This review contains spoilers.
An impromptu zombie-themed episode of Misfits may seem out of place in a show usually so removed from the mainstream. We’re so used to seeing the ASBO five standing outside television trends, often gently mocking them with their own wit and unique flare, that last week’s preview sent fear into the hearts of many a protective fan.
They needn’t have worried, for episode seven is the same old Misfits, and they treat zombies the same way as they did Hitler, superheroes and Jesus. It seems that nothing is out of bounds at this point, and the story never feels stale in the midst of other popular undead telly.
The shenanigans start with Seth’s attempt to resurrect his dead girlfriend, Shannon, in the usual gruesome tradition. As Seth and Curtis arrive at a random cemetery to dig up their intended, we’re quickly reminded of what we’re watching. Misfits deals with the messy reality of things, be it birth (who can forget the infamous birthing scene last Christmas), sex or, now, death. The corpse is a little rubber looking, but it really doesn’t matter.
Predictably, Shannon is a little confused upon finding herself lying in a graveyard, and we already know she’ll most probably be back there before long. Although he is in no way the main component, the episode’s action is largely down to Curtis. Clueless and careless with his newfound power to raise the dead, he gets cocky, raising an old lady’s cat from its resting place.
What follows is a lot of zombie-filled fun, with some of the humour surrounding an undead cat approaching the show’s best. The fact that it attacks Curtis, always with a serious demeanour, just highlights the ridiculous nature of it all. Who knew (apart from Simon Pegg) that zombies could be so much fun? And by going for the comedy angle, the show avoids some of the pitfalls it could easily have been prey to.
The whole thing is a straight-faced comedy episode, making sure that the main characters remain rooted while mayhem goes on around them. It’s how the show started, as we have always been supposed to believe these normal kids could never become real superheroes, and it’s nice to be back to that charming tone.
Simon’s final musing that they “saved the world” is characteristically cut short once they realise their fatal mistake, and reminds us that things haven’t actually changed all that much, despite what the gang believe. The time we’ve spent with Seth in the previous weeks seems to all have been leading to this, as without a working affection for the character, the storyline would never have worked. We have to care about what he cares about, this week meaning Kelly and Shannon. We’re also rooting for the big romance of the year, and most will be mighty glad of their happy ending by the episode’s end. Frankly, if Kelly’s happy, I’m happy.
When all hell breaks loose in the community centre, they provide a sympathetic element to the crisis, and thus give an emotional core to the whole episode. There’s a sense, even in this standalone episode, that Misfits is gearing up for an unforgettable finale. The episode seems to be largely clearing the air, giving a nod to the death count of the probation workers (add another one to that), establishing the happy couples, and integrating Seth into the group with no new complications.
It’s easy to assume that next week’s action-packed episode will focus solely on Simon and his journey to becoming Superhoodie, but at this point it could be a classic ensemble effort to rival early episodes of the series. Time will tell, but it looks like a great full stop to an all-round excellent run.
Read our review of the last episode here.