Why Season 4 Of BBC's Being Human Killed the Show-WARNING SERIOUS SPOILER ALERT

I'm really not joking about the spoilers. Proceed with caution.

Because I moved last year and had trouble with cable, I missed season 4 of Being Human. I got hooked early and so much so that I actually got two of my friends hooked as well through my enthusiasm. Finally, season 4 became available of Netflix. Since I was feeling quite ill this week, it seemed to be the perfect time to curl up with some tea and catch up on the series.

Big. Big. Mistake.

Part of what made Being Human so genius is that it focused on 3 characters, none of whom were human, but used their “conditions” as supernatural entities to explore general themes of human existence much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Annie’s ghostly nature became a metaphor for the invisibility of domestic abuse, Mitchell’s blood lust-an addiction, and George’s werewolf transformations parallel the stigma of mental illness (at one point particularly tourette’s) as well as how a person who develops a disability later in life has to reconcile his past sense of self with his new reality.

Season 4 is a huge departure from this theme. Mitchell, George, and Nina are all dead, and they are replaced by Hal and Tom. One of the first problems is that Mitchell and George, complex characters, are replaced by simpler unconflicted characters.
Part of what makes Mitchell so immediately attractive as a character not only manages to eschew the brood-y romantic vampire mold so popular of late, but, instead, he encompasses a dynamic range. Mitchell is capable of childish glee when ripping into sweets with a young boy, but also the sadistic blood lust that results in the box tunnel murders. He also isn’t thrown up as a viable romantic interest for anyone except incorporeal Annie. His conquests more often end up dead, and Annie only manages to love Mitchell successfully because she’s dead already.
Hal is a far older vampire than Mitchell. He is, in fact, one of the legendary Old Ones who, apparently, are just like regular vampires but are immune to the cross and have a stronger pull over younger vampires. Season Four features quite a few Old Ones, which you would think would be impressive. Unlike on True Blood or even Kindred: The Masquerade, the Old Ones don’t have any form of organized government or hierarchy. The just... ARE. In season four they basically show up and demand tribute, but they don’t have anything like...A PLAN. They are, basically, all hype and interesting costuming. They make the Vultari from Twilight look a model of order and planning and that's never good.

Hal’s cruelty and blood lust, like Mitchell’s, are legendary. Like Mitchell, Hal fights, with far more success, his addiction. Hal uses OCD like rituals to achieve this goal. The OCD rituals could possibly be linked to the myths of vampires having to count grains of rice if spilled before them or untie all the knots in front of them, thus the habit of draping fishing nets over doorways. Sadly, this possibility is never acknowledged. It’s more likely that this is just a quirk of Hal’s personality. Unfortunately, his quirk comes nowhere near the dynamic character of Mitchell as Hal basically hides behind his milquetoast rituals and emotional distance. Furthermore, he’s more akin to the broody vampires Angel and Edward from which Mitchell was a stark departure so Hal is actually a regression rather than a progression.

Speaking of steps backward, never have I been so disappointed in a female character’s arc as I was in Annie’s. In season 1, when Annie figures out that she was murdered by her cheating jerk of a fiance, Owen, and then manages to literally scare him into police custody, I was thrilled. Here Annie went from abused doormat to woman in control of her own destiny.This is concretely manifested by the fact she became visible.

