Last night’s epic finale to the third series of Misfits took us right back to the very beginning and through the story of the last three years. As loose ends were tied up, old faces returned and our very first meeting with the gang was reflected upon, it felt like this could have been a deservedly exhilarating and emotional ending to the programme as a whole. However, series four has just been confirmed, meaning we’ll be returning to the orange jumpsuits in late 2012.
Mark Heap is brilliant in everything he’s in, from Spaced to Big Train, and here made a brief appearance as of psychic Jonas in his typically eccentric style. He was a charlatan who, of course, has been affected by the storm and given the power to not just commune with the dead but also to bring them back to resolve whatever is preventing them from moving on. He brings back Sally (Alex Reid), the second probation worker, who was accidentally killed and not so accidentally left in a freezer by Simon.
Kelly is annoyed at Seth for continuing to buy and sell superpowers after that palaver with the zombies last week. The next time she returns to his den, he’s shut up shop, wanting to do the right thing for her. All is well, except that she wishes he’d kept the desk…
The gang confront Jonas about Sally’s return and he attempts to bring Sally to the room, but instead he summons Rachel (Jessica Brown-Findlay), the virtuous girl responsible for brainwashing dozens of teenagers and temporarily killing Nathan at the end of the first series. She tells the group that there is no God, her chaste life was in vain and she thinks she’s come back to finally get drunk, take drugs and have sex. Rudy is happy to oblige, but it’s Curtis she’s interested in.
What follows is a rather wonderful throwback to a pivotal scene in the very first episode, as Kelly is chased by the original probation worker Tony (Danny Sapani) while Rachel writhes on Curtis and the rest of the gang sit in wheelchairs, all to the sound of LCD Soundsystem’s Get Innocuous. After Tony gets lamped by a fire extinguisher, the gang realise that he’s his normal (if ghostly) self, rather the murderous hulk from after the storm. As the gang breezily recap the body count of probation workers they’ve got through, Tony tells them that they’re out of control, they have no morals, they’re “feral”. Alisha tells him that they’ve only been protecting themselves. The truth is probably somewhere in between.
Just as in a troubling vision he earlier had, Simon is seduced by Sally, who tells him that them it is what she needs to move on. But her real motivation is revenge, videotaping their kisses and sending them to Alisha’s phone. Alisha is devastated and goes to the rooftop, that rooftop, where she sees Sally, who tries to push Alisha off of the roof, telling her that she wants Simon to feel how she felt when Tony died. But Tony appears just in time to tell her what really happened, that they killed him in self-defence. This is the first time they have seen each other since death, and they embrace, disappearing into the afterlife. It turns out that what Tony and Sally needed to move on was to find each other, an incredibly touching resolution to their story that other shows might not have bothered with.
Rudy cheerfully tells an unfulfilled Rachel that it turns out Sally didn’t need revenge in order to move on, planting a deadly seed in her mind. Because revenge is exactly why she is there, and as soon as she chillingly picks up a stanley knife we know something terrible is about to happen. As Rachel rants at Curtis, Kelly and Rudy for killing her and then turning her into a “nasty little slut”, Simon and Alisha emerge from their make-up sex in the changing rooms and Rachel slashes Alisha’s throat, immediately moving on. Despite all the get-out clauses and rewinding time we had in the past, this time it’s permanent and it’s heartbreaking. Curtis has the power to bring her back to life but that would make her a zombie and nobody wants that.
Simon realises this is why he goes back. He explains to the rest of them that he was Superhoodie, first his future self and then, when he died, he took over. Kelly gets Seth, who explains that Curtis’ time travel power died with Iggy the iguana but there is another power out there, but it’s just a one time thing. He can go back but it’s a one-time thing, he can’t return to the present. With the help of Kelly, Seth gets the power back from a man who plans to go back and become a pirate. I had fully expected Simon to take Rudy’s power so that while half of him went back, the other half could stay, but sadly it’s not the case – his story concludes here.
There’s one more thing to tie up – how was future Simon able to touch Alisha and not get affected by her hypersexual power? It turns out that Simon was Seth’s very first client, buying the ability to not be affected by others’ powers, and present day Seth gives him the money to pay for it. After saying his goodbyes at Alisha’s shallow graveside and locking up his secret base, he puts on the same orange hoodie he wore when rescuing Nathan on a bike back at the end of series one. After telling his friends that he’ll see them soon, he goes back in time and sees himself, Curtis, Kelly, Nathan and Alisha, having a conversation we first saw back in 2009. He visits the disused room that would soon become his base, goes to buy that power from Seth. “What are you going to do with it?” Seth asks. “I’m going to make a girl fall in love with me”, replies Simon. The circle is complete.
Back in present times, we are left with Kelly, Curtis and the two Rudys. As Kelly says, it’s time for them to “keep our heads down, finish community service and live happily ever after.” The end. Except it’s not, because they will return next year.
In the end, we were shown that this was a kind of a happy ending for Simon and Alisha – they will be going in a constant loop through time, falling in love with each other again and again forever. But also a sad one, as they’ll be dying again and again too. It’s a real shame to see these two characters who have been there from the start reach the natural conclusion to their story. Iwan Rheon and Antonia Thomas have been great in the show and will be much missed in series four.
It’s hard to ponder where the next series will take us. While the last eight episodes has seen Rudy easily fit into the group, Curtis grow in stature and Kelly cement her place as a wonderful character, Simon in particular has proven to be the core of the show and will be so much more difficult to replace than the ever-popular Nathan. I am optimistic that the fresh faces that will presumably come will bring something new and exciting to the show and that creator Howard Overman will continue to come up with great ideas, but it does feel like a chapter has closed and Misfits won’t quite be the same again.
Series three has featured some great moments and the fantastic addition to the cast of Joe Gilgun but overall was more of a mixed bag than the previous two series. It did slowly build to a great conclusion, though, and this final episode was a wonderful example of how to tie up loose ends (some of which we didn’t even know existed), look back on where we’ve come from and bring a story to a conclusion in a satisfying and incredibly dramatic fashion.
Simon and Alisha, farewell. Kelly, Curtis and Rudy, see you in 2012.