Misfits series 4 episode 1 review

Review Caroline Preece 29 Oct 2012 - 08:47

A new series and a new cast - Misfits is back, but there are surprises in store for fans. Here's Caroline's review...

Though I’d wager everyone is glad to see Misfits back on their screens in any form, I also predict that, like me, this episode will puzzle and unsettle a fair few long-time fans as well. As we all now know, the writers had the massive task of replacing three missing central characters (Alisha, Simon and Kelly), leaving just Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) from the first series, accompanied by last year’s polarising third series addition, Rudy (Joseph Gilgun). This year we welcome three new players, two of which are introduced in this series premiere, and it’s a new dynamic for a whole new Misfits.

Expecting the episode to play it safe, it couldn’t have been more surprising. Instead of easing us in with characters with whom we’re already acquainted before introducing the newbies, the episode is pretty much split between the perspectives of the power-addled regulars and a couple of new arrivals who look just as confused as we are. On paper, this must have looked like a good way to force sympathy for previously unknown characters, but it wasn’t an outstanding debut for me. Things on the whole were a little off, and the combination of such a weird episode and so much change might have been detrimental to the series on the whole.

The curse of such a manic show is that anyone not immediately involved will simply be reacting to the mad goings on in the community centre, and there’s a big chance that Finn (Nathan McMullen) and Jess (Karla Crome) will make more of an impact later. The main problem is that the episode was so strange and off-putting that I was too preoccupied with what was wrong with Rudy, Seth and Curtis to worry about any new arrivals. Coming in just as the boys are engaging in some mild torture and mutiny, we later discover that they’ve been infected by a greed-related power that’s made all three turn on each other. 

Because there are two of them, Finn and Jess are allowed to introduce each other while navigating the increasingly dangerous halls of the community centre. While they’re likeable enough, and there’s no major reason to worry about their future impact on the show, the awkward freezer scene and Finn’s twisted monologue didn’t exactly recall the light-hearted Misfits of old. The episode might have been the darkest the show has ever gone, and the little humour present here just highlights how grim things have gotten over the past four years. It doesn’t help that Rudy, our resident comic-relief merchant, has always come across a little distasteful when compared to Nathan.

I didn’t enjoy much about the episode’s main plotline, and found watching the familiar characters torture strangers, lock each other in freezers and generally act like monsters, horribly unpleasant. The whole episode seemed to have been designed to unseat regular viewers, essentially wiping the slate clean for the new year, but it made me more unsure than ever that the show can effectively pull off another big casting shake-up. Of course, Rudy received a mixed reaction last year with many finding him a poor imitation of Nathan, and having him now take over as the show’s lead is the strangest thing of all.

I’ve been a big fan of Misfits since it began, but felt something was missing last year without the complete gang together. While I applaud the way in which the show’s writers have stepped over these obstacles with a certain amount of grace and finesse, a disquieting sense of unfamiliarity had to be expected. That said, there are many interesting elements in this opener that could well feed into a stellar run of episodes, it’s just unclear right now what that might include. With a new probation worker and a third new character yet to be introduced, this fourth series is anything but a done deal. Misfits has a knack of surprising everyone and, as usual, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store.

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I actually thought it was a return to the darker tones of the first series (when Simon was genuinely creepy and we didn't know which way he'd turn!). It's a shame the show has been hampered by constant cast changes - but I honestly preferred last nights episode to most of series 3.

I agree with you. This was a disturbing episode and I didn't like the willful torture. Earlier seasons were accidental murders of probation workers, tonight seemed like gratuitous violence which made me uncomfortable.

This episode was truly awful. It definitely tried to be far too clever - the whole "unreliable narrator" crap was entirely pointlessly confusing. The new characters are dull at best. There's really nothing left of this show at all.

The addition of Rudy (Joseph Gilgun) was a brilliant stroke to this show, added a new element that made series 3. So it actually seems a natural transition for Rudy to be the new lead in the show series 4.

I have to say I disagree. Misfits has done plenty of dark things before, from Simon's relationship with Sally, the Hitler episode, Brian the milk guy, the Grand Theft Auto guy etc. The show's structure since the series one finale, has allowed the show to dabble in a variety of genres and themes, and while this episode is quite dark for an opener, I think that's down more to the crime genre elements that the show is playing with here, then anything systemic.

