Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Misfits: Episode Four

Curtis: 'There ain't no happy endings. It's zombie noir, innit?'

It seems ironic that, just 7 days after complaining that Curtis never seems to get a decent storyline, he was finally gifted a pearler—only for it to be his last. I did not see that coming. In fact, even after he'd become infected, I still entertained the idea he'd either be cured, or simply continue as a zombie. This is Misfits, right? Why couldn't we have a zombie Curtis? Alas, it was not to be. He's dead. Demised. Passed on. He's run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. Clearly, Howard Overman has failed to read the rule book—again!

I loved the way Curtis' story finished. He was a loner until the bitter end. If it hadn't been for Jess intuiting that he was in trouble, he would no doubt have dealt with Jake alone. Instead, his resurrection-fest was gatecrashed by our scruffy band of screw-ups, and it all went pretty much downhill from there. Luckily, them fucking everything up provided an ideal opportunity for everyone to bond one last time, and for Finn to impress Jess with his manly brain mashing chops. I liked that Curtis got to spend his final episode with the gang around him. I was quite moved by Rudy's emotional outburst at the end. Him begging Curtis to manufacture one last happy ending was unexpectedly touching. Even after choosing the short straw, he still couldn't bring himself to kill him—even with their limited options.

It was perfect, too, that Curtis' last exchange with Greg, rather than provoking the usually vitriol and not-so passive aggression, instead provided a surprisingly tender moment. Greg is either gay, or there was another storm overnight and he's miraculously developed the ability to feel empathy. What a inspired reversal of expectation. Curtis’ dropped jaw said it all. I liked, too, that Curtis knew exactly what needed to be done, and when it was all over, still had the courage to take himself out of the equation. He was right, there are no happy endings—but that didn't stop him from doing the right thing.

To be honest, alongside Alisha, I've always thought of Curtis as one of the show's weaker characters, not because I don't find him interesting, but because he's always been so underused. The writers could've done great things with his character—his failed athletics career was a storyline simply begging for resolution, and his time rewinding ability, although perhaps over-powered, held endless story potential—but Curtis never seemed to get the creator-love that Nathan or Simon did. That's not to say he wasn't an essential part of the group—he was often the voice of reason in a sea of character madness. I'm not sure what Nathan Stewart-Jarret's reasons for leaving were—maybe he just got tired of his character—but the show will be the poorer for his absence.

I've not heard anything yet about a replacement. Will they carry on with just three characters? There's no rule which says there has to be four misfits. Rudy's definitely strong enough to carry on as a main character. Jess and Finn are still pretty much unknown quantities, but both show promise—although I was a little disappointed that Jess had such a back-seat role tonight, especially after last week's excellent character development. But this was Curtis' swan song. The sad thing is, Curtis carried the episode really well. That was some ending. Him trying to reason with a power-addled Lola, before ripping out her throat and taking his own life, was gripping stuff.

The cinematography was also top notch. I don’t think I've seen an episode of Misfits with such a conscious eye on atmosphere and detail. Lola's story—the storm affected femme fatale—was perfectly complimented by the monochrome cold open and the vocal stylings of Lana Del Rey. I loved the meshing of genres, too: from film noir, to zombie Apocalypse, to slapstick comedy. No show pulls off this sort of bullshit like Misfits—but ratings are sliding and we've lost four main characters in five episodes. That's two bad statistics in a row. Is the latter affecting the former? Or are E4 and the fans starting to lose faith in the show?

Other Thoughts:

—The tiger hasn’t fed for a while? What about him getting blown last week by his step-mum or his week spent as a sex slave? I wish I was having that sort of 'drought'.

—'Knock knock? Who's there? It's my cock!' Oh Rudy, you say the sweetest things.

—Poor Andrew Gower has a crap time in every show he's in. Shot, resurrected and then bludgeoned to death with a rolling pin. Ouch!

—With Curtis and Lola now dead, I hope Howard Overman has something wacky planned for Finn's real dad and barman, Alex. I don't think they can stretch killing Greg out for four episodes.


Finn: 'How would you like it if I was bringing girls back and shagging them in front of you?'
Rudy: 'I'd fucking love it.'

Rudy: 'Curtis, man, you're a fucking zombie.'

Jess: 'I think Curtis is in trouble.'

Rudy: 'Horrible, grievous, mate killing situations like these are exactly why God invented straws.'

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