Monday, 5 December 2011

Misfits: Episode Six

Curtis: 'I’m pregnant!'

I struggled this week to find a starting quote that wasn’t utterly disgusting. Considering the subject matter, not an easy task. There wasn’t an ounce of flab in tonight’s episode; even the sub-plots were brilliant. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much at an episode of Misfits. Jon Brown’s script was stuffed to the rafters with coarse wit, bizarre scenarios, rampant promiscuity, and things that made you want to hide your head in shame. In other words: classic Misfits.

Now we've got the opening paragraph out of the way, we can talk about Rudy almost losing his genitals. What other show gives you superpowered sexually transmitted diseases? Half way through the episode, my friend Mark sent me a message via MSN Messenger (other messengers are available), asking whether I thought Rudy’s cock would fall off? When did an episode of Lost or Being Human elicit a question of such universal importance? Which other show ever had its main characters impregnating themselves? And the beauty of it is, in the context of the show, it didn't even feel far fetched. (Providing you didn't think too hard about the logistics of Melissa’s mopping up regime.)

Predictably, the very moment Kelly and Seth reached a significant level of happiness, it all came crashing down. With Curtis now in possession of the resurrection superpower, it looks as though Shannon will be back to spoil the party sooner than we thought. Which is a shame because Kelly and Seth seem like the perfect couple. Interestingly, the guy who sold Seth the resurrection superpower said that he had other clients, which means Seth isn't unique after all. With others seemingly capable of taking and giving powers, he's become as disposable as the hapless Shaun.

Which doesn't bode well for Seth's life expectancy. Last week, even Rudy seemed to question his place in their grubby ensemble. I hope his musings don't turn out to be prophetic. What is Seth’s motivation for bringing Shannon back: is it just guilt over his part in her death, or do his feelings for her still run deep? I'd hate for his relationship with Kelly to be nothing more than a distraction from his grief. In his defence, when he learned of the availability of the resurrection superpower, he did seem conflicted, but even if he does bring Shannon back out of a misplaced sense of responsibility, will Kelly understand? Will she still want to be with him? More importantly, will Seth survive next week's coming cheerleader zombie apocalypse? Braaaaainssss!

There's not much left to say about Joseph Gilgun that I haven't said already. For any new actor coming into an established series, the pressure must be enormous, but week by week, he's gradually won me over. I haven’t missed Nathan at all this season. Initially, I thought this was because both Nathan and Rudy were so similar, but, even if that were true, Rudy's character has evolved into arguably the most complex in the show. With Nathan, we never really knew what motivated him—we relied on his good looks and Irish charm to make up for his vast personality defects. With Rudy, not only do we get a vehicle for Howard Overman's unique brand of bawdy humour, we also get a character with real depth. The internal war which rages within him is the most fascinating aspect of his character.

In fact, Rudy's less than stunning looks, and gobby, bloke next door, image, completely work in his favour. It's totally believable that his feelings of inadequacy would shape his inter-personal interaction. He's terrified of being found out, so he evades detection by hiding behind a fa├žade of wisecracks and faux compliments in the hope that his projected persona drowns out who he really is. That's why his superpower is so perfect—it aids him in that process. He can separate the unfavourable aspects of his personality at will. (Then leave them to rot overnight in a jail cell.) Deep down, I think Rudy expects people to deal with his appalling frankness in the same way he deals with theirs—by ignoring it. Alisha called him a prick tonight and he agreed without complaint. It's easier to ignore criticism than it is to acknowledge that it may be true.

But there's a part of Rudy that does take criticism to heart, and tonight sensitive-Rudy turned out to be the real brains and soul of the episode. Maybe it's time Rudy stopped trying to suppress his weaker half. Without him his cock would have rotted clean off. In fact, almost losing his family jewels seemed to have had a sobering effect on Rudy. His tears were real, and his apology to Leah (and half the night club) heartfelt. I half expected Leah to agree to go out with him—his humiliation was an uncharacteristic act of honesty, and it would have been nice to see it rewarded. To open himself up like that, only to be rejected, seemed a little unfair. Of course, he did behave like a total shit, but a leap of faith on Leah's part wouldn't have hurt.

