Misfits series 3 episode 4 review

Misfits takes on Hitler, but leaves some of the fun behind as it does so. Here's Caroline's review...

This review contains spoilers.

In an episode where absolutely everything could go wrong, Misfits tackles the Nazis, with Simon and Alisha on Hitler’s side, and Kelly leading the resistance.

It’s quite hard to imagine the scenario in which the show’s brains thought this one up, but when announced, it seemed to strangely fit the tone of Misfits, and didn’t seem too crazy after all. Once again, it’s clear that almost no other show could get away with what they have attempted here – no matter the outcome, the show deserves points for sheer nerve. Even Doctor Who, in an episode leadingly titled Let’s Kill Hitler, didn’t dare go this far.

The episode centres around the actions of a man with plenty of reasons to kill the dictator, and just happens to possess Curtis’ missing time-travel power. He travels back intent on revenge, but ends up dropping his smartphone instead, handing over the secrets of advanced technology to the Nazis and royally screwing up modern-day Britain. The return of this power was hinted at in last year’s Christmas special, and it’s fun to see someone putting it to good use at last.

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The episode’s opening is about as good as the story gets, with a pitch-perfect comment from Kelly, a chance to step outside of the group, and a lovely depiction of the changes to our country had the Nazis won the war. There’s some nice little details thrown in, such as homosexuality still being illegal, but for the most part the episode is too busy having fun to worry about the facts. The source of the conflict is also a lovely twist, and a believable one at that.

With a restructured timeline, and the community centre now being used as a makeshift prison, there’s a chance for the audience to spend more time with some of the show’s subordinate characters. Shaun, the probation worker, has long been a highlight of the show, and it’s a lovely touch to bring him to the forefront for this story. It’s also a chance for him to step out of the comedy role he’s been occupying week on week, as a more serious instalment calls for a slightly different performance.

Seth is also given a larger role this week, building on the foundations that have been set up since his introduction last year. He’s proving to be an endearing character and a great addition to the show, and it’s incredibly refreshing to have a perspective outside of the ASBO five. His relationship with Kelly is one of the more honest of the show’s history, and should easily receive fan acceptance by the end of this year‘s run. It looks to be a focus of next week’s episode also, but things have progressed nicely so far. Lauren Socha is a joy to watch as usual, and is probably the stand-out this week.

As ambitious as this episode was, I couldn’t help wondering where the fun factor had gone. On paper, the concept of these inappropriate and unaware characters in Nazi Germany sounded like a genius one, but, by pitching the adventure as more of a drama than the usual comedy, it made the whole thing a lot less enjoyable than it could have been. The characters are essentially the same people in a vastly different environment and, I wonder how much more interesting it would have been if we’d gotten to see slightly altered portrayals from the show’s leads.

It also seems like a bit of a time-out following the plot booster of last week. Everyone apart from Kelly isn’t even aware of what’s happened, and that screams ’filler episode’ to me. Depending on your taste, the week was either a rip-roaring ride through an ingenious idea from one of the most imaginative shows on TV, or it was an overly serious episode of a program known for it’s perfect comedy and character development. Either way, it’s nothing to scoff at, but I’m looking forward to getting back to reality next week.

Read our review of the last episode, here.

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