Misfits 1.04 Review

A column article, Shot For Shot by: Felicity Gustafson, Nick Hanover, Paul Brian McCoy
Curtis regrets the night of his arrest after speaking to his ex. With his new power in the mix, he's transported back to the past and given the opportunity to change what happened the night he was caught by the cops.

Bumping into some familiar faces along the way (in the form of our other Misfits) Curtis discovers that changing history isn't as easy as he thought. Each development in the past has ramifications for the future, and then he's back where he started (literally). Just when he thinks he has the balance right, he realises he is responsible for a life-changing tragedy.

Tune in to Episode Five, next Monday on HULU! And check out the Misfits website for other treats.



Paul Brian McCoy: Misfits!

I love this episode. And Yes, I have been drinking.

Felicity Gustafson: So I believe last time Paul said this was his favorite episode?

Nick Hanover: This is a pretty incredible episode. I think Paul actually said it was the best use of time travel in sci-fi ever.

EVER.

Paul: In my humble, drunken opinion.

Nick: That's the truest kind of opinion.

Felicity: It was pretty good. You couldn't help but feel bad for Curtis every time he screwed up and had to rewind again.

Nick: I know what I love about this episode, Paul, but I'd really like to hear what makes it such a huge stand out to you personally.

Paul: I like it because it's not like a Star Trek time travel gimmick, where it's all about reliving disastrous choices until they finally figure out how to win the scenario.

It's about tinkering with reality until you think you've got it just right. But then, you find you've still missed something.

Nick: It's like that one Simpsons Treehouse of Horror vignettes, except dramatic and with killer tunes.

Paul: Yes! Plus, this is one of the only times in the series where Curtis' power is used in a way that isn't just an easy fix. There are still repercussions.

Felicity: There are always repercussions. That's one of the things I love about this show.

Nick: Right, it's not a deus ex machina of any sort here. In fact, what's really interesting is that all he's able to do is basically keep things mostly status quo

Paul: Exactly! It really means that his power is most effective as a mulligan.

Hell, that should be his superhero name: The Mulligan.

Felicity: Ha, if only they had superhero names.

Nick: I think it's especially great the way they tinker with the expectation of the characters becoming superheroes too. We got that awesome vision of the future, where Curtis is seemingly in costume, and it turns out it's just a tease and he's really just dressed up for Halloween.

Paul: Spoilers!

Nick: Right, I probably shouldn't have spilled those beans, haha!

Felicity: It brings in a certain reality aspect. I mean, let's face it, if you suddenly got powers, you'd wonder about being a superhero, too.

Paul: I love that they're all about trying to make their lives better or just getting through the day. It's one of the things that has me worried about Syfy's Alphas.

Five people with strange powers, and they all end up working for the government, of course.

Felicity: I'm just hoping it's not a complete cliché. I like how Misfits manages. Heroes was good for a short while.

Paul: Heroes just lacked vision, and Alphas could be more of the same. We'll see.

Nick: I confess I haven't seen enough about Alphas to make an accurate prediction.

Felicity: Not much has been said. We just have to wait
and see.

Paul: Heroes also collapsed under its own success.

Nick: Right, with Heroes they just assumed what people liked about the show was the soap opera convolutedness rather than, you know, the actual stories and character development.

Paul: And then they stuck with the same characters when the original plan was to follow different characters in the second season. But it was too successful too soon, and the suits decided to stick to the same group, milking it for whatever they could.

Felicity: Exactly.

Nick: Misfits is smart to keep its focus small and relatively tight. There is some over-arching ambition in Season Two, but even then it's pretty much all about the core group.

This episode in particular shows why that kind of focus works so well, since we're able to get glimpses of each of the core characters without it feeling crowded or awkward.

Paul: I loved seeing everybody else in the past scenes, as well as Curtis.

Nick: It's Curtis' episode, sure, but we get treated to the ways all of the main characters are intertwined without knowing.

Felicity: The addition of being able to see their possible futures spells out a little of their character development as well.

Personally, I thought Nathan with the bowling alley manager was hilarious.



Paul: And Nathan WAS arrested for eating Pick n Mix! For the most part.

Felicity: I figured he was telling the truth since he doesn't really lie, I could just tell he wasn't telling the whole truth.

Nick: The way that character development is communicated through time travel is one of the biggest reasons why I love this episode. It's so economical, there's no wasted moments or over use of exposition.

Paul: That's so true. Every single scene adds to the story, even when you think they're just replaying a scene over again.

Like how we discover, even though it's never addressed again, that Alisha is responsible for Curtis getting busted!

Felicity: All it takes is one tiny little change and everything goes out the window. I mean, it took Curtis like, what? Four times to get it to where he was moderately happy?

Nick: It hammers home the notion that these characters really were brought together through coincidence, that their lives could have intertwined at any point because they were in such proximity and so it only took the slightest nudge to make that happen.

Paul: Unlike Heroes' reliance on Fate and Destiny and all that crap. It only took Curtis two tries to be happy. Unfortunately, it was at the cost of everyone else's lives.

One of the scenes that I enjoyed the most, was just that. Where Curtis thinks everything is great, he's going to the Olympics and everything, but then it turns out everyone is dead.

Well, almost everyone.

Felicity: It's interesting that everything happened the same except without him. They still got powers.

