Review of Misfits – Series 4, Episode 3

Neela Debnath

misfits episode 3 300x225 Review of Misfits – Series 4, Episode 3

(Hal Shinnie/Channel 4 Television)

SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen episode 3, series 4 of ‘Misfits’

This week was the strongest episode of the series so far, possibly due to the presence of three Rudys.

Joe Gilgun gave three sterling performances as Rudy 1 (the puerile one), Rudy 2 (the sensible one) and Rudy 3 (the evil one). He has already shown his versatility through sensitive Rudy and the crude version, but in this episode he took it to a new level with Rudy 3. The latest version of the character was a pure psychopath, whose actions are completely unpredictable which made him all the more sinister.

Forget about the evil twin, this week it was about the evil triplet. The moment where evil Rudy jumped into the body of crude Rudy was a brilliant bit of acting by Gilgun, particularly as he shifted from one character to the other. It was well done and it throws up the potential of more multiple versions of the character which could be based on the different facets of his personality.

The only real criticism about Gilgun’s turn was the lack of distinction between Rudy 1 and Rudy 2. Although they are vastly different, at times their personalities seemed to blur and there was some confusion as to which one was which. Perhaps the difference needs to be re-affirmed. Other than that it was great to see three Rudys, it almost seems as if Rudy could have his own show with multiple version of himself getting into sticky situations each week.

What was interesting about the appearance of the third Rudy was that he served as more of a plot device to explore Jess’s backstory. Up until now, she has come across as sarcastic and somewhat standoffish but finally we learn that she has suffered from an eating disorder, heartbreak and has even attempted suicide.

Despite her prickly exterior she is so vulnerable. Even if she does try to hide it, that fragility is quite obvious. If there were any similarities to Alisha they have now gone. Karla Crome plays Jess well enough and she is slowly starting to feel like a more rounded character.

Jess and Rudy’s heart-to-heart was a wonderful mix of comedy and drama, with snatches of the Macarena punctuating the serious conversation. It was a reminder of the genius of Misfits and the way in which it plays with the tone, taking it from one extreme to the other and back again seamlessly. The tension was broken but as soon as the music cut out, there was a sudden return to the drama.

Meanwhile in Finn’s world, he was hit on by his step-mother who is not his step-mother and finding out that his father is not actually his biological father. The whole sub plot was just not funny in the slightest, not even in a cringe comedy way. Finn is still taking time to become likeable, at times the naivety is sweet but most of the time it is annoying and just grates. As a viewer, there is the urge to smack some sense into him and tell him to grow up.

Curtis and Lola the ‘trainee probation worker’ (is she really) unsurprisingly embarked on a relationship which will be explored in detail next week. However, one thing worth pointing out is the great one-liners Curtis was coming out with this week. The role of Curtis is to be the sensible one, which some may read as ‘boring’, but he is necessary to counterbalance the silliness of Rudy. When Curtis does share a witticism it is actually quite funny.

As a whole this was a dramatic and funny episode due to Gilgun and Crome, and was reminder of how good the show can be. The use of Chris de Burgh’s Lady in Red which was played in the warped murder on the dance floor scene deserves a mention because it was so well done and was a delicious piece of Misfits tragicomedy. There are only two questions this episode may leave viewers asking. Firstly, does Curtis have a power? Secondly, why would anyone want to get married in the community centre?

Next time on Misfits… Lola’s story is the focus and some shady characters are threatening to kill her. There’s a high probability that the shovels will be out again.

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  • Themgs3

    These reviews are posted unbelievably fast

  • Snakeskin

    I enjoyed this week’s episode – I think Finn and Jess are settling in nicely on the show and I echo your point that Gilgun’s Rudy performance (all three of them, really) was fantastic viewing. I’m looking forward to delving into Curtis territory in the next ep.

    I’ve also posted a review here, on my blog:

  • guyfromvancouver

    This episode was the weakest in the entire 4 series. Misfits is about a group of delinquents with super powers. It uses that science fiction, and humour to explore human nature. This episode had none of that. It was a fine piece of teen drama, but it was nothing more. It was missing all the elements that make Misfits a unique show.

  • JasmineAM

    So it’s completely normal teen drama when a guy splits in three, and the third of him is a psychopath that wants to kill people?

  • guyfromvancouver

    Good point. I actually forgot that happened in this episode. But this was only used as a device to explore Jess’ character. And the only effect of Rudy splitting is to create more characters to have drama with. I felt like I was just watching a fight between triplets and a girl. The other plot line was a simple romance between Curtis and Lola. There’s something mysterious about Lola, but we must wait until later. And the third plot line we learn that Finn’s mother hits on him, and this ends his relationship with his father.

    This episode was all drama. The reviewer oddly even uses the phrase, “It was a reminder of the genius of Misfits”, as if the episode had lost it’s way and for a brief moment, we are reminded that it is actually a truly fantastic series.

  • djsosonut

    Misfits has always been like this. Yes, the characters have powers but it’s always about how those powers help explore the characters. Was 1×05 about Simon’s invisibility or was it about Simon’s personality? The powers are mostly just a shorthand in understanding the characters. They rarely solve any problems by using their powers. It’s usually something more mundane like a paint can or a pair of scissors. More likely their powers get them into trouble.. Like this episode and the darker side of Rudy’s power.

    This is the best episode of series 4 so far, and i say this as a person that loved the first two. You ended up learning so much about Jess, Finn, and even Rudy. Not only their past about how they react to certain things. Finn has the tendency to lie, badly, under pressure. Jess’s sass is a front, and she probably is so intuitive because she has really trued anyone in a long time. Through Rudy’s dark mirror you see another version of him that is as lost, passionate, and lonely as the other two. Dark Rudy and Rudy Two are just honest in a way that Rudy rarely allows himself to be. It’s fitting since they’re both manifestations of his insecurities. One passive and one hostile.

    This was just a great all around episode. And even though Rudy himself was only present for a small part of it, I learned alot about his character. When stop seeing the differences in Rudy’s mirrors and instead see the similarities, it’s truly amazing character exploration. Rudy’s a complicated person and Joe is an outstanding actor. I made this as a tribute/character study to Rudy after this ep:

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