Friday, 22 November 2013

MISFITS, 5.5 – episode five

Friday, 22 November 2013

written by Howard Overman | directed by Laurence Gough

I'm glad this is the final series of Misfits because episodes don't feel as essential as they once did, but at least episode five did something the show used to excel at: use super-powers to embellish something about the real world and actual people. This week's story was all about a shy girl called Leah (Scarlett Brookes) who's become a shut-in, but uses her ability to download her mind into other people's bodies over the internet. This enables Leah to interact with the world as an avatar, and charm Finn (Nathan McMullen) at a superpower support group meeting while in the body of her more attractive best-friend.

I tend to like episodes where Misfits uses its concept to explore something about society and humanity, so the storyline with Finn and his twisted romance with Leah worked well for me. I especially liked how it went even crazier than expected, once Finn learned the truth and becomes imprisoned by the besotted Leah—trapped on a memory stick inside a Matrix-like virtual reality prison that resembles her bedsit.

There wasn't much in the way of sub-plots this week, but I'm impressed by how the show is dealing with the sudden attraction between Rudy (Joe Gilgun) and Jess (Karla Crome). That could have been totally implausible and ridiculous, but it's working rather nicely—partly because of the added issue of Rudy "stealing" his best mate Finn's dream girl, but also because Gilgun and Crome have a fun chemistry. The situation with Rudy accidentally turning Jess into an internet meme, after filming her on the toilet to try and kill Finn's feeling for her, was also the kind of idea only Misfits can get away with. And the scene where the probation worker (Shaun Dooley) tried to reach out to Jess by recounting a similar public embarrassment he once suffered, was pretty funny. Bonus points for the gaudy "Korean mash up" of Jess's toilet video he'd found online.

Overall, this fifth episode worked well for me—despite the fact I find McMullen too shrill a lot of the time, so there was only so much of his thwarted romance story I could find an emotional connection to. I also find it a little odd electrician Helen (Ellie Kendrick) appears to be a fresh misfit, and an important part of the "super group" foretold on a woolly jumper. It feels like an admission the existing characters have mostly useless or boring superpowers, which is depressingly true because almost every episode barely features them.

20 November 2013 | E4