We're deep enough into series 3 to make some sweeping statements about its quality, and I don't think many people will argue against this being its weakest year. Is it because the show lost firecracker Robert Sheehan? Is it because the gang's new powers are underwhelming compared to their originals? Both are a factor, but more importantly it doesn't seem as creative or imaginative as it once was. (The Nazi episode promised far more than it delivered, and the idea of altering history by trying to kill Hitler is a hoary chestnut.) The only ongoing story has been the romance between Seth (Matthew McNulty) and Kelly (Lauren Socha), but it hasn't been very successful in my eyes. Seth feels like a strange distraction the show's spending too much time on, and the writers themselves don't seem sure if he's an official "misfit" or not. Does anyone but Kelly even speak to him?
This sixth episode was focused on Rudy (Joe Gilgun) again, which I'm sure didn't please everyone, considering the premiere was already dedicated to Rudy's introduction and Alisha (Antonia Thomas) is still waiting for a story to truly call her own. The story found Rudy contracting a "super-STD", after sleeping with a party girl called Leah (Amy Manson) and ditching her seconds after his selfish needs were satisfied in bed. The next morning, suffering from memory loss and rotting genitals, Rudy enlisted the help of Simon (Iwan Rheon) to find his mystery conquest so she can reverse the damage before his cock, quite literally, falls off. Elsewhere, Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) had to deal with the alarming fact he's accidentally impregnated himself while switching between genders; and Kelly grew closer to Seth now they're officially a couple, unaware that her new boyfriend's getting closer to bring his ex-lover back to life now he's found someone with the ability to resurrect the dead.
One problem with episode 6 was how both subplots felt more important and inventive than the main story, which is never a good balance to have. Although it was a big disappointment that the show hasn't chosen to explore the bizarre problem that Curtis could be both mother and father to a child—as he effectively got an abortion by having Seth take away his power, replacing it with the ability to resurrect the dead.
It certainly wasn't a terrible instalment, let's be clear. I appreciated how the concept played to Misfits core strength—taking real-life issues that affect young people (the threat of sexually transmitted disease, unwanted pregnancy) and giving them a super-charged spin. It was also fairly amusing to watch Rudy try and piece together his night of debauchery, Hangover-style, with Simon as a sidekick. If nothing else, it was great to see Rudy given better cohesion within the group.. but after six episodes, I'm still not sure what everyone makes of coarse Rudy. Do they all like him, or just put up with him? Are any feelings reciprocated? At least now we can be sure Rudy has a genuine reason for liking Simon... but was Simon helping Rudy because he genuinely cared as a friend, or more because every man can sympathise with the horrifying potential loss of your manhood?
Overall, another so-so episode that ultimately disappointed me because it just felt rather disposable. It achieved what it set out to do, but didn't leave much of an impression. That about sums up my reaction to series 3 so far: it's not exactly bad, but it's no longer great. Thankfully next week's episode appears to be far more kinetic, crazy and thrilling thanks to some zombie cheerleaders.
You should recognise Amy Manson from her role as Fleur on BBC's ill-fated Outcasts.
This episode was directed by Jonathan van Tulleken, who made his Misfits debut with the online short "Vegas Baby" awhile back.
written by Jon Brown / directed by Jonathan van Tulleken / 4 December 2011 / E4