Misfits: Series 4 Episode 6 Review
Reviewed by James Wynne.
After a somewhat subdued instalment last time out, this week’s episode goes back to the show’s bonkers, basics. It’s a drug-induced, genital-snatching, funeral-shagging ride of complete madness; it’s just a whole load of supernatural fun dished up with Misfits’ typical brilliance – but it’s not perfect.
It’s all about one man’s habit for insane parties and large quantities of drugs this week, Richard “The Colonel” Saunders, that is. Although this episode is littered with some hilarious moments, most of them down to the sibling-like interplay between Rudy and Finn, its opening satiric of having the gang crash a wake felt a little clichéd and overplayed. It didn’t manage the laughs it should have and, though the location needed to be featured at the start of the episode, as it is frequented later on and becomes a fixture of the various narrative threads, it could have done without being such a prolonged joke.
It’s also powers galore this week, as three brand new ones are encountered throughout the episode. It’s unfortunate, then, that this sheds an uncomfortable light on something that’s been an odd feature of the series thus far. We’ve had a decent helping of new characters with new powers in the first six episodes; from infectious greed to realised hallucinations, but it would be nice to see our fresh batch of miscreants more often confronted with situations and problems that necessitate the use of their own. Jess’ talent for seeing through objects has been used just a couple of times, as has Finn’s futile telekinesis, and Rudy’s double act has appeared in just a handful of scenes. It’s not like there weren’t opportunities to pull them out here, for instance: Rudy’s sensitive side could have popped out when Nadine made him feel all warm inside and Jess could have deployed her penetrative sight when advising the guy at the party on what digit should be on his forehead. The powers are there to be used as a reflection of the characters they belong to, so it’s a shame that such a brilliant facet of the show is being so underused in this series.
Meanwhile, there are strokes of brilliance with the other aforementioned powers encountered along the way – the biggest of which gives ‘tripping’ a whole new meaning. It’s thanks to Rudy educating Finn on the ways of Saunders that the reason for him evoking such a punishment from the storm is obvious. His addiction to drugs fuelled it and his power: that his hallucinations should take form and haunt him, is his supernatural intervention. It’s just another example of the intricacies that dictate the form these powers take within the individuals of the show; it’s something unique to Misfits and it lends all the characters that appear with one a real sense of depth.
Saunders’ hallucination becomes a mesh of the last few images that were seared in to his subconscious mind as he ‘went down the rabbit hole’, so to speak. The result is a suited rabbit, with a sort of “Hitman” thing going on, that tees off on people’s faces. It sounds ridiculous, but as ever with Misfits, it’s managed surprisingly well, and realised with an actual sense of menace. It’s difficult not to be both horrified by its constant pursuit of those who step foot outside of the flat, as well as finding the notion of it hilarious (I mean, it’s a giant rabbit, for Christ’s sake) – the same of which could be said of its first kill: with the golf ball having been rammed down the victim’s mouth. It’s that beautiful and fluid blend of horror and comedy, which makes the meat of the episode such pleasurable viewing.
Alex’s secret has now been revealed and the cause of all his troubles is a little underwhelming, even if it is alongside another ingenious effect of the storm. It’s difficult not to laugh as he bares all to Jess – his penis having been nabbed after a meeting with a woman that had aspirations of being a man, and the power to take what she wanted from him. Credit must go to both Matt Stoke and Karla Crome for managing to grind through that one with straight faces, as it’s, in part, thanks to them that, after the initial laughs dissipate, the situation is conveyed with some actual drama. It’s such a ridiculous premise, but managed well enough that you can’t help feeling for him. It is a little worrying that the penultimate episode of the series will be centring around his search for it, though. It’s something that, in retrospect, maybe should have been tackled earlier in the series, which might have meant a more engrossing and interesting episode right before the finale.
Elsewhere, Rudy gets a lesson in what constitutes being classified as ‘rape’, as he is told, in no uncertain terms by Finn, that trying it on with a girl who’s so drunk she’s almost comatose is, in fact, against the law. It’s the shenanigans between these two that delivers the biggest bulk of laughs, as Finn’s lack of sexual experience, and his following quest for more, which leads him and Rudy back to the wake, is brought about after the gang is caught in the crossfire of a lover’s tiff. It’s the old ‘how many have you slept with?’ that prompts a supernatural response when the person being quizzed lies about it. All is revealed by numbers on the forehead (I’ll be interested to see if it’s explained how they were removed in the next episode, given that they were still present at the end of this one). It’s not the best explained power in the world, as it’s open to interpretation whether it was a lie-detecting power that encompasses everything, or if it is limited by the subject of sexual experiences, but, regardless, it was a brilliant set up for the comedic antics of Rudy and Finn.
Best Scene: “I don’t know what I’m doing.” “Of course you don’t, that’s why you’re still stuck on that.”
Rudy’s mockery of Finn’s sole sexual experience persists, as he cracks wise with some perfect comic timing.
It’s one of the most enjoyable episodes at its core, but it is weighed down with the baggage of certain issues that, as the series goes on, are becoming more and more noticeable. It’s a shame, because as an episode all on its own, it gets little, if anything, wrong. It also sees the gang of three become five, as Alex teams up with the Misfits to chase the white rabbit and Abby is introduced as a possible permanent member of the gang (does she have a power?).