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Cult Recap

'Misfits' review: Is the Series Four premiere a hit or a miss?

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Misfits (Season 4, Episode 1)

© Channel 4 / Hal Shinnie

Season 4, episode 1 | Aired Monday, Oct 29 2012 at 13:17 GMT on

Let's face it, with three central cast members departing between the end of series three and this series four premiere, Misfits has a few rather large obstacles to overcome. Earlier this year, BBC Three's Being Human proved that it's possible to triumph over such adversity, but placed in a similar position, would E4's brilliantly filthy comedy-drama take a glorious leap or stumble and fall?

The truth is, it takes us rather a while to know for sure either way. We open with Rudy (Joseph Gilgun) and Seth (Matthew McNulty) - two characters who've never had much cause to interact in the past - cast as an unlikely duo. With Kelly having bunked off her community service to defuse land-mines in Africa - a somewhat unlikely farewell for Lauren Socha's loveable loud-mouth - Seth appears to have gone over to the dark side as a torture fiend while Rudy's doing his bumbling con-man bit, trying his best probation worker act for a pair of newcomers...

The first, Finn (Nathan McMullen), is not so much a motor-mouth as someone who suffers perpetually from 'word vomit', coming out with all manner of bizarre and dark ramblings in his efforts to impress. So it's left to the second newbie, straight-shooting Jess (Karla Crome), to keep a level head.

Misfits (Season 4, Episode 1)
Nathan McMullen as Finn and Karala Crome as Jess

© Channel 4 / Hal Shinnie



And she'll need it too. Both Jess and Finn spend much of this episode in the same position as the viewer - completely and utterly baffled as to what the hell is going on. Rudy and Seth are taking it in turns to mutilate a seemingly innocent bystander while Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) has been locked in the freezer - Jess speaks for us all ten minutes in when she yelps, "What the f**k is going on?!"

It eventually transpires that Seth and Rudy's captive is Michael, a thief whose crazed desire to keep his stolen booty has become infectious following the storm. When he arrives at the community centre with his briefcase full of swag, every single one of the Misfits gang becomes desperate to get their mitts on it...

Unfortunately, this episode is a little too clever for its own good. What Misfits needed to 'reboot' itself with was a straightforward storyline that reinforced the show's core values, but here we're faced with flashbacks upon flashbacks and an unreliable narrator. Not only that, but with two fresh faces and three old favourites acting decidedly out of character, it's initially difficult to find anyone or anything to latch onto.

Misfits (Season 4, Episode 1)

© Channel 4 / Hal Shinnie



By the final minutes, as our new gang - back to their previous selves - bury their latest victim while Rudy talks of "tears, laughter [and] horribly graphic violence", it feels like Misfits has begun to find itself again. That feeling's compounded with the magnificent arrival of sinister new probation worker Greg (Shaun Dooley) and the intriguing reveal that Finn - previously a bit of a one-note buffoon - may have quite the dark side.

Faith somewhat restored and high hopes for the future, then. We still love the old cast as much as ever and both Crome and McMullen make a strong first impression. Still, it's hard to shake the feeling that, faced with the difficult prospect of having to both reinvent itself and address the qualms of any cynical long-term fans, Misfits does stumble, just a little.

Rudy's Wisdom of the Week
"I think Curtis was in cahoots... 'cahoots' is a great word."
"I believe you'll find there's no such thing as an innocent young offender."
(Whilst hugging Seth) "It is a bit awkward, cos you were quite complimentary about my penis back there..."
"It's the storm... it's always the storm..."
(On the new probation worker) "Don't sweat it, man - chances are he'll be dead by end o' the week."

Watch the new Misfits cast talk to Digital Spy below:



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