TV Review: MISFITS Series 4, Episode 4

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

It's been so long since Curtis has had anything to do on Misfits, I'd completely forgotten that he even had a power. That power, if you'll recall, is a little Necromancy.

Curtis is finally given cause to unleash his inner Herbert West when girlfriend Lola's old boyfriend starts stirring up trouble. Accidentally murdering the fellow, Curtis decides to bring him back again to answer a few questions. Unfortunately, he comes back a little on the bitier side, and the Misfits find themselves with a minor zombie outbreak on their hands. The mystery surrounding trainee probation worker Lola is also revealed, with another stupid/useless power once more at the centre of it all. I had wondered last week whether it might have something to do with Curtis's wayward gender-bending power (especially with a name like 'Lola') but it turns out that I was way off the mark again. Sadly, the real revelation is less interesting than that, even if it is a mildly clever twist.

I had hoped that this episode would be a turning point for Curtis, who has never really been given much to do. He's always been the sympathetic, straight-laced one, and aside from a few one-off episodes (his time travel episode and temporary sex change) usually feels like the group outsider. Alas, this episode gives us Curtis at his most useless, unsympathetic and distant. It's as though he hasn't even bothered trying to befriend the new guys. Well, most of his chums are either dead or abroad. And Rudy, it seems, has few qualms about smashing his friend's head in with a hammer.

The folks of Misfits have always been blasé about engaging in a little light murder (never mind community service – they should be locked away in a maximum security prison for supervillains) but this episode finds them at their most indifferent. The newcomers certainly have no trouble adjusting. One doesn't hold out much hope for the probation worker's survival, no matter how creative and aggressive his swearing abilities might be. Elsewhere, Rudy can be found dipping his knob in the group marmalade while Finn continues to make designs upon Jess. It may have been funny at first, but it's becoming increasingly distasteful to see Finn and Rudy treat her like a piece of meat. So far, she seems to serve little purpose but be there for the lads to perv on. With him tying a girlfriend up (and not in a fun way) and wiping his man-bits on her clothes, engaging in sexual affairs with his own stepmother, telling ill-advised sexual abuse jokes and generally acting like a bit of a tit, I'm gradually beginning to take a dislike to this Finn. Jess, you can do so much better. And Rudy, maybe it's time you let your quieter, more sensitive self take over the reigns for a bit.

It's a remarkably humourless episode, with only the death of a few cute animals and a surprise encounter between Curtis and the probation worker to lighten the mood. Given how it ends, the sombre tone is appropriate – however, the story just isn't strong enough to justify the emotion it wants us to feel. Rudy may be in tears for Curtis's curtain call, but I'm not sure anyone else will.

As with last week's episode, it's ultimately a disappointment. There are zombies running about, small animals being noshed upon, heads caved in and a farewell to a major character, but none of it really amounts to much. With the last of the original Misfits' loose ends tied up (bittersweet as that may be) maybe the show can once again find its footing. But given what we're left with – Rudy, Finn and Jess – this could go horribly wrong. Maybe Curtis had the right idea, jumping ship when he did.

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0 #1 djsosonut 2012-11-19 21:31
Always loved Curtis. Since I loved him I noticed that this was a fitting tribute to him. What you call useless, unsympathetic and distant. I call brave, noble, and reserved. It's a test of semantics, but what we've learned about the character over the years is probably very different.

He's always been a private person when it comes to his personal life. Alisha had to drag out his involvement with Sam, Nathan had to out his relationship with Alisha, Nikki didn't interact with the gang until her fifth episode, and Emma never did.

So it was fitting that he was still private with Lola, his infection, and eventually his death.

Elitist, reserved, yet noble and self sacrificing....that's the Curtis Donovan I saw over the years. And what I saw in this episode. I loved his exit.

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