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Review of Misfits – Series 3, Episode 4

Neela Debnath

Gang 300x225 Review of Misfits – Series 3, Episode 4SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen episode 4, series 3 of ‘Misfits’

Who would have thought Seth’s throwaway comment about an old Jewish man travelling back in time to kill Hitler would become an episode?

Earlier this year ‘Doctor Who’ had an episode featuring the Nazis, where Rory, Amy and the Doctor went back to Berlin, but the adventure did not focus on experimenting with the timeline and changing history. In comparison, ‘Misfits’ explored an alternate universe where the Nazis won the war because an elderly man named Friedrich (Fred Pearson) failed to kill Hitler and accidentally left his mobile phone in the past, giving Germany mobile technology far ahead of its time.

There were touches of ‘Fatherland’ and ‘Inglourious Basterds’ thrown into the mix along with the usual ‘Misfits’ humour. Yet there was also a poignancy to the episode, particularly in the opener where Friedrich wrote a letter explaining why he went back, which was reminiscent of the poem ‘First they came…’ by German pastor Martin Niemöller.

The episode was challenging because it threw the viewer off balance by changing the rules and creating a sense of uncertainty as to how things worked in that world. In the alternate future it appeared that none of the group had powers apart from Rudy. To add to the confusion, there were some familiar faces who had been killed off in previous episodes but were alive in Nazi-controlled Britain. These characters included Gary (Josef Atlin) who was murdered by Tony (Danny Sapani) the probation worker in the first episode and Lily (Catrin Stewart) who perished in a freak accident when her power of cryokinesis was reversed. The audience also got to watch the comic book-obsessed Peter die again, this time he was gunned down in a hail of bullets.

The way in which all of the characters fitted into this other reality worked in a plausible way. Despite the strict Nazi control and its influence on society, they were still essentially the same. Alisha remained a sexual object and had to use her womanly wiles to survive. While Simon was conflicted, on the one hand he had to follow orders but on the other hand he found it difficult because he knew that what he was doing was wrong. They were all victims of the circumstances. The episode showed Nazi brutality and it was spot-on in the way in which Seth was exploited in order to get powers from other people. It was believable that the Nazis would try to steal and use superpowers to their own advantage if they could. Science fiction allows diversity in a way that no other genre does and it has enabled ‘Misfits’ to transform into something else. It was action-packed and every character seemed to be holding a gun which brought a new sense of danger to the show and heightened the adrenaline rush.

Nathan Stewart-Jarett and Lauren Socha were given weightier roles this week and they more than fulfilled them. Socha is on fine form, she has been since the start of the programme, however this series will be hers in which to shine; after all, it is Kelly who saved the day and stopped Hitler. Moreover, in the same way that Simon and Alisha’s relationship was an integral part of series 2, it appears that the focus has moved to Seth and Kelly’s burgeoning romance – could this be an important element of series 3?

This week highlighted how the series has evolved and grown, the writing is stronger and the characters are even more engaging. If you didn’t love ‘Misfits’ before, you will after watching the show this week. This episode will remind critics why ‘Misfits’ is worthy of its Bafta award and why it deserves another one.

From the trailer for next week’s episode, Kelly ends up in hospital and suddenly loses interest in Seth. Could this be down to someone new coming onto the scene and stealing Kelly’s affections away using a new power?  Could she be pregnant or possibly injured? And is Simon going to have an encounter with Seth’s pet lizard at some point in the future?

‘Misfits’ is on E4, for more information about the series visit: www.e4.com/misfits

Image credit: Channel 4

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  • http://twitter.com/kabailey88 Kurtis Bailey

    I-I-I-I-I loved it.  every second of it.  this show is amazing it has been able to keep viewers enthraled with its storyline and character development.  You truly never know whats next with this series and s3e4 was no exception.  I feel all characters get relatively equal airtime throughout the seasons but this episode was kick ass. why? because Lauren Socha (Kelly) delivered the heat on nazis in an alternate universe. how? superpowers. freakin awesome. love loove this show!!!

  • geoff kl

    i think the prob with the epi was the fact that the characters were virtually unchanged

    growing up in occupied britain….they would have to be different in some ways

    and im all for mucking around with rules…but they really mucked with the time travel bit….

    its time travel….not space travel….

    and i was under the impression that one could not travel further back then his/her own time line

    and it aint that hard to cast someone….or get the makeup right on hitler….doctor who did it ok…this guy looked nothing like hitler

    this epi was a bit off….but i will excuse one off epi per year

     

  • Knowles2

    A message to misfits producers/writers, you cant have characters grow up in a world dominated and controlled by the Nazis and have them all act the same as they were in there original timelines (not unless you have them all do the time travelling). You change the world then you got to change the characters (rule 3 of time travel, rule 1 time travel, avoid time paradoxes which surprisingly they did, although I swear I have read a book about some leaving behind there mobile when trying to kill Hitler and someone had to go and retrieve it to fix the future, rule 2 of time travel, you better not give me a headache).

    You have got to give us reasons why a half cast would be allow to live in the UK under the Nazis rule, in fact you got give a reason why a half cast would even be born under Nazi ragieme, the same with the a coloured living in the UK under Nazi, it not going to happen under Nazi Germany rule.

    This episodes is a lesson in how not to write a time travel story.Why would the Germans rebuild the UK identically under German occupation as they did when we won the war.

    Why would our German overlords use community sensing, instead of sticking them in concentration camps or get the SS to indoctrinate them. I be much more convince if they were in a Nazi Youth camp being re-educated.

    An when did they all learn to use high power sniper rifiles. An learn to handle a couple of guns like Lara croft wit, again making the place a Nazi Youth camp would have made more sense.

    Why, if German receive a massive technological upgrade from our mobile phone, why wasn’t the world technology far more advance than it is today. (Also it hard to see how the Germans gained much from the phone with out a electron microscopes and spectrometer)

    Even in Germnany 1940s they knew smoking was bad, we have laws against smoking now, I am pretty sure if the Germans were in charge they be much more draconian or would have banned it altogether in the goal of building a perfect society.

    Also none of the characters act like Nazi, I can accept them not talking German, but other traits would have been drummed into them.

    The Nazi were not nasty enough, two gays in a bar, they would have been shot in the head on site.

    I could pick this episode apart all day long an still not be done picking it apart ( I do actually have a life through).

    It one of the pitfalls of doing a time travelling episode, you either do it well, logical and with a budget to match (Nazi Britain 2011 would not be the same as Britain today and you need more than a few stickers and banners and uniforms to make it different) or you do not do it at all.

    I give the writers some credit, they did not exactly rewrite the rules of Curtis powers, they did not mention who powers they were, directly, unless I missed the bit where it was shown a Curtis power. So we can presume that it was someone else’s power. Another solution is that the powers matches the person mental state, so Curtis was obsessed with changing his own life out comes but when the power is in someone else’s hands the power is not limited by that mental state.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Martin-Field/1264323926 Martin Field

    The oddest thing about time travelling in this; is the location. How can an old man time travel at one place to another. If you look at Back to the Future and Time Machine. The producers from them DON’T change the location. They only change the setting.


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