Friday, 29 November 2013

MISFITS, 5.6 – episode six

Friday, 29 November 2013

written by Howard Overman | directed by Lewis Arnold

A mixed hour this week, which is often the way with Misfits. The gang were tasked with entertaining a group of terminally ill youngsters at the community centre; with Finn (Nathan McMullen) uncovering a bald charlatan chasing sympathy shags, while a skin cancer patient called Lucas (Ade Oyefoso) succumbs to temptation and uses his super-power of stealing the 'life-force' from others—resulting in death and an attempted suicide.

It remains true that Misfits is wired to do things no other show does, which means it's still well worth watching; even if episodes, like this one, occasionally feel like a hasty collection of half-formed ideas thrown together. Care worker Karen (Being Human's Kate Bracken)—who has a chameleon-like ability to camouflage against her surrounding—was so underused it was alarming. And considering she's later confirmed as one of the "super heroes" Rudy Two (Joe Gilgun) is tracking down from the prognostic woolly jumper, it ultimately felt like a poor introduction to her. That said, I'm also intrigued this year's background mystery appears to involve a whole new set of characters—which I really wasn't expecting. I hate to pre-empt whatever the series finale has in store, but hopefully the core characters won't be as marginalised as they're threatening to become.

Away from the lead storyline with the incurable patients, there was fun to be had with Alex (Matt Stokoe) getting cursed by a gypsy after failing to play Good Samaritan in her time of need. This meant he was compelled to help others, or suffer the symptoms of drowning. Sure, it felt a little ridiculous Alex's selfish attitude would have incensed someone enough to deserve a nasty curse, but otherwise it was a fun wrinkle in the story. Better was the continuation of Abby's Natasha O'Keeffe) determination to make Alex fuck the tortoise she believes is a shape-shifter trapped in that form—because you can always wring comedy from that insane idea. The sight of Alex and the tortoise drinking before 'doing the dirty' was wrong on too many levels, then topped by a hilarious moment when Alex had to stop Finn from hanging himself and rely on the tortoise to run (or slowly crawl) for help.

As I say, even relatively spotty episodes of Misfits like this can be relied on for loose entertainment. I like the development that Rudy Two's found love with electro-girl Ellen (Ellie Kendrick), and Rudy's impotence around Jess (Karla Crome) was resolved in a funny way with Jess sullying her 'perfection' in his eyes. Indeed, the success of the Rudy/Jess pairing has been one of this year's nicer surprises.

Overall, episode six was rough in places and wasted a few ideas; but it kept me watching and, with only two episodes left, things are beginning to take shape regarding the old lady's knitted prophecy...

27 November 2013 | E4