Review of E4’s ‘Misfits’: Episode 4.01

Misfits is back on our screens! We are all wondering how the surviving community service workers will cope with the new trials and tribulations in front of them! Well, friends, let’s take a look and find out.

THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS.

In the first episode we are introduced to new recruits Finn and Jess, who have walked into some strange going-ons in the community service office.

Seth and Rudy are acting very out of character. While the two new workers investigate further, Seth and Rudy start torturing a man with only one hand and asking him about a briefcase which has now vanished. Jess, who conveniently has x-ray vision, finds out they have locked Curtis in the freezer. They rescue him but he seems more concerned about the case than his actual freedom. When both Seth and Rudy get together, they agree to lock up the two new-comers away in the freezer fearing they are after the case. They also dump the one-handed man in there with them, because he is not giving them the answer they want to hear. The man is called Mike and with his partner, they performed a successful robbery together. But greed got the better of him and Mike killed his partner. On the run, he is hit by the power giving lighting from series one and ever since then he has had a problem. When ever anyone touches him, they become infected with a greed virus, which makes them do anything for the cash he has in his briefcase. It is up to Rudy’s slightly more conservative double to save the day. He lets everyone out of the freezer, and it turns out he saw infected Rudy cut Mike’s hand off as well as where Mike has hidden the case.

The problem is now Finn and Jess are infected and Finn tries to use his telekinetic powers to get the case, to little success. It all ends in a roof top stand-off with everyone at each others throats, until Mike so obsessed by getting the case, falls over the roof and dies clutching the money he so desperately wanted, watching it blow away with the wond. Enter the new probation worker, who is an absolute hard case. This is not the only twist in the tale however, as it turns out Finn has his own secrets, involving a young woman tied up against her will in his bedroom.

This is a weird episode at first, because of the way it plays out. We don’t find out until well into the episode that they are infected, and it makes you wonder while viewing it why they are acting so out of type. It suckered me right in, because I thought it was shoddy writing at the start and I really did not like the episode because I felt that the characters just were too different from the last series. I was right, but for all the wrong reasons!

When the greed virus is revealed it actually makes the episode come alive and my enjoyment of it came through this twist. It was an interesting feeling of being sucker punched by the writer for being too stupid to see what they had mapped out all along. This plot twist also meant that a lot of the humor came either later, or from the two new crew members, some of which fell quite flat. Still it is pretty funny to see Rudy running around with a chainsaw that refuses to work and him and Seth debating what bit to cut off Mike’s body next. Dark humor, but funny none the less.

The reason the episode may have been structured this way is to make it more of a who- dunnit story, with new guys and gals Finn and Jess having to unfold the story for us as we see most of the events through them. It is a nice way of bringing these new characters into the series. It is a shame however that they don’t make much of an impact. They feel like a watered down version of Alisha and Simon from the previous series. One is a slightly weird nerd type, the other a possibly sassy and sarcastic black lady. It is hard to tell from one episode how these characters are going to evolve, but from first impressions they don’t make much of an impact even when they are helping to carry the story along.

Just for comparison, when Rudy made his first appearance in series 3, he completely grabbed the audience and he is now one of the most interesting characters in the series. With these two new people it just felt like they were there, there was nothing special about them that made them stand out. I do not think it is the acting of Karla Crome (Jess) or Nathan McMullen (Finn), as they seemed good enough; it was more like the dialogue felt uncomfortable for them to say, like they were still trying to get a handle on the characters themselves. But it is very early and it will be interesting to see if they evolve into more structured, interesting characters during the series. Hell, I was wrong about the plot in this episode, I could be wrong about them.

Overall this episode is pretty solid and a lot of fun. Series three was so intense that maybe it is good that this episode was a more straight forward piece of entertainment. They have a lot to live up to, but I thought the series would be over when Nathan left in series two and look how series three turned out. Speaking of which, Kelly has vanished from this series, as she is defusing bombs abroad. I am not sure how many times the script writers can use the “they have gone away” excuse, but at least they care enough about their viewers that they bother to tell us. Also I am concerned that the series may go the Smallville route and have pretty much everyone who turns up having a power of some kind or another. Still I did like the introduction of the new probation officer Greg, played to perfection by Shaun Dooley (The Street). He looks like he could be a lot of fun, but it depends how long he stays alive I guess.

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