Tonight’s episode of Misfits was probably the most ambitious in the series so far, which for this show is really saying something. Full of satisfying callbacks to previous episodes and featuring our gang being put in some quite different situations to usual, it showed exactly how to do an alternate universe episode.
We’re introduced to Fredrich Hirsch, the man who we first heard about back in last year’s Christmas special, who bought Curtis’ turn-back-time power from Seth so that he could go back and kill Adolf Hitler. In a beautifully shot opening sequence, he writes a note explaining what he is about to do, and then goes back to Hitler’s office in Berlin. He attempts to stab him, but fails and after a struggle ends up being the one who is knifed. Just before Fredrich goes back to the future, Hitler finds his mobile phone. With microchip technology in the hands of the Nazis, everything has changed, Germany invaded Britain, won the war and the Nazis are even in charge of the community centre.
But, fortunately, one thing that hasn’t changed is Kelly’s ability to have the best lines in each episode. She’s doing community service with Gary. Remember Gary? The original sixth Misfit, he was the guy killed in the very first episode of the first series. He tells Kelly that people with powers are being rounded up, and Seth is one of them. Meanwhile, Shaun is a Nazi officer who Alisha works for and is in some kind of relationship with and Simon is a conscript who is also conveniently working at the community centre.
Shaun orders Seth to take the powers from the people they have rounded up, including Lily, the girl who had the ability to freeze things from back in series two, and Peter from last week who tries to make a run for it and is shot. Kelly sees what is happening and reports back to Curtis at his bar. They are the Resistance, and Curtis gives Kelly some poison to put in Seth’s food, in order to foil the plan.
Rudy, both of him, is hiding out in his flat. It seems the Nazis have found out about his abilities because they come looking for him and he has to escape through a window. He finds Curtis and awkwardly tries to hint that he’s looking for the Resistance with the words “What about them Nazis, eh? Very bossy”.
Captain Smith (Glenn Speers), the big boss Nazi, arrives at the community centre and orders Seth to give him his powers. He grudgingly does so, and Smith uses Lily’s freezing powers on poor old Gary, who again fails to survive the first half of an episode.
Alisha chats to Simon outside, the connection they have showing through even in this reality – in case we don’t get the message, their love theme plays in the background. She explains that the reason she’s with Shaun is that she was going to go to prison for the drink driving offence she described back in the first episode (stop thinking of what she was doing with that breathalyser!) and Shaun got the charges dropped. “We’re all doing what we need to do to survive”, says Simon.
Kelly puts poison in Seth’s food, but then discovers that he’s hung himself. Simon and Kelly quickly cut him down just in time and later Kelly rather sweetly makes him some jelly and ice cream. The Nazis decide that they shouldn’t have treated him like a common prisoner and decide to move him to another location where he can receive privileges that might make him feel better about working for them. As they transport him to this other facility (going along a familiar looking road), their convoy is ambushed by our gang in Hitler masks who take Seth to their safe house behind the bar.
Seth tells Kelly how he got his power, he was a small time dealer and when the storm hit he was thinking about how he wanted to do the ultimate deal. Kelly reveals that she was going to poison him but couldn’t let him die when saw him hanging. Seth calls her a “tart with a heart”, which she of course doesn’t take kindly to. They fall asleep beside each other but get a rude awakening when the Nazis raid the bar. Rudy tries to stall them by pretending to be Curtis’ boyfriend, not realising it’s a particularly great idea to tell the Nazis you’re gay. They go through to the back, where Kelly and Seth are hiding under the floorboards. Shaun finds them and takes them all back to the cells in the community centre.
Shaun finds Fredrich’s note, as the old man tells his story to Seth. He gives Seth his power to look after, but Captain Smith arrives and tells him to give the power back, realising how dangerous it is. He doesn’t, so Smith tells Simon to shoot Fredrich. Simon takes his time and is about to pull the trigger when Smith does the job for him. He then tells Seth to give the power to Curtis instead and after he touches him and his hand glows, Curtis is shot, and the power is apparently lost.
In one of my favourite moments of the series so far, Kelly turns up at the community centre with a gun in each hand, taking down two Nazi guards with ease and capturing Shaun. They run into Simon and Alisha, who’ve just been kissing on the roof, and both decide to help. They free Seth and Rudy but then run into Captain Smith and a whole load of Nazis. Kelly thinks fast and throws a fizzy drinks can which the guards think is a grenade, buying them time to run into a nearby office. Under fire and bombarded with tear gas, Seth is shot. Gasping for breath, he says that he didn’t really give Curtis the power and tells Kelly to get the phone, giving her the real power with a kiss before dying.
Kelly goes back to the 1930s and finds herself in Hitler’s office, where she gives him a right good headbutt. She takes the phone before asking “Why have you got to be such a dick?” and gives the Führer a bit of a kicking.
Back in the present day, everything is back to normal. She goes to see Seth to give him the time travelling power back and he promises to give it to his pet iguana to make sure nobody can get their hands on it. She gets her rocket scientist powers back and returns to the community centre, where everyone else is none the wiser.
This was a fantastic episode, very well directed and despite being a little more serious than most weeks there were still some very funny lines. I only have one very slight geeky issue, which is that when Curtis first had this power, it seemed to have been implied he could only travel within his timeline and go back to a place he had been in his life. Following that logic, I’d have expected the old man to be a young child when he went back to the 1930s and Kelly to not be able to go back there at all. But I’m sure someone can come up with an easy way to work around that (maybe Curtis just wasn’t able to use his power properly – he never had much control over it) and as with most things time travel related, it’s not something to spend too long thinking about. Overall, this week’s episode managed to present a redundant timeline in a much more rewarding and coherent way than last year’s lactotelekinisis story.
The episode might not have seemed to have moved the story along very much, but it seems to have affected Seth and Kelly’s relationship a little and it remains to be seen how much Kelly’s experiences in this parallel world will impact her character in future episodes. Speaking of which, looks like next week there’ll be a lot more of Kelly and Seth…