BLOG Perspectives on Wolf-Shaped Bullet

Now that North America has caught up, blogger Laura McConnell examines the series three finale of Being Human

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What did I think of the Being Human series three finale?

In a word?


Even though it wasn’t my favourite episode this season (that honour goes to the perfection that is “Though the Heavens Fall”), and even though I was spoiled as to the main event of the episode (opens in new tab) , “Wolf-Shaped Bullet” was lovely. I give it eleven billion stars to “Heaven’s” eleven billion and five.

Now, I could go on and on as to why this finalé rocked – like the wonder that is Herrick in the cage scene and beautiful Russell Toney’s response to him and young Tom’s goodbye to McNair – but the fact is that my rating is justified by just two things when you really get down to it.

One, the powers-that-be being brave enough to give fans what they need and not what they want by killing Mitchell. You see, I love John Mitchell dearly. I will love him for a long, long time, and I will get my fill of him on DVD many times over in the coming years. I know this as well as I know that all haemorrhage eventually stops. So I want more of him. As a fan, I’m gutted to see him go. However, I also fancy myself a storyteller, and as such I could not forgive Toby Whithouse and the other powers-that-be if they let Mitchell live. Why? Because Mitchell simply had to go. And never mind all this real world stuff about Hobbits and Dwarves. I don’t want to hear it. Yes, Aidan Turner has other plans, but I’m talking about Mitchell here. Mitchell, the character. Not Aidan, the actor. Aidan having to go helped Mitchell along, but in my mind Mitchell was always going to die at some point, because there are only so many ways to tell the same story. And no matter what else happened in Being Human , Mitchell’s story was never going to change. The tale could be tweaked and twisted, but no matter how he tried, Mitchell was always going to fail in his effort to actually be human. He was always going to fall off the wagon. In series one, simple lust and hunger did him in. In series two, heartbreak and betrayal did it. What was it going to be next time? I don’t know, but I know that good storytelling requires changing things up, and Mitchell was never going to do that. He was always going to nearly win the prize, then fall just short. Always.

And that, my friends, is boring.

That does not get the entire internet talking. That is just more of the same. And eventually, that’s unforgivable. Both from a storytelling standpoint and from a character standpoint. How many times could Mitchell kill before his friends resented him for it? How many times until we viewers didn’t believe the lie? That answer is different for everyone, but I guarantee the number is finite. Mitchell’s story could not be an infinite loop. If the powers-that-be allowed that, eventually, viewers would grow weary of it, and Mitchell’s friends would hate him for it. That does nothing but hurt the show we all love so much and frankly torture the character we hold so dear.

That’s not smart here in the real world, and in Mitchell’s world, that’s simply not fair, which brings me to my second point: Mercy. I sincerely believe that killing Mitchell was the only decent thing to do with him.

Now, we could argue that in Mitchell’s case, fairness should be thrown out the window. We could argue that he doesn’t deserve mercy after all of the terrible things he’s done – that he should be tortured to atone for his horrific crimes. But hasn’t he suffered enough? Shouldn’t we allow him a peaceful passing? I think we should. You see, my day job is veterinary medicine, and even the dog that bites me gets a decent death. So I’m going with Picard’s stance and saying that the line must be drawn here. This far, no farther.

It was time, folks.

They say that mercy is the mark of a great man, and that’s true, but in this case, I’ll amend that. I think mercy here is the mark of a great fan. A true fan of Mitchell understands that while we all want more of him, we couldn’t be selfish here. We had to let him go. It was the only way he could truly be human. It was the only way he could triumph. And so, like George, we had to set aside our own wants and do what was best for him. And what was best for our show.

I truly believe that. Am I worried about where Being Human will go from here? Of course. Do I wonder if it will all fall apart without Mitchell? Absolutely. Will I miss the chemistry of Mitchell and George and do I have my doubts about how the show can work without that? Oh, gods, yes. But I’m putting my trust in Toby. He’s earned it by making this insane idea work to begin with and by making the tough choices of real storytelling, which requires real drama and therefore sometimes real, and very permanent, death.

I’m laying my hopes at Wyndham’s feet and trying to get over the loss of my beloved Herrick (oh, did that hurt – I wasn’t spoiled to that, and I’ll miss him), who set the Being Human villain bar pretty high. I’m re-watching the final scene of “Wolf-Shaped Bullet” and grinning maniacally at George, Nina, and Annie as they stare down an old one, and I’m hoping that the fight they predict is epic.

I’ll be tuning in next series to find out if it is, and for now, of Mitchell I write, and in Toby I trust.

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