Paul: Yeah, the storm still happened, he just wasn't there with the gang. And Nathan showing up, having survived the attack, was a nice bit that will pay off later. If you know what I mean.

Hinted-at Spoiler Alert.



Nick: RESISTING URGE TO DISCUSS!

Felicity: I hate vague spoilers, haha.

Paul: Just two more episodes and all will be revealed.

Felicity: Well now it's just 50x harder not to watch ahead. Thanks!

Nick: WE MUST MOVE ON OR I WILL BLOW IT. The other big thing that I love about this episode is how grounded it is.

Paul: Yeah, one of the things that I realized watching this episode again, was just how good it was for Kelly to get busted.

Nick: How do you mean that?

Felicity: Kelly was an absolute mess. She needed a change.

Paul: She was in a bad place.

Felicity: She needed a different crowd to hang out with.

Paul: I guess it could have been just one night, but that was a pretty bad night.



Felicity: Oh, and it's confirmed. Simon is a total creeper.

Nick: Right, I wasn't sure if you meant from a perspective of getting herself in order or if you meant it in...some kind of vague spoiler-y way. Look what you've done to me, Paul.

Felicity: You guys and your vague spoilers!!!

Nick: You haven't seen the half of it with Simon yet, Felicity.

Paul: This episode DID make me feel bad about liking Simon the best.

Felicity: He did end up doing the right thing, it was just reaaaallly close.

Paul: I felt all sorry for him, getting dissed at the club, but then he tries to cop a feel and...

Nick: Don't worry, he more than makes up for the creepiness soon enough.

Paul: Yeah, but the creepiness that's coming doesn't seem as bad as feeling up a drunk girl in a stairwell.

I do not approve.

What's coming up? Yes. Approve whole-heartedly.

Nick: Finally! Something Paul doesn't approve of!

Felicity: Add it to the list!

Paul does not approve of good times in stairwells!

Nick: I will chalk that up to intense loneliness and social awkwardness on Simon's part and give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe only because I have seen the future.

Felicity: I still don't think he's a complete creeper. Just... yeah, that was pretty bad. But he IS supposed to be that strange, awkward kid.

Paul: I also really enjoyed the way they set things up so that none of them would remember each other when they got to the start of the series.

Nick: But back to my earlier point, I love that even in an episode this time travel-heavy, the show remains immensely grounded. Simon's sin there is proof that none of these characters are completely good, they all have immense flaws.

Felicity: No Mary Sues, yes. They're supposed to be misfits.

Paul: Yup. Even Simon, who has, arguably, the most noble urges when it comes to how to use their powers.

Nick: A lesser show would have removed that scene with Simon going all gropey because it would have taken away his angelic image.

Paul: Exactly. Nobody here is a rich kid being a nurse because he's just SO GOOD.

Nick: I suppose Curtis is as close as it gets to a wholly benevolent person on this show.

Felicity: Curtis is definitely the good guy.

Nick: At least I'm coming up blank when I try to think of any truly atrocious acts he's committed.

Felicity: Overall he seems to have a good set of morals. He's very black and white on the right/wrong dilemma.

Paul: Yurp. He's definitely the whitest hat. But is not averse to a good wank in a closet with a hot lady.



Nick: Who among us could say no to that?

Felicity: True, but he does that out of love.

I would probably say Alisha was the loosest with her morals. She basically rapes men, haha.

Nick: Just you wait.

Felicity: You guyssss.... quit that, lol.

Nick: I'm going to do that even when there isn't a spoiler now, just to mess with you.

Felicity: -.-;;

Paul: Jesus, I have no idea what that is. I'm old.

Felicity: It's an unamused face. With slitty eyes.

Emoticon glare!

Paul: You kids and yer emoticiwhatsits!

Felicity: It's okay, you'll be forced to pick it up as we talk about this.

Paul: Okay, final thoughts?

Nick: I give this .

Paul: No ifs, ands, or buts.

Felicity:

Paul: Damn.

Paul: But yeah. for me too.

This is the Good Shit.

Nick: fo' sho

Felicity: Misfits! It's not like Star Trek!



For more Misfits action, check out our reviews of Episodes 1.01 & 1.02, and Episode 1.03!



When he's not writing about the cape and spandex set, Nick Hanover is a book, film and music critic for Spectrum Culture and a staff writer for No Tofu Magazine. He also translates for "Partytime" Lukash's Panel Panopticon.



Felicity Gustafson was born in Ohio and, after the astounding realization that there was more to do than look at trees and cows, she decided to become a nerd and got into comics, anime and video games. New to Comics Bulletin, she sticks mostly to reviewing things out of the horror and comedy genres. She spends most of her time working in the manufacturing industry, finishing her computer degree and steadfastly avoiding ham fat at all costs.



Paul Brian McCoy is the writer of Mondo Marvel and a regular contributor to What Looks Good and Shot for Shot. He currently has little spare time, but in what there is he continues to work on his first novel, tentatively titled Damaged Incorporated. He is unnaturally preoccupied with zombie films, Asian cult cinema, sci-fi television, the original Deathlok, Nick Fury, and John Constantine. He can be summed up in three words: Postmodern Anarchist Misanthropy. He can also be found babbling on Twitter at @PBMcCoy and blogging occasionally at Infernal Desire Machines.

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