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Sunday, July 21, 2013

BEING HUMAN Gathers "The Trinity"

Article first published as BEING HUMAN Gather "The Trinity" on TheTVKing.

BBC America presents the final series of Being Human, starting this week with "The Trinity." The events of last season are calming down, but all three house guests, the new vampire-werewolf-ghost trio, have their own matters to attend to, while getting used to each other and finding their equilibrium.

The central premise of Being Human, one that sort of takes a back seat last year, is a ghost, a vampire, and a werewolf sharing a home. With the original three gone, a new group takes their place, which makes it feel like a different show. But it's still about them all finding ways to get along, and help each other control their more undesirable urges.

I really like the parts of "The Trinity" that have the roommates together. This is a dynamic that is still being worked out, and they aren't completely comfortable around one another. Tom (Michael Socha) really wants to trust Hal (Damien Molony), but is finding it difficult to do so. Hal is used to worrying mainly about himself, and has to figure out how to rely on others. Alex (Kate Bracken) has a sense of humor the others consider inappropriate. Give how natural the previous series stars had grown with one another, this is an interesting reset, to explore new personalities clashing all over again.

Interestingly, "The Trinity" shows us that this sort of alliance is nothing new. Ninety years ago, Hal teams up with werewolf Catherine (Victoria Ross) and a man named Emil (Jeremy Swift, Oliver Twist) to trap the Devil in a human body. This goes horribly wrong, and the Devil escapes.

So this season of Being Human will have to not only focus on the chemistry of the threesome, but also a battle with the Devil, currently in the form of Captain Hatch (Philip Davis, Whitechapel), who happens to be in town. This is a heck of a villain to face, certainly with bigger stakes than past bad guys.

Which is not to say that the Devil is all this year will be about. There are several other stories going on, too. Hal is fighting his urge to drink blood, and turns a dying guy named Crumb (Colin Hoult) into a vampire to save his life. Mr. Rook (Steven Robertson) is still trying to recruit Hal, and also faces seeing his department downsized. Alex wants to complete whatever unfinished business she might have, which "The Trinity" rules out as being finding her body. And Tom is working on trusting Hal.

I really like Rook's story. It's funny that government cutbacks could threaten the safety of the country or the world. Every slash in the budget risks unintended consequences, but this is taking that to a whole new level, providing social commentary, and giving a previously detestable character something interesting to do.

Flash backs have grown into a tiresome trope on television, but "The Trinity" seems like a fresh take, really setting up the first chapter of a larger arc, and deepening the mythology of the show in an unexpected way. This may be a biased view, but I do think this is one of the best examples of such an element that's been shown lately on the small screen.

I admit to being skeptical going into "The Trinity," missing the original cast, and having to ease into the tale. But by midway through the hour, I was completely engrossed, and am already sad these characters only have this year to complete their journies. Rebooting a show is risky, but it's done very well here. It should be a great season.

Being Human airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on BBC America.

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