Misfits- Series 3.4

Well, we hit the half way stage with this series, and what tricks can Overman pull to try to distinguish Misfits from the crowd. Well, seeing as the whole concept and series is lifted from funny books, why not go all out and lift the “what if” premise? This, actually, is a good idea, and one that gives Misfits its best episode since the first series. In fact, this is one of the best episodes so far, a gleeful mix of comedy, violence, crass stupidity and a good use of the superpowers.

Last series, Curtis sold his time-turning ability to The Dealer. In this series, The Dealer, Seth (Matthew McNulty) has become much more of an important presence in the Estate, and there is a fledgling relationship developing between him and Lauren Socha’s Kelly. Episode 4 is about the disastrous consequences of an old jewish man getting hold of Curtis’ Time-Turning power and botching a Hitler Assassination. As a result, he drops his mobile phone, and the future gets fucked up because the Third Reich get their hands on technology they shouldn’t have. This gives them the advantage, and they win the war leading to modern Britain being ruled by the Nazis.

Leaving aside the astonishingly ill-thought out plot hole inherent in this (would a mobile phone from the 21st Century really be that easy to reverse engineer, and surely that doesn’t give an advantage?), what we’ve got here is an alternative present, where (in a straight lift from the X-men) all people with super powers are being rounded up. There’s a resistance of sorts featuring Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) prominently, Kelly works in the community centre/ detention centre, Alisha (Antonia Thomas) is Shaun’s (Probation worker in our time/ fascist in theirs- played by Craig Parkinson) secretary/ fuck toy, Rudy (Joe Gilgun) is in hiding, and Simon has been conscripted into the Nazis.

This is a more action-oriented episode. The characters aren’t friends here, with the exception of Kelly and Curtis, and as a result, what we’re watching is the mutant registration act play out. The Nazis have rounded up the dealer, and are forcing him to take powers off people and put them in high-ranking fascists (it was  nice to see ice chick from series 2 back again). La Resistance break him out, before he’s bought back in, transfers the time-turning power to Kelly and dies in a gunfight. Kelly goes back in time and sticks the nut on Hitler  before whaling on him lying on the ground while saying “Why do you have to be such a dick”.

This is a funny episode, but it’s not as relentlessly crude as Misfits usually is. Kelly’s first line in the alternative present is “fucking Nazis”, which is funny and precisely the sort of thing she’d say in the real present. However, the comic high point was Rudy preparing to run to his parents, and his actions when he opens the door to find the Nazis outside. Anyway, headbutting the leader of the Third Reich is intrinsically funny.

This episode also contains the best acting from the leads of any episode so far, because they have to be restrained. Antonia Thomas puts in her finest turn, being all soft looks of loathing and whatnot, and Iwan Rheon’s distress as Simon being forced to shoot someone was top drawer. Nevertheless, this is the Socha show now, and she was on fire here. Kelly is easily the most likeable and interesting character left, and Socha has a huge amount of both charm and presence. She’s getting heavy now, and isn’t a rival sex-symbol to Thomas, but she’s great fun nonetheless.

The action, particularly the jail break and Kelly’s attack on the community centre, are breathless and exciting even if the battle at the finale is a touch contrived. Nevertheless, it was nice to see Misfits focus on action and not wallow in the relationship stuff that’s been a mainstay of the plot for far too long. Socha in particular is highly adept at screen violence, there’s a savagery she gets that is quite incomprehensible- like the beating she took in the Conti episode last series, or the kicking dished out to Hitler here. So, writers, give her more of a chance to do it.

Then there’s the downside: it’s fucking with causality again, and if Misfits ever did a monster of the week episode, then this one is it. OK, writers, a fucking iPhone is not going to help the Nazis win World War 2. It’s not compatible with anything and as such they aren’t going to be able to work out what the hell it does. Even having said that, though, I could suspend disbelief for this one, as it isn’t fatal to the story. More importantly, though, the Commandant (or whatever he was) had about as much menace as a bowl of cold porridge. When he was threatening people it was like being savaged by a small sheep. This as a result made a lot of scenes flaccid where they should have been electrifying.

