Our Misfits notice that there’s something strange going on in the town – local teenagers have stopped getting drunk, taking drugs or having sex. And it looks like it’s all got something to do with a mysterious straight-laced organisation called ‘Virtue’.
Suddenly it’s left to Nathan to save the day… despite the fact that he’s the only one without a super-power…
Kelvin Green: Yes, lots going on in this one, and there’s a real sense of culmination.
I loved the soundtrack. The bit where they all have their headphones in and they each have their own theme tunes was brilliant.
Paul: Agreed. Just perfect.
Kelvin: I especially liked how they mixed when they were together, so you had Nathan’s “Smack My Bitch Up” mixing with Simon’s synthpop.
I had a bit of a stupid grin at that point.
This really was a fantastic culmination of the whole first series.
Kelvin: It was a really good finale. Such a perfect ending too, going for poignant, then pulling one final twist.
Paul: It was also a slick scaling up of the threat, with Virtue threatening to go global there at the end, marking out cities on the map of Europe as Nathan slips in to do his thing.
Kelvin: Yes, a proper supehero-type threat. I like it when Misfits toys with its parent genre like that; Like in Series Two, with the introduction of Super Hoodie, although he makes a cameo in this episode.
Paul: Yes! The first look at Super Hoodie!
Kelvin: Yes indeed, although I wonder if they knew who he was at this point?
Paul: Who knows?
Kelvin: Or if it was a Final Five Cylons type affair, or, you know, the entirety of Lost.
Paul: Speaking of balls. I think my favorite line in this episode was Simons, “I’ve always had a pair of balls, you’ve just never seen them!”
Kelvin: Yes, that was a great line, although I’m sure I’ve heard it before somewhere.
Paul: Followed by Nathan’s “That’s the gayest thing I’ve ever heard.”
Kelvin: that bit was certainly new, however! Speaking of which, I loved Nathan’s Reservoir Dogs moment: sharp suit, check; big gun, check; classic tune, check!
Simon really took a turn for the creepy in this episode. Even creepier than before.
Kelvin: Yes, Simon upped the creepy in this episode, with his little visits to the freezer room. I think they may have decided to tone down on this in Series Two, as they did away with this stuff early on, as I recall.
Paul: His pizza date was just wrong.
Kelvin: Well, he was hiding from the culty types and I got the feeling it was Nathan and Kelly’s pizza from earlier, so I don’t think it was intended, but he did give his “date” some odd looks.
Kelvin: Yes, it’s good they managed to shift the focus before Sheehan left, so it makes the transition easier.
Paul: Looking back, the show has always really had the two of them as the narrative core.
Kelvin: I liked how they had some moments together in this episode, including the “You’re not Barry?” bit. That counts as a relationship for Nathan!
Paul: Yeah, “I thought we were freinds!”
Kelvin: And both got proper heroic moments this time too.
Paul: Another favorite part of this episode was Nathan’s speech on the roof at the end.
Kelvin: Yes, the dramatic music – the music is excellent on this show – gave it a sense of importance, and Sheehan’s delivery was brilliant.
Kelvin: And I like how, even though he and Simon were being heroic, it is always tempered; Simon makes his move almost too late, and Nathan’s final resistance has more than a little selfishness to it.
Paul: They succeed despite their best efforts, you might say.
Kelvin: They’re heroes, but they’re not perfect, but nor does the show go the other way and make them too flawed. They’re normal.
In many ways, Misfits is probably the closest adaptation of Stan Lee’s flawed hero concept.
Paul: It surely is.
Changing gears for a moment, I thought it was great how “Would you like to come to a meeting?” becomes the equivalent of the Body Snatchers horrible Screech-While-Pointing in this show.
Kelvin: I found the cult really creepy. A combination of the way they filmed it – like a zombie or Body Snatchers type thing – and those depressing grey locations.
Paul: Yeah. They were “lucky” that Rachel was a goody-goody virgin and not someone like Simon. Or like Simon without any sense of morality.