But then she got involved Saul, an alcoholic who attempted to first rape her and then drag her into purgatory with him. She doesn't even manage to escape from Saul, at the last minute, HE lets her go. Nor does she save herself from purgatory when she gets sent there, Mitchell saves her. So Annie's gone from being a force to reckoned with to being the standard damsel in distress. Then she falls for Mitchell, her savior, which was the healthiest of her relationships but that’s not saying much-ironically he’s also the most seasoned and vicious of all the murderers she gets involved with, and then Kirby. Essentially Annie inevitably falls for killers. When she bewails that she has the “worst taste in men” in S4 after Kirby reveals his true nature and intentions, she ignores the fact that she rejected the two men in her life who have proven their care and loyalty to her and Eve for Kirby, a man who just arrived and she barely knows anything about. Kirby actually taunts her with how easily she believed him and WELL HE SHOULD. Essentially, she’s not just easily duped, she rejects the honest, but complicated relationships she developed with Hal and Tom for Kirby’s simple and “perfect” facade. After all this time, Annie has learned nothing about the nature of real human relationships and continues to make the same mistake she did with Owen.
Annie, basically, has at best regressed to being the victim she was at the hands of Owen and at worst is now an active participant in her own victimization, which also opens others, like Eve, up to harm.
Which brings us to Tom, who replaces George the most neurotic werewolf ever. Much like Mitchell, part of George’s charm is his complexity as a character. While powerful as a wolf, as a man he’s bumbling neurotic mess, terrified of basic human interactions-like telling a woman he likes her or picking a decent shirt for a date. That’s part of the appeal of the character-the ironic tension between his powerful nature and his fearful personality. When George “sacrifices” himself to kill Herrick at the end of season 1 to save Mitchell, he correctly says that this act makes him MORE human not less. His sacrifice, becoming a werewolf to kill Herrick to save his friend, is truly a human act of love even though it means giving into his bestial nature. It’s this type of complexity that make both him and the show so thoroughly enjoyable to watch.
Right up until season 4. While George’s character is consistent through the previous seasons, in S4 character consistency is no longer a concern. George sacrifices his own life to save his daughter. Yet after his death he blithely says he has to be with Nina....who is dead and therefore not in danger. George, who moments ago died to ensure the safety of his daughter, then suddenly decides to go to be with Nina without a second of hesitation. It makes not one lick of sense nor does it even pretend to.
And just a brief aside about Nina-did she really not deserve an on screen death? The last we see of Nina is her standing with George and Annie defiantly, then she’s suddenly missing. George informs us of her death, briefly, at the hands of vengeful vampires, about ten minutes into S4. Mainly it is used as a way to introduce the new information that werewolf blood is actually toxic to vampires. Say WHAT?! Yes, you would think that information MIGHT have come up sometime in the first three seasons what with a werewolf LIVING with a vampire and all, and vampires consistently attacking werewolves, but nope not a peep until S4.
Unlike George, Tom became a werewolf as a small child. As such, he has none of the conflicted emotions that George did about being a werewolf. George had to struggle with integrating the werewolf nature into his sense of self. The closest Tom comes to being conflicted is when he meets Allison, a teenage girl recently turned werewolf (the circumstances of which are never revealed). When she becomes seriously sexually aroused in about the creepiest most bizarre way possible by killing a vamp, Tom at first rejects her advances and then breaks up with her so she can go back to her old life despite the fact that she is now a werewolf and Tom is the first person to accept her as such. His conflict isn’t with her as a werewolf, but rather a vampire slayer. Tom’s hatred of vampires is the focus of his character that season and the closest thing that comes to conflict. Tom lies to Annie about hunting vampires (although why she is opposed to it is never discussed) and distrusts Hal for quite sometime. To call this “conflict” is a stretch. Essentially, Tom thinks in purely black and white terms.
The only depth to Tom’s character is he’s actually quite romantic. He talks about courting a girl (as Hal points out an archaic term-oh the hilarity) and has essentially a dream wall filled with images of “normal” human life (birthday parties, father’s day) events that he wishes to experience.  Deprived of even the normal life George had prior to infection, Tom seems strangely clueless about what an average life is. As such, in some ways, he’s emotionally stunted, but in others it means has very little clue what modern dating is like.  But none of it is particularly compelling. Mainly I just want to wax his eyebrows.
This brings us to the finale of S4. Yes I’m going to spoil the hell out of this. So S4 revolves around a new prophecy. Unlike the prophecy from the previous season about the wolf-shaped bullet (and man did that phrase ever get on my damn nerves), the current prophecy is about the doom of all the vampires. Yup, ALL OF THEM. Turns out baby Eve, the human child of Nina and George, is the savior of all humankind from vampires. The trick? SHE HAS TO DIE. So the basically the entire season is Annie and company protecting baby Eve and then realizing that they have to kill her, a little baby, to save the world.
Um yeah. So the show has firmly left the ground of the more empathic emotional turmoil of the previous season when Mitchell’s fretting about the box tunnel investigation and George is terrified of killing his best friend and now entered firmly into intense melodrama of the worst kind. Mitchell’s fear of discovery and George’s fear of his own power are emotions that most viewers can connect to-a baby saving the world, not so much.  And in the end? Baby Eve gets it. But here’s the kicker-THERE ARE STILL VAMPIRES. Remember that whole she’s the savior bit? Well, not so much. Apparently her death saves us from an alternative history in which we are enslaved by the vampires (Why they would pull this trick now, no one, including the Old Ones, ever says. ) So, yeah. Baby blows up, and vampires are still around. A whole bunch of hand wringing for the status quo to be maintained.
But also who the hell blows up a damn baby?! Plus all this about her being the savior and she doesn’t even make it to her first birthday? It’s far too anti-climatic to be satisfying. And immediately after the remaining characters seem TOTALLY FINE. PEOPLE YOU JUST EXPLODED A BABY TO SAVE HUMANITY, you would think that would be worth one late night tearful drinking session wishing about what could have been. Thinking about trips to zoo never taken, school plays never attended, first words never spoken.  Nope, not even one shot of Jame-o and a “This one’s for you, Evie, you beautiful blowed up baby!” After all, the death of baby Eve signals the departure of every last vestige of the original cast. Yup, Annie takes the plunge and goes to the other side after spending much of the season bitching about how things with Hal and Tom aren’t the same as with Mitchell and George. I feel her pain. I'm also pretty happy to be free of the whine fest that was becoming her only dialogue.

