Misfits: "Episode Four"
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Misfits: "Episode Four"

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Misfits

"Episode Four"

Season 1, Episode 3

(Just a reminder that British series Misfits recently debuted on Hulu.com for U.S. residents, and we're covering the episodes as they pop up, week to week.)

The third episode of Misfits spends a lot more time dealing with the main plot, after the characters have been fairly successfully introduced. Almost immediately, I'm proven wrong, as well, as last week I said the show was making it far too obvious that Sally, the new probation worker, was the Misfits' stalker, but this episode makes that, and her hunt to find the truth about her boyfriend, quite explicit. She's stalking Simon on Facebook, going to the police station to try and encourage the case to move along, and in the second half of the episode, thanks to a comedy of errors, driving around for a day with the corpses in the trunk (or “boot”) of her car.

One of the things I'm enjoying about Misfits is the small scale of the storytelling. These kids are kids, in over their heads with the probation worker case as well as their powers. They don't feel the need to investigate the inherent nature of their new powers or act like they're something new and special (or worse, agonize over whether it's “fair” to use them). Even the main plot doesn't rely on their new abilities, as it's generally the story of the kids trying to shift the bodies around so they're not discovered when their burial place is dug up. Powers are used—Curtis turns back time, Simon turns invisible—but it's easy to imagine the story working without those. They're flavor, not necessity.

Such is not the case with the B-plot, involving Alisha dealing with her powers. The opening suggests that she's happily using her ability to drive people wild in order to score regularly with the hottest guys. It's not so happy when she uses it on Curtis, who doesn't actually use the word rape to describe what happens but comes pretty close to doing so. And when she takes home a cute work supervisor, her sexual conquest is hollow, especially when he can't even remember doing the deed.

In a general narrative sense, I really like Alisha's power. To take someone who self-defines by their subjective sexual power and give them an objective sexual power can reveal really interesting things about that power. This episode did so directly, with Curtis accusing Alisha of believing she can get away with anything because she's beautiful (and her agreeing with that), but also less explicitly, by showing how isolated she gets, quickly.

While this would work really well if she were the main character—though it would be a much darker series—I'm still unsure about it in the context of a larger narrative. As the episode ends with her starting an official relationship with Curtis, she's obviously emotionally integrated within the show. And that's probably more important than the plot.

Stray Observations:

  • “I suppose you know his name, too.” “Tony.” “Do you love him?”
  • We're a little Nathan-light this episode, but he does give important speeches while in a bra.
  • “Did you know she was bald?” The C-plot involves someone with the power to turn people bald, hitting Kelly specifically. I like how weird some of the powers have turned out to be.
  • Speaking of, still no official sign of Nathan's power.
  • “If I was mentally deficient... I would have missed. Check that out: bullseye.” Unless it's the power of taking one for the team?
  • Why not condoms combined with strategically placed clothing? Also, isn't this similar to how Pushing Daisies worked romantically with no touching?

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