In many ways, what we’ve just watched could be considered a Misfits anti-Christmas special. That was no virgin birth, and instead of Jesus being born, he dies. Horribly. Due to a flying locker filled with cash.
The Misfits Christmas special was a laugh a minute affair, with the entire cast getting their moment in the spotlight. Grossness was the order of the day, with Nathan meeting a pregnant skanky girl who seemed to be his soulmate, Curtis and Nikki’s romp in the toilet being interrupted by her involuntary teleporting across the estate and a corrupt supe using his powers to pretend to be Jesus, thus raking in money and groupie love in the locker room.
The episode had two (and a half) main threads. The first is Evil Jesus, who’s using his powers to walk on water and convince people that he’s the risen Lord, etc. Of course, he’s no such thing, and he uses these powers to get people to hand over their money and for sexual favours.
The second thread is Alisha’s discovery that there’s a backstreet business that deals in the buying and selling of powers. Considering her power (anyone she touches becomes uncontrollably horny) is possibly the most useless of them all, she wants rid of it. And when she tells the others about this opportunity, they jump at the chance to get rid of their powers once and for all.
This sparks quite an interesting debate – because it’s true that none of the group have really used their powers for any real benefit – either for themselves or for mankind. But neither have they used them to manipulate or cheat anyone. The murders that they’ve committed have all been more or less in self defense. Ultimately all of the gang (including Nikki) sell off their powers. Even Simon after Alisha tells him that his future self told her they should sell their powers.
Of course, when these two storylines converge – Jesus buying Alisha’s power and using it to compel her to have sex with him – the story gets quite terrifying. And it’s quite close to the traditional superhero staple of showing why the Misfits might be needed – to keep the more deranged victims of the hailstorm in check.
Finally, a disciple of Jesus walks into the bar that Curtis and Alisha are now working in and holds the place up. The newly minted Misfits must hand over the money they got when they sold their powers, and of course there’s nothing any of them can do to stop it. Nathan pretends he’s immortal, but ends up dodging a bullet and Nikki gets hit instead. It’s a shocking moment, as she was fast becoming part of the gang, and Curtis is ripped up with grief that he’d sold his powers away – he could have rewound time and saved her.
I like that he couldn’t though – it kind of backs up what I said last week about them not overusing the time travel device. It remains to be seen whether Nikki will be brought back.
The and a half part of the story was Nathan meeting the pregnant girl in the community center. Now, it might have seemed contrived that he suddenly developed this attachment to her and her unborn baby, but it was cleverly written like the two were perfect, albeit disgusting, soulmates. The scene where the two met and bantered was perfectly executed and made everything that happened afterward much more plausible. Yes, even the cheesy, twisted nativity scene!
How funny was the afterbirth scene? Jesus, you’re giving birth to an alien!!!
A Channel 4 insider said to me last week that this special episode would set up an awesome cliffhanger that would keep viewers guessing until the third series. They weren’t wrong – not only do the Misfits now have the money to buy back their powers, they have the opportunity to buy back different powers. What powers will they end up with next year? I invite you to speculate with me!
I also liked the notion of Nathan trying to act like a responsible adult. There’s plenty of scope for him screwing this up that would create comedy value. More so if it turned out that the baby had powers!
All in all, the Christmas episode was a fantastic perversion of Christmas and nativity themes, with a corrupt Jesus and a slutty Mary. And yet despite all the season-specific shenanigans, they wrote in some fascinating developments for the characters. Simon edging toward becoming Superhoodie, Alisha losing her powers (for good, since they died with Jesus), Curtis losing his girlfriend and Nathan entering a possibly serious relationship. The only one who was mildly left out in the cold was Kelly. But that could change.
I also liked the fact that they’ve introduced a supe who can nullify people’s powers, absorbing them and granting them to someone else. It also means powers can be in flux, which is interesting. After this episode, it feels like the Misfits universe is starting to expand and the mythology is about to get a lot more complex. I like where this show is heading.
Nice Atheist touch – When a disciple of Fake Jesus scoffs at the Misfits for expecting her to believe something so ludicrous as them having superpowers. Yeah, because she isn’t remotely gullible…
The cast of Misfits are: Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), Nathan (Robert Sheehan), Kelly (Lauren Socha), Alisha (Antonia Thomas) and Simon (Iwan Rheon)