Misfits Series 3 Episode 8 - TV Review

Dead again

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Restless spirits

Writer: Howard Overman
Director: Jonathan Van Tulleken

The One Where: The ghosts of murders past wander the halls of the community centre.

Verdict: It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of a good ending. Fortunately, Howard Overman knows this and for the past couple series Misfits has climaxed with two of the best cliffhangers in recent memory – fun, exciting and filled with potential for the future. Series three takes a slightly different tact. It’s devastatingly tragic, with Simon and Alisha trapped in a pseudo-romantic loop where they’re destined to continually die in each other’s arms. *Sniff* Is there something in our eye?

It’s a neat, full circle solution to the Superhoodie plotline, particularly as the time travel Simon uses will never allow him to return. Several other, years old, subplots are also brought full circle in this episode. Mark Heap’s fun (albeit slight) spot as medium Jonas aside, all the guest stars are returning characters from series one. In a neat inversion of expectations Sally and Tony, at first seemingly out for revenge, find closure in each other’s arms (an exceptionally sweet moment); while it’s corrupted innocent Rachel who is the harbinger of death for Alisha (and by proxy Simon). There’s a clear shift in the tone of the episode from a carefree spectre-shagging romp to something much more sinister at the exact moment we see the Stanley Knife – a horrible inevitability and tension about what’s to come saturating every shot that follows. At one point Tony berates the gang as “immoral and feral” and despite Alisha’s reasoned defence, he’s absolutely right. The gang act without consequence most of the time. This episode makes it painfully clear that not only will there be consequences to their actions, but with Curtis unable to turn back time their lives are extremely fragile.

It’s not the biggest surprise that Alisha cops it. She’s been noticeably underused this series (particularly her power) – a clear sign that the character has run her course. That said, we were left with the impression there was much more to come from the Superhoodie arc. The picture of Simon and Alisha in Vegas for one. When was that supposed to have been taken? As a result it feels like there was a final twist missing. Who didn’t put two and two together and get five when Nathan “returned” briefly?

Even without the bombshell, it would still be a brave final episode. It relies on its audience to still be feeling an emotional connection to characters we haven’t seen in two years to get the most from it, for example. And much like Buffy’s “Restless” (the season four finale), all the fireworks happened the week before, allowing the final episode to slow the pace down and try something different. Even though series three hasn’t quite attained the staggeringly consistent highs of Misfits ’ second series this finale, along with last week’s episode, is still cause enough to hold the show as one of the best things on TV.

Flashback : Even without the return of Sally, Tony and Rachel, there are a number of throwbacks to season one in this episode. Alisha’s gearstick anecdote is from episode 1.06, Simon is seen with his hoodie up – a familiar image from his days as the invisible c**t (an orange hoodie no less, so that’s what Misfits slacks look like), Sally holds Alisha over the edge of the rooftop that was Rachel’s (and almost Nathan’s) undoing at the end of the first season– and the wheelchairs are back, briefly.

LMAO: For once it wasn’t Rudy that made us laugh the hardest this week – Tony continually getting whacked in the face with a fire extinguisher was a hilarious throwback.

LMAO 2: That said, Rudy is still comedy gold, and arguably the best thing to have happened in series three. “Aloha.” [Aside to Alisha] “That’s Hawaiian.”

It’s Wossername: If you watched the second episode of Charlie Brooker’s brilliant Black Mirror “15 Million Merits”, you may also recognise Jessica Brown Findlay where she played wannabe singer/pornstar Abi.

Cornetto Watch: The gang’s frozen treat of choice features again this week – first appearing just before they go into a circle with Jonah.

Bible Bashing: Not content with killing Jesus, this week Misfits reveals that: “The big news is, there’s no God.” Channel 4 should just get Howard Overman to pen this year’s alternative Christmas message.

Best Lines
“I think I’ve just seen a ghost.”
Rudy: “Why would there be a goat in the community centre?”

Jordan Farley

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Jordan Farley

I'm the News Editor at Total Film magazine, running the opening pages of every issue where you can read exclusive interviews and see first-look images from the biggest films. I was previously the Community Editor at sci-fi, fantasy and horror movie bible SFX. You'll find my name on news, reviews, and interviews covering every type of movie, from the latest French arthouse release to the biggest Hollywood blockbuster. My work has also featured in Official PlayStation Magazine and Edge. Outside of my day job, I'm a FromSoft fanatic (proudest achievement: beating Malenia solo) and a TV connoisseur (translation: I'll watch anything).