Misfits: Series 3.3
Well, I find myself a bit conflicted here. This wasn’t a vintage episode of Misfits at all, but did make a valiant attempt to deal with some of the loose ends that plagued the last series ever since the idiotic decision to make Simon (Iwan Rheon)Superhoodie. However, it did again feature some actual character development and I get the feeling that this time out there is an overall arc to the series, something that has never been present before and is, frankly, long overdue. Furthermore, having scoffed at the uselessness of Kelly (Lauren Socha) and Curtis’ (Nathan Stewart-Jarret) powers, this is now the second episode in a row that has made use of these two seemingly one-joked turns. Nevertheless, it feels a bit like filler, because it had to tidy up these loose edges, and furthermore, because the villain (usually a strong point) was so lacklustre.
This time out, it is, I suppose, an Alisha episode. Except that we’ve now got to put up with the ongoing irritation that is Simon and Alisha’s relationship. Simon is practising being a superhero, and to be fair, his parkour is coming along well. He intervenes early on to save a comic book loser called Peter from a mugger (some douchebag called Michael Marcus Morgan), and strikes up a friendship with him, due entirely to being the dumbest superhero in history and blowing his secret identity. Peter is an ardent believer in superheroes, and unfortunately for Simon he has the power to make what he draws reality. Me, I would be drawing winning lottery numbers, but Peter believes in the sanctity of heroism and the importance of destiny. Eventually, things spiral out of control, Peter goes completely off the rails and Simon kills him. Episode ends with Peter’s last drawing including a panel “to be continued”.
This, actually, was quite a well thought out episode. As is appropriate for today’s youth, they’ve all got a passing knowledge of Terminator, so Simon’s feeble explanation to Alisha about how he has to become Superhoodie culminates with her telling him to stop this “terminator shit”. She has a point, and personally, I wish that the writers had a time machine to go back and undo the decision to make Simon Superhoodie, as it’s a paradox that puts the mockers on the relationship between what are now the two main characters and the series has struggled to get over it. Furthermore, the juxtaposition of new confident Simon with nerdy shut-in Peter worked well, and showed how far he has come.
Secondly, there was more than one laugh available here. Joe Gilgun was on quite good form as amoeba boy again, and the mugger’s exchange with Simon (“You look like a cunt”) was superb. Lauren Socha has developed cracking comic timing, and the exchange after using her power for something that isn’t useless was an absolutely spot on piece of writing, as was her flirtation in the pub with The Dealer. Iwan Rheon was competent, but is much, much better as creepy oddball Simon than confident superhero Simon. On the other hand, Antonia Thomas has drawn the shitty end of the stick for the better part of two series, and now that Alisha is ensconsed with Simon that doesn’t look like changing. She’s part damsel in distress (third time they’ve done this), and part shameless hussy, but it’s a credit to her that she comes through with her head held high. Alisha is fast becoming my favourite character, and certainly seems to be the heart of the series now Nathan has gone.
However, there are problems here. Firstly, it feels like a supremely lacklustre episode and is lacking in the anarchic energy that the series usually has. There’s an attempt to inject some through using comic book frames for violence and other key moments, which is partially successful, and certainly well handled. To be honest, I’m being unfair here as the problems and what this episode is basically doing, is cleaning up the mess they made last series. It’s mostly successful, but it isn’t a classic and it does feel very much like a stocking filler. Also, please, please stop killing fucking villains- you haven’t got an infinite supply, you know, and if you keep offing them then you turn the series into monster of the week format. This is incongruous against an overall story arc, which is obviously what is being attempted to be built.
Overall? Meh. This, hopefully, will be the last of the mess clearing, and it is frankly long overdue. This is not going to be remembered for very long, and while Shaun the probation worker (Craig Parkinson) is getting better and better, he really needs to be in it more. I give it two Superhoodies out of four because it really is utterly middle of the road and entirely missable.
However, next week looks like being an absolute stormer, with Nazi Germany coming to the community centre.
Until next time,