“Are you telling me the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles never killed some ignorant fucker for dropping litter or shitting in the street?”
“No, they didn’t. Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatallo or Raphael would never have done any of those things, they lived by a code.”
“Okay, bad example.”
Airing next week on E4 (and currently playing in advance on the 4OD online service), the final episode of Misfits, the finest portrayal of the super power on the screen. Better than Iron Man, better than The Dark Knight, better than Spider-Man 2, and certainly better than Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I’ve loved this show from start to finish. I was the first person to write about the show’s existence, the first person to review the show, and found my description “It’s not Heroes meets Skins, it’s X-Men meets Trainspotting” used all over the place. The penultimate episode brought together storylines and characters from the past two series and tied up all sorts of plots. The only ones left hanging were the futures, as portrayed on jumpers by the woman who could knit the future.
So the final episode takes a jump forward in time. Where the expected superheroes have become some kind of fascist behaviour enforcers. The split between the two Rudys has grown wider – and one of them is lactating. And one of the Misfits is now… a probation worker. That won’t end well, you know what happens to probation workers in this show. And they are running out of room under the bypass for bodies…
The show has had its up and downs, some will never forgive it for losing Nathan after the first two seasons, though I think Rudy made a wonderful replacement. This final series has done some remarkable things, from a believable support group for the powered, a probation worker who survived, powers that blossomed far from comic book inspirations, somehow finding a way to weaponise rape without it coming off as a kind of war crime, and given some real depth to the double Rudys. Oh and going for superheroes, finally, in a big way. Simon would have loved that. Sadly for the final episode some of that final ambition was lacking in execution. For a show that used superpowers built for a small budget, and moved heaven and earth for them to never actually look cheap, the final episode with a flying fight scene pushed the show’s limits too far. But the other battles were tip top and really worked. Finally, after five years, a proper super hero/villain fight. But at its core, the show has been about some ridiculous individuals finding ways to survive in a harsh world that just got a lot harsher. Superpowers aren’t an opportunity, they are a curse, and at best, a way of surviving other people’s powers. And ultimately the time travel plot gave us a chance to revisit the Curtis-style stories from the first series.
There was no Nathan turning up at the end as a curator of a gallery or some such nonsense. And, as is fitting, we never ever find out what the hell the storm was. But Jess did get advice from another version of herself. We may not have the original cast, but the show went back to its roots, before giving us a Misfits free from destiny, able to do… anything. Staying morally dubious throughout to the bitter end. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
So to showrunner/writer Howard Overman, the cast and crew, the producers, the channel, the many actors, those who survived and those who didn’t, cheers. You were a BAFTA award winning breath of fresh air. Thank you.
And next? The American remake. And a whole new country full of probation workers to kill.