Personally, while being slightly sceptical over the series after the ending of the last one, this really went a long way to allaying my fears. I enjoyed the new characters a lot, and after having Shaun as the probation worker for a series and a half, this new one looks to be going in the other direction, becoming an actual threat to the misfits, which could be interesting.

The cast was gutted at the end of last season. Much respect to the writers for following through on the Simon/Alisha timeloop - we all knew it was coming. I didn't realise Kelly was going too. We're left with one character from the original line-up, and as much as I love Curtis, he has never been the comic relief or the heart of the show.

This is a make or break year for the show. The writers did the only thing they could; put the newcomers front and centre. Weaving them into the general fabric of the show on a gradual basis is close to impossible; there's no general fabric left. In case I sound too down on the show; not the case at all.

We're at the point where we either have to quickly adopt new cast members or not have Misfits. On Series 4 Episode 1's evidence, I'd rather we kept getting Misfits, but the show should probably introduce another female character sharpish. Two was about right; while I really like Jess, the strong female characters in Misfits are amongst the show's highlights. It'd be a shame to have less of them.

I have to disagree with this review. The show wasn't any darker than it was been since the beginning. This was a supreme example of the show I love. Any other show would make Rudy come to his senses before he hacked of that dudes hand. Nope. Misfits goes for broke and has him whistling while doing it. Anyone that's shocked by this has blanked out old lady boobies, Sally's cracked skull, Nathan's hairy asscrack + multiple violent deaths, Curtis's penis, Ollie's brains being blown out, Alisha's cut throat, and alot of dead cheerleaders.

Finn's rape joke was a great bit of characterization. Jess's was direct and to the point. And then FInn tried to run with it. And just going on and on until splattered on the floor. Kinda like what happened when he tried to use his power this episode. All that build up, and then... The clever subtext was there in spades.

It was a strong outing for both the new characters. I see Jess now. She has a great dry humor plus a good read on people and any situation she's in. Her x-ray vision really suits her. I think she's going to fill Simon's spot as the brains of group.

I usually hate mystery for mystery's sake, but I really enjoyed the disorientation in this episode. It worked for helping me feel Jess's and Finn's wariness. Greed infection is just another uniquely crap Misfits powers. While none of the characters were exactly themselves, I thought they were all great. I loved seeing the darker side of Seth was mostly absent in series 3. This was a great way to remind the audience of that part of his character. Think I'm really going to like Greg. He seems like he'll give them more attention than all of the other probation workers put together. And Rudy was on fire. Joe is king.

Creepy, violent, politically incorrect and laugh out loud funny. Misfits is back in all it's twisted glory.

I'm disappointed in you, Den of Geek. We normally agree on everything, but if you didn't like this episode of Misfits, then I think that somewhere in your heart you lost sight of what misfits was. Simon and Alisha made the thing into some kinda teenage love fest thing, but they've taken it all back now in S4 to its S1 and S2 glory. This episode was perfect.

There was not a single thing off about it. You can see the level of work that went into it. That was some intelligent writing! The best thing so far for the year, coming in second only to Breaking Bad possibly.

Love how they brought in the new characters! No wasting time whatsoever, they got them involved in the story whether they were ready or not and by the end they were bonded together with another lovely, ever classy, misfits gang murder.

Rudy was the best thing about the episode. He's not a poor man's Nathan. Seth, this was the first time I ever really liked Seth, which was wonderful. Finn is just a bowl of chuckles. Every time he opened his mouth - random creepy nonsense. Excellent pacing. I loved the mayhem, well controlled chaos. Perfect.

Perfect episode.

Two thumbs up! Congrats to the genius who wrote that screenplay!

That was just the best! Utterly clever! Not confusing if you were actually paying attention to it.

I thought the ep was great. It seems to me that you pretty much went into watching it intending to hate it and look for reasons to criticize. I love the others.... but they're not coming back!!! People need to get over it and stop mourning about it because it's just deterring them from enjoying the show. Also why are people acting like Misfits don't do dark episodes? If it was the original gang doing this no one would be complaining. Rudy is distasteful as compared to Nathan? Are you kidding me? I adore Nathan but he was crude a lot of the time. He's no different than Rudy they just express it differently. I took a little while to warm up to Rudy but I officially really like the guy. He's funny, it's as simple as that. Sit back, relax and enjoy :)

If this had been the first episode I'd seen of the show, I would have switched off about halfway through, and not bothered ever going back. Because I knew the tone from previous series, I stuck with it, but I hope it gets back its style, otherwise that's it for me...

