So, my fellow misfits, are you ready to have another episode unleashed upon your fragile psyches? Because this episode contains a twist that will scar you for life, possibly leading you to do an Oliver from The OC and need intense therapy.
It’ll make you wonder how well we really know the people we sleep with.
But you’ll love it, because it is a Nathan-centric episode. Yippee!
I’ll drink to that!
Before we kick off the recap, I should ask the obvious question: what superpower would you most like to be saddled with if you were suddenly struck by a freak lightning storm while doing community service?
Curtis’ ability to re-wind time doesn’t really appeal to me, because I’d be too wary about going back and accidentally screwing things up and spinning the world off its axis or something. Kelly’s telepathy could heighten your empathy for others and enlighten you about your more taciturn friends and family, but there are just some thoughts you don’t want to know other people are having about you. Simon’s invisibility power could be fun, if I was in close proximity to the CW boys’ locker room, but I think it might be too heady an experience to visually not exist. Alisha’s power is the worst of the lot though – I mean, who wants the power to make people want to rape them?
The ability to body teleport onto the sets of the Vampire Diaries when either Ian or Paul or Michael is shooting a shirtless scene is much more up my alley.
Or maybe something out of leftfield would be more awesome. Like a wine connoisseur superpower where I could show how cultured I am without years of getting red wine headaches (they are a bitch, amiright?).
On a more diabolical day, I love the idea of an Inceptionesque power, where you can implant ideas into other people’s minds. What can I say? I work in PR, which is all about emotional manipulation, so it would make my life easier.
What about you? What superpower would you choose?
As I mentioned in the last recap, the interesting thing about the ASBO 5’s powers is that they are an extension of an insecurity/dominant trait that each misfit exhibits, and not necessarily a power they would want to have. At this point, we also are yet to discover what Nathan’s power is.
Not fair, dudes!
For those who haven’t watched the series yet, have you figured it out?
Nathan is a libertine, someone who likes to live life without consequences and is pretty much unaffected by the thoughts and actions of others towards him; he lets insults just slide off his back. He also is obviously in no hurry to grow up. I’m curious to see if you can figure about what these personality traits convert into when it comes to his power.
Anyway, we open the episode with Nathan speculating about what his power could be to the group, who are picking up litter.
Nathan: “Maybe I’ve got a whole Spiderman vibe going on. Maybe I can climb stuff and do spider shit.”
I totally take that as a subtle desire to get into the pants of anyone with the nickname Spidey Sense.
Nathan might not have a clue about his power, but he does know that he wants something off of “the A-list”.
I’ll admit that I actually hoped when watching this series for the first time that his power would turn out to be completely anti-climactic, like the power to turn his skin green. He is cocky as hell, and much as I love him, needs to be taken down a peg or two. Being the only one in the group has already humbled him a smidgen, which means that at the moment he is a git with a god complex turned down slightly.
The others scoff at the Spiderman idea, though to be fair, as Nathan points out, none of their powers really make a whole lot of normal sense.
Suddenly, the group comes across a naked lump of flesh.
Alicia’s like, “Hey nude guy, you’re naked!” and the guy rolls over to give them the full glorious view. Simon takes a snap with his mobile phone, because I guess we have to treasure the times when life gives us Kodak moments.
Nathan is horrified to recognise Naked Guy as his mother’s boyfriend.
The group try to get to the bottom of why he is naked. Kelly wonders if he is a rapist. Alicia is convinced he is a pervert.
Simon is obviously a Vampire Diaries fan who knows about Tyler’s naked lucky dip wolf adventures, because he theorises that he’s a werewolf:
“Maybe he’s a werewolf. That’s what happens in films. You turn into a werewolf, you kill someone, and you wake up somewhere naked, like a zoo.”
But whereas Naked!Tyler is always a good thing…
… I’m not sure Caroline would want Nathan’s mum’s boyfriend turning up on her porch in the altogether. Sometimes it’s easy to be a cute vampire chick on a CW show.
Nathan chases off his mother’s Naked Guy boyfriend, who takes a sprawl mid-sprint that made me wince, because I fell on asphalt a tonne playing netball back in the day and it HURTS. I couldn’t imagine having that happen while naked.
