To those who thought that last week’s episode of Being Human was something of a detour from the season’s arc plot, ‘The Greater Good’ is firmly back in plot progression territory. By the end of the episode we’ve had some loose ends tied up and we’ve had our first real glimpse of bad Hal.
Increasingly frantic government bod Rook is being forced to clean out the cells of his monster containment facility, leading him to dump manchild werewolf Bobby (Ricky Grover) on the Honolulu Heights gang. He also tells Hal that he needs to get vampire nerd Crumb and his new convert Alan in check as his exploits are getting out of hand. Barry’s only got so many pizza delivery boys, after all. So Tom attempts to help Bobby overcome his fear of the outside world, and Hal tries to help Crumb get clean. Easier said than done, especially with Captain Hatch still rattling around the Barry Grand.
For the most part, ‘The Greater Good’ potters along fairly enjoyably. Crumb and his accomplice Alan (Hamza Jeetooa) are as irritating as they’re intended to be, but the geek-turned-villain plot-line isn’t particularly convincing as the makers are still too quick to write off any threat with a nerd-culture reference. It’s only when Crumb is forced to confront his misdeeds that the character becomes interesting and it’s here that the theme about the possibility of assimilation into normal society comes to the foreground.
The point of the Crumb character seems to be to hold a mirror up to Hal, but this is the first time that the characters have shared enough screen time for it to come across without our being told “he’s like Hal.” Damien Molony’s best scene this week comes when Crumb asks him to open up about the bad things he’s done. It’s a simply shot and well-performed couple of minutes as Hal remembers deciding to go back inside and kill a family “like putting on a warmer coat.” The forces driving Hal to the dark side this series frankly haven’t felt as compelling as, say, Ivan and Daisy in series 2, but moments like that are a more powerful reminder of a dark past than a lavishly costumed flashback.
The other monster this week is the likeable lump Bobby, essentially played as a lost puppy by Ricky Grover. Tom was misguidedly following a terrible mentor last week, this week he becomes teacher to a wide-eyed, naive werewolf who hasn’t seen the outside world for years and has posters of Kevin Keegan and Burt Reynolds on his wall. Bobby is obviously doomed the minute Captain Hatch sets eyes on him, but there are some surprisingly moving moments (the answering machine was a bit emotional) and it’s good to see Tom taking someone under his wing for a change.
It’s probably Alex who gets the weakest storyline this week, trying to convince Hal that they can have a normal life by taking Crumb on a bad date. There are some nice little moments between her and Hal, as she announces that the reason she’s still friends with him is because he’s still trying to be good.
But Being Human wouldn’t be what it is without the darkness and, thanks to Crumb’s desperation, we get a glimpse of Bad Hal, who is presented as a separate personality to the nice young man with OCD. There are definitely echoes of Angel/Angelus, but we’ll need to see more of his dark side before we can really judge. It gives the episode a strong note to end on, as Hal finally drinks the blood that Rook gave him, and Crumb’s 50/50 shot on the human/werewolf blood ends with him turning into a pile of dust. Captain Hatch whispers in Bobby’s ear and he becomes another suicide victim of the Barry Grand.
It’s frankly getting a bit ridiculous that Hal, Tom and Alex haven’t twigged that something’s going on at the hotel, although Alex does at least cast a suspicious glance at Hatch as he wheels off glowering down the corridor. Given that Hatch is supposed to be the Devil himself, he hasn’t been a particularly threatening villain so far. He manipulates Rook into risking the lives of all the guests, but apart his dispatch of Patsy he’s been a bit of a disappointment, demonically speaking.
But with two episodes to go, I’m sure his end game will be revealed soon. Hal’s back on the blood, which should see the dynamic at Honolulu Heights shift. ‘The Greater Good’ was another very watchable episode with good performances, but this series really needs to shift up a gear.