Being Human: The Greater GoodBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 - Reviewed by Tom Buxton
Reviewed by Tom Buxton

The Greater Good
Written by John Jackson
Directed by Daniel O'Hara
Broadcast on BBC Three, 24th February 2013
With just three instalments of its fifth and final season remaining, not to mention a disappointing predecessor, there was plenty of pressure resting on The Greater Good to perform. It's a positive omen for Being Human's immediate future, then, that this fourth outing was such an impressive return to form for the fantasy series, because heaven knows, the show needed this to start the climactic proceedings successfully. By far, this has to be another substantial addition to the fan-picked roster of this programme's finest episodes, laying strong foundations for the two-part finale to come.

At the heart of Being Human's confident leap back into the minds of viewers and critics alike has to be Colin Hoult. Yes, as much as I'd lamented Hoult's previous performances as Crumb in the first and second episodes of this season, and indeed as much as I had feared his return based on the rather deceptive "Next Time" teaser for this instalment, this time around the actor finally came into his own in his final appearance on the show. Over the course of the speedy hour we spent in Crumb's company, the character quickly developed from an irksome pain in the backside for the Trinity into an empathetic creature whose striving for a better life was ultimately doomed to fail. It's a grand job Mr Rook's corny assistant was taken out of the scene early in the day, because left on his own merits Crumb turned out to be an extremely lovable anti-hero in the end.

Aside from that recently-converted vampire's character arc in this episode, we of course had the sub-plot of new werewolf Bobby and Mr Rook's schemes involving him to deal with. Ricky Grover's performance here was nothing special, really, although it did successfully depict the kind of effect prolonged imprisonment can have on supernatural creatures, even if it took until the fifth season for such a storyline to be dealt with. Last week, I questioned the reasoning behind the survival of Steven Robertson's Rook after his attempted suicide, yet the character's chemistry with Phil Davis's Captain Hatch made it all worthwhile this time around. Slowly but surely, viewers were able to see Hatch twist his prey into a dark game of deception and betrayal in order to seemingly expose the supernatural world - Hal, Tom, and Alex included - an underlying narrative arc this season that appears set to break to the forefront in the fortnight of adventures ahead.

It seems that the role of the Devil has simply been waiting for seasoned actor Davis to inhabit, utterly revelling in the sheer unhinged nature of this satanic being. One hopes that with Hatch gaining power every week we glimpse him in the Barry Island Hotel, he will have the chance to fully flex his muscles against the series' lead stars, because when the definitive confrontation between the Trinity and their darkest foe does arrive, it should be an iconic battle for the ages.

What lies ahead for Being Human, then? Certainly, beyond rising from the dead, it seems that Hoult's character doesn't have further romantic antics to come with Alex, a real shame as their "date" was one of the defining highlights in an episode that gleefully showcased the series' balancing of its comedy and drama elements. It seemed that the resident ghost haunting Honolulu Heights seemed to suspect Hatch as having a role to play in the dark days so ahead, so perhaps the Devil himself will attempt to incapacitate the late teenager sometime soon. Meanwhile, it shan’t likely be long before Tom catches wind of Hal's impending return to the dark side, so it seems the vampire-werewolf conflict that Hatch has been longing for is just around the corner. To return to the present, though, The Greater Good is a fantastic reversal of the lack of arc developments present in the preceding Pie And Prejudice, bringing with it all of the series' trademark strengths with just two instalments remaining. For fans everywhere, the show's episode quality has rarely been more consistent than the offerings we've seen this season - something that is going to make its incoming departure from the annual spring TV schedules all the more difficult for BBC Three and the audience to live with. The End is in sight . . .