Monday, October 1, 2012

Misfits Season One, Episode Six

This episode opens in a nice outdoor scene, just a short distance from where the misfits are sitting, with a young woman saying, "I was a nasty slut. I went with so many boys and girls - girls and boys at the same time. I took part in disgusting perverted unnatural acts. I was drinking and taking drugs.  I used bad language all of the time. I called my mom a fat bitch but I'm not like that anymore.  I'm a good person." Nathan listens to the entire testimony and quickly declares it is not normal. Alisha then tells the story of a woman riding a gear stick, while the others watch completely disturbed. Kelly asks Simon about his friends, but before Simon can answer, Nathan interjects, "I believe that is generally referred to as the pedophile ring." When Simon says he is not a pedophile, Nathan responds, "Oh yeah, you'd screw your own sister for a slice of cheese."  Simon is truly a creepy individual and I like that at least someone is calling it out, but I'm not convinced that Nathan should be the one to do it.

Two of the group members are leaving and Nathan calls them over to ask, "why are you all dressed like retards?"  Of course, not a single character bothers to call him out on his ableist language.  Though this is par for the course for Nathan, if they are going to have him say such things, then they need to have someone calling it out, because it gives the appearance that what he said wasn't at all problematic.  Curtis says, "he used to be a right head case, this is weird," in reference to the young man that Nathan stopped.

In the community center, the misfits realise that their probation worker is missing.  Simon tries to cover by saying that Sally has gone on holiday to Greece, but they are not buying it. Nathan believes they should call probation headquarters and get them to send someone down there to supervise them. Alisha and Curtis make eye contact and that is enough to send them off to fool around.  Nathan starts to play with a soccer ball and kicks it at Simon's head, causing Simon to get up and throw a box at Nathan's head.  If looks could kill, Nathan would have dropped dead right then.  Simon leaves, but as he gets to the door, Nathan kicks the ball at him again, with Kelly whining, "don't Nathan."

Rachel, the leader of a group called Virtue, is in bathroom washing up, when she hears Curtis and Alisha going at it.  When they leave the room, Curtis is adjusting his clothing and Alisha goes to look at herself in the mirror. Rachel asks Alisha if she has any shame and calls her a slut. "You think having sex with boys will make them respect you? If you behave like a slut, they'll treat you like a slut," Rachel says. Alisha calls her a freak and then Rachel uses her powers on Alisha and says, "you don't need to behave like this, you can do so much better."  I do not like the slut shaming that has been rife throughout this episode. 

In the locker room, Simon and Kelly are getting ready to go, when Kelly says, "you just need to ignore Nathan he's a dick. He doesn't care what anyone says to him and he thinks it's the same for everyone." Simon replies, "me and you, we're not like that." Kelly tells him that she will get Nathan to back off him. As Kelly listens in on Simon's thoughts she hears, "I did it for you, for all of you. I did it to protect you." When Kelly asks Simon what he means by that, Simon replies, "nothing." I think it's great that Kelly reached out to Simon; however, if she was really all that concerned about Nathan's behaviour, she should have said something in front of the entire group.  Nathan deserved to be told off quite a long time ago. In fact, what he did to Simon pales in comparison to some of things he has said and done.

Simon leaves and goes to look at Sally's body, which he has tossed in a freezer.  She is covered in frost and her eyes are open.  He touches her cheek as if to caress her.  Yes, it is possible for Simon to become even creepier.

Nathan is on the phone chatting with a sex operator and is interrupted by Pete, who wants to know if he has seen Sally.  Simon, Curtis and Kelly are rolling around in wheelchairs when they see Pete leave. The wheelchair thing is common on Misfits, which to me seems very disrespectful.  They are not toys, or rides, they function as the legs of someone who is disabled. Curtis asks what Pete is doing there, and Kelly asks who he is.  Curtis says that Pete is a cop, and then Alisha walks by in a plain matronly like dress with a smile on her face. Curtis approaches Alisha to ask her what is going on with the makeover and she repeats Rachel's words, "if you dress like a slut, people will treat you like a slut." She claims to want to sort her life out because of the shame she feels for all of the drugs, drunk driving and masturbating in front of Curtis.  When Curtis reminds Alisha that she enjoyed it, Alisha responds, "I shouldn't be masturbating in public toilets. I'm saving myself until I am ready to make a proper commitment."   Curtis asks if the group they saw yesterday did something to her and says, "this isn't you," when Alisha invites her to one of their meetings.

