Last night’s Misfits Christmas Special was a delightfully twisted alternative to the usual seasonal fare, featuring a bad Santa, an even worse Jesus and one of the weirdest Nativity scenes in television history.
The story begins three months after we last saw the gang hang up their orange jumpsuits, and plenty has changed. Well, some things haven’t, such as Kelly picking litter, but now she’s doing it for the council. Nathan has a job dressed as Santa, while Nathan and Alisha work in a bar. Simon and Alisha’s relationship has grown and he has begun his training to take him on the path towards the all-action superhero he will eventually become.
Alisha notices a sign advertising a place to sell your powers. As the storm blessed her with the ability to make anyone who touches her want to have sex with her, something which has never exactly come in handy, she decides to sell it, as much to get rid of it as for the money. A man called Seth (Matthew McNulty), another of those affected by the storm, is able to absorb her powers.
Seth can also pass powers on to others. A disillusioned priest named Elliot (Edward Hogg), disappointed at the empty seats and collection box at an Advent service, takes things into his own hands and buys the ability to walk on water. Declaring himself to be the second coming of Jesus, he soon attracts followers, whose donations he uses to buy even more powers for himself. Becoming more and more greedy for the powers he is gorging on, he commands his people to collect money for his by force and perhaps worst of all, uses Alicia’s old power on herself and other women. As Simon puts it, it’s time to kill Jesus.
Meanwhile, in the community centre, there’s a charming little side story involving Marnie (Gwyneth Keyworth), a heavily pregnant girl Nathan meets. It feels like there’s a genuine chemistry between them, so Nathan falling for her so quickly doesn’t feel as wrong as it sounds. They both have one thing on their mind the first time they meet, with Nathan concerned about “poking the baby’s eye out”, and get along really well. At one point Simon turns up (“So, you must be Barry!”, says Marnie), and Nathan gives him some sexual advice that’ll presumably have newsagents running out of stock of Fishermen’s Friends in the days to come.
Yes, with Alisha’s power out of the way, her and Simon are able to consummate their relationship at last. And it’s pretty obvious that Future Simon was a much better lover. Although, as Alisha points out, it’s still him, it’s easy to see why Simon is feeling a little jealous.
Back in the community centre and Marnie’s water breaks, sparking a typically oddball version of the Nativity scene, as she gives birth amongst the fake sheep and the Jesus doll is removed from the manger so that the baby has a place to sleep. Just as things start to get a little too sweet, with the group singing Little Donkey to the newborn, Marnie cries out and Nathan shouts “Oh my God, you’re giving birth to an alien!” before stomping up and down on the afterbirth, splattering everyone with gore.
When the others hear about Seth’s service, they all decide to sell their powers for £20,000 each, deciding that they’ve never been useful. Even Nathan decides to sell his immortality so he has money to help bring up “his” new baby. The only one who resists is Simon but Alisha, wanting to have a quieter life, persuades him that Future Simon told her they must all get rid of their powers, which of course he never said.
This is a decision they very quickly regret. Kelly swans into the bar where Alisha and Curtis work, having spent some of her money on a makeover, when one of “Jesus”‘s followers arrives. He has a gun and tells Curtis to empty the safe, but he doesn’t know the combination. Nathan heroically steps up, telling the robber to shoot him, smirking in the knowledge that he is immortal. Simon reminds him that he isn’t any more, and he dives out of the way in the nick of time, with Nikki getting the bullet instead. It’s rare that a TV show has gone from making me laugh out loud to gasping in shock so quickly.
They all wish they had their powers back, but none more so than Curtis, who wants to turn back time and save his girlfriend. Unfortunately, when they go back to Seth, they discover that the price to buy back their powers is £40,000 and some of them have already been passed on, such as Curtis’s ability which was sold to a Jewish man who wants to go back and kill Hitler. The gang returns to the community centre and finds Jesus’ locker full of money. He catches them, though, and uses a magnetic power to pull the locker towards him. Unfortunately for him, the magnetism is a little to strong, and the locker full of cash flies towards his head. As he slumps dead on the floor, a Christmas wreath lands on his head, like a crown of thorns.
As the gang waits to get their powers back, they realise that Curtis and Alisha both definitely won’t be able to get theirs back and will have to choose a new power, and then further realise that they all can choose something more. As Kelly steps forward to receive her new ability, a Lost-style fade-to-white heralds the start of months of speculation about what powers they will have. Simon’s has to be time travel, right? Curtis will presumably try to get something that can save Nikki, perhaps Daisy has sold her healing powers? And Nathan would be silly not to ask for first dibs on getting his immortality back.
After Thursday night’s slightly disappointing series finale, this was a great episode with plenty of tension, gore and funny lines, with a terrific final twist that’ll keep us guessing until series three comes along late next year.
Available now: Misfits – Series 1 and 2 Box Set [DVD]