Words: Matthew Paskins
'Misfits' Series 2: 'Episode 5'
SYNOPSIS: "'Misfits' follows five outsiders on community service who get struck by a flash storm and lumbered with special powers. Nathan (Robert Sheehan) is violently killed again and he suspects that Jessica (Zawe Ashton), a charity worker from the community centre is to blame." (channel4.com)
I think this was the best episode of 'Misfits' so far. Much of it was taken up with a massive misdirect. During the opening Nathan sees a pretty young woman in her underwear and is then locked in and brutally murdered. Said young woman turns out to be a charity organiser named Jessica, who nervously flirts with Simon (Iwan Rheon). Everyone points out that anyone who's shown an interest in Simon or Nathan has turned out to be murderous or decrepid. Stung by this, Simon asks Jessica out for a drink. There is much sneaking around to see whether or not sweet Jessica in fact intends to cut Simon's throat.
'Misfits' is really good with plots like this, where the characters think they know what's happening and try to play along with some genre conventions which then get subverted – partly because it's so enthusiastic, and partly because misreading situations and cockily feeling they seen it all before is what the characters do, all the time.
Meanwhile, Kelly (Lauren Socha) and a large but sweet man get together. These scenes are gorgeous: Kelly starts to trust him because she can hear what he's thinking and he seems so unsure. Their relationship is tender and passionate and quite frightening, Kelly at her best.
The climax of the episode involves a recreation of one of the most canonical monster movie moments, at a fancy dress party where our gang have all gone dressed as pound-store superheroes. They all look quite brilliant in their costumes, along the lines of Aaron Johnson in 'Kick-Ass'. "Maybe this is what it feels like to be a superhero", Simon says hopefully. Nathan replies: "I think being a superhero involves more than just getting you laid."
All in all, it felt like a calm before the storm episode: most of the gang seem to be finding a bit of happiness with other people, and to be mates together. The next promises fame for them all and I'm a little worried about what happens when the bubble of the setting – the community centre, the water, and the little gang, all beautifully framed in the last shot of this episode – bursts. But we'll see.
'Misfits' is on E4 at 10pm on Thursdays. Each episode is available to watch for free on 4oD for a month for UK users. The first series is also available in its entirety.