Nathan is rolling a spliff with headphones on when Rachel approaches him to say that doing marijuana can lead to epilepsy and mental illness.  When Nathan does not respond, she tries to use her powers on him, but because he cannot hear her, he is unaffected. He lights up his joint right in front of her and says, "nice cardigan," before walking away.

Curtis is in the bathroom with Simon, Kelly and Nathan, and he tells them that Alisha is saying weird stuff and has been talking about saving herself until she is ready to make a proper commitment. Nathan says, "it's a sad day for all of us when a bird like that decides to pull up her knickers." Curtis of course objects because Alisha is his girlfriend.  Curtis is convinced it has something to do with the group Virtue, which they saw the day before.  Simon says that it's the storm, because anytime anything weird happens, it's always the storm. Nathan want to know when Simon grew "a set of balls." Simon answers, "I've always had a set of balls, you've just never seen them."  Of course Nathan could not let that go and had to throw in some homophobia,"that's about the gayest thing I have ever heard," he retorts.  Nathan has no purpose other than to be offensive in every single conversation.  He is essentially an equal opportunity bigot. Anyone who is not White, straight, cisgender, male or disabled is who he targets week after bloody week.  Kelly breaks in to say that they have to figure out what is going on with Alisha.

That night, Curtis is walking when he sees Alisha.  He is suddenly surrounded by members of Virtue and held against his will.  Creepy Simon is looking at videos of Sally before erasing them.  Nathan is making his bed in the center when Kelly approaches with pizza.  She asks him why he gives Simon so much grief and Nathan says that he is just screwing around. When Nathan asks if she is in love with Simon, Kelly smacks him upside of the head.  Personally, she should have hit him a few more times and even harder.  Nathan calls her touchy and promises to leave her boyfriend alone.  They begin to talk about powers and Nathan says that he doesn't believe he has one, because you cannot improve upon perfection.  When Kelly finds the sock he uses to clean up with after masturbation, she is rightfully disgusted. She asks how he gets laid and Nathan admits that he gets girls really drunk.  Uh huh, so drunk I'm sure that he can take advantage of them.  I wonder if he realises that doing this is not only predatory, it's rape?  If someone cannot give an enthusiastic consent because they are drunk then it is without doubt rape.

Nathan and Kelly go to steal some booze, when Curtis is escorted in by Virtue all tied up.  Rachel uses her power on him and then pins him with a ribbon.  The next morning, Simon is watching as Virtue burns drugs and dildos of all things. Kelly and Nathan show up and tell Simon that the group got Curtis the night before.  Rachel is interviewed for television, where she says that her group is trying to encourage self respect, respectful behaviour and respect for the law. When Rachel is asked if she has a message for all of the young people watching, she turns to the camera, taps into her power and says, "you don't need to behave like this, you can be so much better." 

Simon, Kelly and Nathan go into the community center, where Kelly and Nathan attempt to look for Sally.  Nathan points out that Simon was sucking up to her  last week, but Simon says that he has no idea where she is. Kelly believes they need to tell someone what Rachel is doing but Nathan replies, "oh yeah, help, everyone has stopped taking drugs and urinating in the street." When he put it that way, who would take their complaints seriously? Nathan tells Simon to think of something, but makes the mistake of calling him Barry, which shocks Simon. When Alisha walks into the building, Kelly says that they need to get her out of there, but Simon points out that they cannot touch her because of her power. Nathan suggests that they gear up, so they put on ipods and rubber gloves.  They split up, with Nathan and Simon going one way and Kelly another.

Kelly locks herself in a room with Alisha and tells her that she is being brainwashed. Outside, Nathan and Simon are knocking on the door trying to warn her about Curtis.  Alisha starts to scream and calls out to Curtis for help.  Outside, Simon and Nathan are quickly being surrounded by more members of the group and so they are forced to leave Kelly behind. When they become completely surrounded and cannot run any further, Nathan tells Simon to use his power and save him. Simon reminds Nathan of the way that he has treated him and uses his power to escape, leaving Nathan behind to face the group. Just as they are beginning to close in, Nathan is rescued by a man in a mask and a hoodie.

