Misfits aims to explore modern gender roles with this week's episode but it's hard to say that it succeeds in everything that it sets out to do. The already obvious themes in Alex's storyline are made clearer here, yet there's nothing particularly engaging going on. He's a man on a search for his missing penis, and without it he feels like less of a man. The show arguably hasn't done enough to give Alex any more of a personality or define him in any way. The story of the newest character, Abbey, is one that allows her to remains mysterious but is also very interesting.
In a plot that immediately reminded me of "Expecting" from the first season of Angel, Abbey is suddenly made heavily pregnant and has to work out how to deal with the situation. She meets a pregnant single woman in the toilet and ends up with the baby after listening to her doubtfulness about being able to be a mother. What makes this story really interesting is how we learn that Abbey lost her memory in the storm and looking for a way to belong. She thinks she's found it with this baby, so instead of confronting its mother she decides to keep it. This was of course reversed at the end of the episode, but it's an interesting angle on the topic.
Alex, meanwhile, is still on the hunt for his missing genitalia. He redoubles his efforts after Jess makes the bad decision of telling Rudy about his predicament and eventually he discovers who stole his penis. I'm not sure that this plot could've said more than it did, but in the end it feels just a bit boring. We don't know Alex well enough to know how to react when he says that he'll kill himself if he can't get his penis back. He's been lacking in identity, sure, but I can't help but wonder if the resolution of this plot will reveal his character to be lacking in depth too.
So far this series, Misfits has surprisingly committed to getting Rudy to grow up. As ever, Joseph Gilgun plays the material incredibly well and his small storyline is almost more interesting than everything else going on. He can't get Nadine (Gillian Saker) off his mind and when she turns up at the community centre he's unsure about how to put off a good impression. He decides to just be honest, but after he tells her that he's doing community service and they kiss, she runs away. Rudy, Finn and Abbey follow her and discover that she's a nun. The preview for next week's episode indicates that this storyline is about to become very important.
This episode tries to do a little too much, and it doesn't feel as focussed as it would probably like to. Alex's storyline resolves itself in an obvious and neat fashion, and I'm left wondering if he'll be interesting enough to continue to be part of the show. Abbey, on the other hand, has become a more compelling character even when we've learnt relatively little about her (perhaps that's because she's a mystery to herself). Everything is in place for the finale now too, with questions about Nadine needing to be answered. Let's hope that the show can deliver next week and bring Series 4 to a fitting conclusion.
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