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Cult Recap

'Being Human' finale review: Our verdict on the last ever episode

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Season 5, episode 6 | Aired Wednesday, Mar 6 2013 at 22:00 GMT on

Okay, so of all the ways I expected the Being Human series finale to open, a song-and-dance sequence was not a possibility I'd considered. But it fits perfectly with the monster that Hal (Damien Molony) has now become - a swaggering terror and leader of a vicious vampire horde.

Confronted by a vengeful Tom (Michael Socha), in a sequence which reminds us that Michael Socha's werewolf is as much bad-ass vampire killer as he is wide-eyed social misfit, a schizophrenic Hal embraces his dark side to the hilt, and once again it's Alex (Kate Bracken) that is the calming force. It's proof, if more proof be needed, that in Being Human it takes three to tango - united they stand, divided they fall.

Being Human S05E06: 'The Last Broadcast' - Tom (Michael Socha), Hal (Damien Molony) and Alex (Kate Bracken)

© BBC / Touchpaper

The Trinity together - one final time...



With Captain Hatch (Phil Davis) unmasked and unleashing terror upon the world, the Trinity put aside their differences, for now; that's just as well, seeing as how only a union of a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost can thwart the Devil.

Commandeering a local TV station, Hatch plans to extend his influence across the globe and destroy the human race, and while our heroes have the power to stop him, the ritual required could spell the final end for them all - even Alex.

But before they can make a heroic sacrifice, Hatch taunts the trio with a series of mind-games. Three people who each want so badly to be human are finally offered the chance to experience just that - Hal is transported back to the moment of his 'birth' as a vampire, Alex relives the night before she died and Tom is tempted by a life untainted by lycanthropy.

Being Human S05E06: 'The Last Broadcast' - Hal (Damien Molony)

© BBC / Touchpaper

Can Hal (Damien Molony) be brought back from the edge?



The Trinity's temptation is an emotive sequence that throws this show's central theme - the often futile quest to pursue some kind of humanity and normalcy against overwhelming odds - into stark relief, and it ends on a dramatic crescendo so magnificent that you almost want to punch the air.

Tom's scenes are particularly wonderful, though while it's a nice touch to get Ellie Kendrick back as Allison, it would've been nice for Robson Green to cameo as McNair too. Perhaps actor availability ruled that one out?

Ultimately though, despite everything, it's not our heroes that destroy Hatch, but Rook (Steven Robertson) and his cronies who expel the devil from his human form and lay the remaining shell to waste. As a climax to the main thrust of the episode, it comes so suddenly and is over so quickly that the viewer is left reeling - following the wonderfully-paced fantasy scenes, this resolution can't help but feel rushed.

Being Human S05E06: 'The Last Broadcast' - Tom (Michael Socha)

© BBC / Touchpaper

Tom must choose between fantasy and his friends.



With 'normality' restored and the Devil back "in the atmosphere" - at least for another 200 years - 'dark' Hal prepares to depart Honolulu Heights for good. With the Hatch crisis seemingly resolved, episode scribe Toby Whithouse turns his attentions to putting a full stop on the show he created five years ago. Hal's final words on 'being human' - "To want it is to have it" - complete with references to old favourites, is as touching an epitaph for this series as you could want.

There's a sting in the tail, of course - the devil returns, now in Rook's body, and the Trinity are finally forced to perform the ritual - but rather than destroy them, it gives them the gift they've all longed for: Hal, Tom and Alex are all human.

Last week, I questioned whether it would be possible to resolve series five's arc and the series mythology as a whole, but Whithouse appears to do both in one fell swoop - despatching Hatch eradicates the supernatural from Being Human's world entirely, providing the show with a decisive end and a climax far more unambiguous and joyous than I'd been expecting; romance and bromance restored, friendship and family celebrated.

Being Human S05E06: 'The Last Broadcast' - Tom (Michael Socha), Hal (Damien Molony) and Alex (Kate Bracken)

© BBC / Touchpaper

Tom, Hal and Alex - restored and reunited for good.



But is it really as unambiguous as all that? The haunting final shot in Being Human hints at a multitude of other possible readings. Is the happy ending we get here real or some form of shared fantasy? Ultimately, you could argue that it doesn't matter as long as the Trinity are together - as Hal himself says, "Everything is incomplete without them."

While 'The Last Broadcast' has a few structural issues and pacing problems, on an emotional level, it absolutely works. Mid-way through series three, Being Human began to falter when it started to revel in its own darkness and became unremittingly grim. But with the launch of Being Human 2.0 a year later, the show had found itself again and, even in an emotional, apocalyptic finale like this, Whithouse still finds room for wonderfully refreshing moments of humour. Light and dark - in perfect balance.

Credit must go not only to Whithouse and his fantastic writing team as a whole, but to this show's phenomenal cast too. Damien Molony is a particular find, equally wonderful playing the odd, intense, romantic hero and the bombastic villain - someone get this man back on my television and quick.

"I've never understood why you lot are so proud of being human," Hatch snarls in one of this finale's early scenes - but BBC Three and Toby Whithouse should be very proud of this series. It ebbed and flowed over the years, with clear highs and definite lows, but taken as a whole, Being Human was a magnificent piece of work. At its best, it was one of the finest cult series around - colourful, funny, scary and moving - and its loss will be keenly felt.

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