Overall, this was  a very, very good episode of Misfits. Faith restored. However the quibbles are such that I’m going to dock it a Superhoodie out of 4. Next episode expands on the relationship between Kelly and the Dealer, which is a crying fucking shame, as this was much more Misfits does Dr. Who (except without the cockgobbling subtext). I’ve seen a lot of complaint about it on the internets in that it isn’t the usual Superskins, but ignore them. It’s something that Misfits hasn’t been in ages: fun. Personally, I’d rather it stayed like this than endless dreary will-they-won’t-they stuff with Simon and Alisha.

See you next week,

Jarv.

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About Jarv

Workshy cynic, given to posting reams of nonsense on the internet and watching films that have inexplicably got a piss poor reputation.

35 responses to “Misfits- Series 3.4”

  1. Jarv says :

    This series is so much better than the last one. Keep it up!

  2. Continentalop says :

    Damn, you make it sound like this show should be watched.

    About the cell phone, I don’t know Jarv. Even if the Nazis and scientist couldn’t completely reverse engineer and construct cell phones back then, a lot of information could be gleemed from one, and I imagine that information could give them a lot of technological advances. Maybe not give them 21st century technology, but they could at least be able to imitate such things as maybe Heddy Lamarr’s (fuck was she hot) idea of Frequency-hopping spread-spectrum, which would help communications and torpedos and such.

    I imagine a smartphone back then would be like the robotic arm in Cyberdyne, something that could jump start a lot of technological breakthroughs.

    • Jarv says :

      I suppose so, but the thing is Conti, the Terminator Arm was in development for years. Also, there’s no compatible software, the network won’t work on it, and so forth. A mobile phone back then would be utterly alien.

      There’s an E4 on-demand link, but I don’t think that will work in the states. Start with Series 1, see if that works for you. If it doesn’t then bin it.

      • Continentalop says :

        You know hindsight is 20/20. but you know what probably would have been more useful than a smart phone? If someone had dropped a history book – the Nazis would see their mistakes, biggest blunders and learn all of the allies plans. Hell, Hell, just knowing about Enigma and that Canaris in Abwehr was a traitor would of helped.

        A great Captain America story had that, where Baron Strucker got a bunch of history books from the future from Doc Doom (don’t ask) and was using them to change history.

      • Jarv says :

        I was thinking about his diary or something on that idea. Would totally have made a huge difference.

      • Continentalop says :

        That makes sense. I mean, you’d want to know where someone is and when if you’re traveling back in time, so it would make sense to take a history book or diary with you.

      • Jarv says :

        Well, it was still well handled, and Kelly beating fuck out of Hitler was frankly hilarious.

        Her last line in the episode was a gem. When asked what she’d been up to she said “Oh, you know, fighting Nazis, kicking the shit out of Hitler and saving the fucking world”. Delivered with a smile as well.

  3. Xiphos0311 says :

    Leaving aside the astonishingly ill-thought out plot hole inherent in this (would a mobile phone from the 21st Century really be that easy to reverse engineer

    It’s not all that ill thought out if they are basing this story on the German wunderwaffe weapon program and especially Die Glocke part of it. If the Nazis can conquer time travel, anti gravity and bunch of other esoteric scientific pursuits(algededly there is zero proof) then reverse engineering a smart phone should be a piece of cake. Though a history book would be much more useful.

    It also helps to buy into Die glocke and other wunderwaffe programs if you’re a half wit.

    • Jarv says :

      They don’t go into it. It’s presented in a flash forward headlines and shit such as “Nazi’s develop new technology”.

    • Continentalop says :

      Didn’t the Nazis have three functional UFOs?

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        no

      • Continentalop says :

        You’re no fun.

        In my history they had UFOs, and talking intelligent dogs.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        you weren’t talking fun you asked a real question and the answer is nope zero proof.

        I love conspiracy theories like these. Don’t believe any of them I just like the mythology and legends behind them and the wackos that push them are interesting in a creepy way.

        Ever hear of SS General Hans Kammler the ground zero outbreak monkey of all these stories? his is an interesting origin tall tale with some unanswered questions in the real world which feeds the conspiratards delusions.

      • Continentalop says :

        I don’t believe in conspiracy theories either, I just find them fun (and funny) as hell. I mean who wouldn’t want UFOs and psychic research to actually have existed? Besides, The Thule and Vril Societies make great Nazi villains.

