Monday, 12 December 2011

Misfits: Episode Seven

Seth: 'Let’s go resurrect my dead girlfriend.'

Is it too much to ask for one week where everything doesn't go wrong? It was obvious that nothing good would come of resurrecting Shannon, but six dead cheerleaders, an OAP, Seth's neighbour, a probation worker and a zombiefied Mr Miggles seems excessive even by Misfits’ standards. Howard Overman’s return to scripting duties provided easily the most visceral episode of the series. Quite literally—there was viscera all over the place. The last fifteen minutes was a bloody barrage of torn flesh, smashed teeth, exposed arteries, and mullered brain pans—and in the midst of it all, a love story. Awww! And of course... ewww!

Tonight's episode was a real team effort, and what better way to showcase the gang's arse-kicking talents than to pit them against zombie cheerleaders and a demented cat? Surprisingly, they weren't completely hopeless. Except for Rudy, whose hammer-work was utterly deplorable. Thor would have been ashamed of him. Even Alisha got a chance to shine: not only did she give that cheerleader a headache she won't forget in a hurry, she also did a sterling job poking fun at Rudy’s cheerleader phobia. Not that Rudy's hatred of cheerleaders was entirely unreasonable—no one needs to see their folks on the job... especially when one of them is dressed as a cheerleader. Or a clown. Or a cheerleading clown.

There's evidently some truth to the adage that there's no going back. Despite Shannon returning to the land of the living, her relationship with Seth was fundamentally changed. Despite sidelining Kelly to accommodate her miraculous return, Seth had moved on emotionally. Only guilt made him stay, and although Shannon's feelings for him were initially unchanged, once the desire to eat him started to kick in, it was game over. Even the strongest relationships struggle with cannibalism. The final straw was her eating his pet iguana. Has she never heard of 'the line'? With Iggy now dead, what's become of Curtis' old time travelling ability? Is it gone forever? How will Simon save Alisha now?

I thought the return of Shannon would mean the death knell for Seth’s relationship with Kelly—instead, it seemed to strengthen it. If a relationship can weather a dead ex coming back to life and trying to eat your brain, it can survive anything. Seeing Seth stood over a sleeping Shannon, hammer in hand, was buttock clenchingly tense. I don't blame him for not killing her. Seth's guilt over killing Shannon, coupled with his still raw grief, and new-found love for Kelly, have left him an emotional wreck. The prospect of having to kill her again was too much. Until she tried to kill Kelly. That seemed to wake him up. Finally he was able to do to Shannon what they should have done to Mr Miggles—he put her down. Inhumanely. With a shovel.

Kelly was surprisingly level headed throughout tonight's chaos. Her character continues to surprise and delight. Despite being disappointed in Curtis for resurrecting Shannon, and in Seth for his betrayal, she was remarkably vitriol free. On coming face to face with Seth's ex, she was positively magnanimous—before deciding to kill her. But even that wasn’t done out of spite, it was done out of a love for Seth, and a need to save the world from a zombie apocalypse. The situation was always going to end badly. Better it end badly for Shannon, than for Kelly and her friends.

Curtis should never have sold his time reversal power. It was a great move for the show—time travel is such a universal get out—but it was a terrible move for him personally. Being able to swap gender has done little but get him pregnant, and resurrection—although, on the surface, seemingly awesome—has turned out to be another dud. The dead never come back the same. Have they learned nothing from virtually every zombie movie ever made? (Except for how to stove their heads in with baseball bats... and how mankind always ends up trapped in shopping precincts... and how to eat ice cream?) Luckily, it looks as though another superpowers switcheroo is on the cards next week.

Rudy’s phobia of cheerleaders brought some much needed levity to an otherwise brutal episode. Rudy was on fire tonight. Everything he did, from trying to smash down the door with his massive hammer, to his professed love for ET, had me grinning from ear to ear. I knew he’d draw the short straw. That poor probation worker—she lasted less than a minute. Bitten by a zombie and then bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat by a red suited man from Chorley. That's a crappy first day by anybody's standards. Rudy's closing speech was predictably flimsy. Nothing was his fault—he was just in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Which, of course, excuses everything.

So Seth and Kelly got their happy ending. Despite being an unlikely couple, I think they work well together. How long before one of them ends up six feet under? If Seth makes it to next week, I'll consider it a victory. Let's hope Shannon isn't one of the returning dead.

Other Thoughts:

—Judging by the noise Mr Miggles made smashing against the bathroom door, I'm pretty sure he'd have made short work of ripping through that throw—not to mention Simon's head.

—In my original list of quotes, the first eight contained the F word, and the ninth the C word. Is that representative of the show? Pretty much, yeah!

—Okay, so a stint in the grave won't enhance your looks, but Shannon's semi-decaying body looked hideous. I almost leaped out of my chair when she sat up.

—I had this terrible anxiety half way through the episode that Seth would end up a zombie. Thankfully, my fears were unrealised.

—Simon seems to have become the unofficial leader of the gang. They didn't have one before. Everyone was too incompetent.

—That last cheerleader took quite the thrashing. Not that she didn't deserve it. Fucking cheerleaders!


Rudy: 'You can kill numerous probation workers—you can’t kill one cat?'
Alisha: 'Probation workers don’t count.'
Rudy: 'Well, then, it’s your lucky day, because I hate cats. All that fucking miaowing.'

Alisha: 'What are you doing?'
Seth: 'Well, it beats a fucking Cornetto, doesn’t it?'

Rudy: 'This is getting like a zombie Noah’s ark.'

Simon: 'Mr Miggles escaped from his cage.'
Curtis: 'Shit!'
Seth: 'You keep someone in a cage?'
Curtis: 'It's a cat.'
Simon: 'A zombie cat.'

Kelly: 'What the fuck is going on?'
Simon: 'Mr Miggles got loose.'
Rudy: 'Might've infected... one of two cheerleaders.'
Curtis: 'He infected all of them.'
Rudy: 'All of them.'

Alisha: 'So what we going to do about the rest of them?'
Simon: 'We kill them all. We smash their skulls to destroy their brains.'
Curtis: 'That’s a lot of killing... even for us.'
Simon: 'If we don't, the infection will spread. We'll end up the sole survivorleapts locked in a shopping centre. That's what happens.'
Rudy: 'There's no middle ground? We can't just keep a low profile, let it all blow over?'
Kelly: 'Oh, for fuck's sake!'

Rudy: 'I’m just going to help batter some cheerleaders. Happy days!'

Alisha: 'Still want me to dress up as a cheerleader for your birthday?'
Simon: 'No.'

Rudy: 'Nice, eh? You got 'em. Yes. Yes! It’s not really a high five moment, is it? It's not.'

Rudy: 'There you are. Nice one. You got one. We got another three.'
Curtis: 'You didn't do fuck all! You hid in the fucking kitchen.'

Kelly: 'So even when we don't kill our probation worker, we have to kill our probation worker?'

Simon: 'So, who’s going to kill the probation worker?'
Rudy: 'I’ll go and get the straws.'

Kelly: 'Look, I didn’t go out to steal you boyfriend. Other than you being a zombie, I haven't got a problem with you.'

Rudy: 'Fucking cheerleaders!'

Rudy: 'We just want you to know that, um... this isn’t our fault. We're... in the wrong place... at the wrong time. A lot. We’re really not bad kids.'

Alisha: 'Are you actually saying we saved the world?'
Simon: 'We saved the world.'
Kelly: 'That is proper superhero shit!'

Curtis: 'What happened to Mr Miggles?'
Alisha: 'Oh shit!'

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