Last night’s episode of Misfits was the first not to be written by creator Howard Overman, penned instead by Mongrels writer Jon Brown. While it was a much more subdued and slow hour compared to the last couple of weeks, it provided a moment towards the end that was as touching as it was shocking.
The episode started with Seth leaving his newly powered-up iguana at home and going to the community centre, where the group were being told that they had to do some gardening at the local hospital. Rudy thought that Seth had come to take away their powers and started scrapping with him pathetically, but it turned out that he was actually there to ask Kelly if she wanted to go for a drink.
At the hospital, we met Jen, a girl in a coma with her boyfriend Dom (Nick Blood) by her side. Just as he leaves the room, her monitors start beeping and Kelly rushes in. When she touches Jen, they swap places, Kelly going inside the body of the girl in the coma and Jen going inside our favourite loveable chav. Jen, in Kelly’s body, goes to her and Dom’s home, posing as a friend at first. But she soon convinces him of the truth, telling him things about their life together that only she would know, and they spend the night together, while Seth sadly waits for Kelly at the bar.
Meanwhile, we discover the reason Rudy’s on community service – his downbeat alter-ego trashed the car of an ex-girlfriend. He is given a session of anger management and afterwards Other Rudy sees the counsellor weeping in her car. He goes to comfort her and they end up sleeping together – much to the displeasure of the original Rudy who then sets about splitting them up.
Jen and Dom visit the hospital and he slowly realises what has happened – the girl whose body Jen is living in, Kelly, is now in a coma and she realises it’s not right. Angrily, Jen threatens to switch the machine off and later turns up at the community centre, telling a distraught Seth to leave her alone.
With everyone wondering what’s going on and where Kelly is, Alisha uses her new power to discover that Kelly is the girl lying in the hospital bed. They arrive at the hospital, with Simon reminding me why he’s my favourite geek when he tells Rudy that the situation is less like Face/Off and more like Freaky Friday. In typical Misfits style, they grab Jen’s body, with Kelly inside, and take her back to – where else – the community centre.
Other Rudy finds Jen, who he of course thinks is Kelly, in the bar and confides in her about his sad situation – he finally got to have a girlfriend of his own and the other half of his personality ruined it because she was “too old”. Rudy calls to explain the situation and that the real Kelly is in danger and although he feels sympathy for the girl who has just been listening to his problems, he takes her to the community centre so they can swap back before Kelly dies.
When she gets there, Shaun sees her and she stabs him and runs off. Everyone realises that they can’t call an ambulance because he thinks Kelly did it, so they decide to reveal their powers to him. It’s a really poignant moment, as he suddenly realises what’s been going on under his nose all this time. But it’s too late, he dies. Jen finally agrees to swap back, essentially agreeing to sacrifice her life to save Kelly, under the condition that Dom comes to say goodbye.
All’s well that ends well, then, right? Well, aside from all the death, obviously. Rudy wonders whether Seth is now part of their “gang”, and it does seem he now is, as he and Kelly finally share a proper smooch while the rest of the gang go off to bury yet another probation worker.
Although I’m a huge fan of the fantastic Lauren Socha and what she’s brought to the show, I sadly I wasn’t always convinced that she was Jen and not Kelly – the pronunciation of certain words in a Kelly-like (and, to be fair, Lauren’s natural) way really took me out of the performance, a small amount of vocal coaching on just a couple of lines could have worked wonders. But in this episode I feel Joe Gilgun’s pair of Rudys really stole the show. The character is really growing on me now and is starting to prove that he’s certainly not the Nathan-lite that some viewers thought he was after a couple of episodes.
A special word, too, for Craig Parkinson as the sardonic, laid-back probation worker Shaun. The delivery of his usually very funny lines was a real highlight each week and it’s a shame to see him go. But, then, it was always going to happen, wasn’t it?
While this episode didn’t have the excitement of recent weeks and the story of Jen didn’t captivate as much as perhaps it should, an average episode of Misfits is still a very good hour of TV and there was some real heart in the scenes of Shaun’s death and Kelly and Seth getting together.
Next week it looks like there’s a lot going on – Rudy in trouble with the police, Seth wondering if Kelly’s pregnant and Curtis having problems changing back from being Melissa.