prospect you think you might be,” he explains, “I am far, far crapper.” George arrives home and is shocked at the crying baby in the building. Annie can’t find the off button. She hands the baby to George, who greets “Mr. Potato Face.” He smiles at the baby who stops crying. She doesn’t even know what it’s called. She’s makes up the name Tim, since that seems like a reasonable baby name to her. He asks if she stole it and of course not! Babies are the last thing she wanted. George wanted them, though. They were on his old to-do list. His pre-wolf list.

As Lucy makes supper, Kemp hangs out in her doorway because that’s not creepy at all. He likes that she doesn’t call it “tea” like the younguns. He reminds her that they have a team of men waiting and he gives her a stake for self defense. He’s worried that there’s an attraction that makes Mitchell volatile. She says it makes him vulnerable. In the ’60s, the girl gets herself loose and makes a run for it. Mitchell comes out and finds her gone. She brings the police back up, but unfortunately for that poor girl, it’s just Herrick who had to steal a uniform just to get in the building. She tries to run again as she realizes that they’re in cahoots, but Herrick grabs her and throws her to the ground.

At home, Mitchell gushes over the baby, too. He thought about it, too, once, but, “You gotta be with the right person.” And, you know, not a vampire. That probably would help, too. Annie does a George impression and the baby likes it. George doesn’t find it so funny. Annie takes the baby for a walk as Mitchell tells George about his date. George brings up Sam and so Mitchell brings up the going too fast again. He cares a great deal for her, George explains, which Mitchell thinks isn’t a ringing endorsement. George calls Mitchell out on his own hypocricy since Lucy doesn’t know his secret. Mitchell says he had someone like that, but George points out that was 40 years ago. Are the pieces starting to click as to who the London Girl might be yet?

Back in London Girl’s flat, she asks if Mitchell can do it– kill her. She knows this is how it ends. She prefers him to do it. She knows he’s not like Herrick, but Mitchell explains that you have to feed the monster, otherwise panic creeps in. He’s tried to stop before but he starts seeing their faces again. “It’s not an addiction, it’s cowardice.” She asks if he’d like to try to stop again. Mitchell enters the living room and Herrick wonders if they can jump before asking if he took care of her. Mitchell says the girl’s cool, she won’t talk. Herrick says no.

George runs up to Sam and Molly and he’s brought a lunch. She’s a brat again. At home, baby is still crying and Annie can’t get him to stop, even with bribes. She tries stories, but runs out so starts telling scary stories and of course that works. George and Mitchell are home later. George has to blurt something out. He’s going to ask Sam and Molly to move in with him. Annie asks where they’ll sleep and as George flounders for an answer, Annie says Molly can have her room. Tim and her can make do down here. George reminds her it’s not her baby, but she points out that the mom has gone AWOL. Mitchell says not in a million years. He points out that George and Sam feel sorry for each other, not love. Mitchell is surprised that Annie’s indulging him. George burst out that he’s going to change, grow old, and Mitchell isn’t and that’s why Mitchell’s afraid of changes. Mitchell scoffs at that and says that he doesn’t want baby Casper around either before huffing out the door. George huffs upstairs and packs a bag to move out. Annie doesn’t want him to go, but he’s adamant about it. After he leaves, Annie sits and sings to the baby when suddenly, Ghost Mom pops back in. Annie pops away, trying not to give baby back. She asks the mom how she can trust that he really wants the baby back, since she just abandoned him for two days. Ghost Mom can pop the baby back in her arms, though. “I know I’m a crap mom, but I’m the best he’s got,” she explains. Annie says goodbye to the baby (who’s name is actually Rufus) and goes back inside to the empty and quiet house.

George turns up at Sam’s and blurts out that he just moved out of his house and why shouldn’t they move in together. “We hardly know each other?” Sam offers, much more practical than I think George was expecting. George blurts out a whole bunch of information about himself and ends with the fact that he’s sick of moving slowly through life. Sam just needs some time to think and talk to Molly. George understand and says he should go but Sam invites him in. Her mom is at her aunt’s for the night.

At the funeral home, the constable has let himself in to Mitchell’s office. He’s giving him a second chance. The molester was released on bail two hours ago and the constable wants Mitchell to pay him a visit. Mitchell again tells him that he’s not going to be the police force’s own personal attack dog and the constable threatens to step back, let the world discover what they are. Back in 1969, Herrick asks if Mitchell has read Lewis Carroll as he equates being a vampire to being through the looking glass. “Point is,” he sums up, “mercy is an indulgence now.” Herrick says that becoming a vampire doesn’t change the personality, it liberates it. Vampire is the only truly free man. Herrick asks Mitchell if he remembers their deal in France and Mitchell does: If Herrick took him, he’d spare Mitchell’s men. Herrick explains why he offered that:

Because I could see in you a great man, a terrible man. An orphan-maker. A breaker of hearts. Now, these people, these children of Darwin, they’ll tell you that you’re wrong. That you’re a monster. Because they’re jealous. Because they’re in chains. That little… scratch of conscience. That’s a lie. That’s not who you are. Now go and kill that girl.

