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Cult Recap

'Misfits' 4.03 review: Saucy stepmums and dark doppelgangers

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Season 4, episode 3 | Aired Sunday, Nov 11 2012 at 22:00 GMT on

Misfits was all about love this week - oh, who are we kidding. It was about lust. Pure, unbridled lust. Yep, all of the characters were dealing with the impact of their desires, with some pretty disastrous consequences at times.

The problem with this approach is that the characters' storylines seemed to be pretty separate; there wasn't any of the fun gang-against-a-villain set-up that the earlier series did so well. Instead, there were pretty distinct threads throughout the episode.

Misfits S04E03

© Channel 4



Take Curtis, who should really be in the middle of the action; instead, his major contribution to the instalment is that he has a bit of a flirt with 'trainee probation worker' Lola, who's so clearly bad news that she should really wear a hat with a flashing warning sign. She's properly full on, purring about how she loves bad boys and spraying graffiti to watch Curtis "scrub". Unsurprisingly, this ends up with the duo doing the dirty at the end of the episode.

From the look of the 'next time' trailer, this is largely preparation for a big Curtis and Lola storyline next week, but it was hard to really care about this time around. More interesting - or at least more strange - was the highly dysfunctional relationship between Finn and his stepmum (sorry, not stepmum), who forces him into a seriously compromising position.

Some of this felt like Misfits being controversial for the sake of it - with not so much of the nuance that made the crude scenes in earlier series so entertaining - but it had some serious highlights. Any storyline that would lead to the triple-hander between Finn, Curtis and Jess in the locker room is worth it: "He's a step-mother-f**ker"... "She just sucked him off"... "He's a step-mother-sucker?"

Misfits S04E03

© Channel 4



Also worth it is the heartbreaking scene as Finn discovers that his dad is actually not his biological father - making him even more lovable. And the story also pushes forward the cute blossoming romance between Jess and Finn, making their feelings for each other more clear. Of course, Jess doesn't take too kindly to the whole "being fellated by his stepmother" thing, so she once again tries to seduce handsome barman Alex.

Clearly, Alex has some kind of power which hinders him in the bedroom, because while he seems pretty keen on our Jess, he can't quite follow it through when she invites him back to her flat (admittedly, after a pretty bad day.) He insists he isn't gay, but there's clearly something going on there - surely it's only a matter of time until we find out what? But Jess's disappointment with Alex sets her up perfectly for later scenes...

Because while all of the characters have their dabbles with lust, the big event this episode comes with the return of Rudy's third persona, known henceforth as Psycho-Rudy. We first meet him as he's leaving prison with his ukulele and three Curly Wurlys - the chocolate bars he was collecting when the other two Rudys dobbed him in to the police.

Misfits S04E03

© Channel 4



Understandably, he's not entirely happy about this, so he returns to the community centre to insert himself back into original flavour Rudy - who's horrified to see his doppelganger again ("You nearly battered that guy half to death!" "I taught him a valuable lesson." "You bit his frigging ear off!") Yeah, it's pretty clear that Psycho-Rudy is not so harmlessly douchey as our hero; in fact he's very harmful indeed. And it's not long before Rudy-2 is sucked into him, too, after an entertainingly malevolent chase through the community centre with a soundtrack of Psycho-Rudy on the ukulele.

Almost immediately Psycho-Rudy latches onto Jess, and in a series of increasingly sinister encounters he makes his obsession with her known. But once she's been rejected by Alex, he switches up his technique to tell her what she wants to hear, that none of the men in her life deserve her (admittedly, he does say this with reference to dog poo, but somehow a vulnerable Jess finds it "quite sweet").

Misfits S04E03

© Channel 4



With the groundwork laid, Psycho-Rudy can spend the next day getting to know Jess a little better at the community centre. It's wonderfully silly as the pair share their secrets, occasionally interrupted by the wedding DJ setting up next door, who can't help but blare out 'Macarena' at the worst possible moments. But that absurdity is offset by the really quite devastating revelations coming from Jess, who admits that she fell in love with a guy who helped her out when she was suffering from an eating disorder... only to sleep with her and leave her for another mentally ill girl.

Jess's relationship issues, then, become quickly clear - in fact, she hasn't kissed anyone for three years - and in turn Psycho-Rudy explains that he is just one of three personas. But things take an even more disturbing turn when he lets slip that he was locked up in prison because he enjoys "hurting people". That becomes abundantly clear when 'Macarena' becomes just too much for him to bear and he beats the innocent DJ (possibly to death).

Misfits S04E03

© Channel 4



Things get brilliantly creepy as Jess - using her power to figure out what's happening - tries to escape but is unable to flee from her captor. And as if things weren't sinister enough, Psycho-Rudy puts on Chris de Burgh's 'Lady In Red' on the sound system (did you have to be that terrifying, Misfits?) It's brilliantly tense as he forces Jess to dance with him... before revealing that he's chosen her to be his first murder victim. It's looking pretty bad for Jess as he squeezes her neck in a fantastic tense moment... until she eventually manages to stab him with a pair of scissors.

Maybe Psycho-Rudy isn't entirely evil - he does force Jess to kiss him, ending her drought and showing her it's not that bad, even when you're snogging a sociopath. But after letting the two nice Rudys go, he inconsiderately dies, leaving Jess feeling a little guilty (although, to be fair, he had just tried to strangle her). Both Karla Crome and Joseph Gilgun were brilliant in this episode, with Crome being both vulnerable and spiky, and Gilgun somehow adding yet another defined character to his Rudy portfolio.

Misfits S04E03

© Channel 4



This episode of Misfits was by no means perfect - Shaun Dooley's probation worker Greg was underused, and the ending seemed a little too quick and easy (along with the fact that it would have been nice to see the group unite to fight a common enemy.) But there were plenty of entertaining moments and the dynamic seems much more settled now. Let's hope next week will keep the momentum going...

What did you think of the episode? Let us know below!

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