I have a theory about British television.
It’s not better than what we Yanks have, but some of it is. Similarly, America isn’t outperforming the Brits, but sometimes we do. While both markets produce filth, supreme art, and mediocrity, only the cream of the crop will cross the Atlantic. The rest of the crap sinks to the ocean floor and (hopefully) never washes up on the opposite shore. So, while we drown in our own plot-deprived-reality-based-sewage, the British stuff, purified through reverse osmosis by the UK’s airwaves, provides our minds with nutrients we’ve been craving. Since we only see the pure outcome (Doctor Who, Sherlock, Downton Abbey), not the fecal matter left behind, Americans can only assume Britain can do no wrong.
Misfits might be the best British import of the bunch — making it the best of the best. This doesn’t prove the UK’s superiority to us, but it does prove Howard Overman, creator of Misfits and Merlin, knows what he’s doing. With the same fervor that I welcomed Suits back, I welcome Misfits back for it’s fifth season (or series, if you’re of the British persuasion).
The episode begins just as blatantly as anyone could expect from the writers: Alex, our reformed womanizer, approached by a mysterious woman with the line “I’m not trying to be funny, but you need to have sex with me.” How do you respond to that? If you’re Alex, you respond with the obvious: “I’ve only just got out of surgery,” because, if you recall, the last series ended with him taking a knife in the lung for Jess. Alex received immediate surgery, a new lung, and, with it, a new power: the power to remove other powers through intercourse. This mysterious woman was granted the ability to be extremely accident prone, and needs Alex to stick it to her.
The next shot is my favorite. Every once in a while, a director for Misfits will employ a camera move ripped straight from the frames of a comic book. This one begins with a turtle reading a flier for a Power Support Group, then follows the flier as the wind whips it away into a vast city.
Back at the Community Center (their own Hall of Justice), Rudy gets nostalgic while watching some Scouts gathered there; apparently he used to be one. These scouts are different though: they’re agents of Satan — or someone who has the power to possess others. If the plot sounds familiar, that’s because it’s very similar to the end of series one. That episode had a young woman with the power of persuasion entrancing local teens to give up sin and live Christian lives. This time, Satan is the reason for the possessions. I guess that’s different. Of course, Finn is the first to be targeted, which brings us to a segment of the review I like to call “Don’t trust that girl”. We begin our segment with a cute or sexy woman that we’ve never seen before. This woman will show interest in a shy man (one of our main characters), usually pretty far below her league. Then she somehow offers sex to the man, and, when he unsteadily acquiesces to her, she strikes and reveals her true colors. In this case, she turned out to be servant of Satan, and turned Finn into, well, Satan.
I have to take a moment and share how proud I am of these kids. The probation worker, Greg, is still alive. I believe this community service is actually making a difference; they don’t kill nearly as often as they used to.
Alex, in the meantime, has trouble fighting off this girl. She makes a very convincing case. Alex, trying to save himself for Jess in an attempt to win her back, can’t figure out how to handle this moral dilemma. If he has sex with the mystery woman, Jess will probably never take him back. If he doesn’t have sex with her, she could die. With great power comes great responsibility.
Satan-Finn has possessed the rest of the group, with the exception of Alex and Jess. Oh, and Rudy-two, who has been spending all of his time at the Power Support Group. Rudy-two brought an exorcism ritual with him. What could go wrong? The three of them crash a satanic party, sending Jess in by herself. Surprise! It’s a trap. Now, Finn has Jess and Alex must find a way to remove the power from him. You can see where that’s going.
The episode, as usual, is the most quotable episode of the month. Another fine addition to a powerful social satire.
Hulu brings this show to America on Wednesdays.