Before series 4 started on E4 last night (28th October 2012) we knew that three members of the original cast would no longer be Misfits. Iwan Rheon who played Simon Bellamy and Antonia Thomas who played Alisha Bailey both departed in last years series finale which saw Alisha die and Simon jump back in time to save her in what looks to be paradox. This ending had been building since the end of the first series. One of the things I’ve always loved about any ongoing television show is when things pay off, a storyline which has gone on for a period of time and when it comes to the moment the writers have been building up to and it leaves you with a sense of satisfaction. Despite its heart breaking ending it was good to see that the writers didn’t wimp out and save the popular characters.
Then during the summer news broke that Lauren Socha (Kelly Bailey) would not be appearing in the fourth series of Misfits, the news first broke that the BAFTA award-winning actress had assaulted a taxi cab driver and then E4 released the following statement; “A mutual decision was reached between Clerkenwell and Lauren earlier this year that she would not be returning for the fourth series.” Which tried to dismiss any connection between both events. Whatever the reason I knew that we had now lost another original cast member and that with Robert Sheehan (Nathan Young)’s departure at the end of the second series which saw Joseph Gilgun (Rudy Wadewe) taking his place as the teams joker but with all of these changes we’re now down to one original cast member – Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Curtis Donovan) and recurring cast member – Matthew McNulty (Seth).
So with so many of the original cast now absent of course it was time to inject some new blood into super-powered series in the form of Jess and Finn (played by Karla Crome and Nathan McMullen). For those who have never watched Misfits you could argue this is a good place to jump in but if you have time on your hands each series is only 6 – 8 episodes long and I would thoroughly recommend them. But if you want to start here then you need to understand that Misfits is a combination of drama, comedy and fantasy and probably a dash more of comedy. The comedy isn’t slapstick but more black comedy and sometimes when you laugh, you’re in fact wondering why the hell am I laughing! While being primarily based at a community centre and follows a bunch of superpowered young offenders.
The opening scene is an all out typical Misfits beginning which includes all new and old cast members in a crazy chase scene with broke bottles, metal bars, crow bars and a chain saw – yes a chain saw! Everyone has chased new Misfit – Finn to the top of the community centre and they want his brief case. Then we flash back to five hours earlier when both Finn and Jess arrive at the community centre. This is what I enjoyed about the show – the clear gap between this series and the last as there was a lot of mystery from the opening titles – so far why were they chasing Finn with the briefcase, who were these new people and why the hell was Rudy now the Community Support Officer and sitting behind a desk? When Rudy presented himself as the Community Support Officer I was actually quite pleased as for three series’ now the Misfits have in one way or another all been wearing those orange jumpsuits and it looked like they were shaking things up.
I was wrong as it was quickly revealed that Rudy was in fact pretending to be the probation officer and through a series of events Jess and Finn challenged Rudy for an explanation after breaking Curtis out of a freezer. Rudy then tells the whole story but at one point refers to himself as “an unreliable narrator” as some of the events are made up. The episode itself centres on the briefcase and the obsession with it reminds me of a Star Trek episode – I won’t ruin why.
During the course of the episode we are shown a smidgen of character for both Finn and Jess, our new Misfits. However mainly Finn seems to get a chance to show his character and I would say that it is one that you can’t put your finger on. There seems to be a lot more to him which will be explored throughout the rest of the series.
Overall I enjoyed this new bunch of Misfits and I’m glad that Seth has been made a full cast member as it adds a darker element to the show. Although like most shows when original cast members leave especially when they’re given off-screen exits such as Kelly’s it is difficult to move on however I personally think that it was handled well and secondly that their personal storylines had come to a close. The ending of the show gave us a dark twist and definitely left me wanting more. I’ll definitely been sticking with this show.