Misfits series 5 finale review

Review Caroline Preece 12 Dec 2013 - 07:31

Misfits has left the building and will be missed. Here's Caroline's review of the final ever episode...

This review contains spoilers.

The final episode of Misfits was never going to be the satisfying, definitive farewell fans would have imagined playing out back in 2009. The original cast are gone, the mission statement has gotten muddled over the years and, frankly, fan excitement has been lowered for most to a tentative optimism. Those who stuck around after series four were rewarded with one of the strongest runs the show has ever produced but, though the series finale doesn’t exactly disappoint, it’s maybe not the explosive high a show like Misfits really should have bowed out with. This finale was good, not great, but maybe that’s all we could have asked for.

I had a couple of issues with the choice of plot, as it felt like something that really should have been kept for a Jess-centric penultimate episode, rather than the finale. It was a little too focused on one character and, because the Rudys have developed a tendency to steal every scene they’re a part of (partially by design, of course), Finn, Abbey and Alex barely get a look in. Time travel has been well-explored on Misfits back when Simon was still around and, as a superpower, creepy Luke’s ability to throw girls forward through time and present them with a baby just feels too convoluted.

It’s simple on the surface, and provides an economical way for the writers to push forward elements they’d already set in motion (before pushing the reset button), but once you get to the story’s resolution things begin to fall apart. How did Luke know that Jess would get pregnant? How did she leave herself a message? It even seems out of character for Jess to sleep with a stranger, and her solution of recreating the same child (slim chance) and then presumably letting Rudy raise it was a little hard to take. Didn’t anyone find Luke’s body in the bar toilets while she was having her epiphany?

A much more successful part of this episode was the corruption of the Jumper Posse and their descent into villainy. To have a group actually attempt to become ‘proper superheroes’ and fail miserably was a nice ‘what if’ scenario that was faithful to the show’s beginnings in its outright rejection of the traditional superhero narrative. Most of us have gone along assuming that the ASBO five would indeed become heroic, with community service as their secret identity and the iconic orange jumpsuits as their costumes, and I love the fact that the writers thought to play that out and then throw it straight away.

The jumper posse were eventually defeated by our gang (by another extremely objectionable use of Alex’s powers), but not without an instantly-erased tragedy for the audience to weep over. By the point that Rudy’s weak, infantile bladder had led to his demise, I had resigned myself to both scenarios - whether he had reconciled with Rudy Two and accidently saved the day, or if we were just going to go back to the present with lessons learned. We couldn’t really get upset over Rudy’s death, and it actually felt a little disappointing to have everyone survive until the end. It was a bit like how Twilight fans must have felt in that last movie – having their cake and eating it.

What most people will object to is the lack of any cameos – or any references to the past at all. This episode can’t really be thought of as a series finale at all, since what has gone on since the end of series three has been so vastly different to how the show began that you can easily imagine another continuation. The episode works fine as the last one we’re going to see, but never needed to be a finale that wraps things up and brings it full circle. They might have decided to try to be superheroes at the end of the episode, but everything else in the hour suggests that it might not be as easy as they think.

So long as the inconsequence of time travel plots doesn’t offend you, then this was the perfect farewell to a show that, against all odds, feels again like it’s going out on a high. Misfits was utterly unique, completely bonkers and, at its best, it was one of the best superhero shows ever made. It’s always been messy and resolute in its disregard for our expectations, so the mixture of closure and open-endedness in this finale feels true to the show’s spirit. We might not have been treated to returns from Nathan, Simon et al, but this episode was more about saying goodbye to the current cast along with the question posed in the first episode.

Could they be real superheroes? Will we get a movie? It doesn’t really matter now. This episode needed to finish off the show as we’ve known it for the past couple of years, and it did that adequately. It’s a shame that so many people have abandoned the series in its final hour but, for those true fans who knew there has to be something better waiting around the corner, this year’s run was a real treat. Proven by the show’s final line (“I can feel it in my nutsack”), there’s really nothing else like it on telly. Thank you, Misfits, for giving us five years inside your crazy madcap universe – you will be missed.

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, here.

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There was actually quite a lot of callbacks to season one and two. Lots of music used in episode one, similar shots such as the gang leaving the community service locker room being identical to the end shot of series 2 episode 6 and there was quite a lot of references in the lines particularly Rudy quoting Nathan's 'I can feel it in my nutsake

"this year’s run was a real treat"
Really? It was better than S4, but that's not saying much. This show should have ended with S3. The thought of a movie horrifies me.
The only high of S4 and S5 was Rudy. Everything else was a mess.
If only i could erase these past two seasons from my memory.

