Misfits 4.05 TV REVIEW
Writer: Howard Overman
Director: Jonathan van Tulleken
THE ONE WHERE Finn finds his dying dad and spends some quality time with his (half) sister.
VERDICT In several ways this week’s tale echoes the second episode of Misfits series two. There, Nathan discovered he had a brother he never knew about. Here Finn not only discovers he has a sister he never knew about, but also finds the father he never knew he had, dying of cancer no less. Crucially, it also echoes that episode where it really matters, with a story that goes for the heart.
As if Finn’s dad suffering through terminal cancer isn’t bad enough, the real tragedy is that Finn’s new (half) sister Grace is suffering just as much. There are some powerful scenes here, particularly the moment where Grace realises that she has been keeping her father alive for purely selfish reasons. It’s weighty stuff, but it never quite hits the emotional highs of seeing Nathan’s brother tragically shuffle off the mortal coil, or the authenticity of the disastrous relationship between Nathan and his dad. Something doesn’t quite ring true, and as a result everything feels a little rushed. Dan, for example, is very trusting of Finn, letting him loose with his daughter despite barely knowing him. It doesn’t help that half the time Finn isn't taking the situation remotely seriously, cracking jokes while being choked to death by his sister, for example. It works as a wonderfully absurd moment in the middle of such a tense scene, but it feels misjudged at a point where more gravity is required.
It took me till last week to get on board with Finn as a character, so perhaps I was missing something before, but here he seems to be flexing his comedic chops by channelling David Brent, with a plethora of bizarre ticks and humorous running gags. Air quoting “from the bar”, slamming Alex ("from the bar") for being gay before clarifying it with: “nothing wrong with that”, and correcting himself whenever he forgets to preface sister/brother with “half” – each is repeated numerous times throughout the episode, each time more rewarding than the last. The pre-credit sequence, where Finn is confronted by a truth about his mother no son ever needs to hear, is blackly comic in the best possible way, you can’t help but feel bad for the little guy. Finn also (finally) puts his power to good use again by distracting Alex ("from the bar") with a beer can. Misfits has never been just about the powers, but this year the gang are using them less than ever before.
Grace also brings out a sweeter side to Finn. The “getting to know you” night on the town may be focused around stealing Jess away from Alex ("from the bar"), but drawing permanent ink face furniture on Rudy is a genuinely endearing morning-after bonding moment and just the presence of another woman as a temporary part of the group gives the show a much-needed change of dynamic.
Rudy is as endlessly entertaining as ever. He fulfils more of a comedy light relief role this week, but every scene he features in is superb. The fantastically insensitive grief counselling, suddenly appearing in the bar so he can get in Grace’s knickers, drawing a Hitler moustache on Finn at the worst possible moment, continually claiming “no-one’s more upset than me”, Rudy never fails to raise a smile.
There are some intriguing developments in the Alex ("from the bar") arc, but the “is he gay?” shtick in his flat is a disappointingly unimaginative trope. The scene where Jess punches Alex (“from the bar”) is an odd one too, spoilt by some iffy ADR and slightly awkward performances.
And that final scene… was Finn right all along? Somehow we doubt it.
IS IT JUST ME OR… Does Jess go to the toilet A LOT?
CONSTANT NITPICK If EVERYONE seems to know about the storm, why isn’t the place swarming with journos yet?
SPECULATION Rudy seems to have sexy-time dreams about Barbara whenever he sleeps, given that we’re finally going to see Richard Saunders next week, could Barbara be appearing one day as well?
CHARACTER Finn has “Hit Me Baby One More Time” as his ringtone. And he’s the one throwing around accusations that other men are gay…
JUST WRONG OF THE WEEK “Anal Mary” seems like the obvious choice, but I’m more inclined to opt for the probation worker’s graveyard jig. Starts off weird before quickly descending into complete and utter wrongness.
THE POWER HOUR Grace has the power to bring people back from the dead, but not as zombies and without healing them.
IT’S WOSSISNAME! You may recognise Finn’s dad as Francis Magee, who played badass Knight’s Watch recruiter Yoren in Game Of Thrones .
Finn’s almost-dad Roger, meanwhile, is played by Justin Edwards, who you may recognise as snivelling politician Ben Swain from The Thick Of It .
RUDY’S BEST LINE
“Yes, that’s brilliant, using your dad’s cancerous tumours to get into her knickers.”
BEST LINE BY ANYONE ELSE
Greg: “Do you know how I felt when my dad died?”
Greg: “Have a guess.”
Greg: “I was fucking ecstatic.”
Misfits series 4 airs in the UK on E4, Sundays at 10pm.