[Contains golf-ball gob-stoppers and SPOILERS!!!]
After finishing my Misfits S1-3 boxset, I had no intention of watching the later, Lauren-Socha-less episodes*… until I met Ellie Kendrick at BF&CC, and we got chatting about her time on the series. She was just so enthusiastic about her character, and the powers/costume they gave her, that I felt compelled to see what all the excitement was about!
Before that could happen though, I had to get through the comparatively humdrum fourth series (2012). To be fair, Misfits has such a unique premise, and such a reckless sense of humour, that it’s still pretty more-ish even without the original cast in it… but this “season” never even came close to the sort of nail-biting drama, unnerving horror, and heart-wrenching tragedy that the first outing boasted, and the two new juvies they introduced in the opening episode never had a hope of filling the shoes left vacant by their predecessors. ‘Finn’ (Nathan McMullen) was a gawky sad-sack with weak telekinesis powers, and a really dodgy back-story involving him binding-and-gagging his girlfriend to a bed to stop her using her mind-control powers to domesticate him (!), and ‘Jess’ (Karla Crome) was a feisty-but-vulnerable girl with x-ray vision, an awesome hair-do, and terrible taste in men. Later in the series a third newbie, ‘Abbey’ (Natasha O’Keeffe), was awkwardly introduced (ep #4.6) as a drunken/druggy amnesiac hanger-on the gang attract at a house-party, but so far her only “power” seems to be that she’s super-shameless and annoyingly honest about everyone else’s anxieties.
Although I enjoyed Crome’s performance, I never really warmed to her character… and all of the younger cast members were consistently blown off the screen by Shaun Dooley, who played the gang’s volatile new probation worker ‘Greg’, bringing a terrifying-but-hilarious intensity/instability to the role. Meanwhile, Joseph Gilgun continued to steal the show as lovable (?) loud-mouth ‘Rudy’… especially in ep #4.3, when a previously unseen and totally psychotic version of his character rocked up, fresh out of prison and looking for revenge. I don’t really understand how Rudy #1 could have been put on community service while Ruby #3 was simultaneously serving time in prison for a more serious crime (don’t the police take fingerprints anymore?), but it was worth suspending my disbelief for the brilliant and brutal scenes between Gilgun and Crome. Top marks to them for that.
As for the supporting cast: Imogen Doel appeared in eps #4.1-2 as ‘Sadie’, Finn’s heavily-restrained but unrepentant harridan… Eleanor Wyld (aka “Eleanor Wild”) appeared in ep #4.2 as ‘Ally’, a blind/racist sculptress, with a telepathic seeing-eye dog (!)… Lucy Gaskell appeared in ep #4.2-4 as ‘Lola’, a former acting student who’d become locked into a full-on-femme-fatale persona by the storm, eventually causing ‘Curtis’ to commit suicide, after murdering one of her (supposedly abusive) exes… Nadine Lewington appeared in eps #4.4 as ‘Lisa’, Finn’s sexually-aggressive ex-almost-stepmother (in the sense that she previously dated his adoptee father)… Charlie Murphy appeared in ep #4.5 as ‘Grace’, Finn’s newly discovered half-sister, who was keeping their dying father alive with her power, regardless of his own wishes (sadly, although she and Finn seemed to bond quite closely over the course of this story, Grace was never seen or mentioned again)… Juliet Cowan appeared in ep #4.6 as an ante-natal ‘Course Leader’… and finally Gillian Saker appeared in ep #4.6-8 as ‘Nadine’, Rudy’s “true love”, who turned out to be a storm-afflicted nun being hunted by a gang of black-clad BMX-ninjas repeatedly referred to as “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”, despite bearing absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to those Biblical doom-mongers. I mean, I was fine with them riding pedal-bikes, but the fact that they killed people with standard-issue katanas rather than any sort of supernatural powers just seemed like a cheap cop-out to me.
Note: I’m not even going to get into the (transphobic?) sub-plot about Jess’s new d-bag boyfriend and his stolen penis, because… oy vey!!!
* I did appreciate the fact they gave Kelly an honourable off-screen “happy ending”, using her “rocket-scientist” power to defuse landmines in Africa. Yay her!