Last night saw the final episode of this fantastic second series of Misfits. It was a real mixed bag, with some of the best moments of the entire run but a less than satisfying conclusion.
The episode begins with a brilliant, film-like montage of a tea boy named Brian who, on the day of the storm as he wanted to impress a girl, gained the power to manipulate milk. Lactokinesis, google it. Meanwhile, it’s the last day of community service and as they prepare to hang up the orange jumpsuits for apparently the final time, probation worker Shaun overheard them talking about their powers and the world’s press arrived outside the community centre. A publicist named Laura stepped in to help the gang make some money from their situation and holed them up in a hotel which I’m pretty sure had a hallway carpet-based nod to The Shining. There alongside them were her other clients, Brian (now known in France as Le Grand Fromage) and Daisy, who had the amazing ability to heal people by simply rubbing her hands on them. Nikki also joins them and by the end of the episode feels like a sixth member of the group, happily balancing the girl/boy ratio. The gang take to their new-found fame in different ways, with Nathan – of course – enjoying it the most, even presenting a live TV special where he shoots himself in the head before reminding viewers not to try it at home. Faced with being eclipsed by everyone else’s superior powers, Brian goes on a killing spree, choking his girlfriend, Laura and the people he is jealous of with the dairy products they have consumed. Curtis ends up being the only survivor, and turns back time and does just enough to prevent the probation worker from hearing the conversation. The episode ended with a slow shot of Nathan’s orange “Community
The episode showcased some of the best things about Misfits. The soundtrack was simply stunning, the acting was excellent (including a great guest appearance from Jordan Metcalfe as Brian), the direction superb and the writing was on the whole clever and very funny. At times it got quite dark, but always with a streak of humour, such as Daisy’s untimely demise, impaled on an award while Nathan attempted to get her healing hands on his STD-infected groin.
There were a few problems with this episode, though. Despite the world knowing about Brian’s powers, it was a little bit of a stretch to see how quickly the probation worker, and then the media, took Nathan’s superhero talk seriously without any evidence. But far more clunking was the revelation, as everyone was tucking into a pizza, that Curtis is lactose intolerant. From that point on, it was obvious how the rest of the episode would pan out, which was particularly noticeable for a series that has thrown so many unexpected moments at us in the past. While his ability to turn back time enabled us to witness some superb bits of television, such as Kelly chillingly appearing as a ghost and a brain-dead Nathan tragically slumped against the wall, the fact that it wiped out the events of the entire episode left it feeling a little pointless. It wasn’t quite “it was all a dream”, as it did at least give us some insight into the characters and particularly the journey Simon takes from “weird kid” to Superhoodie, a transformation which happened before our eyes, but it felt like cheap deus ex machina when we’ve perhaps grown to expect more from this show.
Now, here’s something. The world where the “Asbo Five” were discovered and became famous – that’s the world that Future Simon came from, because he had the tape of Alisha’s appearance on the news. Now that time has been erased by Curtis, perhaps that means that Future Simon came from a redundant timeline and the Simon we know will not end up going back to the past and taking a bullet. Gaping plot hole or brilliant plot device? We’ll have to wait and see.
It was a shame to end the series on a sour note (excuse the pun) with the obvious end to the episode, but there was plenty else to love about it and rumour has it that Sunday’s Christmas special is very good indeed.
Available now: Misfits – Series 1 – Complete [DVD]