Channel 4’s Misfits 5.1 TV Show Review. Misfits: Season 5, Episode 1…where do I begin? Well, I could say it began with a tortoise on its way to a support group meeting – but that would take too long to recount. Alex (Matt Stokoe), right out of surgery from the stabbing he endured on Jess’ (Karla Crome) behalf, was confronted by…well, an indecent proposal. Back at the community center, Jess received the news of his expected recovery well but Finn (Nathan McMullen) was less than thrilled. The center was being used by a troop of Scouts, which prompted Rudy (Joseph Gilgun) to wax nostalgic about his time with the organization. That is, until he noticed girls within their ranks – an unnatural abomination, as far as he was concerned. While Rudy’s rants drew the ireful glare of the Scout Master (Robert Whitelock), one of those “abominations” had clearly taken an interest in Finn.
The fifth, and final season of Misfits seemed off to an odd start. The series had always been subject to mood swings, of sorts – going from mundane whimsey to fantastically absurd with sudden turns; but had maintained a fairly consistent level of entertainment, nonetheless. This was due largely to its cast and characters, who managed to hold our interest across the ebb and flow of the larger plot lines. This has been a signature strength of British programming but also a weakness. Short term serial storytelling, treating every season as the last (each season is actually referred to as a “series”), is great for character and storytelling focus; but that focus often results in a cast purge, once the over arching plot had run its course. It then falls on an entirely new cast, to carry a new storyline, while at least maintaining the expected level of interest from the show’s established fan base. Dr. Who has a built in plot device to overcome this (brilliantly); Misfits does not. Maybe I had become too attached to the show’s original cast, but the current crop of Misfits just hasn’t been able to carry the show’s slower bits.
It was not long before “5.1” ventured into the whacky and wild. Emma (Ruby Wild), the “indecent proposer” from the emergency room, had followed Alex back to his place. She explained that she had a powers-based-problem, that only the power transferred to Alex – by way of his transplanted lung – could solve. Solve through intercourse, that is. Meanwhile, Finn had given in, wholesale, to the advances of Scout Lucy (Rosie Day). Clearly Finn had never been privy to a frat/ sorority hazing, or seen any film/ TV show with “cool kid” pranks. Being asked to strip down and be tied up, without any reciprocation by the other party, should have been a clear warning sign. He also blanked on the pentagram circle with candles, he was instructed to lay down within, but the ruse was mercifully short. In walked Scout Master Keith and the troop, intending to induct Finn as an agent of Satan.
Misfits‘ audience had been asked to accept a lot of truly crazy circumstances, over the course of the show; so I can’t account for my reluctance to accept demonic possession. At the same time, there was an insane genius to Alex’s situation. Apparently, Emma’s power was a personal jinx, and she was to have it removed by a second gifted party. When her would be liberator expired, and his lung transplanted to Alex, so did his power of extraction/ nullification. It was the how of the ability that was the rub: it could only take effect through sex. Yes, the time honored super hero convention of having the power to strip those of others, had been reduced to “frakking” it out of them.
If it elevates things any, for those who may balk at such a scenario, the whole affair could be considered a clever analogy on the pressure some youngsters feel to lose their virginity.
While Finn managed to extricate himself with brief, bloody violence, Alex had to suffer through sitcom caliber coincidence, which left him further estranged from Jess. After his warnings about the Scouts were dismissed by the gang, and a run in with Greg (Shaun Dooley), Finn was later cornered in the men’s room by Keith. After more blood was spilt (under sillier circumstance), Keith’s demon transferred to Finn. Alex, left unconvinced by Emma’s display of jinx scars, back at his place, got a clearer idea of what she had been dealing with, out in public, which resulted in him taking her to the hospital.
Rudy (too?) had, by this time, joined a support group for persons altered by the storm. A “Justice League” B team, of sorts, with a roster that included deluded gamer Tim (Matt Cross – last seen back in season 2) and… the tortoise. Misfits has had some storm related dealings with animals before. I just hope they get to the tortoise’s story faster than… well, anything pertaining to tortoises.
While demonically possessed Finn reaped the rewards of his new found swagger, Alex was trying out his new powers on a battered Emma, in her emergency room bed. That kind of hilarity is almost as hard to describe as it was to watch. Suffice to say, Alex had been presented with an opportunity to use his cock for good. When Finn and Alex next crossed paths, once again at odds over Jess, it was Finn overpowering Alex. Suspicious of Finn, Jess did some sleuthing, only to find that Finn had been assimilating the others. She managed to escape to Alex’s place, where they were joined by Rudy Too, and a plan was hatched out.
Alex produced a gun, for the plan – I’m not sure how that works, given Britain’s gun control laws. Jess’ reassurance about operating it should not reassure anyone who has taken a gun safety course. Neither of them seemed to know the rules of pandemic assimilation, from films like The Thing or The Faculty. Alex, Rudy Too and Jess went in, only Alex came out.
Alex may have been alone, but he was not powerless. With Finn about to finally have his way with Jess, Alex broke into the center, but was spotted by Greg. Finn milked his moment too long (who says romanticism can’t be profane?), as Alex knocked him unconscious and subdued Jess. If the resolution of Emma’s problem was hard to watch, what Alex resolved to do next may have been one of the most superhuman acts of self-sacrificing heroics (all things considered). Alex apologized to a restrained Jess, then….
Well, suffice to say, Alex had been presented with an opportunity to use his cock for good.
Finn was freed of his demon, but Finn was understandably… muted, in his appreciation, upon awakening. Greg, who had been looking for Alex, did stumble upon the… extraction process, and meekly excused himself. The episode concluded with Alex, now a part of the crew, due to the break in, joining Finn and Jess in what was to be a pact of silence. Rudy, of course, was having none of it.
Misfits, series 5, looks to be far removed from series 1; its cast not as engaging. The fact that the show could still make campy fun of something like demonic possession, displayed some of the old irreverence, regarding the super hero genre. With two genuinely face-palming moments for Alex, however, “5.1” demonstrated that the show still has some real shock value to exploit. As long as they don’t spend it all in one place, Misfits might yet be able to go out with a bang.