[Contains a pile of dead fridges and SPOILERS!!!]
Despite several good-to-great episodes, some very clever story ideas, brilliant performances from the cast, and a ton of hilarious jokes, the second season of Misfits (2010) is where the show’s limitations start to become more obvious, with the characters bouncing around an insular little bubble of reality, disconnected from the wider world. For example, in ep #2.4, the gang encounter a man who’s become convinced that he’s living inside a Grand Theft Auto-esque video game, and drives around in a cherry-red sports-car, firing off guns and running down grannies, leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake… and yet it seems as if the show’s heroes are the only ones who’ve noticed this menace, because the police are nowhere to be seen on the estate, despite the fact that this careless crime-spree lasts for several days, at the very least. I mean, if this is a result of the same storm that we saw in the first episode, then that means he’s been tooling around in that same altered-state (off-screen) for the length of the entire first series!
Likewise, when a faithless vicar ditches his dog-collar in ep #2.7, and starts buying traded powers so that he can become a counterfeit-Christ and attract a flock of groupies with his water-walking antics, no one outside of the community centre’s immediate vicinity seems to take any notice of his flashy “miracles”! In most countries, the face of Jesus appearing on a piece of toast is big news… but apparently a dude claiming to be the second coming and teleporting around at will isn’t worth the video-tape or newspaper ink!? The longer the show went on, the less sense it made that the rest of the country could or would just turn a blind eye to what was going on in Wertham, with super-powered freaks crawling out of the woodwork on a weekly basis to f*ck shit up. Even when the gang were finally outed in ep #2.6, ‘Curtis’ (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) just reversed time at the end of the episode so that they could take out the one super-freak who’d managed to attract and sustain the general public’s attention, thus allowing them to return to their implausible anonymity. GAH!!! Much as I enjoy Misfits, I can’t help thinking this concept would have worked much better as a comic book, unconstrained by the sort of budgetary concerns and “square one” story-resetting that an ongoing TV series has to deal with.
As a card-carrying Kelly-crusher, I was also annoyed by how harshly her character’s disrespected here, with several characters commenting on how (comparatively) unattractive she supposedly is… a scurrilous slur that’s reinforced by the rather cruel crack that the only man who fancies her on-sight this series turns out to be an escaped gorilla who’s magickally taken on human form! That’s not only insulting to the character, but also ruined what could have been a decent tragic-romance storyline for Lauren Socha. I mean, maybe if he’d turned into a more convincing gorilla after he was gunned down by the police, with expressive features aided by top-notch CGI animation, it might have been quite moving… but his face-mask was so rubbery and fake here, that it really undercut Kelly’s big emotional scene. Feh!
Then, of course, there’s the “Christmas Special”, in which the characters all decided to sell their powers to a mysterious broker for quick cash, only to realise their error after a potentially-preventable tragedy, and then rush to buy them back again! Of course, it wasn’t that easy, because the laws of supply-and-demand were against them… but when they do eventually acquire enough cash to power-up again, Kelly floats the idea of them all getting different abilities from the character-specific ones they were previously blessed/cursed with… which, imho, is where the show really jumped the shark (or “shat its coffin”, if you will). Fun fact: When I first watched this series back in the day, I was convinced that ‘Nathan’ (Robert Sheehan) was going to turn out to be a werewolf, because of the shadowy canine that follows him in the opening titles… but after all these years, I’ve finally been clued in by the show’s wiki contributors, who point out that in English folklore a big black dog was often regarded as a portent of death. So, his healing powers had nothing to do with being a lycanthrope after all… he was just plain old immortal!
Anyhoo, enough of my grumbling… and onto the laundry list of supporting actresses: Evelyn Hoskins appeared in ep #2.1 as ‘Lucy’, a shape-shifting stalker ‘Simon’ (Rheon) met while undergoing psychiatric assessment. Meanwhile, the unfortunate Alex Reid returned to play ‘Sally’s frozen corpse-ical… which can’t have been much fun for her, can it? Ruth Negga made her debut as ‘Nikki’ in ep #2.2, appearing first in a confusing flash-forward that Nathan has when his powers are reversed, and then encountering the gang in the present, when they break into her flat in pursuit of the mysterious Super-Hoodie! Her character recurred throughout the second series, until her death-by-gunshot in the finale… which was rather a bummer, because she was a very welcome addition, and they’d spent so long setting up a pretty awesome origin story for her. Of course, since then Negga’s moved on to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a superhero show with far less swearing, shagging, and cigarette-smoking… but where’s the fun in that? The same episode also featured Catrin Stewart as ‘Lily’, a cute bar-worker who could freeze stuff with her fingers, and died in an exploding car shortly after befriending the gang. Poor thing. Her ghost seems happy enough when Nathan sees her later on, but still… she went too soon, dammit! And Sydney White (aka Sydney Rae White) appeared as ‘Tanya’ a punky club-goer who becomes fascinated with Simon after his invisibility power is reversed.
Susy Kane appeared in ep #2.3 as a news presenter in a future video clip that ‘Alisha’ (Antonia Thomas) watches on Super-Hoodie’s computer, after tracking him back to his lair, and discovering that he’s actually a time-travelling Simon! Zawe Ashton appeared in ep #2.5 as ‘Jessica’, a charitable fun-run organiser with a psychotically over-protective father and a cute crush on Simon. Although the two of them “deflower” each other in a cupboard at the community centre, Jessica breaks up with Simon after the truth about her father’s crimes comes to light… as seen in a short “webisode” elsewhere on the DVD! Anna Wilson-Jones appeared in ep #2.6 as ‘Laura’, a manager/agent-type who offers to represent the gang after their money-grabbing probation worker sells them out to the press… while Natalie Klamar appeared as ‘Daisy’, a lovely lady with healing powers who unwittingly steals their spotlight. Finally, Gwyneth Keyworth appeared in ep #2.7 as ‘Marnie’, a pregnant girl with an adorable grin, who forms an instant shag-happy bond with Nathan. Bless. Keyworth also cropped up in the most recent season of Game of Thrones, playing ‘Clea’, the cynical prostitute that ‘Tyrion’ (Peter Dinklage) befriends in a Volantis brothel. (ep #5.3)