I was sorry to see the back of Melissa. Will she be gone for good? Seth taking Curtis’ superpower admittedly removed the problem of Melissa's pregnancy, but the solution itself seemed too pat, not to mention a tad insensitive. Will Curtis live to regret leaving Melissa and his baby behind? More importantly, will he come to regret agreeing to help Seth? Betraying Kelly is a high price to pay to fix an unwanted pregnancy. Will Kelly ever be able to trust either of them again?

Other Thoughts:

—Are ice cream girls ever that gorgeous? Not in my neck of the woods—they're mainly old blokes.

—There's a mini-episode available to view on the Misfits website. It's well worth a look. It had me howling with laughter several times.

—I hope that sex scene with Rudy was truncated for dramatic purposes. He only lasted 15 seconds!

—Technically, what Rudy contracted wasn't an STD (or STI, as they're now called), as it wasn't transmitted during sex, but after sex—but that's how the official site describes it, so who am I to disagree?

—Nice cover version by Wolf People of Pink Floyd's "Time".

—Despite Rudy's contrition tonight, I hope the changes are temporary. It wouldn't do for Rudy to become too politically correct.

—Amy Manson (who played Leah) also played Daisy in BBC 3 supernatural drama Being Human.

—Rudy’s boyish glee at hearing the ice cream van was a joy to behold. I've not behaved like that since I was nine... and maybe not even then.

—Collar bones, Ready Brek and ankles. Rudy has some weird tastes. Apart from the Ready Brek. I once knew a girl that smelled like peanut butter. The crunchy kind. Delicious!

—Eating an ice cream whilst taking a piss? No thanks, Rudy.

Quotes:

Rudy: 'It’s the humane thing to do.'
Alisha: 'You prick!'
Rudy: 'I know.'

Rudy: 'Bingo! It’s the fucking ice cream van.'

Rudy: 'Ice cream! Ice cream! The ice cream van’s here! What are you having? Look, don’t worry about money. We’ll sort all that out later.'
Kelly: 'Fuck Off!'
Rudy: 'Well... you’ll be sorry won’t you, when you’ve not got an ice cream and I’m...mmmm... licking an ice cream and you won’t have anything. You won’t have anything.'

Kelly: 'They always send a new probation officer when we’ve killed one.'

Rudy: 'That is like no STD I’ve ever seen and, trust me, I’ve seen them. I’ve seen them all.'

Simon: 'What did they look like?'
Rudy: 'Ankles... collar bones... Ready Brek.'
Curtis: 'Ready Brek?'
Rudy: 'If you’ve nothing constructive to say, man, just shut the fuck up.'

Simon: 'You just need to wake her up, talk to her, and try and have sex with her.'
Rudy: 'Or...'
Simon: 'Or what?'
Rudy: 'I mean... do I need to wake her up? Is that bit important?'
Simon: 'What do you mean?'
Rudy: 'I don’t know... just slip it in there and give her a little sleepy fuck.'
Simon: 'That’s rape.'
Rudy: 'Is it?'
Simon: 'Yes!'
Rudy: 'I’m not sure... that’s a grey area, dude.'
Simon: 'No it isn’t!'

Rudy: 'Stop chatting, we’ve got to save my cock.'

Seth: 'So... this is community service, is it?'
Kelly: 'Yeah... it’s usually much more shit than this.'

Kelly: 'Hang on a minute. Let me have a wee before we start.'
Seth: 'Who says romance is dead?'

Alisha: 'What did he say?'
Curtis: 'He said his cock’s falling off.'

Amy: 'You think I’m a prostitute?'
Rudy: 'I think you could be, if you wanted. Because you’re so pretty.'

Amy: 'We did not have sex. We just kissed, you twat!'

Rudy: 'It’s not her mate. It’s got to be collar bone. She’s the one.'

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