Misfits 1.05 Review
Determined to prove that the gang were involved in Tony's disappearance, Sally focuses her investigation on her weakest link, Simon. Stunned by Sally's interest in him, Simon begins to fall for her.
As Simon gets more and more involved, Sally edges closer to the truth.
Meanwhile Curtis is a having a nightmare trying to end his relationship with Sam before Alisha finds out about it. And Nathan becomes strangely infatuated with a baby he finds at the Community Centre...
Tune in to the Season One Finale, Monday on HULU! And check out the Misfits website for other treats.
Paul Brian McCoy: So I showed this latest episode to a friend of mine last night who hates British TV.
He loved it.
Kelvin Green: Huzzah!
Nick Hanover: Misfits is kind of the perfect show to present to UK TV newbies. The hardest accent to understand gets mocked by the other characters endlessly, the show is ridiculously stylish and clever, and there's an incredible soundtrack.
Paul: He had no idea who anybody was or what was going on, but was very impressed and is now going to go watch the series from the beginning.
He wasn't as taken with Inbetweeners.
Nick: I haven't seen Inbetweeners yet. Is it worth me gaining another TV addiction?
Paul: Not through BBC America, where it is essentially a long string of beeps for dialogue.
Kelvin: Inbetweeners is short, so worth looking into it.
Nick: Maybe I will give it a try. Just so I don't look like a Philistine when it gets remade.
Kelvin: The best reason to watch it! "I watched this show about sex-mad teenagers so I wouldn't look like a Philistine."
Paul: Ha! So, I think this episode of Misfits took it to the next level, both with the plot and with the performances.
Nick: It's interesting that you showed your friend this specific episode, because I would think it'd be especially hard for new viewers to get into.
Paul: Well, it was just because I needed to refresh my memory for this.
Nick: So there were ulterior motives, is what you're saying. Some friend you are!
Kelvin: Ha! I thought the episode was a bit choppy to begin with, and the B-plot was fillerish, but the A-plot was so strong it pulled everything together.
Paul: Yeah, it started out choppier than usual, it seemed. But then got smoother as it went on. Even the cuts seemed more sudden and a little frenetic.
Nick: That's probably because Tom Harper directed it instead of Tom Green. This was Harper's first episode of Misfits.
Paul: Ah, I didn't catch that.
Nick: He did this one and the next, and then doesn't return again until the Christmas special.
Kelvin: In going back to these first series episodes, there seems to be a desire to have every character in every episode, something I don't recall being such an emphasis in Series Two.
If this were a Series Two episode, they probably wouldn't have bothered with the baby stuff at all. But then it was more established and confident by Series Two.
Paul: Yeah, I can't wait to get to all that. Not that I don't love Season One.
Nick: The baby stuff is kind of an odd addition. It's extremely gimmicky and a little out of sorts with the tone of the series in a lot of ways.
Kelvin: Yes, the baby plot seems to be there to give the others something to do while Simon plays the lead.
Paul: I did like the way it opened up just who all was powered up by the storm. If even babies are manifesting powers, this shit's going to blow up soon.
Nick: Well, sort of. It doesn't really address that scope again until Season Two with Milkman.
Kelvin: Until you know that the baby has a power, you could see the B-plot as revealing something new about Nathan's personality -- that he's not such a git -- but that gets scuppered by the revelation. So it all ends up rather pointless and filleresque
Nick: Pretty much. It's mostly an opportunity for Robert Sheehan to mug like crazy.
Paul: Yeah, but I liked the baby.
Kelvin: THE BABY IS JUST LIKE THIS VILLAIN IN SAVAGE DRAGON ONE TIME!!
Nick: Such a rip off!!
Kelvin: Terrible show, I'm not watching it again!!
Nick: I CAN ONLY ENJOY THINGS THAT DO NOT REFERENCE ANYTHING EVER!!
Now the A-plot was great, but then I'm a big fan of Simon.
Paul: That was a BAFTA-worthy performance right there.
Nick: With Misfits I often wonder if they pick goofy B-plots on purpose as subterfuge. It's a nifty trick because it not only distracts you but keeps you from predicting the real emotional stakes.
Kelvin: There is something to that, you know; the B-plots are often stupid things.
Paul: I kind of think that may be the case. It keeps you off-balance.
Kelvin: Like in the time-travel episode, with all the serious EVERYONE DIES stuff, you have Nathan stealing sweets.
Paul: Or Kelly's baldness.
