Misfits series 3 episode 8 review: series finale

Misfits fans? We've to a lot to talk about, as we look back on the finale to series 3...

This review contains spoilers.

You have to hand it to Misfits, they never do anything by halves.

This year’s finale starts off deceptively slow and considered, before launching forward with a cracking second half that not only changes the game, but rewrites the rule-book in how to properly finish a series. The conclusion to the episode brings forth what Rudy aptly calls “mixed emotions,” as characters are separated and relationships severed. Everything comes full circle, and this could very well have been a suitable full stop for the series as a complete adventure.

The dawdling first half is the sort of greatest hits episode that has been seen many, many times before. With the body-count having upped its number considerably even in the last couple of weeks, it was only a matter of time before Misfits got its hands on a ghost story, with a slightly seasonal ‘ghost of probation workers past’ paying a visit to the ASBO five. These include Sally, the twisted love interest for Simon in his early adventures, Tony, the first guy to bite the dust, and Rachel, the religion-nut killed by Nathan in the first series finale.

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Most of them are none too pleased to find themselves back in the community centre, and Simon is the first to fall for the manipulation of Sally. Of course, she was always his weakness in the early days, and was partly responsible for his rise from zero to hero, but the actress makes her extra creepy and dubious in her apparently romantic intentions towards the former geek. After all this time, it’s actually pretty fascinating to see the conflict between the shy boy that was and the capable hero he has become since.

Meanwhile, the comedy comes from Rachel’s denouncement of her faith, a fact that Rudy and Curtis take full advantage of. With everyone else sporting their straight, serious faces in light of the impending final reckoning, sex and drug-fuelled sessions in the community centre provide a welcome bit of light relief. It’s still a little disappointing for Rudy to be shouldering most of the comedy week-on-week, but it’s pretty much required in an episode concerning events and characters he’s never even met.

In true Misfits fashion, and in a way that builds the tension to a finale you won’t have seen coming, scenes of sex and revenge are shown in parallel more than once. Alongside Rachel’s attempts at ‘seducing’ Curtis we’re presented with a more dangerous side to the returning ghosts, and as Simon and Alisha enjoy some time as a couple after some misunderstood turmoil, she seeks revenge on those that killed her in the first place.

I’m tempted to say that more should have been made of the character’s fall from grace that led to the climactic final act, but the truth is that she’s there to serve a purpose, and that purpose is to push along to an exciting conclusion.

Given the uncertain (or very fixed, depending on how you look at it) situations of the main cast come the episode’s final moments, it’s unclear where the series can go next year. Not many shows have the bravery and confidence in the loyalty of their fans to risk such an open-ended story, and it’s so refreshing to see a show that invites debate like Misfits has.

There are several opportunities to explore next year; will Simon and Alisha return? Is there some timeline loophole we don’t know about yet? And can Kelly, Curtis and Rudy really keep their heads down for long?

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No matter where the Misfits team decide to go from here, they have instilled the kind of trust in their audience that promises something just as creative and suprising as what they’ve cooked up so far. Very rarely do they go wrong, and I predict these new developments are no different.

In a brave move from a truly unique series, Misfits has delivered another game-changing finale to chew over until next year. Brilliant stuff, and an effective tease for things to come.

Read our review of the last episode, here.