Monday, 5 November 2012

Review: Misfits 4.2

Sadie is held captive by Finn.
Man, I wish Misfits had episode titles. Written 5/11/12

While last week's premier was ok, it didn't really capture a lot of people's imaginations. In that regard, this week was a hell of a lot more confident with its characterisations and dilemma, picking up the cliffhanger from last week and turning it into a funny if crude examination of love and gender roles. I suppose you could say that it was Finn-centric, but the episode managed to juggle all of its characters and give them a decent amount to do - even if, for some reason, Karla Crome's character doesn't seem to be getting a lot of focus.
     As Finn (Nathan McMullen) continues to for some reason hold his girlfriend hostage, gagged and tied up, the new probation worker (Shaun Dooley, whose performance I am absolutely adoring) orders the four to help out at a sculpting class for the blind. There they meet a beautiful blind girl, Ally, who Curtis initially likes until it turns out that, despite being blind, she is incredibly racist. Rudy is kicked out of his accomodation, and barges into Finn's place to stay the night. Soon he becomes suspicious of his locked room, and when the gang confront him he reveals that Sadie, his girlfriend, had a mind-control power that forced him into being the perfect boyfriend. In order to preserve his free-will, he's gagged her so she can't effect him - but he doesn't want to leave her, since she's his first girlfriend and he's still in love. When Frudy releases Sadie, Finn initially goes back to being under her control just to make the relationship work - until Jess has Seth do one last job before he returns to Africa, taking away Sadie's power and ending their relationship. As the episode ends, we find that there's a smoking-hot new trainee-probation worker, Lola (a much more aggressive Lucy Gaskell, Being Human and Casualty) eyeing up the group.
     If I thought Nathan McMullen was a bit shakey this week, he's come into his own here. His character beats are a subtle mix of Nathan and Simon - he's a social pariah, but he's like that with good reason. The dilemma of the episode is actually quite a topical one; was Finn right to go to the lengths he did to retain his personal freedom in the relationship when he'd only ever been good at being a boyfriend while under her control? It's a greater argument about whether personal freedom is better than the overall greater good, and that's a very poweful message to be inserting alongside the nob gags and three, count three, sex scenes.
S4-Ep2 Preview Pictures
Lola (Lucy Gaskell) looks like trouble.
     The blind girl subplot was a tad weird, to be honest. As Rudy lampshades, the series seems to be throwing an awful lot at us under the umbrella of, "the storm did it." In this case, a blind woman (who somehow happens to be racist) has been telepathically connected to her guide dog, who rather literally acts as her eyes now. It gave Curtis and Rudy something to focus their efforts on this episode, but it only led to an oddly vulgar sex scene involving clingfilm and a rubber band. New character Alex, who's probably going to provide Jess's main subplots in this series, was strangely cryptic and ultimately unsatisfying.
     However, this week did manage to have a bit more pacing and drive than the premier, as well as providing better characterisation for Nathan McMullen's Finn. It felt like Misfits again - the gang back together, all working towards common goals. I get the wonderful feeling that the loss of Nathan, Simon, Alesha and Kelly really won't harm this series in the way that I was afraid it would - Rudy and Finn now feel really engaging and this episode at least shows that they can carry an episode on their own. That leaves one missing link - Jess, who despite Karla Crome's best efforts seems to be left out. Hopefully this will improve, given time.


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