Misfits: Back to the Future

Misfits S01E04: “Four”

Did anyone else have that Cher song stuck in their heads for the entire duration of this episode? I couldn’t help it. As soon as Curtis’s angst-fueled powers sent him back to the night he got busted, “If I Could Turn Back Time” became the official theme song of this episode, and possibly the official theme song of Curtis himself. I mean, everyone needs a theme song. Some people need several. I have at least two self-made soundtracks on ye olde iPod to wallow in (because I’m hilariously self-absorbed.)

So, Alisha and Curtis are officially an item. Awesome. That wanking off together thing was a little awkward to watch but hey, whatever gets the job done. Nathan crashed the party just when they were getting to the good part, and if you’ve never been on either side of a similar situation, let me just assure you that it’s mortifying on both sides of the door, but it’s worse when there are cops involved.

After Nathan appropriately mocked the creatively copulating couple, Curtis’s ex-ladyfriend, Sam, showed up to make his day suck a little more. See, where Curtis’s Olympic hopes were dashed and he found himself sent to community service for his dabbling in the drug trade, Sam was sent to prison. She was, understandably, upset about that whole thing, but the fact that Curtis, the guy for whom she took the fall, couldn’t even be bothered to visit her during her incarceration didn’t help matters. Right right, he felt guilty about the whole prison thing. Maybe he should write his girlfriend a letter the next time she goes to prison for him, just to offer something resembling an explanation. I don’t know. Prison mail gets weird. One of my BFFs from high school dated an arsonist via jail mail. It didn’t really work out so well. That might have been more due to the whole arsonist thing though.

Curtis felt guilty about Sam’s dreary post-prison prospects and woke up in the past, on the day they got busted with drugs at the club. Armed with his knowledge of what the future held, Curtis was determined to keep Sam out of prison and maybe save his athletic career while he was at it. From there, the whole episode was a bizarrely awesome fusion of The Butterfly Effect and Trainspotting, complete with Curtis fishing around a poopy toilet for lost drugs during attempt one (of three) to make the future suck less.

Curtis’s first try was pretty much a disaster from the beginning. His plan was to just give the drugs back to the dealer, but then he lost the drugs. Then he got the drugs back and lost the money he owed. Then things got dicey and Sam got stabbed, which was decidedly worse than going to prison.

The second time around, Curtis successfully avoided getting either himself or Sam arrested and everyone lived happily ever after.

Except for his fellow delinquents. After an encounter with an Alisha who had no memory of him, Curtis decided to try to initiate a relationship with her in the new timeline. However, when he showed up at the community center in the morning, he found a makeshift memorial at the door for Gary, Kelly, Simon, and yup, Alisha too. Even with his career and Sam’s freedom ensured, the freaky superpowered storm still happened. Tony still went gonzo. And without Curtis around to, sing it with me, “tuuuuuurn back tiii-iiime,” everybody died. Except Nathan, which seemed odd.

Determined to have the best of both worlds, Curtis turned back the clock a third and final time, successfully kept Sam out of prison, but knowingly took the fall himself, sacrificing Olympic glory in order to save the other ASBO teens.

Back in the present, Curtis met Alisha for their morning jerk off and this time, he locked the door. All was well... except along came Sam, again, blissfully free of a criminal record and thrilled to visit her boyfriend Curtis at his community service gig.

Oops. Sometimes, I guess wanting the best of both worlds is asking for just a little too much.



NOTES

– Okay, I felt bad and all for Tony’s car getting stolen with Sally’s engagement ring in the glove box, but seriously, who keeps an engagement ring in the glove compartment?

– I loved the run-ins Curtis had with the other ASBO kids, even though they were generally pretty sad. They all just seemed really empty and unhappy. Granted, they’re all pretty generally unhappy on a good day in the normal timeline, but still, I like to think their appearances in Curtis’s past were meant to reinforce the idea that these guys are meant to be together. I’m a sap like that.

– Uh-oh. Sally found Tony’s credit card in Simon’s locker and the lost engagement ring in Kelly’s. Shit’s gonna get real next week, isn’t it?

– Curtis’s theme song is “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher. What about the other ASBO kids?

Comments (18)
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I dont know if im the only one to pick up on this but if you remember in s02e02 Curtis takes pills and goes into the future, to see himself superhero with hot chick, which seems a cool and intriguing idea. But in s04e04 he dies before this can happen. Did the writers think fuck it, let's piss around with the future of the misfits?
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Good episode but it starts to show the problems with having someone with time travel abilities. Without thinking about it too hard there are a bunch of things Curtis would have done that would have dramatically improved his life and everyone elses. Instead the writers have to manipulate the plot and the character to basically force him back to where he started (except for getting Sam out of jail).



For instance, he travels back in time several times. After the 1st time why doesn't he memorize the winning multi million dollar lottery number for the point in time he is going back to? He could fix the drug situation, buy a ticket, win the lottery and use his money to make it look like Tony won a free a vacation so he wouldn't be around to go crazy after the storm. Or just show up the morning of the storm with a private security team and sort things out.