        I had to look up Hans Kammler, but I think I have heard of him before. I believe he was name-dropped in an episode of the X-Files and in an issue of Hellboy.

      • Continentalop says :

        BTW Watching the last episode of Alphas right now (fuck work). So far the last couple were really good (but still had some flaws).

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        that’s the entertainment value of conspiracy theories the “what if”. I find it funny the mental gymnastics believers have to go through to make make these theories even basically plausible.

        Kammler was a real interesting dude and was in charge of special weapons projects for the SS. He was a big time mass murder yet he was never tried in absentia like others were. Everyone bought into his several different death scenarios and even the Israelis went along with it they shrug their shoulders said OK. Kammler designed and built camps and increased oven efficiency. crushed the Krakow uprising and killed over 20,000 Dora Middlbrau KZ inmates to build an underground work space for the V2 program. With that and more on resume to be almost forgotten means he did have something to trade.

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        The last few episodes had the biggest clunker of the bunch in it with the angel power one bad execution all the way around on that one. the finale is really good.

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        I can understand why some people gravitate to conspiracy theories, it can help people to explain to themselves what they perceive to be the unexplainable. But when it fly’s in the face of common sense and overwhelming evidence i.e. moon landing, then I start to question the sanity of the believer.

        Nazi conspiracy theories are a treasure trove for fiction writers and those who want to believe in the extreme

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        Battle LA losing to monkey boy just screams conspiracy!

      • Continentalop says :

        Yeah, I really hated the evangelist one. The idea of a charismatic cult leader with Alphas powers (think Brother Blood from the old Teen Titan comics) could have been cool, but that was just clumsy in every aspect. The actual actor who played the villain was annoying on top of everything else.

      • Continentalop says :

        I never did see Battle LA so you can’t blame me for not voting for it.

      • Jarv says :

        It’s ok. I think Rise is better. Kill List was robbed.

        Conspiracy!!!

      • Continentalop says :

        My favorite conspiracy is the one who writes really great dirty stories over at AICN and AIBN.

        His description of Bay jizzing on the faces of his fans is still one of the funniest things I have ever read.

      • Spud McSpud says :

        Conti – Are you sure the Nazis had the UFOs, or weren’t they on loan from the people of Shamballa or Agharti or somewhere?? Or were they left on the moon with the abandoned base for the resurgence of the Fourth Reich?? Speaking of which…

        WHERE THE FUCK IS IRON SKY???

      • Jarv says :

        April.

        That’s when the invasion begins

  4. ThereWolf says :

    Kicking the shit out of Hitler. Genius. I must watch this.

  5. Spud McSpud says :

    “Socha in particular is highly adept at screen violence, there’s a savagery she gets that is quite incomprehensible”

    Well, she’s a Derby girl, and she originally came from an suburb quite close to the city centre (about four miles out, which is about two miles from where I live) and it’s fair to say it has its rough areas, so draw your own conclusions. Apparently she’s much less scary in real life, which is good to know 🙂

    Virgin Media, those goatfuckers, DON’T have MISFITS S3 on their On Demand service, so I’ve missed them all and will have to watch them on DVD (or their next repeat, whichever comes sooner). What an embuggerance. Glad it’s picking up, though – and the thought of Socah kicking Hitler’s head in while calling him a dickhead is enticing indeed…

  6. Spud McSpud says :

    Xi – There’s an interesting book about cutting-edge research into alternative energy and propulsion systems called THE HUNT FOR ZERO POINT by Nick Cook, which at one point goes off into batshit territory, claiming that a huge cylindrical conrete bunker was the basis for an experiment into time manipulation (basically by sitting a guy in the middle, spinning something electrified outside it very quickly, then comparing watches, in very sketchy terms). For all I know, it could’ve been a V2 firing silo or whatever, but the thought of Nazis doing weird esoteric experiments is interesting from a writing perspective. And time travel in particular? Interesting stuff, though almost certainly bullshit.

    The occult, though – apparently those pesky Hun were REALLY into all that stuff. I love a good conspiracy theory – good to keep the old grey matter supple for all the mental gymnastics involved 🙂

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