TV Show Review

TV Review: MISFITS: Season 5, Episode 7 [Channel 4]

Natasha O'Keeffe Nathan McMullen Karla Crome Matt Stokoe Joseph Gilgun Misfits

Channel 4‘s Misfits 5.7 TV Show Review. Misfits: Season 5, Episode 7 celebrated the one year anniversary of the storm, which also meant a birthday party for its two creations: Abbey (Natasha O’Keeffe) and Rudy Too (Joseph Gilgun). Leave it to Misfits, however, to have marked the occasion by cleaning house.

Alex (Matt Stokoe) received another de-powering request from a woman with a problem that feminists would find particularly bothersome. Apparently, Alex had been “helping” a fair share of undesirables because he was smitten by this client. Sarah (Erin Richards), having endured the affects her ability had been having on men, wanted nothing to do with him. She did show up for the birthday party, however, as Rudy Too invited the members of the support group.

Between the number of guests that showed up for the party, the number of clients Alex had served, and all the others that have come and gone from the start, I’d say the percentage of super powered locals would have been enough to be public knowledge, at this point (even if confined to the community). Throw in all the mysterious deaths and disappearances, and Scotland Yard should have likely put their own Mulder and Scully team on it, by now (cough<spin-off>cough).

I am not entirely sure that only a single year had gone by since the storm, as there might have been two Christmases noted on the series; but I’m willing to call semantics on that.

After his attempt to come clean, about his relationship with Jess (Karla Crome), was dismissed by Finn (Nathan McMullen), Rudy went about securing ecstasy for the party. When he disregarded the birthday aspect of the occasion, Rudy Too took the opportunity to declare emancipation from him, for a life with Helen (Ellie Kendrick). Rudy did not take this prospect well, which led to a relatively nasty exchange, during his first meeting with Helen, and an even rockier time with Jess.

Rudy was in top wanker form, this episode, and was largely responsible for much of the fallout and carnage that ensued. For starters, Maggie (Ruth Sheen) warned him about ecstasy reversing abilities (I assume she learned this through moderating the support group), but he failed to warn everyone in time when Jess became its first victim. She went from x-ray vision to being blind. When Maggie gave her a jumper, depicting her as a mother, Rudy lied about its message and stormed off. Finn, who had recently stumbled upon the truth about them, found her groping her way to the ladies’ room and revealed (inelegantly) the actual sweater image. That was Jess’ last straw. Rudy would later admit to being no good, in a parental situation, and again walk off, effectively ending their brief relationship.

Finn (who never got a pill, far as I recall) had his own meltdown, regarding Rudy, and shared his frustration with Tim (Matt Cross). Tim had been having a hard time staying out of his gamer state, and snapping away at his rubber band (the sting kept him in reality). The similarity between Finn’s problem and his game world feud with “Conti and Roxxy” led to Tim snapping the band right off.

The only two cast members who actually enjoyed the turn of events were Abbey and Greg (Shaun Dooley) – a prior (and very off-putting) encounter resulting in Abbey having invited him. Abbey was warned in time, and decided to use her pill to reverse Mark’s (Kevin Guthrie) Tortoise state; Greg had Rudy’s tossed pill land on his plate… and proceeded to have a hell of a good time. For Abbey, it was reciprocated love at long last, and may very well mean the same for Greg, it seemed.

Alex was missed, however, and took his pill. This was done just after he had finally broken the ice with Sarah, and just before the two took things to the next level. The result was Alex becoming infectious, with a superpower cocktail STD, and Sarah becoming the recipient of all his previous encounters. Chief among them: demonic possession.

Misfits‘ first proper arch villain made good on her collection of powers, intent on enslaving everyone at the party (most of them having abilities), and proceeding to convert members of the gang. Abbey was familiar with the demon’s method and immune to Sarah’s natural ability. She instructed Mark on how not to be taken in, but  fell prey after Sarah used matter inversion – fatally – to distract her. Alex, however, not only knew how to keep out of Sarah’s clutches, but also how to use one particular ability – the very first he stripped – against her.

Even with the curtains coming down on the series, the willingness of its creators to kill off characters with long term potential remains jarring – to say nothing of some of the methods involved. It is a rare state of affairs where I can find myself underestimating and overestimating a show simultaneously; but the resulting sense of surprise is most welcome.

Speaking of turns in expectations, Rudy Too finally got his band of proper superheroes together. It was likely not what he was expecting. Helen and Sam (Michael Winder) got off to a rocky start, and Helen found Karen’s (Kate Bracken) voice as imperceptible as her form (I think someone had the classic G.I. Joe baddies Zartan and Zander in mind, coming up with Karen). Worse, no one seemed to care for either Rudy Too’s direction for the team (taking on dangerous crimes and situations, while disguised in probation worker coveralls), or his title for it: “The Jumper Posse” (I wasn’t that far off, after all).

If Sam was being waffley on the subject, Helen wanted no part of it. Discussing the matter off on their own, they were confronted by Tim. Completely immersed in the game world, and convinced that he had finally caught up to Conti and Roxxy, Tim was about to kill them both when Karen intervened.

That intervention made for a bonding moment for Rudy Too’s team, albeit a negatively reinforced one. Rudy Too may have wanted a super group all his own, but the parallels to Misfits‘ past rallies, around dark secrets, may lead to a more dangerous group of delinquents than the show’s collection of probies. Certainly more than kindhearted Rudy Too had in mind.

Helen has gone from being stand-offish to being somewhat abrasive and confrontational. At first, I thought it seemed like a sudden shift in character. Yes, she was a new character, and stand-offish makes for a guarded or secretive nature; but I assumed Rudy Too had gathered ample evidence to vouch for her. On the other hand, Rudy Too is as much an idealist as Rudy is a total git. He may have over-estimated her, which (along with Karen’s action and Sam’s skittish cynicism) leaves the altruistic value of his entire team in question.

This brings Maggie’s vision of dead, orange jumpsuited bodies squarely back on track; and considering how much ground was covered in 5.7 (and the number of characters left buried under it), I can see the makings off a proper send off in the works. It may be a send off more befitting series 5 than the entire series, but there has been word of at least one follow up film. That prospect leaves me free to anticipate the 5.8 finale for what it may be, rather than what it should represent, setting up another crossing of expectations likely to surprise.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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