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

  1. Alex says

    Is there anybody that knows what is the name of the music a the beggining of this episode when the old man write the letter ?

  2. raan2 says

    Seth can’t use the powers, he can only deal them

  3. LE says

    I just thought I might point out a few things that might at least ease your issues with some of the plot holes you discussed.
    1) It has been 70 years since the war. Think about how much the world has changed during that time in our version of history. Even in a fascist society some change and evolution would have occurred.

    2) Seth specifically stated during the Christmas special that he can’t use the powers he takes from others while he’s holding them.

    3) Up until the storm I suspect this small local headquarters in a poor area of London wasn’t particularly important or, therefore, well-staffed or defended. In fact, until Seth allowed the Nazi’s to gain access to powers, it probably still wasn’t that important even after the storm. It’s like a small town jail holding a high profile prisoner temporarily.

    4) Kelly had just found out that the good guys were supposed to win, and that the last attempt at Hitler’s life had ended with the Nazi’s winning the war instead. I doubt she wanted to try her luck at possibly screwing up the world again. She had also seen that Hitler’s death did not necessarily mean an end to the Nazi’s regime. After all, I doubt he was alive when she was born. Also, she really didn’t have that much time. The guards had also already been called and she seemed to be pulled back to the present almost immediately after she grabbed the phone (and gave him a couple of kicks). Powers have been shown to work different in different people (Compare how Ollie could teleport with how Nikki could) but Curtis tended to return to the present almost immediately after correcting whatever he was regretting. Kelly went back with one particular goal in mind and returned almost immediately after it was completed.

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