This review contains spoilers.
As solid and watchable as almost every Misfits episode is, every now and again they give us something a little bit more focused – usually to introduce an idea that will see us through the remainder of the series. This happened with the Simon and Alisha storyline in season two and it’s happened again here. Who knew? Rudy is capable of being a heroic leading man, and he and Jess may even become an item. Without this episode, those two things just wouldn’t have felt right going into the finale.
When Rudy sees his dad with another woman outside of a flat, he goes on a mission to find out how the devoted father and husband at home could go through such a personality change. What he finds is another instance of the split personality power he acquired in the storm and, when the less favourable version of his dad finds his way into their home, the most hilarious and tense family dinner follows. Jess goes along for the ride, and even gets to save the day.
That this story worked so well was entirely down to Joseph Gilgun, who reminds us how great an actor he is by adding tones we’ve never seen before to a character he’s played for three years. This episode doesn’t just require him to play two Rudys, it also demands that he be funny, caring, heroic and hurt all while cracking jokes about monkey cheese and making wank jokes about Isaac Newton. Despite the serious tone they seemed to be going for, this episode was still as hilarious as ever.
The idea that Rudy is from a nice middle class family who have no idea who he really is (they think he’s studying for a masters degree and on the Olympic rowing team) is a nice twist on our expectations, and the early surprise of seeing where Rudy grew up effectively reinvents the character within forty-five minutes. Since the main cast left a year ago, the show has had a tendency to rely on Rudy for easy comic relief and, aside from the episode that introduced the third split personality last year, we haven’t gotten to see this much of him for a while.
So, as predicted, a Rudy-centric episode is a good episode, and throwing Jess in as his sidekick was also a good decision. She’s the easiest to like out of the new cast and now it seems we have a blossoming love story to root for through to the end – something that was lacking with last year’s Finn/Jess/Alex triangle. Though he splits opinion more than any television character I’ve seen, Rudy is the focus of this last series by default, and this episode felt entirely necessary in that way.
While this was going on, the other characters were drip feeding their own adventures. Abby’s was probably the sweetest, with her discovery of a scarf that smells familiar consuming her for the bulk of the episode. Does this scarf, and the girl who left it in the bar, have anything to do with where Abby comes from? I don’t much care for the weird relationship between Greg and Finn, so I’ll just skip right past that, but he and Alex do later discover (or allow us to discover) a new superpower. We now have flying and, as the guy is later seen at the power support group, I hope we see a lot more of him.
I enjoyed this episode of Misfits more than I have in a long while, and that gives me even more hope that this last series is going to be as epic as hoped. We all knew the show would have to rely on Joseph Gilgun in its final hours, and doing it early leaves plenty of room for the other player to have their turn in the spotlight. With the focus switching to Greg and Finn next week, I have a feeling my review might not be quite so glowing, but I’ll keep an open mind.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, here.
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