10/10 <3 Misfits series 5 is the second best

Exactly!
"I’ve got a power! I know it! I can feel it in my balls!"

That one quote has just proven how inferior all series were after S1 & S2.

There was something about those ones that these did not have.

I was trying to work out why I did not enjoy this series as much as previous ones.

Then it hit me.

We did not see them use their powers enough to work into story lines. What I loved about series 1 & 2 was that each episode seemed to concentrate on one character and what they can do and how they can help.

But all I saw in this series was Alex just f**king powers out of everyone.

Personally I thought that was SUCH a cop out story arc.

I thought the latest series was as good as any and I think this bunch of characters got a better finale than Simon, Alisha, Nathan and Kelly. Series 3 was a bit of a mess generally but the off screen departure of Kelly and (kind of although there was the online short) Nathan meant their resolutions were unsatisfying. I'm assuming the Simon and Alisha storyline was rushed to the end because they weren't going to come back for another series, but it definitely didn't feel that their relationship had developed on screen to the point that his going back in time was emotionally satisfying or that he'd had anywhere near enough time to become the parkour expert the masked guy was. I felt the whole 'who was that masked man' was a bit of a let down. I'm not sure if it was poor planning or unexpected cast exits that caused it, but it was all very meh.

I think it's fitting that Misfits didn't have a big finale style last episode. Maybe parts of it didn't make sense. But it was never that show. I don't think many of the plot resolutions stand up to scrutiny. I thought seeing how the new lot develop as a group of friends this year and where they were at the end was good. 5 was one of my favourite series and I'm kind of gutted that this and being Human had a couple of good series, got a bit bumpy, and got cancelled just as it had successfully reinvented itself.

I agree with James; the last two series seem to focus more on the social aspect of the characters but forgot that they had powers. The episode with Rudy's two dad's when Jess used her powers to see dad 1 locked in the car boot, I totally forgot that she had x-ray vision.

The finale felt a bit rushed, although the jumper posse tuning evil was a nice touch. Although the mid-air rape seemed a bit far fetched. And the time travel element was full of holes. That being said, I think that the open ended nature of the episode leaves open nicely for the movie. Let's hope they bring back some of the original characters for it.

I think last week's episode at the anniversary party, with a bit of tweaking, would have been a far better series finale.

Iwan Rheon has said that he thinks the movie is likely to happen if they can re-unite the cast and that he would be an idiot not to return.

It happened again when Jess went blind in the finale... I was like... AH YEAH! She has X-Ray vision! And then the same again when the scouser moved the bin to save Alex. Although, there is NO way that bin with a few bags would have helped. Did you see the speed the other guy hit the ground? It was faster than the millennium falcon!

The episode was very good in my opinion, not as good as the show has been but it was an attempt to give back to the fans of the show, which I'm happy with. I liked the ending very much and if we don't get a movie then fine, as least the ending has given us an idea of where these characters could go, which I can't say for other shows I've watched.

There is a distinct difference between series 1-3 and 4-5 and that's the type of powers the group has.

In the first 3 series, they all had powers that could potentially help people, and often did. I think the writers, having exhausted that aspect a little (especially when they all changed powers) and clearly deciding the show would not actually show a group a super heros but always focus on dysfunctional kids, decided in series 4 and 5 to look at what happened to a group of kids who have powers that are fairly useless. And regardless of how people perceive the change of pace and tone, I think the acomplished it quite well

Iwan has since backtracked in a radio interview and said he'd maybe return if the script and cast were "right."

The reset button in this was horrendous and illogical. The rest of the episode was OK, but hardly a shining example of how fresh and clever this show was in its heyday.

I made this a few days ago because I was really sad to see Misfits go today. I call it "Rudy Two, Proper Superhero" and this is my "love letter" to Misfits :(

I made this a few days ago because I felt sad that there's only one more episode left. I call it "Rudy Two, Proper Superhero" and this is my "love letter" to Misfits :(

Time to rank those characters..
Here's mine.
1. Nathan.
2. Rudy.
3. Simon.
4. Kelly.
5. Jess.
6. Seth.
7. Finn.
8. Alex.
9. Curtis.
10. Abbey.
11. Alisha.

I know. I loved the opening shot, which is the same opening shot in series 1, with the Hot Chip song playing in the background along with the other references which Caroline didn't notice.

By right I presume he means the original five and possibly Rudy and as for the script, well that's up to Howard Overman, who as the show has shown can be hit or miss.

