Channel 4‘s Misfits 5.2 TV Show Review. Misfits: Season 5, Episode 2 introduced a number of possible plot threads, around the central plot, that may give some idea of what creator Howard Overman has in store for his final run.
Abby (Natasha O’Keeffe) encountered an irresistible odor, embedded in a scarf left in a ladies room, which led to a Cinderella moment with Laura (Lydia Wilson), “the nicest smelling person in the world.” I’m not sure whether Abby’s aggressiveness or Laura’s acceptance weirded me out more.
Alex (Matt Stokoe) and Finn (Nathan McMullen) played good Samaritan to a young man being harassed by street toughs. Finn gets them out of the confrontation with a harmless (but no doubt startling, to the thugs) display of telekinesis. Wisely keeping an eye on the departing baddies, however, allowed the would be victim to slip away unnoticed. By air.
At the support group, there were no further developments with the Tortoise, but Rudy Too might be Gamer Tim’s (Matt Cross) means of having a future role to play (as his sponsor, of sorts). The real development, however, was the introduction of a new member: the flyer. Group moderator Maggie (Ruth Sheen) has the ability to knit the future, and made a sweater for Rudy Too, last episode. The sweater depicted four figures, utilizing powers, around and abouts a high rise. A team of “proper superheroes.” Deciphering the nature of those abilities will be key to the identities of the figures.
The main plot revolved around Rudy (Joseph Gilgun) and his dad, Geoff (Phil Cornwell). What started as seeming infidelity by Geoff’s, and a double life, turned out to be double Geoffs. Given Rudy’s condition, the truth should have at least been considered, early on. As it was, the episode allowed us to see Rudy at his best and worst. Indirectly, in the face of Geoff Too’s abusive and callous nature. Directly, in his dealings with his folks, but mostly due to Jess (Karla Crome) agreeing to help him. Much of the insecurities and anxieties, at the core of personalities like Rudy’s, were drawn out more by his interaction with Jess, than with his family. There was a re-occurring question of his sexuality (actually hinted at, last episode), but what we were really left with was a question of what his clear attraction to Jess (and her new found understanding and tolerance of him) will mean for the group.
The parents of some of these characters – when included at all – seem to swing from total shites to complete doormats. This goes for a cross section of UK shows; but at least “5.2” had a way of addressing the matter. Maybe. Dad had literally split into shite and doormat characters, and mom was handed a convenient outlet to deny, and render external, any family conflict. This could be pure projection, on my part; but it’s an out, and I’m giving it to the show (raspberries all around).
One other thing about the literal split personality theme, for this episode: Rudy came across as the more abrasive – abusive, even – of his two selves. I couldn’t help but feel bad for the almost de-humanizing treatment of Rudy Too; and I expect some fallout to come of it. You could have practically heard the breaking point, during their exchange over family visitation privileges.
The chronic deaths of the community center’s probation officers – a darkly delightful running joke for the first generation cast – had not been a factor for generation two. That may change, as Greg (Shaun Dooley) has begun to display some disturbingly odd behavior. That behavior seemed centered on Finn, suggesting that the scene he stumbled upon (involving Finn and Alex, last episode) may have affected him much more deeply than first indicated. I almost feel bad about it, and I am not necessarily rooting for Greg’s demise, but I can’t help but hope for a return of the Probation Officer’s expanded role in the series.
As for the show’s possible direction: I think the sweater said volumes. There will be a foursome of formal heroes. The real question is what becomes of characters whose abilities were not represented on the sweater. One of those four might have been introduced, this episode. If so, what happens to the current cast-mate that gets beaten out for that slot?
“5.2” sort of inverted last episode’s qualities, with the slower, interpersonal bits outshining the wackier, sensational bits. The episode benefited more from the cast’s ability to sell their scenarios. Just as well, given the more serious themes involved; serious themes that served as a reminder that there is more to Misfits than shock value and potty humor.