Misfits: "Episode Five"
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Misfits: "Episode Five"

Misfits really is a sneaky smart show. I say sneaky because, in the first few minutes, you've got Nathan pretending to give cunnilingus to a mop, but there's a conceptual understanding of the impact of superpowers that most TV and movie representations miss. Essentially, it comes down to this: the social order which has built on the equality of humans breaks down when humans are unequal thanks due to supernatural causes.

On another show, Sally, the probation worker, is the hero. Her boyfriend has been slain by the very punks he spent his life trying to help. The police are useless – even to the point of rejecting her discovery of Tony's credit card in their possession as evidence. So she goes on the offensive. She searches their stuff again. She tries to interview each of them about their community service. She finds a weak spot, Simon, and she continues to exploit it in order to find the truth. Because the truth is, the kids really did kill Tony, and they really did hide the bodies, and they really did steal his credit card in order to throw the police off the case. In a normal world, she is entirely in the right, if only slightly creepy.

Yet here on Misfits, she's a villain. She seems obsessed and crazy. When she's thinking of doing crazy things, the camera lingers on her and ominous music plays. She's wrong, of course, the misfits were simply defending themselves against Tony's murderous rampage. They even saw him kill Kelly, though only Curtis can remember it. Yet the misfits are helpless. In a sense, their decision to attempt to cover up Tony's death, while in many ways a typical television cover-up that only makes things worse, actually seems more plausible than most. The justice system has no mechanisms for dealing with supernatural abilities. Our misfits are well and truly screwed, even though we know they're mostly in the right.

Another thing I'm enjoying about the show is that it sticks with the consequences of its actions. Last week Curtis brought Sam back into his life with his powers, but found himself with two girlfriends. And he tries to break up with Sam, but she cries, he feels guilty, and they go back to the beginning. It's a touching but hilarious scene, Misfits at its best. And oddly, despite its humor, it's almost totally lacking in Nathan, although his gives the dumbest advice that actually works.

The episode ends with another dramatic increase in tension. We're going to end with probation workers' corpses stacked like cordwood. And Nathan and Kelly getting together. It's sweet and painful. I'm quite excited about next week's first-series finale.

Stray Observations:

  • “Try tying a knot in that. Or maybe you have!”
  • “I struggle to remember one girl's name.”
  • “I ended it six times. Time rewinds, I'm back where I started.”
  • “You're dumping me with a line from Spider-Man?”
  • Nathan's would-be adoption of the random baby seemed like it could be a reveal of his powers for a while, but the show is delighted to let that one get pushed off another week.
  • “I pissed through the letterbox.”
  • “We just held hands. We were only nine.”
Filed Under: TV, Misfits

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