Misfits Season Three was recently released on DVD by the BBC. In these eight episodes, the familiar not-quite-heroes figure out their new powers, but more importantly, try to decide what they want for themselves in their lives. It’s a series with super-human abilities, but the characters are extremely down-to-earth, and their complicated relationships, both within and outside of the group, are the focus of the story.
As season three begins, Nathan (Robert Sheehan) has moved to Vegas with his lady love, leaving a hole in the central gang. It is quickly filled by Rudy (Joseph Gilgun, Emmerdale), a young man who is as obnoxious and overly sexualized as Nathan, but who is more open about his insecurities that make him that way. In this manner, Rudy does not quite replace Nathan, but serves in a similar capacity, while also deepening the archetype in a new and engaging way.
Rudy’s power is that he can split himself in two, essentially separating his good side from his bad, though neither personality is as extreme as one might expect from watching other science fiction shows. It’s cool that Misfits takes such an old trope and puts their own unique, grounded spin on it, as the series has done with other superhero elements. This also provides an appropriate conceit to illustrate Rudy’s inner turmoil.
In season two, viewers saw a badass future version of Simon (Iwan Rheon) come back in time to save his lady love, Alisha (Antonia Thomas), only to die in her arms. In this third outing, young Simon is striving to become that man, though Alisha doesn’t want him to be, as the end result would be her losing the guy she cares deeply about. Must Simon fulfill his destiny, or can time be re-written?
This question plagues the story for a lot of season three in a very intriguing way. There is an examination of fate, and a discussion about whether Alisha would just disappear if Simon doesn’t go back, or if, now that she’s been saved, she’ll be OK. Ultimately, the fate of Simon and Alisha is both poetic and poignant, not quite answering these queries, but providing a satisfying conclusion just the same.
Kelly (Lauren Socha) soon discovers her new power, being a rocket scientist, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when people have a hard time taking her seriously because of her physical appearance and accent. Similarly, Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) has many difficulties with his ability to turn into a girl, especially when sex is involved. Both of these seem more like comic relief than Simon and Alisha’s plot, but find room to delve into pathos occasionally, too.
Most of the eight hours in season three are concerned with these character-driven arcs, as well as Kelly’s relationship with power broker Seth (Matthew McNulty). But a couple of installments interrupt most of the forward momentum to present an alternate, Nazi-controlled timeline or battle zombies. Misfits is stronger in keeping to the bigger stories, not being bogged down in weekly stuff, so thankfully there is much more of the former.
At the conclusion of the season, the past comes back to haunt the group, quite literally, as three of the characters they previously killed (including a Downton Abbey star) return as ghosts that can interact with the physical world. It’s a cool callback, especially as most of the central cast ends their story permanently, and a prompt to examine what has happened to the characters, as well as who they have become. It’s a wonderful ending.
The three disc set includes a few special features. Each episode has around 3 minutes of Behind the Scenes footage, too brief to be very informative, but it does give us a glimpse of what happens on set. The featurettes on visual effects and stunts are more than ten minutes each, and go a bit deeper, though also aren’t anything special, too technical for the casual fan, but too light for those actually excited about such things. And there’s an “On the Set” bonus that is interesting.
The best inclusions are two extended webisodes, “Vegas” and “Erazer.” “Vegas” is what happens to Nathan after leaving the group, giving us a glimpse of what he is up to now. The story is totally in keeping with the established character, whom is missed, so the mini-episode is welcome. “Erazer” explores a brand-new hero, which kind of makes it case-of-the-week stuff, but it’s short and artistic and presented separately, so it’s more fascinating than distracting to the overall story.
That makes this a great set for Misfits fans, a fitting continuation of the story. Misfits Season Three is available now.