Kelvin: Yes indeed! But then it fits with the scale of the show. There are no megalomaniacal villains in Misfits world. Just ordinary folk.
Paul: True. That’s maybe my favorite thing about the whole Misfits concept. This seems to really be what it would be like if ordinary people just started getting powers. Not like Heroes or whatever other junk is on TV.
Kelvin: Agreed entirely.
Paul: Syfy’s Alphas is doing a good job (after 2 episodes) of skirting that fine line, too. I’m quite impressed so far. There’s your standard Untrustworthy Government angle being played, but still…
Kelvin: There’s the acknowledgement that yes, they’ll be selfish and exploit their powers, but also that not everyone is a sordid bastard and sometimes they will try to do good.
Paul: Exactly! Nobody’s a caricature of good or evil. There’s always a mix.
Kelvin: Yep, interesting, rounded characters.
Paul: Everybody’s trying to do what they can to help themselves, and sometimes others. Even Rachel
(Jessica Brown Findlay), the leader of Virtue, was brainwashing everyone for “their own good.”
Paul: I wonder if that’s another subtle theme slipping out there. That no good can come from trying to force people into a better world/life. That you’ve got to take care of you and yours and hopefully the rest will follow.
Kelvin: I suppose. We’ve seen that with Curtis’ attempts to change things for the better too.
Kelvin: Even the less ambiguous heroics of Series Two (SPOILER) are restricted to the core family of the show.
Paul: Or quickly go off the rails.
So, should we address the revelation of Nathan’s power?
Kelvin: Well, you’ve been teasing it all these weeks.
Paul: That was mainly for Felicity’s benefit, as she hadn’t seen it. (If you’re reading this Felicity, STOP NOW or be spoiled!)
Kelvin: As I mentioned earlier, it was a fine twist at a poignant moment. We all think Nathan is dead, the programme goes out of its way to make it seem as if he’d dead, and he is dead. but…
But he gets better.
Paul: Another real strength of the writing on this show is how everyone’s powers are manifestations of their personalities and ultimate desires in very clever ways.
Kelvin: Yes, Nathan’s a survivor. He doesn’t let the world get to him, and just lets the worst of it roll off his back. Even death.
Kelvin: Yes, even the greatest consequence of all holds no fear for him. Although as he gets closer to the rest of the group, new consequences arise, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Paul: He really is the one who most embodies that sense of immortality that most kids his age seem to have. Stupid and mindless though it is.
Kelvin: Yes, exactly. So that speech of his is almost like foreshadowing.
Paul: It’s damn near perfection. His very own St. Crispin’s Day speech.
Kelvin: Ha! Yes!
I think you’ve just compared a vulgar “yoof” programme to Shakespeare!
Paul: Shakespeare would have loved this shit.
Kelvin: Fo sho, stout yeoman!
Paul: Nathan is Falstaff.
Kelvin: Does that make Simon Henry?
Paul: It kind of does!
Paul: That sounds like as good a place as any to choose our score for this episode. What say ye?
Kelvin: Ooh, good question. No less than four, certainly, and pushing a five. Let’s go for .
Paul: I’m all in. for me.
This was a clinic on how to do a superhero show and make it relevant.
Kelvin: The only reason it’s not getting a five from me is because there are a couple of Series Two episodes which are even better.
Paul: Yeah, that’s true, but I’ll deal with that when we get there. And thankfully, new viewers won’t have to wait a year to see what happens!
Kelvin: But yes, you’re right. Textbook TV superheroics.
Does series two follow straight on then?
Paul: Yup, Monday starts Season 2 on Hulu.
Kelvin: Good stuff!
Kelvin Green erupted fully formed from the grey shapeless mass of Ubbo Sathla in the dark days before humans walked the earth. He grew up on Judge Dredd, Transformers, Indiana Jones #12, the Avengers and Spider-Man, and thinks comics don’t get much better than FLCL, Nextwave and Rocket Raccoon. Kelvin lives among garbage and seagulls and doesn’t hate Marvel nearly as much as you all think he does.
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.