Saturday, December 4, 2010

TV Review: Misfits Season Two Episode Four

By Scott Tre

Hard choices have to be made as the “Asbo 5” come that much closer to fulfilling their destiny (whatever that may be) in this week’s episode of Misfits.  Alisha continues her relationship with Superhoodie, who is in the fact the future version of Simon.  Back at the community center, the quintet conspires to keep their powers secret from a new addition to their group, the young activist Ollie.  This proves unnecessary as they soon discover that Ollie was also blessed with superhuman abilities by the same storm as they were.  While going about their duties, the group is confronted by Tim, a nut job who quite literally sees the world in terms of his favorite video game, to the point where he lives it out in reality.  He is convinced that Simon is a man named Conti who owes him money.  Meanwhile, Nikki receives a heart transplant that has her feeling a bit strange.  Tim continues to stalk the group, who become engaged in his deadly game whether they like it or not.

The Way Tim Sees The World (literally)

The villain of this weeks episode, Tim, continues the theme of superpowers as extensions of one's obsessions/desires and character flaws.  He acts out the scenario of his favorite video game, the ultra violent Jail Break AutoJail Break Auto is clearly a spoof of Rockstar Games' best selling Grand Theft Auto video game series.  Tim bears a striking resemblance to Niko Bellic, the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto 4.  Is he an example of the dangers of violent video games, or perhaps the dangers of getting to immersed in fantasy worlds of any kind?  Possibly, but I’d like to think that Misfits would never indulge such simple moralizing.  Either way, the character is truly frightening, killing people without the slightest hint of remorse.  His field of vision is exactly the same as the screens of his favorite game, almost as though he was wearing virtual reality headgear that perpetually kept him plugged into that world.    


This episode also allows the interpersonal relationships between the characters to mature a bit.  Curtis and Alisha are both forced to acknowledge the reality of their awkward romance thus far.  Alisha’s affair with the future Simon reeks with foreboding and underlying menace.  Earlier episodes lead us to believe that Simon is a consummate weirdo.  He is also capable of killing.  Early on I suspected that he may intend to harm Alisha, but it quickly becomes obvious that he means only to love and protect her.  The feeling of dread comes from a sense that some unavoidable tragedy looms ahead.  Superhoodie is a bit too time conscious, planning his moves down to the millisecond.  He seems to know that something is coming, but what?  Alisha has finally found the intimacy she craves, but the things are developing at far too frantic a pace for her to truly savor it.  

Alisha and Superhoodie aka Future Simon

Misfits is now in full on superhero mode.  The action plays out longer, and the suspense wound even tighter.  While this results in more thrilling set pieces and plot developments, the show still does not abandon the themes that make it stand out.  As things progress, the “Asbo 5” are becoming more and more aware of the extent of their powers, and what use those powers can be put to.  Comic readers have always fantasized about what they would do with Wolverine's healing abilities, or a dose of super soldier serum.  Like the Marvel heroes, the “Asbo 5” has real problems and demons that stalk them at every term.  Each use of their powers has a ripple effect, creating consequences that they must deal with.  Like video games, the fantasies in our minds play out free of consequences and pain.  Real life rarely works out that way.  Misfits seems all to aware of that.  Even as I laugh at Nathan’s antics and drool over Alisha and Nikki, I fear what the future has in store for them.       

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