The latest episode of "Misfits" represents the closest thing to a reboot for the series so far, having cast off the entire previous ensemble cast as of last week. Nathan was the first to go prior to season three, presumably still imprisoned in Vegas; Simon is still traveling through time to save his deceased love Alicia; Kelly remains in Africa with boyfriend Seth putting her rocket scientist powers to good use, with a possibility for a future return; finally, just last week our final original probie Curtis got his grand send-off after a suitably top form episode.
With Curtis out, our new characters take center stage purely out of necessity. We touch on the burgeoning romance between bartender Alex (Matt Stokoe) and Jess, with the two finally going on a first date after Alex's few attempts at ducking out at the last minute. There is clearly something up with our enigmatic bartender, as we see him purchasing photos of another mysterious stranger (shades of Seth attempting to find the man with the power to bring back the dead). My prediction, based on the teaser that closes the episode and the preview of next week, is that Alex's storm-given power is more a cross to bear -- think Jim Thompson's "The Nothing Man."
Elsewhere, Finn finds his biological dad -- that was quick. He's a nice enough guy, one of many to take Finn's mother (nicknamed "Anal Mary") to bed at a very busy party one night, and unfortunately on the losing end of a terminal bout with cancer. Along with a new dad, Finn inherits a half-sister Grace, who appears to be extending her father's life with her own strange power. Alas, the power isn't so much healing him as it is simply prolonging his life and extending his suffering, and he asks Finn to convince Grace to find a way to let him go.
Finn's storyline blends some pretty strong dramatic themes that feel like they could have used more time to play out. These are poignant, emotionally resonant subject matters -- euthanasia, terminal illness, finding a long-lost family -- that could carry a lot of dramatic weight, but is only touched on by getting just a portion of an hour-long episode as opposed to, say, two or three episodes. Moreover, the death of Finn's father comes right after an episode featuring the death of a character with us from the very beginning, thus further undercutting its effectiveness. That's not to say the story is badly done, but a character as new, undeveloped and (to many viewers) annoying as Finn needs as much sympathy from the audience as he can get, and a quick one-off with a dying father who will barely be mentioned again or serve to mold his character going forward does little toward that.
This week's "Misfits" was a forgivably tepid offering, coming off of last week's near perfect neo-noir. What was meant as a way to flesh out Finn's background and character comes off more as the kind of characterization one would see on a procedural, where someone we've never met or have any connection with is killed off and the audience is just supposed to understand it has an effect on our main character, even though said main character in all likelihood won't dwell on said death in future episodes. It's unfortunate, as our new kids need all the development they can get.
Final Grade: B-