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Misfits series four

May 3, 2013

After a rather bumpy start, the final cast of Misfits series four.

The fourth series of Misfits is a bit of a mixed bag with a large number of changes made to the show.  The biggest change is the switch from a continuing story format to a more episodic format.  Being a fairly old genre tv viewer, I am probably less put off by this than others but, I could see how this would be a major problem for some fans.  The reason for this is largely due to the exceptionally high cast turn over rate this season.  Some partial spoilers will follow below but, I’ll try to avoid the larger ones.

I view series four in two parts that I would split right in half at four episodes each.  The first set of episodes is really just a bunch of housekeeping where we see Seth depart to be with Kelly who has moved to Africa of all places.  Something about using her powers to help clear land mines.  Curtis makes his departure as well in a story that I would have liked to have a little more impact than it did.  On top of all this, we get introduced to two new characters Jess and Finn who are new community service “recruits” along with a third named Alex who is a bartender at the local pub the rest frequent.  The best of the first four is easily episode three (they don’t name the damn things for some reason). This is a Rudy focused story where we learn that he wasn’t completely honest about the nature of his powers (big surprise there) which leads to a rather intense showdown that begins to get the new group to coalesce a bit.

The second four episodes get the show back to its normal self in that the stories are much more of the ensemble affairs that are the hallmark of Misfits.  Rudy takes Finn under his wing and, to Finn’s credit, he has the wisdom to realize that Rudy’s advice on life is probably not the best to be following.  The fifth episode is a story that focuses on Finn’s father and is my favorite episode of the entire series to date.  It is a powerful and touching tale that is very well told.  The next episode, which I call the white rabbit episode, features the last cast change of the season with the introduction of Abbey, in what is one of the best character introduction episodes of any series I have seen.  This also sets up the season finale which throws Rudy into a life changing experience.  I have to say that I was quite impressed with the last episode in that I really felt a great deal of sympathy for Rudy.  Those who have read my earlier Misfits series reviews know that I never had an ounce of sympathy for Nathan, the character who Rudy replaced starting in series three and, initially, Rudy was only mildly less irritating to me than Nathan.  So, it is some pretty exceptional work on the part of the show’s writers to get me to empathize with Rudy’s suffering.  Another note on the final episode, there is a character whose powers is the ability to summon the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  True to Misfit’s style, they don’t hold back and you actually get to see this happen but, how they handled it had a marvelously humorous edge that really worked for me although I’ll admit that some may not find it as funny.

My final observation on series four involves the new probation worker Greg.  Unlike previous probation workers that the gang has been subjected to, they actually go out of their way to develop Greg’s character quite a bit over the course of the season.  Part of this involves using him as the basis of a couple of jokes that threaten to make him more of a caricature than a character but, to the actor’s credit he never quite crosses that line for me.  While Greg first comes off as the standard sort of dick we have seen in the past, we learn that, unlike their previous guardians, Greg actually does genuinely care about the well being of his wards.  It’s a pleasant and welcome change from the string of previous workers who seemed to view the job as more of a way to collect a paycheck than anything else.

Overall, I did enjoy the fourth series of Misfits but, can easily see how the changes and less than stellar writing of some of the episodes could have turned off a number of the shows regular viewers.  If you are a fan of the first three series I would recommend watching series four but, with the provision that you have to be more patient than normal with it as the latter episodes are definitely worth watching.

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