Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Misfits: Episode Eight

Rudy: 'Yeah, well, I love a happy ending.'

So do I, Rudy. Shame we didn’t get one. I was blown away by the last 15 minutes of tonight’s episode. To think, I’ve spent half the season worrying about something happening to Seth—only to find out that Howard Overman had something even more traumatic in store for us. The clues were there all along: Iggy dying, Seth becoming a permanent member of the gang, Rachel coming back from the dead. All were precursors to an event so potentially show wrecking, that I can scarcely bring myself to believe it happened. After the news earlier in the week that Misfits has been renewed for a fourth season, tonight’s episode kind of nipped my happy dance in the bud. What a dreadful ending for our heroes. Thanks for ruining Christmas, Overman!

The first forty minutes felt kind of lightweight for a finale. Not that it wasn’t enjoyable—seeing Rachel, Sally and Tony back for one last hurrah was rip roaring stuff. I particularly enjoyed Rachel’s reaction to the non-existence of God. I’ve never seen anyone change so dramatically. Within half an hour she’d gone from ex-leader of the Virtue Virgins to being drunk, taking drugs, and having sex with Curtis. That’s quick going by anybody’s standards. I’ve grown so accustomed to seeing Jessica Brown-Findlay as Lady Sybil (Downton Abbey) that I was genuinely shocked by her debauched behaviour. (Whilst, of course, secretly loving every minute of it.) What would the Earl and Countess of Grantham say? I'm pretty sure Maggie Smith would kick her arse.

Unfortunately for Rachel, a hedonistic lifestyle was as empty as a life of purity—so, naturally, she turned to revenge. Did Alisha die simply because she was closest? Obviously, it would have made more sense to go after Nathan—what with him being directly responsible for her death—but with Sheehan no longer part of the show, I guess Alisha was an unlucky second choice. Her story was more or less over, anyway. Her character hasn’t had a great deal to do this season: her superpower has been woefully underused, and she's been little more than a love interest for Simon. Which perhaps explains why Antonia chose to leave the show. Artistically, I can't imagine this season has been very rewarding for her.

I did enjoy seeing Nathan again. It seemed fitting that he should be there for Simon and Alisha’s final farewell. I know it was just recycled footage from season one, but it still made me smile. It also made me feel a little guilty for not missing him more. Robert Sheehan is a spectacular actor, and Nathan was head and shoulders the best thing about the first two season, but Rudy’s more than propped up his end this year. He's filled the Nathan shaped hole perfectly. (It took me a few attempts to word that sentence so that it didn't sound obscene.) How young did everybody look in that footage? It’s hard to believe it was from just two years ago. Everyone looked so lean and fresh faced.

As soon as Sally said 'I’ve always loved you' the alarm bells started ringing. Since when? All she ever did was use Simon. Which, is exactly what she tried to do again. Sally was right—Simon has matured: just not enough to see past her scheming. I was a little disappointed that he kissed Sally, especially with Alisha dying so soon afterwards. Using Simon's guilt to manipulate him into cheating on Alisha was a cheap but effective way of exacting revenge. Thankfully, Tony was on hand to prevent Sally from sending Alisha to her death—buying valuable time for her and Simon to reaffirm their love (via a quick bonk in the community centre). It's a shame Tony died so early on in the series, as he actually seemed to care. Unlike the useless Shawn, who couldn't have given a shit. I loved how everyone kept trying to kill Tony. How he didn't die a second time, I'll never know. Fire extinguishers are heavy, and brains notoriously squishy.

Did Sally deserve a happy ending? She did try to kill Alisha, but didn't deserve to die, so maybe the two things cancel each other out. I liked that Simon got a chance say sorry for killing her. Simon's journey has easily been the most fulfilling of the series. He's grown more than all of the other characters put together. Sally betraying him, followed by Alisha's death, were the final steps in that process. There was nothing left of the old Simon in those final scenes. It was as if he'd died with Alisha, leaving Superhoodie in his place. In the end, it wasn't Curtis' old power which took him back in time, it was an inferior power, with far less utility. The trip was strictly one way—which explains why Simon refused medical aid after being shot in season two. Even if he'd lived, there was nothing to go back to. At least this way he gets to be with Alisha—forever trapped in an unending loop of saving her, and then watching her die. And Simon half kept his promise. He did go back in time—but he never left her.

There’s never been much of a story arc to Misfits. Simon’s story has been the closest we've had to one for three seasons. It's hard to imagine what they'll do now it's over, but if this season has proved anything, it’s that Misfits is a resilient beast. It can survive changes in personnel—Rudy's proof of that—and a show with Kelly and Rudy is still a show worth sticking around for.

Other Thoughts:

—Some nice throwbacks to season one, with the kids sitting around in wheelchairs, and Tony chasing Kelly back to the community centre.

—It was nice to see the two Rudys united in their grief. Alisha's death seemed to knock the stuffing out of them. Gold acting stars to both Gilgun and Rheon—their characters' anguish was utterly palpable.

—So, about that Vegas photo. When was it taken? I always thought it was a snapshot from a distant and happy future. Evidently not.

—Loved Simon's community centre inspired hoodie. Did he put a white one in the wash with his overalls?

—Could Simon have done anything about changing the future? What if he'd just walked away? What would have happened? Couldn't he have at least tried—just to sate my curiosity?

—Lovely projectile vomiting from Rachel. That was a weighty jet worthy of Mr Creosote. I didn't buy Rudy turning down a slightly spewy kiss, though. I'm pretty sure he's had worse.

—Great cameo from Mark Heap. I don't think I've seen a more cynical, matter-of-fact medium. Altogether now... A is for appendectomy, B is for barium, C is for cystitis, defibrillate's for D...


Jonas: 'Does the name... Sally... mean anything to you? She has to know... why? She just has to know why you did it.'

Simon: 'I think I’ve just seen a ghost.'
Rudy: 'Why would there be a goat in the community centre?'
Simon: 'I didn’t say a goat, I said a ghost, like the spirit of a dead person.'
Rudy: 'That makes more sense. Who ever heard of a goat, just hanging out in a community centre?'

Seth: 'I sold him the power to caffeinate beverages. It’s harmless.'
Kelly: 'There was a guy who could control cheese and he was a fucking psycho!'

Rudy: 'It’s toughened glass. How desperate do they think people are to get a Twix?'

Sally: 'Is that Alisha? Are the two of you together?'
(Simon Nods)
Sally: 'How the hell did that happen?'
Simon: 'It’s a long story.'

Simon. 'So what’s it like, being dead?'
Rachel: 'Well the big news is, there is no God.'

Rudy: 'I’m Rudy. I’m new.'

Alisha: 'Why are you doing this?'
Sally: 'You killed Tony. I want Simon to know how it feels to lose everything and I want him to know you died hating him.'

Rudy: 'Great speech and all that. Very moving. But he definitely should have fucked that probation worker. That’s a wasted opportunity, innit?'

Rachel: 'I did everything I thought I was supposed to do. Got drunk. I took drugs. I had sex, and I swore like a cunt. And I’m still here—I haven’t moved on. And now I just feel cheap and dirty.'

Curtis: 'I can bring her back—if that’s what you want.'

Simon: 'This is where I go back. It all has to happen exactly like it happened.'
Kelly: 'What are you talking about?'
Simon: 'It was me. I was the guy in the mask.'

Simon: 'I’m going to need to get some new powers.'

Nathan: 'Try that on your driving test and you are definitely getting a fail. Or a pass, and some kind of internal injury.'

Simon: 'I’m going to make a girl fall in love with me.'

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