Nathan is walking the streets and watching as more people get picked up by the group. In the meantime, the ever so creepy Simon has opened the lid of the freezer, which he stashed Sally in and his lifted her body into a semi-sitting position, to keep him company as he eats pizza.  So now, Simon isn't only creepy, he's downright macabre.

Nathan breaks into Kelly's to find her and she is already changed.  Kelly says that she had a terrible attitude and was so aggressive. Nathan tries to assure Kelly that he liked her, in part because she was the only one who would give him a slap when he deserved it, but Kelly says that she was a horrible chav.  Nathan actually tells her that he likes the way she was and this is probably the nicest he has been to anyone since the season started. In return, Kelly says, "look at you, you haven't achieved anything. You're a waste of space. You're such a loser."  The sad thing about this is that everything that Kelly said is absolute truth, but because she has been possessed, it takes the sting out of her commentary. Simon apologises and responds that he should never have left her back there, before leaving.

The next morning, Nathan sits at a train station with his bags packed looking completely dejected but when the door opens, he cannot bring himself to get on. He changes into a suit to fit in with all of the cult members.  My question at this point, is where did he get the perfectly ironed suit?  Nathan enters the community centre and is greeted by Curtis, who says that he is happy to seem and is glad to see has changed, because he was such an annoying idiot. Alright, once again the well earned call out is not significant because Curtis is under mind control.  It is also worth noting that the word idiot, is ableist.

When Nathan sees Rachel go off by herself, he puts in his earphones and follows her with what appears to be a gun. When he finds her alone in a room, Nathan  points the gun at Rachel and demands she change everyone back to how they were. Rachel argues that they are better off now, and tells him that everyone used to tease her for being a virgin. She asserts that is a nice person and they treated her like a freak. Nathan cannot hear her as Rachel says repeatedly that she doesn't know how her power works and cannot stop this.  Kelly enters the room and sees Nathan with a gun to Rachel's head. Kelly alerts the other cult members, as Nathan drags Rachel through the room, and then up the stairs to the roof.  Nathan drags Kelly to the edge of the roof and gives a speech to the cult members below that they are young and are designed to party.  It's clear that the Rachel and Nathan are not alone on the roof and that someone is watching.  Rachel realizes that Nathan's gun is leaking and that he is threatening her with a water pistol. Rachel and Nathan struggle and lose their balance.  Rachel falls first and when Nathan goes to fall, Simon tries to grab him as Nathan screams, "save me Barry."  The cult members are no longer brainwashed, because Rachel is dead on the cement and for his part, Nathan gets impaled on the iron fence.

Kelly goes to the funeral parlor to see Nathan and slips an ipod in the coffin with him. The team then goes to the graveyard to pay their last respects.  Alisha suggests they go to celebrate Nathan's life. That night, they are all at a club having a drink and Simon makes a toast to Nathan.  He thinks so that Kelly can hear him, "up on the roof I tried to save him, but there was nothing I could do. I'm sorry." Both Simon and Kelly leave, leaving behind Curtis and Alisha, who touch through glass. Outside of the club, Simon gives Kelly a CD which holds all of the recordings he made of Nathan. When she watches it, Kelly smiles, even as tears roll down her face.

Quite unfortunately however, Nathan awakes in his coffin and starts to breathe. He realises that he is alive and didn't die.  He starts to scream that he has a power and then starts to call for help. He uses the ipod Kelly put in the coffin to play music.

As season finales go, the revelation of Nathan's power was pretty good, but I would have preferred a cliff hanger of sorts.  It is possible that part of my disappoint stems from the fact that I was really happy to see the ignorant Nathan get killed off.  For all of it's fails, I cannot say that Misfits doesn't have an interesting concept and that is what has kept me going.  I think it would be just as good if they didn't have Nathan engaging in fail after fail, week after bloody week. For me, he is nothing but a distraction.

We'll just have to see what season two holds.