I very much enjoyed seasons 1 & 2, they were very interesting even if there was entirely too much emphasis on sex. I didn't even make it through all of S3 before dropping the show however. Nathan was the only likeable character, it's hard to watch when you're not rooting for anybody, they also seemed to forget to include any sort of over-arching narrative in S3, 1&2 may have only touched on the potential awesomeness seemingly to come but it was enough to excite the imagination at least.

I was sad that rudy one and two didnt get everything sorted after Jess made Luke go back in time. If they hadn't gone their seperate ways I would say it was satisfying. I really enjoyed the series even after the original characters left. Again the only thing that i didn't really like about the finale was the rudy thing. The dynamic those two have is great. And either future wouls kind of suck but I guess I would rather have the rudies die saving the day with their bond intact and then have jess kill Luke and keep the baby.

Really gonna miss this programme, nothing else like it on telly.

I liked it. I thought all series had something different to offer.

I began watching Misfits just this September, when I stumbled on it on my PC one evening. I actually sat in my bedroom for a month and a half straight watching episode after episode of the series. I was hooked, and totally identified with the characters in Misfits generation 1; I thought the story lines were awesome and and the characters were well-played. Though I understood Nathan's character, he totally got on my nerves, and I felt he took over the show too much. Rudy was a genuine addition to Misfits gen 2, but then the story line started lacking, and I felt it was Rudy's offbeat comedy and quick-handed quips that helped carry the show. However, it was still an awesome show, and I looked forward to each new episode and now that its finally over I feel kind of let down. The ending should have been a stronger story line and possibly even included the original cast. I think, there are quite a few more episodes left in this series, and I personally feel there are more die hard fans like myself out there who would love to see the Misfits return. Bring back my friends AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I do not think that his body could have made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.

well done

I wish Netflix would pick up Misfits and do a Series 6, much like they did with Arrested Development. I feel like it had a lot of life left, and it was cut down in its prime. I feel like people got way too attached to the original misfits, and didn't let the new batch into their hearts. I personally thought Rudy was a way better anchor than Nathan, and had a much bigger heart while still being the prick that Nathan was. That being said, I thought for sure we'd see Nathan freed from jail and returned in the finale...

It's a very valid point. And I kept watching because I still liked the show.

I just felt this series lacked something, and I couldn't get over that 'f*cking peoples powers out' power. Was a pretty dire idea. Also I felt they needed at least 2 episodes showing the decline of the 'superheros' into villains. It all felt very rushed. One minute they were high fiving, the next they were killing. A bit odd considering they were actually really nice people and they 'changed' withing about 5 minutes.

They should have had them actually doing good in one episode (so we all think yay Rudy 2 was right!) and then showing them turning a bit evil in the next.

Yeah that power was pretty dire. It was funny the first time with Finn, but it got silly after that. And the flying rape scene was probably as cringey as the show has got IMO.

And yes, you're right, it would have been better to get a couple of episodes of the 'superheros' considering there are only 3 of them they could have set it up within 5 episodes and then shown a couple of episodes of them in the present, 1 doing good, 1 starting to waver, then the final episode in the future being more or less evil.

Still, enjoyed it over all, that's what count's I guess :)

There was an American version in the works for awhile, led by Chuck's Josh Schwartz, that fell apart when he left the WB. He said he knew anything he'd be able to get on American network television wouldn't be true to the spirit of the show and would be a diluted version, so he just decided to let it go and not try to get a deal for it at another network. Personally, I think he would have been a terrible fit, but I'd really like to see an American version done by... Community's Dan Harmon. He'd go bonkers with it.

Thought series 5 was a return to form with some truly shocking and hilarious moments in it, but the finale was a bit lame.
My favourite episode of Misfits is still the time when Curtis tries to correct his mistake which lead to his community service. It was a fantastic example of a good use of time travel as a story mechanic.

He may not look like much, but he's got it where it counts, Kid.

Yeah but if the kid hadn't watched his mouth he would have found himself floating home - instead of plummeting to his splattery death

I almost abandoned it after the fourth series, Finn is so whiny and Rudy was a less humorous version of Nathan, I kinda lost interest. I liked Jess, she was a touch classier than Kelly, but still a very complex character. This series ended well, but it never felt quite as strong as the first three series did. I do think it was great how they created a premise for the series that allowed them to interchange characters, but the new characters took a long time to grow on me.

As for the concept of the show, it was the most gritty superhero show I have ever seen. The mix of death and humor kept me coming back for more. These characters were not perfect, far from it, but they made the best of their situations. You never quite knew what to expect from this show.