Kelvin: Maybe I'm more hostile to the baby plot because the stuff with Simon was so good, I wanted more of it.
Paul: But they do reveal character. And provide opportunities for the characters to interact in a less intense narrative environment.
Nick: It's also the most stereotypically comic element of the show. Comic book fans are already used to that kind of goofiness, but at least with Misfits it's almost always on purpose.
Kelvin: Yes, that's true.
Nick: There's a juxtaposition of responsibility here as well.
Nathan is trapped in a kind of emotionally manipulative responsibility that finds him sacrificing his time and comfort to take care of a baby he has no real connection to.
Whereas Simon makes a real sacrifice for a group of people he has become extremely connected to due to circumstance and coincidence.
Kelvin: Indeed! I'm still not convinced it wasn't filler, but at least it was relevant filler.
Nick: I find it intriguing as well that Nathan, like always in this first season, gets away from his problem without much effort and without much consequence, but Simon is permanently altered by what he has to do. You could even argue that Simon's act of murder is what really forces him to develop.
Paul: Nathan is impervious to effect.
Kelvin: Yes, well said. Nathan is... impervious.
Paul: I wonder if that has anything to do with his power - which hasn't been revealed yet!!! Spoilers!!!
Nick: DON'T DO IT PAUL!
Paul: Felicity won't be here next week, either. She's going to miss talking about it!
Nick: My favorite thing about Simon's sacrifice is that it's invisible, for the moment at least. The others have no idea what he's done in order to protect them and he doesn't feel he can tell them.
Kelvin: Yes, invisible like him!
Paul: There's a very creepy shot next episode that really makes Simon seem far more disturbed than even now. Can't wait!
Kelvin: They dial back on the weirdness with Simon in Series Two, don't they? I was surprised, going back to these episodes, at how weird he is.
Paul: They really did.
Nick: Simon is by far the most interesting and well-written character on the show and I love the brave choice the writers make by forcing you to really think about what it means to sympathize with and like him. He's not an easy character by any definition.
Paul: But then, he's the only one with a sense of responsibility about his powers, even as he does horrible things.
Kelvin: I find it easy to like Simon, which may say something about me.
Nick: It's easy to like him, which is what makes him not an easy character.
Paul: That's the Good Shit right there.
Nick: Everyone I know who watches the show loves him, but admits that he's not exactly a good guy.
Paul: You just want to protect him.
Um, not you in particular, but the general "you".
Nick: Yeah, I know what you mean.
Paul: Or maybe it is you in particular?
Nick: SIMON IS ALL MINE!
Kelvin: Interesting. I don't ever think of him as "not good", but then again, I'm coming at this from Series Two, where's he's a bit less difficult.
I was shocked by his almost-fondling of a drunk Kelly, for example, as S2 Simon wouldn't have done that. Maybe.
Nick: And along with Simon's creepy bout of near date rapiness, he's just killed a woman he had feelings for, so calling him "good" would be a stretch.
Kelvin: Well, he didn't mean to kill her
Paul: Accidentally on purpose. She wasn't leaving there alive.
Nick: Still, you get my point. He knew he would have probably had to kill her at some point, or sacrifice his "friends".
Kelvin: Yes, indeed.
Paul: Bloody-headed Simon was downright scary.
Nick: And since Simon has proven himself capable of making the hard decisions, it's not much of a leap to assume he would have killed her sooner rather than later. Unlike Walt on Breaking Bad.
Kelvin: Well, Iwan Rheon is a bloody good actor.
Nick: Fuck yes he is.
Paul: His range is extremely impressive.
Nick: All the acting on this show, though, as we've pointed out before, is excellent. But even amongst this cast, he is a standout.
Paul: I can't believe it's Sheehan who's breaking out like he is. I mean, he's good, but bloody hell, Rheon just blows everybody on the show away.
Kelvin: It's one of the things which makes the stuff in Series Two that we can't talk about work so well.
Nick: It's not surprising to me that Sheehan is the breakout, though. He's comedic, for one, which is always an easy sell. And he has more experience than the other actors.
Kelvin: Yes, he's the loudest.
Nick: He's actually pretty understated in Killing Bono. Unfortunately that film is terrible.
Kelvin: Rheon will go on to do acclaimed dramas on the BBC or something, while Sheehan will turn up in Simon Pegg-like supporting roles in Hollywood.
Paul: It's going to be strange not having that Nathan/Simon dialectic.
"He is a twat."
