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Review of Misfits – Series 4, Episode 4

Neela Debnath

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

(Hal Shinnie/Channel 4 Television)

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

Misfits is well known for its stylistic cinematography and this week was a reminder of the stunning stylization which puts the show in another league when it comes to television shows. This episode was filmed beautifully and the flitting between monochrome and colour to create the Zombie Noir feel worked wonderfully. Not since the Nazi dystopian episode has Misfits looked this cinematic and it was initially reminiscent of Sin City due to the way it was shot.

However, aesthetics to one side, this week we lost the last of our original juvenile delinquents. It was sad to lose Curtis but he got a good send off. Not only was this a serious episode but Curtis the zombie was a brilliantly funny premise, the scene where he is trying to snack on a cute guinea pig was one of his best. But that wasn’t the end of it. When Greg the probation worker turned up and Curtis had to pretend that he was gay, in order to hide his zombie urges, was an equally funny moment.

It would have been great for Curtis to have remained on the show as a zombie. There would have been a lot of comedy of this kind, where Curtis would have been trying to suppress his undead instincts and attempting to eat adorable, little creatures instead of feasting on humans. It would have worked because Nathan Stewart-Jarrett shows that he is more than capable of doing comedy.

Saying this, it felt like the right time for Stewart-Jarrett to bow out given the departure of his co-stars. Just like Being Human, where Lenora Crichlow was the last original member of the cast left on the show, Stewart-Jarrett seemed a little out of place with all the newbies about. It even feels as if Curtis has been doing community service for far too long than is legally permitted.

Stewart-Jarrett has done well as Curtis but the role was becoming quite limiting. There is the sense that he is a strong actor who has more to offer. Earlier this year he was treading the boards at the Arcola Theatre in Philip Ridley’s The Pitchfork Disney, in a role that was as far removed from his Misfits character as is humanly possible, therefore it will be interesting what he does next.

Now that all of the original characters have gone, who knows what direction the programme will take? It seems to me that the show’s creator Howard Overman was setting up an epic story arc with Superhoodie and saving Alisha, however as the cast left the show this careful crafting seemed to have fallen to pieces. It is a shame because the characters of Kelly, Simon, Nathan, Curtis and Alisha worked well to create a winning formula. With the cast leaving and needing to be replaced, there is a certain discord to the flow of the story.

There is hope though with an American version possibly on the horizon. It was announced back in March that Overman had co-written a pilot, with production anticipated to start this year or early next year. Given that in the US actors are generally signed to longer contracts than those in Britain, perhaps Overman’s original story can be told. This is of course conjecture and would depend on whether he retained creative control or whether the story would diverge from its British parent in the same way that Being Human has. Nevertheless it would be fascinating to know what Overman had planned for those characters.

Overall as an episode it was visually brilliant. There was a little bit of everything this week: comedy, tragedy, sex and death. Lucy Gaskell was enchanting as Lola, the femme fatale who has been warped by the storm. Lola has ended up taking on the persona of a character she was playing and is no longer the person she was born as. It was a reminder that those affected by the storm have not necessarily ended up with powers, some of them have been changed in a different way. For instance Nathan’s mum’s boyfriend took on canine qualities that caused him to run around naked or the man who thought he was in a computer game. It was an interesting slant to take and was a nice little twist.

Next time on Misfits… After discovering that his father is actually not his biological parent, the hapless Finn goes on a quest to find his real father.

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