Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Misfits: Episode Three

Greg: "The magic word is potato."

A very different episode of Misfits this week, and exactly what the show needed -- an episode which made us love Jess. Finn may have provided the chortles, but it was the knowledge of Danny's betrayal and Jess' attempted suicide which brought gravitas to the proceedings. It also explained why Jess reacted so strongly to Finn's non-step-mum faux pas. Aside for having the minor hots for him, she isn't a fan of liars. Poor, pathetic, incredibly jammy Finn. I wish Nadine Lewington were my non-step-mum.

I think we've all seen the old defacing someone's toothbrush ploy done before, but this took disgustingness to a whole new level. Rudy One stuck Rudy Two's toothbrush so far up his arse, that he was almost brushing his own teeth with it. Yet the appearance of Rudy Three made Rudy One's shitty antics seem almost sane. No wonder the two Rudys were terrified of him and his dreadful ukulele playing -- the guy was a nut. Which is probably why they conspired to have him incarcerated in the first place. Shame he had to die, though. He would have made for the perfect returning character. But his death did set up Rudy One's “I'll get the shovels” line. Another body. Just another bleak day in Misfits Land.

At first, I couldn't work out why Jess didn't realise that Rudy Three wasn't our Rudy sooner. Part of it, I suppose, was she hasn't known him for as long as we have, so the changes weren't as obvious. Her natural intuition wasn't much use either. The only thing odd about Rudy Three was his unnatural honesty and his unnervingly accurate insight into her character. He was essentially a thoughtful, stable Rudy -- which is probably why Jess opened up to him. That and the fact that he knew the pain of being betrayed by someone close to him. Despite initially finding him creepy, by the end of the episode Jess seemed to respect his honesty, even if it was specifically related to his desire to kill her.

I don't think I've ever appreciated before how versatile an actor Joseph Gilgun is. The nuances with which he imbued all three Rudys made for captivating viewing. His assimilation of Rudy Two demonstrated his range perfectly. His shifting facial expression and change of demeanour, altered his personality completely. Whereas Rudy Two seems to be an amplification of the more sensitive elements of Rudy One's nature, Rudy Three felt like an exaggeration of his darker side. I've never really considered Rudy a threat to anyone before tonight (other than to himself), but his attempted strangulation of Jess was a truly dark moment.

The Finn blowjob interlude was amusing, but felt a little overworked. There was just so much more interesting stuff going on. I'm not sure how significant Finn's dad not being his biological father will end up being, or whether mad non-step-mum Lisa will ever return. Perhaps threads to be picked up later? I was right about the romantic tension between Jess and Finn, though. Will Finn's cuteness be enough to overcome Jess' issues with devious men? So far, it's looking good. Finn may be prone to telling the odd pork pie, but he's no Danny. And how different did Jess look in that photo? She looked happy. Confident. Gorgeous, even. A far cry from the defensive, often glum, downtrodden girl we're so used to seeing.

And what's the story with Alex? At this point I'm guessing he has a power similar to Alisha's old 'restricted intimacy' ability. And I still have no idea what Lola's up to – apart from knobbing Curtis. Is she really just attracted to bad boys, as she asserts? Pfff... like it would ever be that simple. And Curtis is long overdue a decent storyline. His resurrection superpower isn't doing him any favours at the moment story-wise, although he did come came out with arguably the funniest line of the episode. ('I didn't travel back through time to fuck his mum.')

The real meat of the episode was Rudy Three and Jess' conversation in the probation worker's office. As well as learning about ex-boyfriend Danny, Jess' eating disorder, and the horror of her attempted suicide, it was punctuated to hilarious effect by the stuttering drone of Spandau Ballet's 'Gold' and Los Del Rio's 'Marcarena'. In fact, music was used to great effect throughout the episode. Playing Chris DeBurgh's 'Lady in Red' while Rudy Three revealed to Jess his deathly intentions was inspired. I can't tell you how much I loved that scene. That whole last quarter brought Jess to life for me.

So with both Jess and Finn now comfortably bedded in, it's full speed ahead for the rest of the season. I'm definitely more comfortable with Finn now, although I'm still not overly fond of certain aspects of his personality. (His initial instinct to lie, for example.) And Karla Crome did a splendid job of turning Jess from a moody teenager into a sympathetic character. But the award for 'coolest bastard of the week' must surely again go to Gilgun. If Rudy splits into another three, he could carry the show on his own. Even when he's not being funny he steals the show. Brilliant!

Bits and Pieces:

-- Curtis stole the wedding cake!

-- I'm still not warming to Greg. I quite liked his "the magic word is potato" line, but I'm not really enjoying what Shaun Dooley's doing with the character. I know the characters in Misfits are generally over-the-top, but Greg feels a little too forced to me.

-- I can't help but think Rudy 3 may have enjoyed murder more than Jess did.

-- Finn must have lasted about ten seconds. Why Lisa came back for more, I'll never know.

-- Will Lola turn out to have a power I wonder? The ability to make people steal cake perhaps?


Rudy 2: “What do you want?”
Rudy 3: “If you want to get psychological, I reckon Freud would probably say I wanted to fuck my mum. I'd say 'Freud, you haven't seen our mum lately? Maybe Auntie Barbara.'”

Finn: “I've left a chicken in the oven.”

Greg: “Which one of you little fuckers stole the wedding cake?”
Rudy 3: “I think the bride ate it. I saw her earlier and she's no stranger to the dessert trolley.”

Finn: “Of course I like you. I like your hair.”

Rudy 3: “What does it feel like to kill someone?”
Jess: “It's horrible.”
Rudy 3: “Seriously? Where's the fun in that?”

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