There was some dissatisfaction from fans during Misfits’ fourth series, and the news that its fifth run would also be its last may have been the only thing bringing certain viewers back. With an improved finale and some pleasing developments for a few of the new cast members, I wasn’t one of those viewers, but no one can deny that things needed tweaking and improving upon before Misfits came back for a satisfying swan song. This first episode, then, had something to prove, and I’m pleased to say that it’s a mixture of late Misfits shenanigans and some of the cool superhero stuff that made series two and three so entertaining.
If Howard Overman and his fellow writers had listened too hard and done a complete u-turn, it wouldn’t have worked, so I’m pleased that they’re bringing some elements back and weaving them into the new show, rather than trying to make Finn, Alex, Jess and Abbey into Simon, Curtis, Alisha and Kelly. One version of the series ended after series three, and the final two years are something else entirely. I’m confident in saying that this premiere will entertain fans of Misfits’ usual shock value and crude humour, and it’s an entertaining way to introduce us back into the action for one last time. This premiere was lighter than last year’s uber-dark opener, at least.
I mentioned some superhero goodies, and they come in several forms. There are a new group of characters that our gang will come into contact with – all with their own abilities – and a fantastic tease in the final moments. We all knew that Alex would most probably be getting a new power, and it’s as ridiculous a reveal as long-time fans might expect. Sadly, it might not make Alex any more endearing or likeable than he was last year, but it’ll provide a ‘nice’ shortcut to general offensiveness for the writers nonetheless. This new power is the basis for one the premiere’s main storylines and I’d wager that its use has put a stop to both the Jess/Finn and Jess/Alex romances. Sorry shippers, but we all knew that the Simon and Alisha romance was an anomaly.
With this being the last series, there are a few things that need to be addressed. There’s no sign of Rudy’s potential character development after his relationship with Nadine and her subsequent death, but I guess there’s plenty of time for that (episode two is a Rudy-centric hour). The long(ish) running mystery of Abbey’s identity is conspicuous by its absence here, and I wonder if her complete lack of personality or development is an intention of the writers or a by-product of her late addition last year. Either way, if it goes on for much longer then I doubt anyone will care about the ultimate reveal.
The good news is that there’s a return of the gang’s powers, as Finn actually gets a couple of awesome/funny telekinesis moments in this first episode. One of the biggest complaints about series four was obviously the lack of sci-fi and the reliance on love triangles and teen drama, and the signs of that changing are good so far. A guest star hands Rudy Two a piece of mystical knitwear that bears a striking resemblance to something in Heroes season one, for example, and it’s a brilliant tease that will give doubters a lot of hope for how they’re going to wrap up the series. Fans want powers, and it looks as if we’ll get our wish.
When a show ends, there really isn’t much incentive for writers to change what they’ve been doing but, like Being Human last year, there’s a hope that Misfits will be sent off in a way that fans will find satisfying. This premiere suggests that there will be lots to enjoy in this fifth series and, while it’s not the show we watched back 2009, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth watching. Let’s just sit back and enjoy the final eight hours of a pretty special creation that, while it may have peaked a couple of years ago, can still be trusted to entertain us pretty much every week.
Misfits series 5 starts on E4 on Wednesday the 23rd of October at 10pm. Read our ten teasers for Misfits series five, here, and come back tomorrow for interviews with the cast.
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