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Being Human: 502 “Sticks and Ropes” Review

being human 502 (3)

Things are getting a little spooky and silly in the second episode of Being Human’s fifth and final series.

Sticks and Ropes begins with a flashback to Alex’s past, a few months before her death. We learn that she used to have a close bond with her younger brother Decky (Daniel Kerr). Fast forward to the present and she encounters a ghostly child in Honululu Heights. This boy, named Oliver (Benjamin Greaves-­Neal), claims to have died there in the Victorian times, but of course there’s a little more to his story than that.

Back in the Barry Grand, manager Patsy (Claire Cage) organises an Employee of the Month competition. Hal and Tom decide to compete to see who is the better worker. It’s already one sided affair though with Patsy still swooning over Hal no matter what he does. The resulting conflict between the vampire and werewolf pleases Captain Hatch as it enables him to slowly regain his strength. Mr Rook is also resorting to decidedly nasty measures to try and keep his shadowy organisation alive. With Crumb under his “care” he decides to give him a “snack” or two, which leads to disaster.

The episode really is one of two halves. There’s the comedic antics of Hal and Tom, and then there’s the more scary and sinister moments with Alex, Rook and Captain Hatch. While the shift in tone can be a little jarring at times, it mostly works.

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The spooky scenes are well done and directed with menace. It’s a shame there weren’t more of them. Phil Davis once again puts a scene stealing turn as Hatch, aka the devil himself. He’s far creepier than he was in the opener and there’s a great scene when explains his plans for world domination. And that’s not to mention the slow and gruesome way he dispatches a certain character during the moment.

One of the highlights of Series 4 was the odd couple bickering between Tom and Hal which made for a lot of fun moments. The opener was a little light on them but this episode more than makes up for it. Pitting this pair at loggerheads again allows both actors to play up to their comedic strengths. It’s also hilarious to see Hal trying to act like a slacker (“I can’t slouch! I have a dancer’s back!”)

Alex gets the most character development here with a more caring, paternal side coming to light as she protects young Oliver. Child actors can often be bad, owing to a lack of acting experience, but Benjamin Greaves-­Neal does a pretty good job as the young Victorian. And he’s just on the right side of annoying.

It sounds like an odd statement to make about this show, but episode 2 is a strange one overall. It’s not a classic but it mostly comes together in the end.

7/10

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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0132324 ThePowerofTheDoctor

    I enjoyed this episode, and this series is shaping up to be a good one. I’m glad that “Patsy” is gone though, I found her character incredibly irritating and the ‘romance tension’ between her and Hal was so horribly awkward that I felt like biting my finger off O.o That said, I enjoyed “Crumb”‘s scenes. The scene where he’s locked in with his sister and his niece was actually quite sad, because you could see he didn’t want to hurt them, then his ‘animal’ instinct takes over

    • Pdurston

      Power! It’s good to see you! :D Doctor Who TV has been rather quiet without you. How are you coping? :)

      • http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0132324 ThePowerofTheDoctor

        I’m fine and dandy, thanks :-D Of course, I’m missing the community, but I think this break is exactly what I needed. Due to me having more time on my hands now, some turns of events have made my life very pleasant :-D Admittedly, it got a little glitchy in the middle, but it sort of turned out well in the end.

        So yeah, how is everyone? :-)

        • Pdurston

          I’m quite astonished that you’ve lasted this long. I can’t go a week without going on Doctor Who TV. It’s like an addiction… o.O

          I’ve got to commend your effort though. It’s very hard to stay away from looking at news and talking to the people on DWTV. I wouldn’t be able to do it.

          And everyone’s been okay. There’s been no arguments or fall-outs; it’s been generally very nice. There’s been a lot of interesting developments in the Whoniverse; news that would make you happy. You know, if you ever feel like you’re really missing us, do come back for a bit. I know it breaks your rule but it wouldn’t hurt if you popped your head in the door for an hour or so. You’re missed by all of us. :)

          • http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0132324 ThePowerofTheDoctor

            Indeed, it was very hard to stay away for the first week, but it does get easier afterwards. I just kept myself occupied with facebook, and endless repeats of The Inbetweeners O.o It’s been a grueling few weeks, but I’m sure it will pay off when I watch the episodes :-D

            I’m glad to hear that there is some happy news about the place. I will pop into the Free Discussion page a couple of times every 1-2 weeks, I will probably need the company during the coming weeks and the Easter Holidays :-P

            Only 47 days to go before Series 7 Part 2 O.o

      • GoodYear92

        I second this! Power, you’re missed.

        • Pdurston

          Indeed!

        • http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0132324 ThePowerofTheDoctor

          Thank you GoodYear and Pdurston :-)

          I’m equally missing you all dearly, as you’re all such a big part of my life. I look forward to seeing you all on the 7th April :-D

    • http://thetardismatrix.weebly.com/ Esterath

      Ahhhh! Hello! How are you @ThePowerofTheDoctor:disqus ? I miss you on DWTV dreadfully, y’know. There’s been a lot of developments in the Who world. And one peice of news today that will you very happy! Surprised you’ve lasted this long without DWTV! Good luck, my man!

      • http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0132324 ThePowerofTheDoctor

        Thank you Esterath :-D I miss you too

        But why did you tell me about that piece of news that will make me very happy?? Now I can’t stay away from the site D-: Don’t worry, I think I can keep away. I read on Facebook that the 50th is going to be in 3D, is that it?

        • http://thetardismatrix.weebly.com/ Esterath

          Yes and no. I think the other news will make you even more excited. I’d wait until Series 7 Part 2! ;-)

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fiyZ1KPMTM TheGenie

      It’s nice to see people who can actually go without DoctorWhoTV (I’ve been considering giving it up for lent myself), and I’m starting to think that you’ll really enjoy going into the series blindly. There’s been a lot of news circling around, and there’s one piece from yesterday which I know you’ll love, but I’d advise you to stay away because if you wait until the episode, it will be a brilliant surprise. There’s also been news on the 50th and the format it’s supposedly taking, which is different to what we first thought…

      • http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0132324 ThePowerofTheDoctor

        Indeed, I think I managed to stay away from the site for two weeks. Unfortunately, I did allow myself to be tempted by Esterath yesterday and peeked at the site, so I think I’m pretty sure I know what you’re talking about… :-/ To be fair, I probably would’ve found out in another way eventually (Facebook, TV Guide, Publicity, etc), but I’m not happy that I allowed myself to be tempted, so this time I’m making sure I don’t go anywhere near the site (Before you ask, I’m on the dashboard :-P) :-)

        Oh, and on the 50th format note, I’m pretty sure you mean the 3D thing? That was all over the news this morning, so I would’ve definitely found that out :-P

        Yes though, I’d reccomend you try that for lent. It’s a rewarding experience, and the break from the site gives you a lot of time for other things :-D

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fiyZ1KPMTM TheGenie

          OK… I think perhaps I will. I’d rather like to go into the series blindly.

          And no, the 3D one wasn’t what I was talking about at all. No, it’s actual good news…

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fiyZ1KPMTM TheGenie

          Well done, you’ve actually persuaded me to do it.

          Now I’ll be very bored. I’ll probably stalk you so I have someone to discuss things with :)

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