Headscratchers: Being Human
How much does Mark the vicar know?
- After he and George are attacked by the vampires sent to kill Mitchell, he seems to know that the assailants in the hallway were in some way supernatural: the shock is enough to make him throw up. But in the chapel scene, he asks George if their assailants were human. If he does think that they were supernatural (and his conversation with George suggests that he does), why does he ask?
- Sunny Dale Syndrome. He wants George to give him another explanation, and is more than willing to let cognitive dissonance do the rest.
Lack of consistency on the subject of death
- In the pilot, Annie lies to George about what Death is. Then, in the series, when Annie decides to go to death, out of a choice of "something good or something else" she describes it as "something else." Even more annoying is that only a few episodes previously, Annie saw Gilbert go to Death. And Gilbert looked pretty happy with what was through that door. Why does Annie give up on lying to George?
PLUS, if Death is a corridor with men with rope and sticks, why is Mitchell so keen to have Annie "complete her journey"?
- Because however bad death is, it's better than hanging around forever. It's what has to happen, even if it's scary. In short, the supernaturals' view on death isn't that different from most humans: it's bad, but inevitable, and it would be worse if you didn't die.
- It's a corrider with men who, as far as this troper can tell, are about to torture you! If I was Annie I'd much rather hang around forever!
- On the other hand, even ghosts don't "live" forever- and when they're banished by the destruction of their home or exorcism, the appear to cease to exist. Whatever lies at the end of that corridor, whatever happens next, you know there must be a "you" for it to happen to.
- It's possible that what happens between a person dying and coming back as a ghost and someone going to Heaven are different. Gilbert seemed to go to Heaven.
- Who's to say everyone goes to the same place when they die? Annie maybe sometimes it's hell behind the door, and sometimes heaven. Saul was a drunk driver who almost raped her, of course hell is behind his door. Maybe Annie would have found something much nicer had she gone through her own door.
- It's possible that Annie ought to have gone to Heaven, but the spirits of the afterlife were pissed that she repeatedly avoided passing over. Granted, she was fine with it the first time, but perhaps they figured that if one ghost starts deciding to not pass over, it sets a bad example?
- At first this seems to be refuted when she goes to purgatory and is told she is destined for hell but then you realize that she was never meant to be there. That she was in a part of Mitchell's purgatory, probably brought there by Lia so she could be bait. There's a moment of Fridge Brilliance when you realize she's in a train station, which is part of Mitchell's purgatory after his massacre. Annie might well be bound for Heaven when she finally decides to cross over.
Who in the goddamn hell is out there?
- It can't be death, he's not that horrifyingly fucked up and willing to play with ghosts, so who is it? Satan? God? Something Else?
- As far as this troper can see, it can all be put down to a very single-minded Determinator Psychopomp - he's not evil, he's just responsible for making sure dead people die, and gets angry when the system breaks down. "Men with sticks and ropes" is a pretty vague phrase - it could just be a rather unpleasant variation on the Grim Reaper, or it could indicate that the practice of moving over is unpleasant for some people, but necessary nonetheless.
- If it's as simple as opening a vein to bring someone who had (apparently) been torn to shreds months ago back to life, why is Daisy so torn up over Ivan's death?
- That's...a good point. Maybe vampires, in general, don't know that that works? Also, wasn't Ivan blown to tiny bits? I'll have to rewatch the episode to see, but it could be possible that there was nothing left to raise. (Though Herrick was straight-up eaten...I guess George got full.)
- George probably just bit chunks out of Herrick, while Ivan was injured too much. Either that, or the resurrection thing just isn't widely known amongst vampires.
- But Daisy and Cara resurrected Herrick. It's made pretty clear that the blood rites involved aren't widely known, since Mitchell probes Herrick as to how he was brought back. But even if Cara was the one who knew how to perform the ritual, Daisy at least saw her do it and so knows the method.
- Mc Nair names Daisy as one of the vampires whose teeth are on his necklace. Daisy would have needed to regain the blood lost on resurrecting Herrick (which, I'd assume, would have been when she learned how to do it). Maybe Mc Nair killed her before she got the chance to resurrect Ivan.
If coroner Quinn wasn't willing to cover up vampire attacks, why not recruit him?
- I don't know why Herrick didn't get a vampire in that position, but I think there are two possible reasons with Mitchell:
- To Mitchell, who is at his wits end trying to contain the existing vampires, and may feel residual guilt over the ones he's made before, making another vampire may seem like an even worse thing to do than blackmailing a man.
