Misfits, Series 2, Episode 4 (WARNING: there will be SPOILERS)
The main plot: a crazed killer takes himself to be in a violent computer game and acts out the crimes to score points. This is stylishly done, and Matt Cross pulls of the role of the deranged man with real finesse. Nonetheless, it it’s a disappointingly unimaginative idea that draws on the tired trope of the danger of violent video games with very little criticism. It is semi-sent up at the very end when Kelly is used to lampshade the theme with a comment to the effect of: ‘This is what happens when men spend all day playing video games and wanking over women on the Internet’, but it feels tacked on and I felt it did as much to enforce the view as undercut it. I’ll admit that there was a reality and horror to the violence and a comedy to the ‘video game view’ that did much to make this a more mature and interesting take on the trope, but overall, it’s not my favourite thing Misfits have ever done.
But enough with the negative, let’s move to the positive:
My new favourite character may very well be Kelly. Despite being given the least to do, she succeeds in stealing the scene in most of the ones she’s in. One side-ways look from her as she dangles from a meat hook in the world’s ugliest wedding dress makes the comic moment.
We’ve seen tough Kelly. We’ve seen her kill several people with what may or may not be inhuman strength. I like that she was overpowered not by physical dominance, but in a way that effortlessly hammered home the terrifying ease with which guns can kill. I also like that they didn’t show her turning into a quivering wreck as she is taken hostage. What could have been the most boring, clichéd scene of a stereotypical psycho playing out a fantasy on a captive woman is brought alive by the fact that Kelly remains Kelly. The situation she’s in is dangerous and frustrating, and she just deals with it. She is both disarming and blunt as she responds to Tim’s (the deranged man’s) ravings whilst accepting that there’s very little she can do.
I also like the new girl. This is an episode hung together on deus ex machina from start to finish, and the fact that there just happens to be a new guy who just happens to have the power of teleportation and just happens to get killed and his heart just happens to go to Curtis’s new lady-friend… it’s a fair amount of coincidence to swallow, but if it brings Nikki on the scene, so much the better. She’s awesome. I only wish her coming to the rescue had been at all pointful beyond getting her to meet the rest of the gang and wind-up snogging Curtis. I could comment about the impotence of the female characters, but, let’s be fair, there’s no real self-directed action from any of the regulars, this episode.
So who was directing the action? Well, it was pretty much down to the ironically rather agentless Tim, who is directed entirely by his psychosis; and Future!Simon, who meets his inevitable sticky end, sacrificing himself for Alisha. It was a fairly moving exit scene, but it also felt a bit like an episode that was getting the job done. We’ve been building up to some character re-positioning: Curtis has broken-up with Alisha; Nikki is all better from her disease of the angst-gland, she’s also now with Curtis and has met the others and has a power of her own; oh, and Alisha now has a Cool Base of Awesomeness. I like that. She may not have set it up herself, but I like the power it gives her, and I wonder what she’s going to do with it. I hope it becomes her hero-lair, but one rather wonders how she can possibly get the others in to share it as a team base without explaining to Simon where it came from.
So: all in all, I don’t think this was their best episode, but they did it with the same style and talent as usual, and I like where they ended up. And I want to know what happens next!