Misfits: Series 4 Episode 7 Review
Reviewed by James Wynne.
It’s an unfortunate continuation of the inconsistent run of episodes that the series is experiencing this week, in an episode that packs a lot into just a single instalment, but falls short in all areas. Its narrative issues outweigh what’s good in the episode (and that’s a difficult search all by itself) by such a considerable margin, that it’s hard not to label it as Misfits’ worst outing to date.
I said in last week’s review that I wasn’t expecting much from an episode where the primary focus would seem to be on Alex’s search for his stolen… instrument. In fairness, this wasn’t the episode’s largest failing (though it was still a significant hindrance), but I suspect it lending very little weight to the episode’s overall plot necessitated the inclusion of various other threads that seemed to have been chucked in with almost no thought behind them, and so the episode was dragged down further still because of this.
One such example is Abby’s supernatural dilemma, in which she encounters a pregnant girl who wants rid of her responsibilities. She’s able to do just that, thanks to the second of two transferral abilities that come to a head in the episode. It’s Abby’s turn to take the load, something she responds to with relative nonchalance, which I would guess is thanks to the influence of all the alcohol she drinks, but it’s not long before she does something so predictable it’s almost clichéd; she decides to keep the child herself, rather than confront the girl it belongs to. It’s in this instance that we learn something about her, and it’s this “something” that is the reason for her taking the decision to keep it. While some will have been wondering if she had a power, after she was introduced last week, it turns out that she doesn’t, although, she has suffered at the hands of the storm with a complete loss of all her memories. It’s not hard to see where the writers will most likely be going with this, assuming that the loss of her memories is not layered with a hidden power of sorts and given how personal the effects of the storm have been in the past. It’s probable that she’s been through something traumatic and was dwelling on it as the storm it; hence, the effects are attuned to what she requires and her mind is wiped of the trauma. That’s all well and good, and it sets up something interesting to be explored further down the line, but it feels rushed and thrown atop the episode just to drag the pregnant subplot beyond its capabilities. Her reasoning for keeping it is also illogical, as someone else’s child inside is surely just going to compound the feeling of having nothing that’s her own to hold on to. It’s then resolved in such a blasé manner, it’s almost laughable. Abby’s insistence to keep the child only extends to having the actual mother asking for it back, which results in this part of the narrative wrapping up as though nothing happened at all.
Rudy continues to blow hot and cold as he obsesses over his new-found love, Nadine, and gives Finn some lessons on what to do with unconscious girls (“balls in the face!”), as well as imitating Alex’s ‘mangina’. His obsession is treated as a whole new experience for Rudy, as he struggles with the notion of wanting to see a girl more than once. It seems his heartbroken pursuit of Alisha in series three has been all but forgotten then, as the similarities that situation shares with this one are too many to count. It’s an oversight that hurts his character’s already inconsistent appeal, as what depth had been given to him in his first episode has been dropped all too quickly, and it’s difficult to imagine Nadine having much of an effect on him in the long run because of this. It’s for these reasons that his romantic trials and tribulations fail to strike a chord, and are, instead, just a further hindrance to the episode. His other antics in the episode: the aforementioned balls technique and genital demonstration, is an example of the struggles the writers seem to have in balancing his despicable traits with his likeable ones. Too much focus is placed on trying to get laughs from some of his shocking admissions – which too often have him suggesting something akin to rape.
Meanwhile, the largest focus of the episode is on Alex’s search for his penis, and though it was never going to be the greatest episodic narrative that Misfits has had; it still felt like it could have been handled a bit better. With such a comical premise, the episode choosing to take such a gritty and dramatic approach to proceedings seemed bewildering. In fact, apart from a drastic overuse of the word “cock” to get a few laughs, the episode did little to highlight the ridiculousness of the situation the gang had found themselves in, something that should always be of prime importance in Misfits. As a result, it left events feeling a little deflating and underwhelming. Still, Alex showing his true colours once he had finally gotten it back and put it to use with Jess was a brilliant little touch. Where will the two of them go from here?
Best Scene: “Gregg Goes to Hollywood – The Power of Love”
It’s slim pickings this week, but one moment stands out miles ahead of the rest. Gregg’s sensitive – and possibly homosexual – side was brought to the fore in Curtis’ final episode, and it’s witnessed once again in spectacular style, as he takes centre stage at a karaoke party. He’s got a great voice as well.
It’s a bland and uninvolving outing this week. It’s stocked full of goings on, but none of it carries any real, narrative weight; be it comedic or dramatic. It’s just disappointing, and even more so after the brilliance that was showcased last week. Also, did we have to actually see Alex’s penis?