So is this Naked Guy twist that one I mentioned will scar you? No, gentle reader, this is but an entrée for the main course of mindfuckery that you will encounter in this episode.
We cut to the community centre, where the misfits are at the pensioner’s equivalent of a Blue Light Disco.
Nathan is breaking out sexy Irish boy dancing moves at the frenetic pace of someone in a strobe-filled club, even though the tune is whimsical and slow.
There’s dancing like no one’s watching, and then there’s looking like a frog in a stocking. I think Nathan is on a collision course with the latter.
The female probation officer forces Alisha to dance with an old codger, who is taken over by her power when he touches her and says he wants to be between her dusky thighs with a level of sad creepiness only old men of a particular type can muster.
The poor old thing looks like he is going to have a heart murmur on the spot when Alisha pulls away from him.
Nathan gives an old lady a joy ride in her wheelchair, saying, “OK, Jo, let’s get that wind flowing through your hair. [looks down] Let’s get that wind flowing through your scalp!”
A hot, young blonde chick walks past, gives him the come hither once over, and he let’s go of the wheelchair, which hilariously flies off screen.
It turns out her name is Ruth and she is a volunteer at the community centre.
Nathan claims to love volunteering, and my respect for Ruth skyrockets when she says, “Is that why they gave you community service?”
I love my female characters a little sardonic and spunky.
Nathan of course isn’t ruffled at all and keeps flirting with her shamelessly. Ruth asks him what he did to get community service, and this little exchange happens:
Ruth: “So what did you do?”
Nathan: “I sexually assaulted a ninety year old woman.”
Ruth: “That’s really funny.”
Nathan: “She didn’t think so at the time… God rest her soul.”
Ruth: “Jesus!” [but gets Nathan’s brand of humour and laughs]
Just so that reading this recap is like witnessing a slow train wreck, check out this little GIF of Nathan that happens later…
Next, the gang are in the locker room when Curtis discovers an anonymous note saying, “I know what you did.”
Obviously, their stalker isn’t a self-respecting Jennifer Love Hewitt fan, because they totally left off the “last summer”. Any Buffy fans who watched that movie and expect Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character to go all vampire slayer and just kick the butt out of the guy who slashed her to ribbons already?
Anyway, Nathan “pffts” at the insinuation he left the note on the locker to yank all their chains, concludes that whoever left the note knows nothing about them killing their first probation worker or they would’ve gone to the police, and stomps off to his mother’s house.
Nathan, who was kicked out of the house by his mother last episode, decides to broach the delicate subject of her boyfriend’s likely double life as a werewolf or pervert by trying to break into her house so he can talk to her.
She is dubious about Nathan’s story, thinking it is his latest attempt to drive away the man in her life who isn’t his father.
We cut to Simon, who is surfing an internet chat room, when all of a sudden “shygirl18” adds him as a friend. They started messaging each other, and Simon cutely undoes a button out of nervousness. No, it’s not that button, people with minds in gutters… it’s his shirt button, which had been done up the way a choir boy wears a shirt. Aww, Simon! It’s okay, we all know what you’re hiding underneath that innocent exterior.
Back at the community centre, Nathan is getting ready to call it a night when he hears a strange noise. It turns out to be Ruth, who had forgotten her purse and left it there.
Ruth, who looks wholesome and sweet on the outside, is surprisingly willing to booze it up with Nathan on the community centre’s alcohol stock.
I tried to figure out what self-respecting community centre has alcohol on the premises, but then just LOL’d at the full moon hanging in the sky when Nathan and Ruth head outside to decompress after their naughty partying adventures.
Maybe Simon wasn’t too silly with his werewolf theory after all!
Ruth takes a picture of the two of them together on her mobile phone.
All of a sudden, Nathan’s mum’s boyfriend stumbles out all hairy and naked again.
Nathan chases after him with Ruth’s mobile and is knocked to the ground by the naked maybe werewolf man, snapping a few pictures that are sure to be real keepers in the family photo album.
The next day, Nathan shows his illustrious photos to Kelly, who asks, “What am I looking at?” with enough derision in her tone to make Vampire Pam proud.
Nathan, hilariously, categorises the various photos in an earnest teacher-like voice.