That may not be a perfect solution but if you played around with it you could definitely come up with something that: a) saves Sam; b) saves his career; c) saves the rest of the team; and d) ends up with him rich for the rest of his life.



Instead he ends up doing the one thing that keeps the rest of the timeline intact (except for Sam) which really makes no sense at all.



That being said, the episode is fast paced and clever enough that the holes didn't really stop me from enjoying it.



I am a bit unclear how the implications of the time travel though. When Curtis goes back he clearly remembers the 1st future. When he has done whatever he does and goes back to the future he seems to still remember the alternative future. I assume he also remembers the current timeline though (where he never met the rest of the team) and kept dating Sam and running etc.?



In that case shouldn't he have known he was still dating Sam? Because in this timeline he kept dating her. Shouldn't he also still be in love with her? If so why would he have gotten into the relationship with Alisha in the first place when (in this new timeline) he has been happily dating Sam all along. Alisha would also know he was dating Sam unless this is the first time Sam came by. It comes across like Sam is the only one actually in the new timeline and Curtis and everyone else is still in the original, which can't be right.



Outside the issues I had with the decisions he made travelling through time, the one problem I had with this episode was the relationship between Curtis and Sam. We are previously led to believe he cares about her. In this revised timeline they've continued dating. Yet he seems quite willing to immediately dump her for someone he just met.



I'd be ok with that as a one-off - people are shallow (especially hormonal teenage guys) and Alisha is pretty hot (although being able to touch Sam would seem like a pretty big factor). My problem is this is consistent throughout the series. I save the details for a later review to avoid any spoilers but no one cares for anyone consistently for any period of time. I would be ok with that if it was intentional but over time I've concluded it is just lazy, sloppy writing. The writers don't seem to want to be burdened with actually dealing with the consequences of previous relationships so as soon as it becomes inconvenient to continue the relationship they basically act as if though it never existed. It is a subtle but significant "continuity error" for me.



The plot involving Tony's death is evolving nicely and helps give the episodes a sense of continuity even while each episode focusses on its own specific issue.



I agree with the comments that: a) this is Londonish (not exactly London but like London); and the characters are supposed to be in their late teens or early 20s. An age where some of them are still living at home but others have moved out (some involuntarily).



The way this website hides these recaps is crazy annoying. Why aren't they under recaps (or at least why isn't there a link)? I had to hunt around again to find the link for this one. I am pretty sure that just yesterday there was some header near the top of the page and now I have to scroll down to the very bottom and click on "read more". Not a great hardship but it took a while to figure out and isn't especially intuitive.
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London I would think, can't remember if it's ever mentioned the first series was a while ago. EmprerNero, people think they are teens because they are meant to be, you can drink and get into clubs for 2 years in your teens in England and leave school at 16, they are not meant to be young kids but they are teenagers.
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Ok cool didn't know that! But I guess it would make sense, it's a foreign country to me so...
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In what city does the story take place? Anybody knows?
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Its in London oh and two of them are friends of mine.. :)
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Spoontown beat me to it, but yeah, I'm pretty sure it's London.
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I think it's London-esque, because it's filmed here, but I don't think it's ever established that it is actually London. If I remember correctly, the creator even stated once it should be viewed as a fictional part of a fictional city. Like Gotham or Metropolis.
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this show is OVER !!



They are trying to find a story where there is no story.



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Why do people think they're teens? They have no visible parental involvement. They drink, get into clubs, sexually sophisticated and do drugs (granted not really proof). Curtis seems to live alone. If Nathan's mother couldn't take care of him anymore why did she simply kick him out? Why not send him to his dad's if he was underage? If these were teenagers why do they never go to school? I mean I get that there is some indication that they're kids but some of the shit they get away with... people would never take that from some teenagers.
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ya when i watched it i never thought of them as teenagers, i just figured they were in their early twenties like right after college, or during college age and they just didnt go to college because of getting arrested?
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i got a real kick out of looking on the front page and seeing "Suits: Blast from the Past" and "misfits: Back to the future" right next to each other. surely that was done on purpose
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nathan- any green day song or transyvanian transvestite from Rocky Horror. Not spoiling anything, he just has the same hair and flamboynace.

Simon- i agree, mr. cellophane ORR even more obvious "invisible" by clay aiken.

Kelly- bitch meredith brooks

alisha- toxic britney spears

curtis- time after time



the whole lot combined?- the song that played at the end of breakfast club. Im blanking on the name but that one.
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Haha, love your song choices! The Breakfast Club song is "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds, but there's also a pretty good Yellowcard cover floating around. :D
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I put an engagement ring in a glove box once. Box was too big to be carrying around. I've never understood how in movies guys go for days with a ring box in their front jeans pocket. If it even fit that would be super uncomfortable and obvious.
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Haha, true, definitely obvious. I guess the glove box is a better alternative than the old "Hey BFF Can You Hold onto This Incredibly Important Piece of Jewelry For Me" trope, typically followed by said BFF losing said ring in the name of going on zany adventures to get it back.
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that is a very fine point.
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This is fairly obvious, but Simon's theme song could be Mr. Cellophane
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