So basically, S4 sets up a reboot of the series, which, if you think I’m going to watch that I’ve got an exploding baby to sell you....cheap.

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Data and Dating: Why You Shouldn't Insult Romantic Prospects
I suspect this is more an outgrowth of online culture, and yet the last two experiences where a man has insulted me, it was in person. Both times it was a potential romantic prospect who, begin to behave in a way I found questionable, decided it was OK then to call me a fat cunt or a pathetic cynical twat. Now part of this may be the difference between how men and women are conditioned growing up and social norms in terms of rejection. The guy who I dated for three years and broke up with me by text message, yup I called him an asshole and I pretty much stand by that statement. On the other hand, that guy with no social iq? Even after how insulting he was to me the worst thing I did was imply he was a creep and say he had a fragile ego. Not the same as calling a woman a cunt.

The reason I bring this up is more than once after such an insult a man has actually tried to ask me out again. THIS WILL NEVER WORK. I don't care where you want to take me, it's not happening. Ever. Not just because of self esteem, but because your behavior set off warning bells. Here's how it works.

If you insult me early on (in both recent cases it was after a first date), I don't have much other data about you. Let's put it like this: I have maybe 5 points of data about you, and one of those points is very negative. I know you're thinking "Well that means you should get to know me better."

No, it doesn't.

As a woman, one thing I think about to the point of it being reflex is "Is this person dangerous?" or put another way, are you Shrodinger's Rapist? After all, date rape being so prevalent (far more common than "stranger danger"), I am on the look out for warning signs. The big warning signs include inability to respect boundaries and impulse control issues (including temper). Even if those behaviors don't mean the person is a rapist, it certainly indicates there are some other huge potentially dangerous issues. After all, when we first meet someone to establish a relationship,  even if it is only a friendship, we are often on our best behavior. If, very early on, a person demonstrates very low social iq as well as anger management problems, he might not be a rapist. He might JUST be abusive or severely emotionally stunted. Either way, the behavior signals to me that the probability of this person being at the very least an emotionally unhealthy partner and the very worst a physically violent rapist is significantly higher than average. Therefore, I'm not going to waste more time getting to know him. I'm going to chuck him into the reject pile and keep going.

Basically, here's the short short version. If a woman (or man) rejects you early on, insulting them to their face only confirms that he/she is correct to reject you. You're confirming his/her suspicion that you are not a wise romantic choice. If you do make the mistake of letting your anger get the best of you, you can't turn back the clock especially with some kinds of insults. Once you call me a fat cunt, there is no chance, none, I will ever go out with you. Ever. So if you're angry in the moment, find some other way to express it because if you try to ask me out after insulting me like that, all you're doing is showing me why you're still single: namely you don't have a clue about how to talk to women and I'm not going to take the time to teach you.

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