- Even if recruiting Quinn made him want to kill and protect his interests as a vampire, there's no guarantee he'd play nicely with Mitchell just because he was a vampire now. He'd hate Mitchell for turning him, so maybe he'd still refuse to cooperate with the bigger picture.
- Vampires: Having no weakness to sunlight and being able to eat normal food is fine, but they don't even need to drink blood. Twilight gets a lot of heat for not having "real" vampires, but they're still closer to the common image then the ones on this show. They're more like psychopaths who don't age. Don't get me wrong, this series is far more well-written than that one, but this particular decision by the creators feels very wrong.
- Yeah, it can get buggy, but hear me out on this. Sure, they don't need blood, and the world record for blood abstinence seems to be at least a decade (or more with Mitchell's sponsor), but how much eviler must a vampire be if blood isn't a dietary requirement but an addiction they are too weak and cowardly to kick? You can make the argument that "needs blood to live" vampires have no choice (ignoring suicide) and deserve a degree of pity, but Being Human vamps? They do it because on some level they want to.
- The doing it because they want to aspect is confirmed in the first episode of the third series.
- Sure makes Mitch a whole lot harder to sympathize with, though.
- The point is that it's an addiction, like a huge step up from alcoholism. Mitchell's situation would be like if (A) an alcoholic continuously had bottles of booze shoved under his nose and (B) the alcoholic knew that drinking the booze meant people would die.
- As of s4e3, Hal's been dry 55 years, and is definitely treating it like an alcohol addiction.
- Vampire Photo Plot Hole. - Possibly Mitchell and definitely Herrick would need photo ID'd badges for their jobs. How the hell do they get around that when vampires don't show up on film?
- Wordof God said they used photos from before they turned and had them photoshopped.
- That's why Mitchel's hospital badge is black and white.
- In one of the Expanded Universe Novels its explained that they got a Suspiciously Similar Substitute to pose for a photo.
- Makes sense. When has anyone's ID photo ever really looked like them?
- As mentioned below, vampires do have some amount of weakness to sunlight.
- Ghosts: Tangibility. Annie can pick up and move objects, but says she can't eat (though ghosts can apparently still smoke). What would happen if she tried? Also, when she and the other ghost were picking up and looking at records in a rather public area, would a normal person see records floating around? Same goes for the other ghost walking down the street with a walkman.
- Likely a mess on the floor/chair as chewed up food fell on it. Alternately, if she somehow manages to form an ectoplasm stomach, it all falls out once she ghost-a-ports. She probably can't digest it, so even if she kept corporeal for ages it would just rot and make gassy/smelly. Yuck. And yeah, floating records. Better hope the cashier had smoked some pot for their own sake (^_^). I though the walkman was like a ghost "carry on" and was equally ectoplasmic, not something he stole. Kinda like the ghost cell phone that has no reception but still plays tetris in Ghost Town.
- In the pilot, Annie says that anything she drinks ends up on the chair she's sitting in. I imagine food is similar. As for the smokes... I have no idea.
- Gilbert was a fairly pretentious rebel without a cause. It's not that unlikely that he smoked simply because he thought it made him look cool.
Daytime/Sunlight and vampires
- OK, so we know Being Human vampires aren't really all that bothered by sunlight, so the first thing that comes to mind is "Alright, they're going old school and doing a little Dracula or Carmilla thing." But George mentions at some point in Series 1 that the reason he and Mitchell took jobs as hospital porters was in order to avoid the sunlight.
- Well, I think there were a few different reasons, lack of sunlight being one of them. But yeah, other than a few shots of Mitchell squinting or putting on sunglasses outside — hardly abnormal behaviour — sunlight does seem to be a non-issue, doesn't it?
- I don't know where you're from, but putting on sunglasses in Bristol, England on the majority of days is definitely abnormal behaviour.
- Well then, I guess we can safely assume that Mitchell is highly sensitive to sunlight, although it doesn't seem to damage him in low doses. It would be interesting to find out what happens on brighter days.
- An interview with Mitchell's actor in the pilot reveals that apparently Mitchell wears sunscreen when going out on particularly bright days. And since the pilot is canon...
- Herrick displays an obvious discomfort to direct sunlight in episodes 5 and 6.