Back in the present, Mitchell has come into the child molester’s house. “Are you someone’s dad, then?” the man asks, expecting this: “Afterwards, call me an ambulance.” He says he will get help, this time; it’s been like a sign. It’s the addict’s refrain that Mitchell knows so well himself. Mitchell tells him to shut up. “Time was, I would have killed someone like you in a heartbeat,” but whether Mitchell says this in regret or pride is unknown. Mitchell explains what’s going to happen to the criminal: he’s going to go to the police tomorrow and will confess everything. That he needs to be in prison, safer in there than out here with him. Mitchell goes back to the funeral home where the constable is getting a blowjob from… a vampire? A groupie? Who knows. Mitchell tells him that the deal is off. Constable says there’s a natural order and he’s upsetting it. The constable doesn’t think they can stay clean. Eventually, they’ll be back to their “beautiful bloody chaos.” He demands that Mitchell go back and put the animal to sleep. Mitchell instead locks them in and turns on him, vamped out. In 1969, Mitchell vamps out at the girl. In the present, he’s ripped the constable’s throat out in the grossest kill we’ve seen on the show. He leaves and runs. In 1969, he straightens Herrick’s tie and pretends to be his prisoner as Herrick takes him away from the crime scene. In the present, he arrives at Lucy’s covered in blood.

Lucy asks what happened. He says he was attacked. She tells him not to lie to her. It’s very important that his next answer not be a lie: “What are you?” “I’m a vampire,” he admits. Lucy breathes out and thanks him. He’s surprised that she already knew. She’s not scared as much as she should be, she remarks. She thought he was safe and he protests that he is. He explains that there are people who want to make them savage, he has to protect all of them and all of humanity. “I think it’s under control, but it’s just sleeping.” He says he can go clean if the conditions are right, if there’s someone to change for. Someone like Lucy. He approaches her and she keeps one hand on the stake. “I’m begging you. Save me.” She lets go and touches his face.

In 1969, Mitchell leaves flowers at the house and the girl walks up the drive. “Help me,” he says. “Why should I?” she asks. “Because I can’t help myself,” Mitchell answers simply. She nods and introduces herself as Josie as she takes his hand. He and Lucy kiss. He and Josie kiss and fall into her bed. He and Lucy fall into her bed. Mitchell lays sleeping in Lucy’s bed as Lucy stands, watching him, holding the stake. She climbs on top of him, ready to plunge it, but she looks at his calm face and she can’t. She lays down next to him.

There are three big things to talk about in this episodes: Annie’s baby issues, Herrick’s misogynistic undertones, and the Mitchell/Josie/Lucy relationship.

It slightly upsets me the way they handle Annie’s biological clock issues. They really seem to go back and forth with her. In season 1, she’s enraged at the thought of Owen’s girlfriend turning what was supposed to be their nursery into something else. Yet, suddenly, Annie is denying any urge to have had a baby when one is thrust upon her in this episode. By the end of the very special 30 minutes (like this is some kind of sitcom), she’s named him and trying to keep him. Yet for such a big life-direction change (or not, if you look back at season one), it’s never mentioned again. I feel like they do this a lot with Annie. George and Mitchell get over-arching, season-long plot lines but Annie’s stories are limited to one or two episodes max. It’s like they’re taken the ethereal nature of being a ghost too literally, making her stories vanish in mid-air.

Herrick’s speech about the vampire’s place in the world made me realize something about the language he used. It’s all “his world” and “he” this and “him” that. We see very few women in the vampire family and the ones that we’ve seen are either used as portable sex objects (Daisy) or crazy women hidden away (Cora and Lauren). Women never have a voice in the vampire hierarchy, except to goad and scorn and they definitely never hold positions of power. It’s not a far leap to the correlation that this is, perhaps, what would happen if the world didn’t need women to reproduce. And it’s not exactly a world I’d want to live in.

At the end of the day, though, this is Mitchell’s episode. Mitchell is sent after the child molester, who knows what fate awaits him. The molester repents, begs forgiveness, claims that he can’t help himself, promises not to do it again, promises to change, promises that this time is different. It’s like looking in a mirror for Mitchell. How many times have we seen Mitchell alude to his past mistakes? How many times have we heard Mitchell repeat that vampires can go clean if given the “right conditions?” But has it ever really worked for Mitchell? You never have to go more than four or five episodes in any directions to find yet another time that Mitchell has fallen off the wagon. And yet, still, he grasps onto anyone that can hold him still, be an anchor for him until the next time he messes up. In 1969, it was Josie. In 1999, it’s Lucy. The story never changes.

Transcript quotes courtesy Planet Claire.

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.

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