Review: MISFITS S4E05 (Or, Finn Meets His Real Dad)
While I'm feeling largely positive about the fourth series of Misfits - especially the two episodes before this one - I think that the character of Finn just isn't working. He has a really irritating manner and is devoid of charisma or anything that the audience can identify with. This episode's main plot is about Finn tracking down his real father, and while there are parts of it that work, I was left feeling more disappointed than I was with the other episode focussed around Finn (that one where he locked up his girlfriend).
Finn discovers who his real father is but he also learns that he is suffering from cancer and is not long for this world. This is a story with substance, but the script keeps Finn so detached from the situation that it doesn't really feel like he's part it. Throughout, he spends his time cracking inappropriate jokes and childishly trying to prove that the barman Alex is gay so that he can sabotage his potential relationship with Jess.
What works in this episode is the story of Finn's half-sister, Grace (Charlie Murphy). She's able to keep her dad alive with her power but is unable to make him any better. Through her character, the show provides an interesting discussion about euthanasia and is even able to make the emotional moments at the end work despite Finn increasingly tiresome presence. I hope she's sticking around because, without Kelly and Alisha, Misfits is really missing good female characters.
The death of Curtis is barely touched on, although the probation worker does attempt some half-hearted grief counselling with Rudy. The steadily growing romance between Alex and Jess, though, is becoming more important. It's obvious that Alex is hiding something big and power-related, but we haven't really been given enough clues to make any guesses about what it is. That's fine, though, because next week's preview indicates that it'll be revealed soon.
As ever, Joseph Gilgun is doing great work as Rudy. Even when Misfits isn't firing on all cylinders, it can rely on him to deliver the funniest lines and inject some humour into proceedings. He doesn't get much to do this time around, but everything that he does is very entertaining. Shaun Dooley, also, remains brilliant as the menacing probation worker; the scene in which he re-enacts the jig he did over his own dad's grave is totally wrong and highly amusing all at once.
The level of focus on Finn's character really drags this episode down, though. He's just not working at all for me and the only way that the episode's weighty plot is able to work emotionally is through a character introduced in this episode. I hope that Misfits and Nathan McMullen can decide what they're trying to achieve with Finn and keep his character more consistent tonally. Beyond that, the mysteriousness of Alex is still keeping things intriguing, I look forward to finding out more about him next week.
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