New ASBO probies Finn and Jess were nicely introduced to viewers in the season premiere of "Misfits" last week, with just enough background to make them intriguing and just enough questions to want to know more. Indeed, the closing moments serve as a perfect lead-in to this week, as we pick up right where we left off.
Evidently, there is a questionable side to the seemingly innocent, affable new guy Finn. Sadie turned out not to be his dog, but rather his girlfriend, bound to his bed and gagged in his apartment, forced to communicate via a Speak & Spell and crap in a bucket, no doubt eager to be freed. However, there doesn't seem to be any malice behind the captivity, as Finn genuinely sees it as a temporary solution to a much larger problem.
Complicating this temporary solution is Rudy. Now, one of my complaints about Joseph Gilgun's Rudy last season was that, as funny and crass as he could be, he gradually evolved into essentially the same character as the one he replaced. Both Rudy and the departed Nathan were sexually deviant, self-serving jackasses with no filter or apologies for their respective chronic diarrhea-of-the-mouth afflictions. With this episode, the two are officially different characters in name only, as Rudy is evicted from his flat and living in the community center, just as Nathan was.
Rudy's homelessness serves as a forced entry point into the complicated domestic situation of Finn, who is forced to come clean to the group. While the storm saddled Finn with a pretty weak telekinesis power, his girlfriend Sadie gained the ability to turn him into love-starved, eager-to-please perfect boyfriend, leaving him a whipped mess of a man. It's an intriguing theme, that of slovenly free will vs forced self-betterment, and serves to bring the gang closer together as they sympathize with his awkward plight.
The community service this week barely plays much of a role, save to offer a few laughs and further flesh out the new, terrifying probation worker Greg. The task itself is simple enough: serve as models for a sculpture class for the blind. Both Curtis and Rudy take a particular interest in one particularly buxom student, an inexplicably racist blind girl who shares a telepathic bond with her seeing eye dog thanks to our mysterious storm. It's a bit of a disappointing subplot, to be honest, once you get past the curious nature of a blind person being racially prejudiced. I'm left to wonder what the point of it all was, given that it didn't factor one bit into the main story and really didn't serve to flesh out any of our core characters, so consequently it comes off as series writer/creator Howard Overman having a cheeky idea and shoehorning it into the episode despite the ill fit.
This episode serves to briefly introduce two new characters: Greg, the aforementioned scary probation worker, evidently has an equally scary trainee Lola. The new probation workers are a bit of a change-up, as in past seasons the crew has had probation workers who were homicidal, untrusting, and apathetic, so having a couple of hardasses this time around could shake up the formula a bit. We also meet Alex, mysterious bartender/co-worker of Curtis. There isn't much to Alex just yet, save for him being handsome and likable until a girl hits on him. Curious.
A bit of a disappointment overall this week. While we got some nice characterization of charismatic new guy Finn, it came with a weak subplot and not much else. The preview for next week's episode appears promising, however, as we uncover a third, much darker duplicate of Rudy.
Final Grade: C+