Misfits, Series 2, Episode 3

Unsurprisingly, I’m enjoying series 2 as much (or at least, almost as much) as series 1. I haven’t got loads to say about it beyond, that. I watched the first season in a big lump after it had finished airing, so it’s a different experience to be watching it week to week. I want to see what the story arc will be this time. A few observations, though (caution, will contain spoilers):

– Love the new probation worker – yet another rich, interesting, and utterly natural character. With the rate they go through them it would be easy for the probation workers to be quite samey, but they’re not. I love that he’s both on their side and a bit can’t-give-a-shit. I love that they’ve managed to convey that he does care about them – that he’s willing to stand up to the police for them, and that his attitude is thus a part of that. I wouldn’t say he gains their trust (we haven’t seen that yet) but he’s worthy of it, open to it, because he treats them as independent adults doing jobs that we all know none of them care that much about doing. I like that. I like him. I hope they do something with him. I’m glad he isn’t dead yet.

– Like the Mysterious Stranger plot. Intrigued that it’s turned out to be Simon. The stark bare plot that Alisha would fall for him because he protected her and is all mysterious and for some reason she can now touch him without her power coming into effect – it sounds pretty unlikely. And yet, they make it work. The actors make it work. The subtle differences in Simon make it work, without stopping it from being him – a more mature him, but still reserved and quiet, and still a bit creepy: stalking is still not a flattering way to show your affection! Alisha’s understandable dissatisfaction with how her power is affecting her life makes it work, too. I like that they’re lamp-shading how creepy and unpleasant her power is – how it makes her feel about how men regard her, and what it says about broader issues that the ‘pretty’ girl has been given a power like that in a superhero show. And yet those could still both be incredibly awkward and forced if the actor wasn’t pulling it off as well as she is.

– Not liking so much that Kelly and Nathan failed at getting it on. The scene was well-acted, but given the obvious chemistry and passion those two showed – and how interesting, wonderful, and different the arc of their relationship was – I’ll be really disappointed if it stops there. Obviously, having a stable relationship in TV land is virtually impossible, yet this was one that, if anything, was clearly never going to settle down into dullness. I hope it’s not the end of it.

And that’s about it, really. We’re still waiting to see the rest of the plot unfold. I’m sure we’ll look back and see things we missed.

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About Serenity Womble

I'm a writer of science fiction and fantasy short stories, as well as many, many unfinished novels. I review things of a generally speculative nature. This is my blog for writing and reviewing.
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8 Responses to Misfits, Series 2, Episode 3

  1. David Moore says:

    I haven’t quite given up on Nathan and Kelly. I think they’re highlighting some of the sex and gender issues in the series; vide the issues around Alisha’s power. They finally get what they’ve wanted all this time, and Nathan charges in like a twat, totally ruining the mood for both of them. I think they’re going to draw it out for a bit more, and it’s going to work out for them later in the series.

    I like that the storyline it building up in scope, without taking away the characters’ venial and banal natures. I liked Heroes, but I felt the characters transitioned from “normal people who accidentally get powers” to “heroes saving the day” with jarring suddenness; in Misfits, they’re cohesing better as a group, and there’s clearly big stuff on the horizon, but they’re showing no signs of dropping everything to fight crime. Good stuff.

    • Very good point about how they’re building scope without taking away the more interesting and ordinary aspects of the characters. We’ve actually seen some of them in hero costumes, now, and we’ve seen that they’re going to be known and have a name on TV. Which is awesome, but they’re still… young offenders on community service.

      I’m not giving up on Nathan and Kelly, either, I just felt that this was a writer’led thing rather than a character-led thing. Kelly *likes* that Nathan charges in and acts like a twat, usually. And she *asked* him to go for it there and then, with no romantic pre-amble. If they’re drawing a gender issue here, then I’m disappointed; if the implication is supposed to be that girls need romance, I feel they’ve betrayed the character. I’ve enjoyed how they’ve used Kelly’s brash nature as a ‘chav’ to let her behave in ways that girls stereotypically aren’t meant without losing plausibility. They’ve worked with the stereotypes to produce something non-stereotypical, and I love that.