Inconsistent Usage of Fingerless Gloves
- So Wordof God says that Mitchell wears the gloves to keep warm, not just to look cool. And Aidan Turner, Mitchell's actor, has stated this as well. So why on earth is he shown so frequently wearing fingerless gloves and a damn tanktop?! Is it just to show off his arms? This troper will admit that they're pretty nice, but why would he keep the gloves on for that?
- Fingerless gloves aren't also sexy on Aidan Turner?
- It could be a circulation thing. Your feet can be cold, even if the rest of your legs are fine. People have been known to wear shorts and put on socks if their feet are cold. Heat does radiate out from the center of the body. So while Mitchell's arms may not be cold, his palms could be cold.
Painful transformation... painless reversion?
- Since the transformation into a werewolf has been demonstrated to be excruciatingly painful, why does it not seem to be such a problem when they change back? Granted, they probably pass out just before sunrise, but still - if the curse keeps them awake when they change, why wouldn't they stay conscious when they turn into a human again?
- They don't seem to be fully conscious (conscious as in awake, yes, but not self-aware) in the wolf state so its not as though it doesn't hurt, they just don't remember it.
The isolation room door in the series one finale?
- First I was bugged by Annie having to open the door from the inside, because I thought the whole point of the room was that it couldn't be opened from the inside. I was even more bugged when, later in the same scene, Nina showed up and opened the door from the outside, being subsequently scratched and infected.
- The door was locked from the inside, to keep people from getting in. Annie unlocked it so that Mitchell could get in, but didn't lock it back when they left, which allowed Nina to open the door from the outside.
Killing a Werewolf with a knife?
- So how on earth did both McNair and "Uncle Billy" manage to kill a werewolf with just a knife?! I could Imagine McNair stabbed his opponent during transformation, not all Werewolves have the badassery to fight back until they've finished transforming. But "Uncle Billy" killed a fully transformed and angry Werewolf?
- Was it a silver knife that kills a werewolf in a scratch?
- There's never been any mention of needing a silver weapon to kill werewolves in the Being Human universe.
- I know that. But if it wasn't a silver werewolf killing kryptonite knife then that means a fully transformed Werewolf was taken down with just an ordinary knife. How on earth did that happen?
- Well, I suppose it would happen the same way any knife death would happen. Hit an artery and the game is over within minutes. A fully transformed werewolf is strong and fierce, but they don't get an adamantium upgrade or anything, they're still just flesh. Now, it might be surprising that Herrick didn't suffer any wounds in the time it took McNair to bleed out... McNair certainly didn't get away from his own knife-fight with a werewolf unscathed. Maybe Herrick did get a scratch or two, but we don't really see an examination. What happens to a vampire scratched by a wolf? Do we get vampire werewolves, or does the infection not affect them because they're not human? Hard to say, but maybe next full moon Herrick will become a blood-guzzling wolf.
- Just looking at those Werewolfes they should be able to kill a human or vampire much faster than a knife wound would cause it to bleed out. Maybe it would bleed out afterwords but it looks like it could remove an entire limb in one bite. He might bleed out afterwords but there was no way a lucky shot would kill him before he killed Herrick. For McNair'sown fight with a Werewolf, I just justified it to myself that he killed it during the transformation. If the other werewolf was just collapsing under the pain of transformation then he'd have quite a bit of time to hack away with that knife and only get a single scratch in return.
- It's pretty evident given the way Herrick was holding the knife that McNair was stabbed through the heart. Regardless of what form you're in, that is pretty fatal. As for how a werewolf attack would affect a vampire, it's likely that neither species can cross-infect the other.
The characters seeming incompetence.
- Why does it seem like no one can pick up goddamn Dracula and take a read? It's like supernatural and sci-fi literature doesn't exist in this world! Also, how, again, are humans incompetent in this series against the monsters? Is it like in Dresden, where they know mankind is a threat? Or are human apparently that "weak".
- It's been stated that the vampires deliberately try to keep humanity in the dark because of the threat they could pose to vampire-kind.
- Wouldn't call it incompetence so much as humans simply not expecting vampires to attack them. In the world of Being Human, the vampires aren't just creepy nobleman and the like. They're also police officers and people in clubs and cafeteria works and folks you see on the street. And it's mentioned that some people are Crazy-Prepared (one vampire complains that a jogger he tried to eat brained him with a lead pipe). In fact, Cutler argues that once humanity actually realizes that vampires exist, they'll band together and drive them out. Hence why he strongly urged the Old Ones to use tactics other than "run a honking huge, obvious army of vampires from one end of England to the other".
