Saturday, December 04, 2010

MISFITS 2.04 Review

Misfits, Episode 4, took a dark turn this week, but it wasn't entirely unexpected.  I'm going to assume that folks have had enough time to get caught up with last week's revelation about the identity of Super Hoodie?  Well, this week we get a little more exploration of his character, the dynamic between he and Alisha, and the roles these characters are going to be assuming as the series goes on.

Okay, that last bit is more speculation than anything, but I think there are clues already around that this episode kind of brought more into focus.

All that and a new member of the crew.  Sort of.  Two new members, really.  But really, kind of just one.

More on that below the break.  Spoilers Ahoy!

Okay, let's just get this out of the way.

Super Hoodie is Future Simon.  HOLY CRAP!

His performance is a little more underplayed this week, but Iwan Rheon is really knocking it out of the park playing the dual roles of sexy and dangerous Future Simon, and timid and non-threatening Current Simon.  Well, seemingly non-threatening, anyway.  He is a murderer and an arsonist, after all.

That aside, Rheon has moved out in front of the rest of the cast as the most interesting character on and most interesting actor behind the screen.  And I just noticed that he has first billing when the credits roll.  Has it always been like that?  I really should pay attention more.

Anyway, this week the gang are confronted with two menaces: Tim (Matt Cross), a killer who is living out a Grand Theft Auto style video game, and Ollie (Joshua McGuire, who also plays an "Olly" on Eastenders: E20, whatever that is), an environmentally conscious new Young Offender. 

There are many good moments this week, as with every week so far, but a few of them are centered entirely around the attempt to integrate Ollie into the group.  And seeing as how Ollie is an environmental activist, doing community service for vandalism, and seems to be a friendly, good-natured fellow with nothing but honest good intentions, you know it can't end well.  He's just too good for this world.

Especially with his barely-functional teleportation power.  When asked to give a demonstration, he can barely get his power going, before only teleporting a few feet.  And leaving one of his stylish sandals behind.  I'm not sure how the power really ties into his personality though.  Every other character we've seen with powers to this point have definite reasons behind their specific manifestation, but Ollie's a mystery to me and Ollie's teleportation is probably the Greenest way to travel possible (thanks for that observation, Michael - much appreciated!).

Not that it matters, or that we'll ever find out.  Thanks to the gang's general refusal to take anything serious until it's far too late, and Ollie's "Conflict Resolution" training, he ends up shot in the head, his blood and brains splattered all over out lovely Misfits, who then scatter, fleeing for their lives.

For the first time, though, we really get a solid discussion of just what the gang think they should be doing with their powers.  Simon and Alisha both think they should be trying to track down Tim and bring him to justice, and not just because he's going to be targeting them (he thinks they're characters in his video game world), but because they feel they should be trying to help people.  This is pretty new stuff for Alisha, so it looks like Future Simon is rubbing off on her - um, in more ways than one.

The others, as could be expected, want to stay clear of the danger and keep out of trouble and the spotlight.  But, as fate would have it, they soon don't have a choice in the matter.  Tim kidnaps Kelly, believing that she's Roxy, the woman who left him at the alter, sent him to prison, and started shagging his boss, Conti - who he conveniently thinks is Simon thanks to Nathan's smart mouth ("He's a right conti.").

In order to get the money Tim needs to finish his game, the gang decides to use their powers to rob a bank.  Well, they use Simon's power to rob a bank, and it goes disturbingly easy.  What's even more amusing is the fact that, as Nathan notes, they're a bunch of Young Offenders and they never thought of using their powers to commit crimes!

As per usual these days, Super Hoodie is there in time to save the gang from Tim, after he has them captured, hanging from meat hooks (by their bound hands), and about to be chainsawed apart to complete the next level in his game.  But then comes what might not be the biggest surprise, but was definitely the most emotionally engaging moment of the night.  In order to keep Tim from shooting Alisha, who's escaped, Future Simon drops into the bullet's path, and is killed.  But not before telling Alisha to burn his body and that it was her love that brought him out of his shell and made him the hero he was.

Awesome.  Tragic, romantic, a touch cliche, but awesome nonetheless.  Especially when followed by Alisha having to follow through with the disposal of the body and then by Current Simon's weirded-out reaction to her later, at the community center.  It's the little moments like these that really set this show apart.

These and the one-liners by Nathan.  My favorite this week: "We're lazy and incompetent.  We're practically handicapped!"

I want that on a T-shirt.

The biggest surprise of the week, was the fact that thanks to Ollie being an organ donor, sickly Nikki (Ruth Negga), who was in need of a new heart, gets one.  And she also gets Ollie's teleportation powers, to boot.  Only they actually work this time.  Which makes her one of the group just as Alisha breaks up with Curtis.

So with Alisha on the road to loving Simon and Curtis on the road to loving Nikki, we have two pieces of the Future Puzzle falling into place.  What's in store for the gang as we move toward the Season Two finale is anybody's guess, but we already know something's going to happen soon to bring them all out into the public eye as The ASBO 5.  That should be interesting.


  1. Eastenders is a long-running BBC soap opera set in the east end of London; E20 is a youth-oriented spinoff which I think is web-based.

    I have to say that while the revelation fo Super Hoodie's identity wasn't a surprise at all, I hadn't predicted Future Simon's sacrifice in this episode at all. Perhaps I wasn't paying attention.

  2. I'm familiar with Eastenders (at least in concept), but E20 was something I'd never heard of before.

    I was the other way around with Super Hoodie. I just never thought they'd develop Simon's character in that direction, but from all the tragic glances I figured he was either going to die eventually or be a secret villain.

    I'm glad it went the way it did.

  3. To be fair, I only figured it out in the episode where it's revealed, when one of the characters -- I think Alisha -- said that dressing up as a superhero is the kind of thing Simon would do.

    And sorry about being patronising over Eastenders; I thought it best to give some context in case you weren't familiar with the parent show.

  4. You weren't patronizing. No worries.

  5. we already know something's going to happen soon to bring them all out into the public eye as The ASBO 5

    According to the Radio Times this happens in the sixth episode. The RT also calls it the "finale", while also billing it as "6/7" so I'm not sure what's going on there.

  6. E4 commissioned a Christmas episode, so that's the mystery 7th episode.