Misfits "Christmas Special" & "Vegas Baby" ReviewsA tv review article by: Felicity Gustafson, Nick Hanover
2.07: Just before Christmas, the gang meets Seth, a drug dealer who is able to deal powers after being struck in the storm.
Vegas Baby: Nathan, armed with a new superpower, has got a plan to go out in style. His target - Las Vegas. With Marnie and little Nathan Jr. in tow, Nathan plots to use his new superpower to scam the casinos. As ever with Nathan, it's a sure-fire plan that can't fail. Except it does...and he finds himself on the run. Short on options, Nathan tries to call an old friend...
The new season of Misfits begins this fall.
Felicity Gustafson:What'd you think of it overall?
Nick Hanover: Well, I have a lot of problems with the Christmas special.
Felicity: Problems like what?
Nick: I found it to be an incredibly uneven episode and I'm still not entirely sure what they were trying to do with it. Robert Sheehan leaving the show has probably messed up whatever their plans were even more now.
Felicity: Oh, I'm sure his leaving screwed up their plans. He's one of the major characters everyone loves.
Nick: I like the basic idea quite a bit though. The powers have been mixed blessings for the gang since the beginning so of course selling them would have a certain appeal.
Felicity: I figured at some point they'd lose them. Selling them hadn't really occurred to me.
There's always one character who has a power that'll negate others though. I suppose the Misfits version was taking the powers away.
Nick: Every super hero series at one point or another deals with what would happen if the heroes lost their powers, so this fits in with that. Like you, I didn't necessarily think it would be by selling them, but given the way this show works it makes perfect sense.
Before we really dig into the problems, though, there were some great moments in this episode.
Felicity: The birthing of the alien part might've been my favorite.
Nick: I think Simon's sexual issues may have been my favorite. That was just such a unique spin on the time traveller concept.
Felicity: Being jealous of yourself is probably pretty rough.
Nick: Simon has so much self-loathing anyway but now he is literally loathing a version of himself that makes his current self look pretty paltry.
I think that may be the most confusing sentence I have ever written.
Felicity: You sorta have to watch the episode to understand the sentence. Time traveling does that.
Felicity: He eventually did better, so I'm guessing he got over his jealousy issues.
Nick: I don't know that Simon can ever completely get over his issues. That's part of what makes him such a great character in a way.
Felicity: Well someone has to worry about every little thing. Also, it just wouldn't do to have a leader that wasn't broody.
Nick: Superman, by contrast, doesn't really seem to have any issues. Other than trying not to accidentally kill people just by shaking their hands.
Felicity: Superman's a bad example. He's written to be perfect, so he doesn't HAVE issues.
But I'd love to read an issue where Superman had a bad hair day.
Nick: Right, I'm just saying that Simon is a little more relatable as a character. Although I would also love to see Superman have a bad hair day.
In fairness though, you could claim the bulk of the '90s was a bad hair day for him, what with the mullet and all.
Felicity: Hmmm, good point.
Nick: I also felt that the B-story with Elliot was great.
Misfits likes to deal with people who have decent enough intentions who become cult figures due to their powers, so it's natural that one of those characters would turn himself into the second coming.
Felicity: They walked a pretty fine line with this episode. I can see where it would piss off a lot of religious people. I was expecting some sort of Jesus figure though. It was inevitable.
Nick: I thought they handled it well, because they were pretty blunt about the fact that this guy was just one in a long line of folks using other people's faith to rip them off.
They weren't judging the religion, per se, but the people who take advantage of it.
Felicity: Eh, I was thinking more like Simon's line of, "we're going to kill Jesus." Anyone who'd watched the episode would know he wasn't really talking about Jesus, but it could be misconstrued. Generally anything that can be, will be. The show wasn't religion bashing.
Actually, I thought the wreathe landing on his head after he died was hilarious. It was typical Misfits humor.
Nick: You could take so much of Misfits out of context and offend anyone you wanted to. Hell, you wouldn't even have to take a lot of it out of context at all.
But the unevenness of this episode starts to become too much for me when we get to the little details, which is unfortunate. The biggest might be Nathan selling his power for $2,000 pounds.
Felicity: Even Nathan wouldn't be that dumb. Is that what you're getting at?
Nick: Exactly. Usually the show is smart enough to not make Nathan too stupid and that was taking it way too far. I get that Nathan was doing his little bit to help Marnie in the only way he knows how, but Nathan is remarkably good at getting more out of people than he should be able to...yet he only gets $2,000 pounds for what is arguably the greatest power any of the Misfits have?
Felicity: This is true. That was a pretty big character flaw. It was rather endearing to see Nathan actually care about something though. I approve of his and Marnie's relationship - however odd it may be.
Nick: Their relationship works for me too, it's the right mixture of spontaneous, quirky and lucky. It's too bad we won't be seeing much more of it.
Felicity: Yeah, it just figures he'd be leaving. Oh, well.
Oh, and I finally realized why I didn't really feel anything for Nikki's character... she doesn't last long enough...
Nick: Now you see what I meant about how comments I made last time would seem mean after you'd seen this episode.
Felicity: Yes, your vague, spoiler hintings.
Nick: I can't help myself. Plus it was the last opportunity I'd have!
But I'm not totally convinced that was the end of her. After all, that new guy has to have a power of some sort, right? So maybe he got Curtis' power.
Felicity: I don't know. Maybe they'll bring something entirely new into the mix. It's hard to say. Maybe they'll end up going on some mission to get Curtis' power back.
Considering the way relationships pop up so fast, it's entirely possible that Curtis might fall for someone else in the next few episodes.
Nick: That's true, Curtis doesn't exactly have a long attention span in that area.