I Loved this episode! I still miss Nathan, Kelly, Simon and Alisha though. The writers are great. So are they going to follow up with the simon aisha plot or is Simon gonna keep dying in a loop through time travel?

so glad im not the only one who thought this episode wasn't all bad, i thought the way it was done was quite brilliant, and sure maybe no where near as good as the misfits from season one or two but still brilliant, i mean who doesn't love jess's power? and who actually was impressed by finn picking up a plant pot a few centimeters before dropping it, and the whole trying to kill each other i thought was quite funny, especially considering up untill they opened the freezer i was thinking to myself "where the hell is curtis, is he late already" and then boom hes actually in the freezer, all in all i thought the whole episode was great

Same :(

I can still watch seasons 1 & 2 and enjoy them, but 3 + now 4 are so bad

The darkness of the episode was surely all down to the power of the week though? A guy who made everyone around him want the case at whatever cost? It showed, warts and all, the ugliness of greed. I thought it did it very well - granted I don't want hands being cut off every week, but I think it did well to demonstrate just how awful this power actually was.

Yeah pretty unpleasant episode, going for shock value over substance. Extended rape jokes, torture and having all the characters essentially act like horrible psychopaths for the full run of the episode =/= quality Misfits. I get that the power of the week made them act like it, but I thought the whole thing was poorly presented and lacked the lighter touches that made earlier seasons (especially the first one) more palatable. Back then we knew that their hearts were in the right place even if they did act like dicks from time to time (Nathan's screwed up home life, Kelly apologising to the girl she'd attacked and so on). They were real characters with depth. Now everyone seems just to be deeply unpleasant for comedy value. Rudy especially has been a disappointment: just as antisocial and asshole-ish as Nathan but with none of the charm or vulnerability to explain it. The whole episode felt like the writers just wanted to see what they could get away with, rather than trying to tell a story

This episode was so bizarre and poorly written, and so unlike Mistits' usual dark, clever, intriguing scriptwriting, that I actually had to pause the episode halfway through to do an online search for reviews on it.
I had to know if anyone else thought this episode was just plain off.

I really want to keep liking this show and while I applaud the writers for managing to keep the show going at all despite most of the central characters being cut, I really hope this episode isn't an indication of the way the rest of the season will turn out.

I did laugh at a couple of moments;
("I'm just getting a bounty."
"Whereas *I*...am eating a cornetto. For I am the probation worker, and that is what we eat.")

Other than that, I mostly found the episode sort of odd and rather distasteful.

It's doesn't help that Rudy is so consummately unlikeable; personally I would have cast him as a secondary character for series 4 and made Curtis the primary character for a couple episodes, at least until more cast were introduced.

The only real glimmer of hope for this season was right at the end (spoiler!)

.....when the new probation worker showed up. Now *he* was genuinely scary. It'll be interesting to see how the gang (or what little is left of it, plus the newbies) react to him.

Here's hoping that Misfits manages to get back on its feet and grow back into the awesome show it started as, that new and interesting characters come along and - for the sake of good taste - that the smarmy and cringe-inducing Rudy spends as little time as possible stuck with the role of central character.

I am really disappointed with the new episode. The new characters are fine, however it HAS gotten darker. I dont care what anyone says. Generally, we were used to killings and stuff on the show, however the charcaters were actually tortuting and there was mutilation, too many rape jokes, I just wasnt impressed. The plot was really stupid, it almost seemed like the writers just dont know what else to think of. Im just really upset cause I absolutely love this show...and now...I think my Misfits days are over.

actors of 1. and 2. season was better. now with these actors 'the misfits' isn't so interesting.

I didn't like the new formed cast at all. Finn's accent just sounds fake and gay to me. Jess is plain dull, dry and uninteresting, and def not attractive. I've never liked Curtis much as well. and so I personally experienced no feeling of thrill and grasp the show used to deliver previousle. you used to constantly wonder what's happening next, how this and that situation gets resolved, but now you just don't care for those people. like whatever.. I hope Rudy and Seth lead mostly, and that the new character (girl?) is as much fun/in style as those two.

This was a reasonable episode but I think it really should not have been the first episode of the season, I spent half the episode trying to remember if the case was new or an ongoing thing and trying to remember what powers everybody has

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