Nick: I'm most disappointed that they've chosen to send off Nathan in a non-broadcast episode. And Kelvin, don't count Rheon out just yet. He does have a band, after all: The Convictions!
Kelvin: Yes, I liked how their relationship developed over the course of the show, until they were almost friends by the end of Series Two. I like it when Simon makes friends.
Nick: Simon has a weird way of making friends.
Kelvin: Simon has a weird way of doing everything.
Nick: It's possible that without Nathan, Simon will come even more into his own. Nathan is his biggest obstacle to really being the leader.
Kelvin: Yes indeed.
Paul: Which is kind of strange. You'd think that Curtis might step up. But he's so wrapped up in his own drama that he doesn't really interact on that sort of level.
Nick: Curtis doesn't have the vision Simon does. Curtis has charisma and cool, but not scope.
Paul: Is that a runner thing?
Nick: Well, running is a solitary activity.
Kelvin: Yep, also, there are other considerations; Simon knows SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER, but Curtis doesn't.
Paul: His break-up scene was killing me. I was laughing so hard we had to pause the show.
Kelvin: "Is that from Spider-Man?"
Kelvin: Simon told Sally (Alex Reid) what happens if he's betrayed, and yet she pushed ahead, with predictable results.
Kelvin: It was a matter of this excruciating wait, as we got closer to Simon being hurt and lashing out once more. Tragic.
Paul: Beautiful pacing and writing all throughout.
Nick: Everything about Simon is tinged with this notion of inevitable sorrow.
Kelvin: Yep, a lesser show would have tried to keep the reveal secret, but this worked so well because we knew what Simon didn't.
Kelvin: And we were just waiting for him to find out, but dreading it too.
Nick: Yeah, the editing on this show is one of its strong suits. Their team of editors are just fantastic at pacing and storytelling without it their hands being obvious, which is quite the skill.
Kelvin: Yes indeed. I'm always impressed with the editing in the way they make an hour of TV seem much longer than it is - in a good way. The people at Being Human are just as good.
Nick: I believe Andrew MacRitchie did the editing on this episode and he has quite the track record.
Kelvin: Track record? Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London? Although I never saw that, so it may have had excellent editing.
Nick: You pick that over Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as your example?
Kelvin: I'm looking at his editor credits, rather than his editorial department credits.
Nick: But the more relevant of his credits is the original Traffik series. The assistant editor ones are probably the more applicable for film.
Kelvin: Well that and Triangle, which must have been a horrible task to edit.
Nick: In film, an assistant editor does more of the hands on work while the editor would be the liaison with the director. On a totally unrelated note, I love that someone named Petra Fried is the executive producer of this show
Paul: So with the penultimate episode of Season One under our belts, what kind of scores do you gentlemen have for it?
Nick: I'm giving this one .
Kelvin: I'm not fond of the B-plot, but it's a Simon-centric episode, and Simon is great (if creepy), so it's for me too.
Paul: I'm going because the baby was cute and may be controlling me with his mind.
Kelvin: JUST LIKE IN SAVAGE DRAGON!
Nick: Paul has been taken by MentaBaby!
Paul: Psychobaby! MentaBaby sounds like a gum.
Kelvin: Psychobaby sounds like a techno band.
For more Misfits action, check out our reviews of Episodes 1.01 & 1.02, Episode 1.03, and Episode 1.04!
When he's not writing about the cape and spandex set, Nick Hanover is a book, film and music critic for Spectrum Culture and a staff writer for No Tofu Magazine. He also translates for "Partytime" Lukash's Panel Panopticon.
Kelvin Green erupted fully formed from the grey shapeless mass of Ubbo Sathla in the dark days before humans walked the earth. He grew up on Judge Dredd, Transformers, Indiana Jones #12, the Avengers and Spider-Man, and thinks comics don't get much better than FLCL, Nextwave and Rocket Raccoon. Kelvin lives among garbage and seagulls and doesn't hate Marvel nearly as much as you all think he does.
Paul Brian McCoy is the writer of Mondo Marvel and a regular contributor to What Looks Good and Shot for Shot. He currently has little spare time, but in what there is he continues to work on his first novel, tentatively titled Damaged Incorporated. He is unnaturally preoccupied with zombie films, Asian cult cinema, sci-fi television, the original Deathlok, Nick Fury, and John Constantine. He can be summed up in three words: Postmodern Anarchist Misanthropy. He can also be found babbling on Twitter at @PBMcCoy and blogging occasionally at Infernal Desire Machines.
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