Misfits- Series 3.5
Well, that was a disappointment.
After last week’s fun and frolics in a world where the Nazi’s were victorious in WW2, something clearly snapped in the heads of the writers- no more superhero type behaviour, instead this was a reversion to the old misfits of last year, a sappy soap-opera of an episode that mined depths of cliché, muddled the series and actively made the least possible of the able cast. The story was so unoriginal and so poor that it could genuinely have been cut from the series altogether with no negative impact. There was maybe 2 events of interest to the overall story arc, a shit villain, and the heart of the episode was something we’ve seen done countless times before. The only bright spot in this load-of-crap was Gilgun as Rudy, dealing with his inner depressive.
Spoilers lurk below, so beware…
I’d love to hear the justification for this toss. It was a real retrograde step, furthermore, they commit an unpardonable sin towards the end of the episode that I’ll get into in a minute. This instalment followed hot on the heels of the last one with Kelly (Lauren Socha, completely wasted) being asked out by Seth (Matthew McNulty). She’s, and stop me if this gets boring, working in a hospital when her body is taken over by a coma victim, who then spends the rest of the episode trying to get back together/ fighting with her old boyfriend (yawn). In the meantime, Rudy (Joe Gilgun) is having problems with his anger management counsellor. His inner drip shags her, and he’s absolutely oblivious to this, which leads to some amusement. Simon may as well not have bothered here, Alisha used her power twice, but blatantly as a get out of jail free card for the writers, and Curtis has grown addicted to changing into a woman and masturbating.
The episode culminated with the (and this is the spoiler) potentially epoch-shattering murder of Probation Worker number 3, Shaun (Craig Parkinson). Basically, in a nutshell, this is the problem personified. There wasn’t a single original moment here, and the writers (I bet this one was Overman) substituted in boring relationship stuff, and even resorted to repeating their own plot developments from the series. There is absolutely no justification for killing the third Probation Worker, and although this worked really well in the first series, to reintroduce it with just 3 episodes to go this time strikes me as lacking ideas. This is a fucking shame, particularly as it follows hard on the heels of the best and most inventive episodes since the first series.
There’s a problem here, though, that’s fundamental to this whole run and this is it: there’s no overarcing story, each episode is pretty much segmented and complete in its own runtime with naff all repercussions for later in the series. The Simon and Alisha episode 3 was especially bad, because that’s the one that killed off the possibility of them ever emerging as superheroes. The first series had the arc involving the death of the initial probation worker, and the second series had who is Superhoodie, yet it feels as if they didn’t know what to do here, as if they haven’t a plan of where to go. This is why the death of Shaun was a terrible, terrible idea. We’ve seen this play out in the first series, there isn’t enough run-time left here, and the thought of rehashing the same stuff fills me with ennui.
This series should have been about them actually adopting the superhero mantle, it should have been about them developing and cleaning up the low-rent criminals. Instead, it feels like they’re actively reducing it to soap opera level, and that, Overman, is not what I signed up for. It says a lot about the charm and ability of Gilgun, Socha, Antonia Thomas, Nathan Stewart-Jarret, and Iwan Rheon that I’ve made it through this episode.
There are only three episodes left, and next up is their powers going out-of-control again, which is almost exactly what they did in the second episode last series. This lack of originality, this inability to try to move the story forward (they should never have been put back in the jumpsuits, for example) is the plague of this series, and unless there is something incredibly creative coming for the finale, this series is going to be another bust enlivened by a truly spectacular individual episode. I give Misfits 3.5 1 Superhoodie out of 4, and I do not recommend this at all.
Ignore it and it will just go away.
Until next time,