Review: MISFITS S4E01 (Or, A Cult Hit Introduces Some Fresh Faces)

Simon Cocks, Contributing Writer
It's difficult to explain the appeal of Misfits to those who haven't watched it before. On the surface it seems vulgar, violent and unsophisticated but beneath that is a brilliant series that is exceptionally addictive and delightfully fun when you get into it. Superhero movies frequently show that characters granted special abilities could use them for the greater good whereas Misfits presents what is perhaps a more realistic interpretation, that people (especially young offenders) would most likely use their new gifts selfishly.

The show has devoted a great deal of time towards character development, which has allowed for stories with emotional impact and meaning to take place. By the conclusion of the third series, the tragic departure of major characters Simon (Iwan Rheon) and Alisha (Antonia Thomas) really resonated because we knew the two of them so well. Lauren Socha's Kelly has also left the show, so now it's beginning its fourth series with only one of the original characters remaining, Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett).

Thankfully, last year Rudy (Joseph Gilgun) was added to the group, with his character bringing a lot of energy and comic relief. The new series sees the arrival of newcomers Finn (Nathan McMullen) and Jess (Karla Crome) too, who are just beginning their community service. The plot of the premiere episode is very inventive and twisty, and it succeeds because it isn't devoted to introducing the new cast members. Misfits isn't afraid of throwing its viewers in at the deep end, and here we resume proceedings in just as crazy a scenario as usual on this show.

An injured man with a briefcase full of money has wandered into the community centre. After coming into contact with Rudy, Curtis and Seth (Matthew McNulty) they all become obsessed with cracking open the case and getting the money. This bizarre and useless ability results in a serious amount of pain for the man with the case, and complete confusion for Finn and Jess.

Many fans were worried that Misfits wouldn't be able to last given such drastic changes to the cast. Sometimes, though, reinvention can be a good thing. The show keeps things fresh with the new characters, but the tone and atmosphere remain familiar. It still feels the same and it's just as entertaining as before. It also proves that it has the ability to provide some great twists and turns with the events of the final few minutes considered.

While the explanation of Kelly's absence was jarring and strange (also, wouldn't Seth just go to Africa now?), there was barely another weak moment in this incredibly confident premiere episode. The dialogue remains as profanity-filled as we've come to expect, with there being no shortage of graphic violence too. The new dynamic is different, but I like that the show has kept itself from going stale. Misfits has a knack for really delivering when it comes to thrilling episodic storylines, and this reintroduction to the show is no exception. I hope that this high standard is maintained as Series Four continues.
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  • djsosonut

    Agreed. Loved everything about this episode. Jess and Finn were great. Rudy was on fire. And Seth was really funny. I don't think the casting directors have made a misstep yet.

    I even liked how they wrote Kelly out. It fit what I think about her character. She always been one of the kindest members of their little crew and deeply insecure about what people think of her. It's why she had her first power, and why she chose her second. I can see her responding well to the validation that defusing that mine would give her and wanting more. As for Seth, going by the first episode he's there to pick up their things. Since I heard he was a series regular I wonder what's going to make him stick around. I really hope something bad doesn't happen to Kelly.

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