Misfits 4.08 TV REVIEW
Writer: Howard Overman
Director: Dušan Lazarević
THE ONE WHERE Rudy saves Nadine from the evil bitch nuns, with tragic consequences.
VERDICT If Joe Gilgun ever leaves, Misfits will be in real trouble. Everything that’s good about this week’s series finale is almost exclusively down to Rudy and Nadine (Gillian Saker); their whirlwind love affair is more affecting than anything else all series. It’s telling that by the end of the end of the episode I couldn’t have cared less if Alex lived or died, but poor old Nadine’s execution left me with a big old lump in my throat. This episode has a warmth that’s been missing ever since Simon and Alisha bit the big one this time last year. The real tragedy is that just as Misfits gets its emotional centre back it’s snatched away all too quickly.
The simple fact is the characters aren’t as strong as they once were. Replacing Nathan with Rudy turned out to be a masterstroke. The same can’t be said for the rest of the gang.
The show embraced its genre roots in series two and three, with mind-bending time travel plotlines and actual superheroics, but this year Misfits seems embarrassed to be a sci-fi show. With a few tweaks most episodes would work just as well as straightforward teen drama. In one scene Abbey says: “You could use the special powers you got after being struck by that random freak storm,” only for Finn to reply: “You know, we really should use them more often.” It’s a funny line, because we’re all well aware how little the gang have been using their powers, but it’s a clear case of Misfits having its cake and eating it. The storm is still important, but not enough drama stems from the powers anymore.
It’s a shame because the single new power here, Nadine’s Four Horsemen, is great. They arrive a little later than I might have liked, and their look is disappointingly reminiscent of Superhoodie’s, right down to their arrival on two wheels, but stood together like council estate samurai, they cut a striking image. But did anyone else wonder where the probation worker was while all this was going on?
Speaking of everyone’s favourite psycho, Greg gets a standout scene this episode, allowing Rudy to bunk off from community service and rescue Nadine in his own inimitably terrifying way. Greg is a very different kind of probation worker to any we’ve seen so far, and his appearances are sometimes bafflingly random, but they’re always memorable. We’re glad he hasn’t gone the way of most Misfits’ probation workers (yet).
Alex acting like a giant cock now he’s got his (apparently) giant cock back is an interesting twist in Jess and Alex’s love affair. If this was an American show the pair would have lived happily ever after together. On our side of the pond things only get worse. The consequence of this character turn is that Alex, a character we never really liked that much to begin with, is now someone we can happily not care about at all. Why should we? He’s a cheating scumbag who pulls some really weird poses in the mirror. Let’s face it; he’s just a bump in the road for Jess and Finn.
Finn gets his kick-ass telekinesis moment, but otherwise the short-arse scouser is short-changed this week, with just an odd sexual encounter making an impression. Abbey is still more of a collection of quirks than an actual character, but her unnecessary narration of everything that happens is endearingly bizarre. Perhaps when her memory returns there’ll be more of a character to grasp on to, but at the moment Abbey is a shallow presence.
The strength of Rudy and Nadine’s plotline is enough to make this one of series four’s best, but place it next to any episode from series two, and almost any from series one or three and it’s easy to see that Misfits’ star no longer burns as brightly as it once did. Should Misfits return for a fifth series it has its work cut out to reclaim its genre crown.
NITPICK If Nadine manifests the Four Horsemen when she sees people being cruel and violent why do they kill her? She didn’t act that way. Unless they’re simply killing indiscriminately.
NITPICK 2 An unmarked grave with a wooden cross next to it? Do Rudy and Finn really think no random dog walker will find that some day?
SPECULATION Guess what we’re supposed to speculate about is what power Alex will end up with next season thanks to his new lung, but honestly, who cares? I’m much more interested to find out what Abbey’s power is, and what secrets lie in those locked-away memories.
JUST WRONG OF THE WEEK Take your pick between Rudy’s not-very-surprising-at-all confession that he once violated himself with a king-size Mars bar, Rudy head-butting a nun (only for Abbey to follow up with a kick to the gut) and Finn’s man-juice falling out of Abbey at a very inopportune moment.
IN-JOKE Rudy’s love for ET and desire for an “ ET ending” goes back to episode seven of the third series (the first zombie episode) when he first declares his love for “that little c**t”. But surely he knows ET ends in tears, which is exactly what he got.
THE POWER HOUR Nadine is being kept locked away by the nuns to stop the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse unleashing vengeance on the world (makes you wonder how they stopped the Horseman when the nuns discovered her power); while the rest of the gang all get to use their powers. Finn’s power even evolves.
LMAO Not the funniest episode this week, but Rudy’s tirade against god and subsequent TV smashing is pant-wettingly hilarious. Speaking of which…
RUDY’S BEST LINE
[Pointing to the sky] “Have you done this? You’ve done this! You build up my dreams and crush em. You’re not a shepard, you’re a friggin’ penis, sir.”
BEST LINE BY ANYONE ELSE
Jess: “You were a much better boyfriend when you had a vagina.”
Misfits series 4 has now finished airing for the year.