I'm a little concerned about the "swapping powers" gimmick introduced at the end here, too.
Felicity: I think they just felt they needed something new.
Nick: I get that they feel the need to switch things around now that the community centre aspect is theoretically done with, but it kind of reeks of Heroes...and we all know how well that worked out.
Felicity: It could potentially be the downfall of Misfits, but we'll only know if we keep watching. So far, Misfits have at least been keeping their characters interesting. I think Heroes grew too big, too fast.
Nick: Fair enough. And Misfits so far has managed to overcome most of its obstacles.
But there's now that whole added bonus of Sheehan being out of the picture.
Felicity: It'll be a struggle to keep it going without him. He was 75% of the comedic value.
I was a little surprised that Curtis didn't blame Nathan more for Nikki's death.
Nick: As you've pointed out, Curtis may have already moved on.
Nick: But speaking of moving on, shall we discuss "Vegas, Baby"?
Felicity: I'm still not exactly sure how to feel about "Vegas, Baby" which might have actually been because of the length.
Nick: Trying to cram in the departure of a major character into ten minutes is a little odd.
Felicity: It seems a little fitting given the pacing of Misfits.
Nick: So, for those who haven't seen it (since we are now onto covering new material, yay!), "Vegas, Baby" finds Nathan and Marnie going to Vegas on...a honeymoon? Vacation? Who knows?
Felicity: I'm not really sure how much time has passed either, considering Nathan's newfound facial hair.
Nick: Nathan being Nathan, he decides this is the perfect opportunity to strike it rich by utilizing the new power he acquired after the Christmas special. Following the trend of things we're not sure about in this webisode, I'm not completely clear on what Nathan's new power is. I mean, I get the basics of it -- apparently he can conjure things?-- but it doesn't seem to be very well thought out.
Felicity: I can't tell if he has the power of creation or not. At first I thought it was illusion, but after shitting out a rabbit, he did make mention of his ass actually hurting, so I guess that's out.
Nick: Unless he just had that rabbit in his pants the entire time. Don't worry folks, this doesn't make much more sense after you've seen the thing.
Felicity: With Nathan, you never know.
Nick: But basically he seems to be able to make things come into being...or changes them somehow...
Felicity: Maybe he alters matter... I'm not sure. Either way, he's leaving, so I guess it's an irrelevant point. The world may never know for sure.
They did make a good excuse for Sheehan not taking part in future episodes, though I'm assuming he might pop in for a guest appearance at some point.
Nick: The best part of this episode is the way it leaves things open for Nathan to come back. He's just in jail. Not cryogenically frozen. Or stuck at the bottom of the ocean. Or whatever they would have had to do to erase him.
If he still had his immortality, I mean. Hopefully the other misfits picked better powers, though.
Felicity: I am really curious to see what everyone picked as far as powers. Before they were given powers. This time they get to choose the powers they'd like to have. It's a big change.
Nick: Though they are just choosing from a pool of available powers, so they could all wind up with abilities like Nathan's.
Or milk boy.
Felicity: Lactose intolerance is a power all by itself when milk boy's hanging around.
Nick: I wonder if all of Elliot's abilities disappeared when he died? Because he had some awesome ones.
Felicity: They probably did. I can't imagine they magically transported back into their little boxes or something. He did have some pretty useful ones.
Nick: Unless they got harvested somehow. Like organ donation, a la Nikki.
Felicity: Hmm, well that's an interesting concept.
Nick: So let's take our stabs at what everyone's going to get...
I think Simon's going to get some kind of strength or reflex thing based on how his future self was, or maybe he can neutralize others' powers since Alisha had no effect on him.
Felicity: I could see the neutralizing thing. Not sure about the strength. Hmmmm. Maybe he gets visions or something. Hard to say.
Someone has to pick flying. If it's an option. And it'd be interesting to see a shapeshifter.
Nick: I could see Alisha picking flying.
Or maybe Curtis. Since he was a runner before. Alisha would probably make more sense as a shapeshifter the more I think about it.
Felicity: I'm not sure. I guess we'll have to see. There's just such a huge pool of possibilities.
Nick: We're going to be totally wrong, anyway.
Felicity: We have to guess. It's necessary. If only to laugh at ourselves once we see what they really are.
Nick: Maybe they will actually turn into the X-Men.
Felicity: Ha! Curtis will turn into Beast.
Nick: Alisha will be Polaris. Kelly will be Jean Grey. Simon is Beast. Curtis will be Angel. New guy will be Cyclops.
Felicity: I could see weather manipulation though. I don't know. Do you think Kelly will stick with mind powers or go for something completely different?
Nick: Well, telekinesis is out if Elliot's powers are all gone. And pyrokinesis is out because of that one girl. So you might be right.
Felicity: Assuming there's only one person with telekinesis. It's hard to say. I don't think it mentions if everyone has to get different powers from the storm.
Nick: That's a good point. There could be multiples out there. I wonder if we'll learn more about the storm itself this season?
Felicity: I doubt it since they hardly ever seem to mention it, but it would be nice to get some solid answers.
Nick: Answers are not a top priority for Misfits it seems. Should we rank these?
Felicity: "Christmas Special" =
"Vegas, Baby" =
Nick: I'm giving "Christmas Special" too, but "Vegas" is getting .
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.
Felicity Gustafson was born in Ohio and, after the astounding realization that there was more to do than look at trees and cows, she decided to become a nerd and got into comics, anime and video games. New to Comics Bulletin, she sticks mostly to reviewing things out of the horror and comedy genres. She spends most of her time working in the manufacturing industry, finishing her computer degree and steadfastly avoiding ham fat at all costs.