This review contains spoilers.
As anyone who read the review will know, I wasn’t exactly enamoured with last week’s opening for Misfits series four, but am pleased to say that this second episode made me a great deal less fearful about where the show is headed. It’s still missing the magic from earlier series, in my opinion, but Finn and Jess (as well as the third new character briefly glimpsed here) are slowly being unwrapped and at least seem like brave deviations from past character types the show has tried.
As teased at the end of last week, the episode centres almost entirely on Finn and the girlfriend he has bound and gagged back at his flat. It takes us a while to get to the truth of the matter but, once we’re there, it’s Misfits at its most barmy and gives us a nice insight into several sides of the new guy. I can’t say I like him as much as I’ve liked old characters, but it’s rare to enjoy every single person in an ensemble and he was never going to compare to dear, departed, Simon. The episode did recall Simon’s series one story, however, with his girlfriend acting as the probation worker in the fridge and a generally creepy demeanour accompanying every scene he was in.
With Jess, too, coming across like a more complex version of Kelly, they’re both darker twists on the characters we already know. There’s no hint of the love story that emerged over time, though there’s potential for Jess and Rudy to get along, but then there were plenty of fans who hated the somewhat neutered Misfits that came with Simon and Alisha’s epic romance. No, this is the show going back to its dark and shocking roots, but with damaged and dangerous characters to guide us along. I realise it’s hard to introduce so many new personalities onto a show already in its fourth series, but I found it a little soon to see the four of them hanging out like old friends.
Going back to Finn’s story with girlfriend Sadie, it turns out that he’s tied her up to stop her from using her power on him. Able to mould him into the perfect boyfriend, he claims to have lost his free will in the process, and so has decided to keep her captive until he can figure out a way to fix the problem. Hearing about Seth’s ability to take powers (before he leaves for the final time), he tries to convince him to help out while Rudy acts on his suspicions and finds Sadie locked in their flat. From here, we see the pair reconnect before going back to old habits, and we end up with both Rudy (who got kicked out of his own flat earlier in the episode) and Finn bunking together in the community centre.
While it’s definitely easier to accept a desperate person in a desperate situation, I can’t help feeling it might have been more interesting for Finn to be an outright creep. By the end of the episode, the character just seems like a pathetic, immoral, simpleton, and it was only the unsettling twist last week that piqued my interest even a tiny bit. I quite like the idea of him and Rudy staying in the community centre together, so we’ll see where that goes, but I’m still far from convinced. I like Jess a lot more, mainly because she’s the only female presence in a completely male dominated show, but hope it doesn’t fall to her every week to offset all of the sexist comments the boys come out with.
The side story this week is classic Misfits, with a crap power and some inappropriate sexual encounters to boot. With the gang tasked with helping a class of blind sculptors, Curtis and Rudy immediately start fighting over the prettiest girl in the room. With Curtis winning the first round, she soon asks to switch partners for racist reasons, and Rudy manages to get her all the way back to her flat. With a lot of Lionel Ritchie jokes in between, it transpires that her dog is telepathic, and lets her in on a few icky secrets about Rudy before they get very far in the relationship.
After last week’s general horridness, this second episode served to ease us back into normal Misfits mode, and it did a good job of integrating the new characters with the old almost seamlessly. Going forward, we have a mysterious new ‘trainee probation worker’ who already has her eye on Curtis, and an episode with three different types of Rudy to look forward to next week. See you there.
Read Caroline’s review of the series opener, here.
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