Being Human 5.04 “The Greater Good” REVIEW

Being Human 5.04 “The Greater Good” review.


5.04
Writer: John Jackson
Director: Daniel O’Hara

THE ONE WHERE Both Hal and Tom become mentors to other supernaturals.

VERDICT Although “The Greater Good” doesn’t do a great deal to move on the series five arc plot, it has a lot going for it: it’s very funny, often touching, and even has a dash of action in the shape of a werewolf-on-werewolf scrap.

As is so often the case with Being Human, its chief delights reside in the guest star roles, and once again we’re treated to a pair of them. Ricky Grover does a surprisingly good job of making the simple-minded, vulnerable werewolf Bobby into a likeable character, and the moment where his peculiar obsession with answer machines is finally explained is really quite moving.

However, his performance is topped by Colin Hoult, who’s at the very top of his game as Crumb bows out. Over the course of the episode he’s alternately pathetic, sympathetic and scary. Surely never has the phrase “Have some fucking profiteroles” been loaded with so much menace…

Tom’s delight at being on the receiving end of Bobby’s hero worship is incredibly sweet (although admittedly, this might feel a little more fresh if Tom hadn’t been dishing out the hero worship in the previous episode). Meanwhile, Hal’s moist-orbed confession about slaughtering his beloved 200 years ago is a haunting monologue. Damien Molony really is a sensational actor, and one of the saddest things about Being Human’s demise is the thought that we might see less of him. Then again, surely his agent’s phone is ringing off the hook right now…

Reservations? Well, Rook is made to look a little dim as he’s talked into engineering mass slaughter at the Barry Grand – but then, Hatch’s powers of persuasion are supernaturally strong. And the way that Hal rapidly flips back and forth between good and evil personas feels more like something from Angel than something that belongs in Being Human.

BADGE OF PRIDE You might not have noticed it because the text’s so small (we saw it more clearly on set), but Tom’s name badge now has his job title marker-penned on it. Unfortunately, Assistant Manager has been abbreviated to “Ass Man”…

REFERENCES Captain Hatch refers to Bobby as Rin Tin Tin, a canine film star of the ‘20s.

THE SHOPPING LIST

Want to copy Bobby’s interior design? You will need posters of (from left to right): Worzel Gummidge, Smokey And The Bandit, Phil Lynott, England’s 1980 World Cup Squad, Kevin Keegan, the West Ham team that won the 1980 FA Cup, Hammers right-back Billy Bonds, Burt Reynolds (a still from Smokey And The Bandit), and The Cannonball Run.

Oh, and you might want to buy yourself a The Beano duvet set, too!

Sadly, the “Bell Tone 500” is a made-up product name. If you pause you’ll see that the props-master took the trouble to write “BELL TONE 500” on it, though!

PERFECT TIMING
Kudos to the production team for the attention to detail in this episode – all the time references are correct. We’re told that Bobby has been in the archive for 33 years – since 1980. His mum’s answer machine message mentions that Shoestring is on telly tonight – a show that was indeed airing in 1980. All his posters date from 1980 or earlier too. (Well… with one exception – The Cannonball Run was released in the summer of 1981, but that just means he was given that poster later as a treat, right?)

FEATURED MUSIC When Hal and Alex pay a visit to Crumb, he’s blasting out “Dirty Love” by rockers Thunder.

The “training montage” where Hal and Tom teach their protégés some tricks is soundtracked by Breakbot’s “One Out Of Two”.

NITPICKS Couldn’t Bobby just kick that cellar door down? It doesn’t look that sturdy, and he’s very strong (even in human form).

BEST LINE Bobby: “I wore a tie for Christmas 2006, and I burnt me legs pretty badly.”

Ian Berriman twitter.com/ianberriman

Read all our Being Human series 5 reviews.
Read our interview with Being Human production designer Andrew Purcell.
Subscribe to our Being Human series 5 Spotify playlist.