Review: MISFITS S4E08 (Or, An Uneven Series Ends With An Uneven Finale)
All things considered, there is probably just a bit too much going on in the finale of Misfits' fourth series. It wouldn't be an issue if everything focussed to a thematic point, but it's a bit muddled and spends more of its time setting up for the next series than it does concluding this one. As with last week's episode, there are things that work and there are things that don't. Because Rudy and his relationship with Nadine are the driving force of the plot, though, I'd probably say that this ends up being a satisfying and entertaining episode overall.
I was already worried about Alex becoming a dull character, and this episode confirmed that. We really don't know enough about him to get invested in his decisions and I'm as bored by him now as I am by Finn, which is saying a lot. In this episode, he reveals himself to be very narcissistic and he cheats on Jess, neither action being particularly surprising. Elsewhere, Finn and Abbey have sex for no reason other than creating plot complications and Rudy continues to try to have a relationship with Nadine.
The developments that work are those focussed on Rudy. Joseph Gilgun gives a really convincing performance as he falls in love with her, managing to bring emotion and humour into all of his scenes. When her power unleashes the "four horsemen of the apocalypse" (who are mystical bike-riding hoodies wielding samurai swords), though, the threat spreads through the community centre. Alex ends up getting stabbed in the chest and Abbey is almost killed, only to be saved by Finn's telekinesis.
However, the group pledge to face their foes together, rather than simply letting Nadine be killed (which would make the horsemen disappear). Upon hearing this, Nadine tells Rudy that she was glad to have met him and runs to meet her fate. Her death is more emotional than would be expected, and the development of Rudy is clear when you see just how devastated he is by it. It would be too much to hope that Misfits would conclude the series on a positive note, and it's surprisingly affecting to see Nadine suddenly killed off in this way.
The final moments leave things uncertain, as a dying Alex is given a lung transplant that may well provide him with a power. Let's hope it's something that makes him interesting, as I really wouldn't have been too bothered to discover that he'd simply not survived his wound. There's a lot of set up here for Series Five, as the show makes the potential of a relationship between Jess and Finn more obvious, hands out more clues about Abbey's backstory and ends on the aforementioned cliffhanger. Only Rudy's arc really gets closure, which seems appropriate as he's the only one who has been effectively developed this series.
In the end, the fourth series of Misfits has been a bit of a mixed bag. There have been a couple of great episodes and a couple of real disappointments too. There hasn't been enough commitment to the new characters, and it's hard to know whether things will get better or worse next series. There continues to be great potential here, however, so a chance remains that the show will rediscover some its earlier brilliance next year.