**Spoiler alert! Do not read on if you haven't seen this episode**
And breathe… OK, so we knew Russell Tovey and Sinead Keenan were leaving the show – and that Aidan Turner wasn’t coming back – but who could have foreseen what’s just happened? First Mitchell, now George and Nina, dead.
Then again, as creator Toby Whithouse said in this week’s Radio Times magazine, “The show wasn’t called Mitchell, George and Annie. It was a flatshare about three complex and isolated characters who existed on the fringes of a society that hated them, and yet one they felt they had to protect.”
So Whithouse has given himself virtually a clean slate to re-create the show. It’s a risky strategy: fans have become intensely loyal to the smallest details – just check out the BBC Being Human blog for proof of that – and are going to find it hard to get used to a triangle that doesn’t include Turner and Tovey.
But having chosen last season to regularly introduce discrete characters (can’t wait to see the return of teenage vampire Adam, back later in the series) to break up the increasingly grim turn of Mitchell’s story, it seems like Whithouse and his writers have the long game in mind and the flexibility to turn the show on its head.
Now we’re left with the fabulous Lenora Crichlow at the heart of Honolulu Heights. I can’t wait to see how Annie’s own powers, which haven’t yet been used to their full potential, are going to be exploited in the episodes to come. She’s lost so much – her lover, her best friends – but she’s now got a “war child” to protect, in the form of George and Nina's baby Eve, so hopefully there’ll be more of scary Annie.
By the by, did you catch the shockingly throwaway comment by Alex Jennings’s Griffin about how they’d slaughtered Nina because George had killed Wyndham? The show does loves doing this – remember how Robson Green's werewolf McNair strung Daisy’s tooth on his necklace?
Talk of McNair leads to his adopted son, Michael Socha’s Tom: I’m particularly excited about his beefed-up role. Sorry to bring up a canine reference, but he really is like a large puppy – fierce, loyal and looking to be loved. And I think he could be very funny, too...
And is that humour back again? In the characters of Mark Williams’s vampire recorder and Andrew Gower’s spin doctor, I’m hoping so. We could do with the levity that was such a key part of early series.
Verdict? Very, very interesting… it’s definitely not over yet. And there is life after John Mitchell.
What did you think of the first episode? Leave a comment below...