- The whole show's premise is broadly that no matter who or what you are, you can always strive for redemption, struggle to become human. Why is this dropped the instant the housemates discover Mitchell ate a train? He's killed more people than a small war already, but apparently twenty more after humans massacred about as many of his own vampire buddies and he's irredeemable? What about all the people he killed immediately after the massacre, those were okay to kill because they were religious?
- Annie and George were friends with the Mitchell who had renounced his evil ways and was striving to be a good 'human'. The Box Tunnel 20 was a slaughtering of innocent people, driven by his rage against other people entirely. As for the people he killed after the massacre: sure, it's still a murder, but at least in that case he attacked the people he was angry at, not innocent civilians who were completely uninvolved. And it's understandable why George and Nina aren't exactly criticising him for killing them, when the victims planned to kill them.
- What would have happened if it was Nina who wolfed out and ate a train? Surely it's only a matter of time before they get unlucky and take out a hiker, you'd think they'd be at least a little sympathetic?
- There's a difference between accidentally killing a hiker when you're completely out of your own control, and deliberately slaughtering people as revenge for something they weren't even involved with.
- Why is it okay to murder a vampire Annie? Because it's somehow all Mitchell's fault you did it? Mcnair is an unrepentant mass murderer (just because someone is a jerk does not make it non-murder to kill them, and he did plan on murdering Mitchell for the lulz), Mitchell is a repentant one who tries to stop and is generally a nice guy who needed a serious reason to snap and go murderin' (which also everybody seems to forget).
- The vampire Annie murdered was about to kill someone who was simply doing their job. By Series Three, Mitchell wasn't a 'nice guy who needed a serious reason to snap': he'd already proved himself unstable. Sure, he had a reason to snap, but he attacked completely innocent people, not the ones he was angry with. If a Spanish man kills my sister, and I declare all Spanish are evil and killing a dozen in 'revenge', not many people would say I had a 'serious reason to snap and go murderin''. It's the same with Mitchell deciding that all humans are evil just because some killed his friends. And the BT 20 massacre had happened recently enough that no one could be sure he wouldn't snap again and 'avenge' himself on more unrelated civilians. That's a pretty good reason not to trust someone, even a friend.
- Also worth pointing out that Annie doesn't seem to think it was "okay" to kill that vampire. She did it in a moment of protectiveness, and clearly feels guilt and horror at what she's done when she tells Mitchell.
- The whole reason Mitchell snaps, goes crazy and dies is arguably entirely due to his friends and loved ones losing faith in him and Annie messing with his mind throughout (despite saying she doesn't care about his past beforehand) basically telling him he's a murderer (duh?) after apparently forgetting this for the last three years? Not only is Annie directly responsible for basically all that's gone wrong in the last few episodes of S3, she mindscrewed her boyfriend into suicide by proxy? This whole thing is seriously messed up.
- As mentioned above, they hadn't forgotten that he'd been a murderer in the past, but they had accepted that he had changed and given him a second chance. The fact that Mitchell then snaps and slaughters 20 innocent humans because he's mad at a different group of humans is a pretty good reason for George and Annie to question whether he really had changed, or could ever change permanently. Can you really say you wouldn't lose faith in someone if they'd done some heinous things in the past, you gave them a second chance and trusted in them, and it turned out they'd done the same heinous thing as before
- While Mitchell wasn't exactly the cuddly senstive guy you could rely on in season 2, it seems like after the train accident he took a nose dive in likability and sensitivity. I get that it was part of his Character Development and sort of makes sense after what happens, but it just really bugs me how the writers seems to strip him down to nothing over the course of season 3. By the time of his death, he's so pathetic. Couldn't they have written out the character in a better way? Something more redeeming? Make him not a complete ass before he dies? It seems so harsh to see someone really try to get better, fall off the wagon big time, and then just slowly waste away and gradually become insane with a "No you can't get better, you fucked up" and a "you fulfilled your own prophecy" message tagged on at the end. Anyone help me sort it out?
- As someone who was pretty lukewarm on Mitchell at the beginning, I began to love him in Season 3. Here's why:
- Mitchell always seemed to have a hint of Jerkass to him, but in Season 2 it started to grow. His actions grew more and more extreme and cruel. But no one seemed to call him on it. His friends didn't know, and frankly seemed to be in denial, and his actions never seemed to have real consequences. But in Season 3, people (from his friends to forces of nature) started confronting him on it. He was forced to face not just the terrible things he'd done, but the ways that he's rationalized them away.
