Joseph Gilgun is a very good actor.
For those who have seen his scene-stealing roles in "This Is England," "Harry Brown," and "Lockout," this isn't exactly news. On "Misfits," Gilgun portrays two characters on the series: Rudy and Rudy. The storm has given him the ability to split into duplicates, with the unfortunate side-effect being that his duplicate is a sensitive, emotional soul that often runs afoul of the original's uncouth, unfiltered loudmouth personality.
This week, we learn that there are, in reality, THREE Rudys, with #3 recently released from a stay in prison following a violent encounter. While Rudy 1 and Rudy 2 are a charming, bickering odd couple, Rudy 3 is more a manipulative sociopath with no endearing qualities and certainly no good intentions.
Rudy 3 sets his sights on Jess, unearthing a telling photo of a loved one from her locker. Rudy 3 has the unnerving charm of a con man, touching a nerve and provoking Jess to confess a few tid bits about her past: Jess struggles with an eating disorder, with former friend Danny being the only person she could confide in about it. Danny in turn broke her trust, using her vulnerability to sleep with her before moving on to another similarly damaged girl. Rudy 3 relates, as the two people he trusted most also turned against him.
Gilgun is in top-form, jumping between the identical-but-very-different Rudys with ease and making this episode the best of the new season so far. While he dominates the episode, he's supported by an outbreak of romance, "Misfits"-style. Curtis continues to romance the acerbic trainee probation worker Lola, sparks seem to once again briefly fly between Jess and mystery man Alex, and we meet Finn's dad's... very affectionate ex-girlfriend Lisa. The latter is a mess of attempted comic relief, shedding some light on the mixed bag that is Finn. Curtis' affair seems poised to bear some fruit, especially as I can't help but notice that the group's probation worker and his trainee never seem to share the same scenes...
Unfortunately, the subplots act as more of a distraction to the main story -- the writers set a few things up to pay off in the future, but there isn't enough development to get properly invested in them, especially since I was eager to get back to The Three Rudys. Still, the distractions can't totally undo what is easily the best work of the new cast, and certainly the best work of Gilgun on the series overall.
Final Grade: A-