Misfits, Ep. 3.02: Curtis struggles with his identity

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Misfits, Season 3, Episode 2
Airs Sundays, 10pm GMT on E4

After seeing the powers that each character gained in last weeks episode, it was obvious that Curtis was the unlucky one when it came time to get his. The ability to change gender is hardly up there on the list of greatest superpowers. Luckily this week his power is immediately addressed when, bored with his life in community service, he decides to use his power to compete once again as a female runner.

While training he meets Emma, another runner. She later goes to the pub where he works and remembers reading about his controversial drug scandal, they flirt and it leads to, what he finds out through the female version of himself to be an awful night of sex in which Curtis focuses mainly on his pleasure. He has no idea how to please a woman and this makes him very angry. He questions Alisha about it and she agrees with what Emma had said. Even though they couldn’t touch, he spent most of the time looking at what he was doing and not focusing on Alisha. When she admits that Simon is much better because he makes it about her, Curtis flips.

Emma asks female Curtis out this leads once again to a night of sex. This time Emma is more willing to guide Curtis with what to do because she thinks that this girl has never been with another woman. He realises what he has been doing wrong this whole time and is now conflicted about whether to tell her or not.

After running one day, Curtis’ trainer makes a move on him while feeling his hurt thigh, much to his discomfort but then is stopped when Curtis gets up claiming that he is ok. This moment was especially interesting because it allowed Curtis to see how men can take advantage of women at times. Afterwards, Simon catches him at his locker but as the female version and confronts him. He confesses that it is him and while Simon helps him zip up a dress, Kelly sees them but doesn’t say anything.

While at the nightclub, the female version of Curtis runs into his trainer who hands him a spiked drink. He takes it to be polite and then leaves. While dancing with Emma and Rudy, he takes a sip of it and later is shown feeling sick. Emma takes him to the bathroom to wait while she calls a taxi and while she is gone Rudy comes in. Thinking that he is Emma, Curtis makes Rudy perform oral sex on him. Rudy, thinking that he is a woman does this before Emma comes in and Curtis realises what is happening. He runs out to explain everything to her but comes across the trainer who says he will help. He puts Curtis in the back of the car and attempts to rape him while he is unconscious. He comes around just in time and turns back into his male self before punching the trainer and running away.

The next day the trainer arrives at Emma’s flat and offers to take her out for a drink. Curtis goes around to hers to explain everything and then finds out where she is. He rushes to the car and manages to save her just in time. Upon her waking the next day he tells her everything and they decide to leave the trainer naked and tied up to the track wall.

The episode was Curtis heavy and while the show does focus on a specific character each episode, I feel that there wasn’t really enough there with Curtis to warrant a full story this time. We’ve looked at him before in possibly the best episode in which we see him try to change the past with unfortunate results but for this one I just didn’t care about him. Sure I rooted for him to stop the rapist each time but as far as his personality, I really didn’t like him in it.

I understand that we are supposed to see that he has in the past been self centred and complained about his mistakes being the fault of everyone else but the change was hardly much by the end of the episode. Maybe we’ll see his focus move from that of his own to actually caring about everyone else in the group and maybe he’ll eventually stop blaming others. The end of the episode hinted at that. He boxes up his medals and trophies which is a sign that he’s ready to move on. I can only hope so because at the moment, there is nothing for me to care about when it comes to his character.

Yiannis Cove

 

2 Comments
  1. Ashlee says

    I have to agree with you, Strange Agenda. This episode could have gone so wrong in so many ways, but it was executed extremely well. I didn’t feel like any elements tried to preach or really work hard to prove a point; they all fell into place. “The manner in which actress Kehinde Fadipe so subtlety replicates Curtis’s ticks, posture and intonation have given the series another great masterstroke episode.”? beautiful. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Hopefully we see more of her, even if she doesn’t participate in all the superhero antics, it may be refreshing to just have another character around with a new perspective in things.

  2. Strange Agenda says

    Yiannis, you’ve totally missed the point of the brilliance of this episode. The superb nuances between Curtis and “Melissa” are almost unlike anything created for modern TV drama/satire. The manner in which actress Kehinde Fadipe so subtlety replicates Curtis’s ticks, posture and intonation have given the series another great masterstroke episode. Not to get overly serious, I had to watch this episode immediately again, because I was perplexed in a good way by the choice of Fadipe – why her? Would she really be a true female representation of Curtis? This had me considering a whole host of permutations between the male and female form. But again, back to the performance; not for one moment did I doubt the Curtis/Melissa dynamic, so not feeling that this story deserves a full episode is unfair. Where will it go? Who knows. His powers may change. But the issues of Curtis in a different guise, experiencing female pleasure, menstruation, male sexual advances etc were excellently executed when considering Curtis’s overriding story arc from the first season. This wasn’t some Tootsie/Mrs. Doubtfire laugh riot, but a clever urban twist on identity, gender and life chances.

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