Misfits series 3 episode 5 review

After last week’s rather disappointing Hitler story, Misfits sees something of a return to form in episode five. Here’s Caroline’s review…

This review contains spoilers.

After a slight dip in quality last week, and a major dip in logic, Misfits more or less recovers this time around. But they’re also playing it a little safe with the plot, as a body swap story device that’s been seen so many times before seems a little stale in a show normally so innovative and unique. It’s a Kelly-centric episode without any Kelly, as she inadvertently switches consciousness with an unlucky girl in a coma.

It really is a shame that the writers have chosen such a generic plot device at this late stage in the series, but it’s possible that they predicted the divisive nature of the unpopular Nazi episode, and wanted to get people on side before the final couple of weeks kick-off. It’s also a worry that there’s eight episodes this year, as when British shows like Torchwood and Being Human tried the same thing, episodes were included that may not have been otherwise, whether because they weren’t up to scratch or because their ideas could have been better used elsewhere.

Nevertheless, it’s nice to be back on the estate, and the prospect of a Kelly filled episode is certainly an enticing one. While it’s a shame to have the character in a vegetative state for much of the hour, the real reason we love her is Lauren Socha, and the actress is on top form throughout. The emotional impact of the episode relies on our level of sympathy for the body-swap victim, as she tried to reconnect with her boyfriend while in her new fully-functioning body, and Socha is able to generate just enough emotion to pack a punch by the end.

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Unusually, Kelly shares almost half of the episode with the two Rudys, who remain split for most of the running time. Apparently, Joseph Gilgun hated filming scenes twice over to produce the desired effect, but he gives his best performance since his debut here, and for once comes across more entertaining than annoying. His promise in the first week has waned with his similarity to Nathan and attention-seeking personality, but here his story fits in between the a-plot without much trouble. It’s a credit to Gilgun that he plays off of himself so well, his dual performances injecting some much needed life into the year’s run.

The rest of the episode contains lots of half-ideas not quite carried through, and an odd mixture of old and new Misfits coming together to slightly odd effect. The big consequence of the episode is obviously Shaun’s death, the gang’s third deceased probation worker and by far the most loved character to kick the bucket (except maybe future Simon). It’s going to be a huge loss for the show, but may prove an adrenaline injection for a community centre that was getting a little too cosy for our gang. Hopefully, his exit will be the turning point into more mythology-rich stories they’ve been threatening for a while.

On an opposite note, Seth is now a fully-fledged member of the gang, and he couldn’t be more welcome. Rudy’s replacement of Nathan was a nice change, but the two are very similar by design and necessity, so a completely new entity like Seth is just what the doctor ordered. He also has a nice dynamic with Kelly, even if the show hasn’t quite worked out his relationships with the rest of the cast yet. Now that Simon and Alisha are happy and settled (for now, anyway), it’s nice to see a bit of angst and courting, and this viewer can’t get enough of Kelly when she’s playing vulnerable.

With the mountains Misfits has climbed over the last three years, and the amount it has grown, the cavalier attitude to burying a probation worker is a lovely throwback to early episodes, where minor characters dropped like flies on a weekly basis. This isn’t one of the show’s stronger instalments, but it will certainly be remembered for having the bravery to kill off such an adored character. I just hope the show steps it up next week, as I’m in danger of losing interest.

Read our review of the last episode here.