- Mitchell's behavior from the very start has always perfectly mirrored that of an addict who is a slave to his addiction, but who has become expert at "keeping it under control," at making excuses and always being sure there is an "out" when he tries to quit, because on some level he knows he's going to go back on the blood again eventually. Anyone who has dealt with an addict in their life, especially someone they love, knows the painful dissonance that comes from this. There's the person they love, and the person they become when they're on drugs, and the person they become to avoid quitting drugs. By Season 3 we begin to see these three different sides to Mitchell and, frankly, it makes him more human.
- There's a fine line (with YMMV written on it) between pathetic and sympathetic. I thought Mitchell breaking down and showing more of his weakness was extremely touching. Showing how deeply he'd dug himself into this hole of evil actions, of guilt and cowardice, and continued evil actions to retreat from the cowardice made him feel vulnerable and sympathetic.
- I believed him when he said that he wanted to change, but he couldn't. Because that's what we've seen the entire run of the show. Mitchell making real, concerted efforts to change but still backsliding. It gives his death a genuinely tragic and even slightly heroic feel. We believe that George really did save him from the Old Ones, who (based on Mitchell's past behavior) would absolutely positively have brought him back into that cycle of brutality and killing.
- Again, YMMV, but Mitchell's death truly seemed redeeming. Not only did it follow a totally badass moment of giving Herrick a respectful but still stone cold righteous death, but he truly seemed to want to give his friends closure. If he had just gone off somewhere and killed himself, George (and likely the others) would always be left wondering. Even with all the anger and betrayal, there was clearly real love between Mitchell, George and Annie. They would have wondered if he was out there killing people. They'd have felt a responsibility to deal with him. And even with their anger, they would still love him. Mitchell wanted George to kill him so that George could truly move on, and so that they could have a last moment of intimacy. Mitchell's friendship with George and Annie was always the most redemptive thing about him. The relationship between the three of them was always the heart of the show, and it shows here.
- And it worked. Look at how calm, sad and sure George is when he says he's killing Mitchell because he loves him. He knows that he's saving him. And even though it surely hurts him to kill Mitchell, his reaction to the Old One shows it clearly gives him strength and helps him grow.
- What it comes down to is, from a certain point of view, Mitchell didn't become pathetic in Season 3. He finally became human.
- Alright, I understand. Respect, fellow troper. Respect.
- So werewolves can become ghosts as shown by George, wouldn't that have meant Nina became one? Couldn't she have just refused her door and she would have been able to stay with George. Or did the vampires who beat her to death force her into her door?
- You'd think George and the baby would make for unfinished business...
- Although if she stayed, then that would have been another way for the vampires to hurt George, by threatening to force her to pass and taking her away all over again.
The Wolf-Shaped Bullet
Werewolf blood clearly isn't deadly to vampires.
- Herrick (a Vampire) stabbed McNair (a werewolf) in the heart while the latter was jumping on him. There's no way he couldn't have got blood on him. But he didn't die.
- Werewolf blood is only fatal if it's ingested, if it makes contact with the skin then it just burns. McNair's blood could have just got onto Herrick's clothes (explaining the lack of burn marks on his face).
Who owns the cafe Hal and Tom Work at?
- Mitchell, Nina and George had a job they could vanish from fairly easily at large crowded hospitals, no-one would notice a simple porter or janitor going missing but this cafe where Hal and Tom seem to be the only employees, somebody has gonna be annoyed and stinging from them randomly closing in the middle of a day whenever something comes up.
- According to 'Tom's Prequel', the cafe owner has had bad luck with the previous employees. He probably doesn't mind Tom and Hal occasionally closing early since they don't steal from the till and Hal keeps the place spotless.
The Box Tunnel 20
- How could two Vampires so easily slaughter their way through 20 people? Didn't any of them attempt to fight back? The show has never been clear on how powerful Vampires are.
- Maybe this episode was demonstrating it
- If you've never known vampires exist, and then suddenly two appear to eat you in a cramped environment with no means of escape, how would you attempt to fight them off?
- So, in the start of season 4, we find out that Baby Eve is entirely human, despite being the child of two werewolfs. So, what exactly was happening to her whilst Nina was in werewolf form? Considering the painful process we know they go through when transforming, you think it would have effected the baby. Had she been a werewolf like her parents, then it's easily explained that she transformed with her mother, but she's human. So was it magic protecting her from crushing organs or what?
- What does the house do when people occasionally die when staying with them? What do they do with the bodies?