I agree with you on that one. Rudy was just as crass as Nathan, but he was never as funny. Until you get to know him a bit more he just comes off as a total prick. Nathan was the comic relief that made the show funny.

Again I agree with you. You almost never saw a main character use a power in series 4. They turned a show about people with super powers into a freaking drama.

Series 5 was actually a GREAT season. I was surprised, cause like a lot of you, I felt series 4 was pretty weak. But they seemed to flesh out the cast more and to be honest, I actually started to like them a lot...dare I say, they even rival the original cast.

I've grown to love Abby, Alex, Finn and Jess, and Rudy was a lot like Nathan, but I found him a bit more charming and it might be because of Rudy Two. Which was a great way to showcase the talent of the actor and facets of the character.

Overall, good end, although...I'm sad it's over. Misfits was UNDOUBTEDLY one of the weirdest, craziest and most entertaining shows in the UK.

It wouldn't be as madcap as the British original. There's A LOT they couldn't get away with on American TV. Plus, like most British shows, there's something about them that just feels so...British. It's hard to imitate the style of humor, the sarcasm, the self deprecation etc.

Agreed. Nathan got a bit too annoying and began "Joey-ing" it for me. Too much on him. Here, there was a nice balance.

Obviously. Which is why I'm very glad the Josh Schwartz version didn't go. But I still think Dan Harmon would do an amazing job with an American version, and since there won't be any more British eps, I'd be up to see Harmon's take on it. He's pretty much the only one I'd want handling an American version.

2. Nathan
3. Nathan
4. Na..
..

Season 5 was great, better than 4. The ending was a bit rubbish though. They just left it open as to whether they would become proper superheros, even though they've been down that path countless times before and it always ends badly.

So.. do we really trust that they can come up with a proper storyline that would tie in all the Misfits, explain who they are, their powers and make a good/decent movie out of it. The writers have been on fumes for a while and I doubt they could truly tie it all together. They'd need a killer time travel plot and a pretty damned good script.

Actually, I kind of liked that. It felt like it fitted with the whole "Misfits" scenario - they still go on optimistically trying to reach some naive ideal, even though all the evidence shows how badly it all goes wrong!

His mouth wasn't the orifice that needed protecting...That was no moon, that was a space station, and boy did he get docked....

Netflix could do it and it could stay 100% British...

should of ended with the current asbo five (Rudy and co) bring replaced by the next group ie. The Jumper Posse, and then over time them being replaced. So the story is full circle and the Legacy is continued. The ending was never going to be perfect will none of the original cast.

Beautiful, Sean

Why does Jess, who, of the five current characters, actually has a very useful power, (X-ray vision), only use it once or twice in this entire series? There were times, like when they were looking for the camouflaged girl, when I was yelling at the TV, pleading Jess to simply use her power! The use of powers, except for the annoyance of Alex having sex with every second new acquaintance, was way too minimal in this series and was one of its few weaknesses. God, I hope there's a movie. I'm going to miss the gang.

No disrespect to any of the cast but Nathan was the greatest of all time. I'm glad I stuck around to the end but, I was always upset that they never explored the storm and stuff. The hijinks were great and all but the best times of this series was when they dabbled into the storm and stuff.

Oh well..... ? :(

I personally had a love-hate relationship with Nathan. He did bring a much-needed dynamic to the show, but he got so frigging annoying! I was simultaneously disappointed and overjoyed when they got rid of him. I loved Rudy's character though completely even though they were quite similar in many ways. I think Rudy was just funnier and more adorable.

Maybe the difference is that Rudy was unwittingly irreverent in an innocent kind of way, but Nathan just enjoyed deliberately winding people up for no reason except to feed his own ego.

My favourite character though was Kelly; "I'm a fookin' rocket scientist".

I think there should be more seasons this show was amazing, and even the older "kids" should have superheros to idolize lol :P

The show wasn't nearly as good after Nathan left but that dude came off as a complete prick. He seemed like he tried to be a prick. Rudy was a prick, but it seemed like he was attempting to be a nice guy.

I still thought this show war really good even after the main characters left. I read reviews before watching the last few series and was expecting it to be pretty bad but it really wasn't. I was never a big fan of Curtis but I thought his last episode was one of the best episodes. I also really liked Rudy, I thought he was the funniest character other than Nathan (I wasn't a big fan of Nathan at first but he definitely grew on me). It's hard for any show to replace the original cast but I thought Misfits brought in some good characters for the new Series.

Hopefully they do make the movie. I read it would be with the original cast and some of the new characters. Hopefully they can get all of the original cast and Rudy, Finn and Abby. Mainly the original cast and Rudy though.

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