Misfits, Ep. 3.04: Fantastic cinematography ruined by poor writing

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Misfits, Season 3, Episode 4
Airs Sundays, 10pm GMT on E4

I want to begin by saying this episode looked fantastic. The cinematography of the show always continues to impress me. Let’s remember that they don’t have a huge budget because they are a semi-popular show on a cable channel. Yet they consistently pull off scenes that look like something out of a movie.

The premise for this episode is one that has always interested me in television and film. What would happen if you were to go back in time and change something, would it make a difference in the present day? As we have learned time and time again, the answer is almost always yes. In this case leaving behind a mobile phone, in Hitler’s hands no less, changes everything. The advance of technology helps them to win the war and now the world in run by Nazi’s.

Suspending disbelief for a second that the mobile phone lasted long enough to give them the information they needed, this was a nice way to set up the ultimate villains in present day. Having Simon work for them but not by choice is funny and expected of him. I also enjoyed how even in a different timeline the group still found a way of ending up together, although it was a little convenient and lacked an explanation as to how some of them knew each other (Curtis and Kelly).

The action was fantastic and brutal, full of gruesome violence that seemed a lot, even for Misfits. Having the probation worker Shaun as a Nazi worker who sucked up to the higher ups was hilarious and completely fitting for him. I just wish that he had been shown to be more evil, although I guess that may not have fit with his lazy personality. He was especially creepy though towards Alisha and so I hope that we see some kind of crossover with this in the real timeline. There have been hints that he may have some kind of power, which I doubt, but if he does it would be good to end the season in a battle against him.

There were problems within the episode. I don’t understand how they were so “friendly” towards Curtis and Alisha, so far as to even have Alisha work for them. I refuse to believe that this would have been accepted under a Nazi run country. I know that all characters had to be included in some way but this seems like a lazy way of including them, especially when Rudy was someone in hiding from them. Also unless I completely missed something in an earlier episode, why couldn’t Seth have just used his powers that they were making him take from everyone? Kelly broke into the prison far too easily. Only two guards stopping is just ridiculous. Finally, why didn’t Kelly kill Hitler when she went back at the end to get the phone? Unless she didn’t want to change the present again, but then they should have established that.

These are crucial points that took the episode away from being one of my favourites. On a purely visceral level it was easily the best, but I can’t overlook those flaws in the writing.  It had potential to be a great episode and I really enjoyed every moment whilst watching it but when it comes time to look at it in detail, these things stand out hugely.

The show has never had amazing writing but one thing they do write well is character and they did so with this episode. The old man’s story at the beginning was very moving and I really liked him. Rudy has also come into his own as a character and finally fits in without me even thinking about the show’s lack of Nathan.

Yiannis Cove

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