      It wasn’t utterly unbelievable, but it didn’t chime with me (one of the very few things in Misfits that hasn’t felt utterly well-played). I am also hoping that they’re not done with that plot – Nathan clearly wasn’t as happy to just be mates as she was – but even if they’re not, this feel like a writer-move rather than a character-move in a way that jars, especially as they pulled off something very unlikely with Simon and Alisha.

      But we shall wait and see! I can’t deny that it’s a hook that’s part of the magic that will keep me watching. Also, everything’s gone far to well for them, so far – can’t help but feel that Bad Things must be on the horizon.

      • David Moore says:

        “If they’re drawing a gender issue here, then I’m disappointed; if the implication is supposed to be that girls need romance, I feel they’ve betrayed the character.”

        Less that girls – or Kelly – need romance, in general, than that this is something Kelly has wanted for a while, and she’s managed to romanticise it. The fact that they’ve had to get over his obnoxiousness as a person has added an importance to it, and you get the impression that sex usually comes before attachment in her relationships.

        • That’s fair – interesting point about Kelly probably not having attachment before sex in her relationships before. Think I was misled by your mentioning it in the context of sex/gender themes around Alisha – ‘pologies if I went off a bit.

  2. nkkingston says:

    I think, considering last episode Kelly told Nathan she loved him but was scared he’d hurt her (under the influence of drugs, of course) that their relationship really isn’t played out. Considering the ease with which other characters have hooked up*, I suxspted they’ll be playing this one out for a while.

    *Which I’m not complaining about, to be honest. There’s a limit on how much will-they-wont-they I want in one show, and I really liked the way Alisha reponded to the revelation Curtis had ‘accidentally’ cheated on her with his powers. No massive dramatics, just a ‘yeah, I can see how that would happen. oh well, you picked me’ approach (which is being interestingly undermined with Simon, now).

    • Good point re: Kelly saying she loved him but was scared last week. I suppose there’s an odd thing in that we don’t get to see inside her head, usually, in the way that we get to see inside Nathan’s via her power. It’s a power-imbalance in the relationship that’s interesting. I suppose what jarred with me was that it *felt* like bad sex (watching it), and it *felt* very real and casual and true the way the actor was portraying Kelly’s declaration that she wasn’t feeling it.

      I suppose my point is less that I think it’s completely over with them (I hope it isn’t!) but if they do get back together than this break seems artificial, to me – imposed by the writers, rather than led by what the characters would actually say, feel, and do. Which I guess is only so jarring because Misfits is usually so brilliant, from that point of view.

  3. twinoflauren says:

    I think the awkwardness of Nathan and Kelly and their ‘just be friends’ resolution was probably necessary after the intenseness of Simon and Alisha in the scene before. They set it up to balance the feel of the show I guess and played for laughs but it won’t be the end of Nathan and Kelly’s chemistry so as long as cracky banter ensues I’m happy. It would be great though if Kelly’s power could come to the fore a bit more, it’s pretty under-used at the moment I think.

    • I can see the point about balance, but balance can be had in other ways, and I’m not sure balance *was* 100% achieved. Overall I felt like the sub-plot with the tattoos etc. was sort of going on in the background to the Alisha/Simon story in a way I don’t usually feel with Misfits. But it’s not to over-state the case. I agree with all who’ve commented that it seems plausible that this isn’t the end; but it isn’t clear, and, overall, this part didn’t work for me.

      I also agree that it would be good to see Kelly’s power used in more interesting ways. That’s really a very powerful ability she has, and there’s a lot more than could be done with it. Yet, at the same time, none of them use their skills excessively. As David Moore says, it’s still about their lives – their powers haven’t taken over the stories in a way that detracts from that yet. I am curious about what will happen when their powers become known (if they do – the future doesn’t seem to be set in stone…).

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