This review contains spoilers.
I may have been the only person in the country who wasn’t completely in love with last week’s Misfits, but this episode takes a dramatic turn into an area that the show has history of doing extremely well. With lots of comedy mixed in with several dollops of tragedy and character development, we spend some more time with Finn, who has so far struggled to make a good impression on sceptical audiences. A couple of weeks ago we learnt that his father wasn’t actually his father, and he’s been searching for the real deal ever since.
He finds him fairly easily, after some awkward discoveries about his mother (charmingly nicknamed ‘anal Mary’ by her many conquests), but has to be quick about bonding due to his terminal cancer. There’s a sister, Grace, who has been caring for her dad in her own storm-powered way, and her and Finn’s relationship looks like one that could carry through into the rest of the series. We’re in need of a bigger female presence to support Jess, and Grace at least serves to humanise Finn in a way the show hasn’t achieved previously. I’m not sure if she’ll be sticking around, but certainly hope this isn’t just a one-off appearance.
Finn’s new dad implores him to get Grace out of the way so that he can finally die in peace (she has been keeping him alive with a pseudo-resurrection power), and so Finn takes her out to the only bar in town. On the way, they see Alex ‘from the bar’ engaging in some dodgy activity down an alleyway and Finn, fuelled in no small part by his own interest in Jess, decides that it must be a ‘gay’ thing. Setting out to sabotage their relationship before it even gets going, he fails miserably when Jess insists on going home with him half an hour into their date. Events suggest that he’s definitely not gay, but his strange alleyway encounter suggest something else is going on.
There’s an awkward scene in a toilet cubicle, and Jess officially goes to the loo more than any other character of television, ever. With the absence of Curtis, who does at least get a mention during a very insensitive grief counselling session, there are a lot of weird moments in the episode that bring to mind a reshuffling of tone and character dynamics. With this in mind, it was probably a smart move to push Rudy to the sidelines for the hour, using him sparingly as comic relief and a catalyst for Finn’s growing gumption. The closing scene when he finally stands up for himself felt more genuine to me than any of their scenes last week.
For most television shows, there are two ways to do a post-death episode. One is the funeral, with tears and depression given our full attention; the other is a more indirect episode about death. None of us expected the former in a show that has always treated fatalities with a unique mix of tragedy and comedy, and the episode does a good job of reminding us of the stakes in someone dying. Grace’s realisation that she was keeping her dad alive for purely selfish reasons addresses the euthanasia debate in a distinctively Misfits way, with the genre elements of the series being used to loosely comment on something outside of the show.
Will we ever see the full return of the character’s powers? We were begging them to go away last year, but there now seems to be something missing from a show that was once so inventive and creative with the way it handled its sci-fi and fantasy elements. Looking like a twisted horror movie with bunny-headed monsters and numbers written on foreheads, next week’s episode certainly looks like a return to madness for a show that has started to ignore the genre elements that made it stand out in the first place. We also get to know more about Alex, whose identity has so far been shrouded in mystery.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, here.
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