Review: MISFITS S4E03 (Or, The Third Rudy)
It's clear now that Rudy is absolutely the central character of Misfits. The assured scripting of the character is allowing the show to develop him strongly too, and this week we get to see a third incarnation of his split personality. In Series Four's most engaging episode so far, we see that a version of Rudy has just been released from prison and is set on confronting the other Rudys, who apparently betrayed him and got him locked up. Meanwhile, Finn has romantic complications with his stepmother in a lifeless subplot, and Curtis spends more time with the mysterious Lola.
If I'd been told beforehand that this episode of Misfits would feature a tense and revelatory conversation punctuated by the Macarena and an incredibly creepy occurrence of ukelele playing, I would have been intrigued but far from surprised. The show continues to find fresh drama in the most unlikely areas, and that's one of the many reasons it remains so great. The third Rudy isn't simply an evil version of the character; he's a manipulative psychopath, sure, but he's still someone who acts in ways that relate to the insecurities of the primary Rudy.
Jess is also becoming more interesting and, of the new characters, she is the one that I am beginning to warm to the most. There was always going to be more to her, but I doubt many viewers could've predicted that her damaged past would include an eating disorder and a failed suicide attempt. Karla Crome is tremendous in this episode, and the way that this character is being presented comes with impressive levels of honesty and depth.
Finn, on the other hand, is boring. After showing himself to be cruel and controlling last week (actions that I still think may be irredeemable), he manages to be dull and unfunny here. Time spent following Finn feels like time wasted, and his entanglement with his stepmother is not only predictable but also far too straightforward to be sensationalist in any way. By the end of the episode, he also learns that his father isn't really his father. This should be more entertaining or promising than it is, but I'd prefer if this character were left on the sidelines more often.
What makes this episode really work as well as it does is an exceptional performance from Joseph Gilgun in three separate but connected roles. He makes each Rudy feel like a real individual, but he is also able to weave common threads between them. What he achieves is very impressive, proof that Rudy is far from just comic relief and it really solidifies his position at the centre of Misfits.
The adventures of Curtis and Lola don't feel as though they deepen much this week, but her character is mysterious enough to be interesting. It looks like we'll be seeing much more of her next time, though, so let's hope there are some exciting twists in store. If Misfits can pull off more episodes as great as this, the fourth series could be quite something.