Words: Matthew Paskins
'Misfits' Series 2: 'Episode 2'
SYNOPSIS: "'Misfits' follows five outsiders on community service who get struck by a flash storm and lumbered with special powers. Nathan (Robert Sheehan) is shocked (and half naked) when Jamie (Sam Keeley), a long-lost brother he never knew he had, turns up at the community centre." (e4.com)
Not a wonderful episode this week: an overplotted mess like a straight-to-video Brookside special. The misfits are being rescued/haunted by a bike courier/parkour enthusiast who has no screen presence and isn't very exciting.
Nathan's brother Jamie arrives with their dad trussed up in the back of his boot. He's hit him with a toaster but he's not a bad person, Jamie, he's just very confused and wants a dad. All the subtle spontaneous characterisation is not really to the fore at this point. Nathan and Jamie go to the pub. The barmaid is a bit frosty – and she's got powers! – and her powers MAKE THE BOTTLES FREEZE! Because she's...yes?
Then Nathan rescues her and she gives him her phone number. Then they go to the club which people go to in programs like this, genero-pumpy club and they take ecstasy and it makes their powers reverse. Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) sees a future which is a pretty girl who wants to sleep with him and he's sort of a superhero.
'Misfits' isn't a show which becomes wonderfully more insightful when people start talking about superheros. And in pumpy club everyone is looking at Simon (Iwan Rheon) who gets to dance like a self-conscious Ian Curtis and quite rightly holes himself up in the toilet.
There is more business with the motorcycle courier and Simon pursuing him. Jamie and Nathan have a discussion about who they're going to sleep with: pretty ice-girl or Kelly (Lauren Socha). He wanders over to Kelly and she's quite mean to him because her powers have also reversed and she can't stop. Oh yeah, pretty ice-girl has talked about wanting to be less frigid. Is this club even in Thamesmead?
So she and Jamie get hot and steamy and basically things catch fire and there are some more things that happen in this episode of 'Misfits' but generally here endeth the lesson from the Big Book of Character as Metaphor. And sacrificing potentially promising new characters to the Great Clanking Plot.
'Misfits' is on E4 at 10pm on Thursdays. Each programme is available to watch for free on 4od for a month for UK users. The first series is also available in its entirety.