Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Misfits: Episode Five

Rudy: 'Oh, therapy... I love it.'

After the mayhem and time travel of the past two weeks, tonight's episode was more a sedate traipse through character development territory. For the first non-Howard Overman penned episode of the series, I’d say tonight's offering was a success. Rudy's dialogue was as sharp as it's ever been, and provided some much needed relief during the occasional lapse in pace. We also bid a fond adieu to the notorious Shaun. (To his credit, he did manage to stay alive longer than his predecessors.) So, for the most part, I'd say Jon Brown did a competent job. Which can only be good news for next week's similarly Overman-lite outing.

If tonight’s episode did have a weakness, it was probably the Jen storyline. It felt a little too sci-fi by numbers, and nothing particularly unpredictable happened. Simon was right to draw our attention to the Freaky Friday parallel—the premise was a direct steal. Initially, I found Jen a difficult character to sympathise with as she seemed too selfish. Trapping Kelly inside a dying body, and then threatening to kill her to win Dom's love, didn't exactly endear her to us. And despite Lauren Socha winning a BAFTA earlier this year, she didn't do enough early on to differentiate Jen from Kelly. Jen felt like a watered down Kelly, with slightly less attitude, less swearing, and less humour. I would like to have seen them explore Jen and Dom coming to terms with their change in circumstances more. The dramatic possibilities were there—instead, they both seemed to adapt to their situation with surprising ease.

But Jen's death did have poignancy. Bereft of her beau, and left to ponder her own loneliness and mortality, her hopelessness made us care about her death. Socha totally sold those scenes. After failing to impress early on, she seemed to relish the weight of the more reflective dialogue. Regrettably, her death was somewhat overshadowed by Shaun's unexpected exit. Those were some sweet parting words. ('You bunch of dicks, fucking superheroes?') It was only last week that I was complimenting Overman on his decision to expand Shaun's character—only for him to expand him right out of the series. It felt fitting they'd confess their secrets to him on his deathbed. Let's hope Shaun hasn't bought Nathan's old immortality superpower, otherwise, their sudden willingness to share might come back to bite them on the backside.

Thankfully, Seth still seems pretty much part of Overman's long term plan, but will he ever catch a break? Last week he was captured by the Nazis, and this week he was stood up by Kelly, before being attacked by a grossly underpowered Rudy. Rudy's assault by Seth was probably the most pathetic fight scene I’ve ever seen. Despite his obvious enthusiasm for saving his own skin, Rudy almost ended up kicking his own arse. I liked that Seth was willing to risk all just for a chance with Kelly. Maybe it won't work out, but at least he's willing to give it a try. He finally seems to have accepted that Shannon won't be coming back. At least, not yet. There are still three episodes left.

With Seth now a fully fledged misfit, I can't help but feel anxious. Kelly's relationships have a habit of going spectacularly wrong. Remember what happened to Bruno? I'm tempted to reason that Seth can't die yet as he hasn't passed the time travel ability on to Simon, but this is operating on the presumption that Seth is unique in his ability to take and to grant powers. Can we say for certain that superpowers are never duplicated? Kelly and Seth getting together has been a long time coming. It was Seth's planning and ability which saved Kelly from near death. It was he who risked his life disarming a murderous Jen. He totally deserved that kiss.

The conflict and confusion of having two Rudys is actually providing the show with some decent storytelling opportunities, but Rudy's weaker side really needs to assert himself more when sharing a body with his more overbearing self. On his own, he seems more than capable of making the right moral choices; if only he were more adept at managing his more aggressive self. Maybe he'd feel less guilty. Again, Gilgun did a great job of playing both Rudys with just enough subtlety for them to feel like separate entities. (Take note, Lauren.) Nice-Rudy may not have the one liners of his wise-cracking alter ego, but he's a far nicer person to be around.

With Shaun gone, I wonder who will take his place. It's a shame that he had to die—all to protect Kelly from being wrongly implicated in his assault. What a gyp! His bewilderment at why Kelly would stab him ('What did I ever do to her?') was oddly affecting. It's hard to think of Shaun as having real feelings. Will anyone ever come close to his couldn't-give-a-shitness? I doubt it. RIP Shaun. You'll be missed. Assuming you stay dead.

Other Thoughts:

—I was surprised at Dom touching Jen's hand at the very end. What if she'd swapped personalities again and left him to die?

—We now know Rudy's doing community service as a result of trashing his ex's car following their traumatic breakup. It's not as trivial as stealing Pick n' Mix, but it'll do.

—When Jen complained that Dom didn't love her any more, she implied it was because she no longer looked like Jen. I felt like shouting 'It's nothing to you with how you look. It's how you are. You're mental. Stop trying to kill people!'

—Loved those scenes in the bar between Rudy and Kelly. A man who can spilt into two, ruing his inability to find love, conversing with a woman trapped in someone else's body. What a deliciously messed up, yet oddly moving, conversation.

—How could Alisha see everyone stood at the bottom of the bed when Jen spent the whole of the episode staring at the ceiling?

—Rudy's terrible at lying. I was surprised Jen trusted him enough to follow him back to the community centre.


Rudy: 'I've got myself geared up for dog shit here. I thought we were doing dog shit, man.'

Kelly: 'Fucking gardening!'

Rudy: 'It's the law of the jungle. Kill or be killed.'

Simon: 'Have you been wanking?'
Curtis: 'Do you want to say it a bit louder?'

Rudy: 'She couldn't wear flip-flops. Because of the web, she had no toe groove.'

Curtis: 'That's not Kelly.'
Rudy: 'No, she is sexy, though. Hmm? For a coma victim... she is.'

Rudy: 'Hang on... it's nothing. Carry on. It's all right.'

Rudy: 'This is like that film with Nicolas Cage in. Face/Off!'
Simon: 'Face/Off wasn't a body-swap. They had surgery to look like each other.'
Rudy: 'Oh?'
Simon: 'This is more like Freaky Friday.'
Alisha: 'Who gives a shit? What are we going to do about Kelly?'

Rudy: 'Hello. I'm just visiting my granddad, and I'm pretty sure he's prolapsed his anus.'

Shaun: 'I can't believe I never picked up on it. You bunch of dicks, fucking superheroes?'

Seth: 'So, I guess you stood me up.'
Kelly: 'I was in a fucking coma.'
Seth: 'Oh, that's your excuse, is it?'

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