Nathan: “Cock, anus, bit of ball sack…”
Kelly: “Ew, what is that?”
Nathan: “That’s ball sack! It’s from a low angle. Jesus!”
I chortle over the fact anyone can get indignant that their friend can’t tell anus from ball sack in a blurry mobile phone photo.
Nathan tries to rally the rest of the misfits to help him prove to his mum that her boyfriend is a total freak. They’re all vocal in their efforts to support him, if deafening silence, interrupted only by crickets and Simon’s offer to help (which Nathan turns down, and makes me feel sad for poor Simon), counts.
Nathan then tries to convince Kelly, who “knows people”, to get him a gun.
Kelly: “There’s no way, I’m getting a dickhead, like you, a gun.”
Seriously, it’s all in her voice and attitude. Like the word gun is pronounced “gouuuuuuunn”.
Nathan, as always, is secretly turned on by this.
Later, Nathan head’s to his mother’s house and confronts her boyfriend about his weird behaviour.
Nathan: “George Michael gets away with it because he was in Wham.”
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Although, given my taste in cheesy music, maybe I shouldn’t be laughing so hard.
He’s aghast when his mother comes home and she has not only accepted her boyfriend’s descent into freakdown (which turns out to be a weird superpower from the storm, where he morphs into the mindset of his beloved Jack Russell dog who died), but still loves him.
It’s like a Jack Russell version of a werewolf. Awesome!
Nathan argues the point and earns a slap. His puppy dog look of betrayal before he exits breaks my heart.
Nathan ends up on Ruth’s doorstep, and gives her back her mobile phone (“there’s probably a photo on there you want to delete. It’s a shot of some… ball sack” – he’s so despondent when he says this line, but I was rofling on the ground at this point).
Ruth, a totally cool character in my opinion, takes the ball sack bit in her stride, and sensing something is wrong, invites him in.
She dispenses some wisdom about Nathan needing to let his mother have someone in her life, even though he fears this person will displace him, because it is horrible to feel lonely.
Ruth serves him some sherry, and Nathan suddenly realises that the house is filled with old people’s stuff. When he asks her whose house it is, she says, “My gran’s”, but I think by this point you know where this is headed.
The woman is only human, and so they jump each other’s bones. This is a truly spectacular sex scene, with the foreplay consisting of the pair frantically grabbing at one another while on a chair lift on their way up to the bedroom.
Nathan’s come face… Well, there are no words to capture wholly the magnificence of this expression. Like the Grand Canyon or Disneyland, it is something that must be experienced and appreciated.
Ruth gently teases him about his come face before they start getting it on again.
Suddenly, we get flashes of an old woman’s body displacing Ruth’s young visage.
Nathan is actually screwing an old lady, who had gained the superpower of being young again during the storm!!!!!!!!!!!
Nathan: “You complain about my come face, you should see yours, it’s a shocker!”
Ruth tries to convince him to stay, but he snarls, “I’m not waiting around for granny fuck me to make another appearance!”
I kind of hate him in this moment, even though I don’t know how I would handle a similar shock. Ruth’s voice wavers and she says that she’s getting old again and she’s scared.
Interestingly, this is the only superpower in the series so far that appears to be wearing off. But, I guess it’s a fair trade for getting a superpower that leads to you getting sexytimes with Robert Sheehan.
You know, I was fairly shocked the first time I watched the scene, but really, the sherry should have tipped me off.
Anyway, the next day at the community centre another old folks dance is on. Kelly and Simon dance epically to “You’re beautiful” by James Blunt and Nathan is moping off to the side. He’s approached by an old lady who we can tell is Ruth because of her mixture of familiarity and hopefulness.
He runs away, emitting a banshee cry of repulsion, and her look of sadness broke my heart. Her approach was so sweet and full of emotion for a second I wanted him to fall in love with her!
Personally, I would’ve been more repulsed by the James Blunt song.
The other misfits follow Nathan outside to find out what’s wrong.
Kelly mentions that an old woman was looking for him, and he thinks to himself that he hopes she doesn’t know he had sex with Ruth.
Kelly blurts out without thinking, “You shagged her?!”
The others can’t decide if it is hilarious or appalling that he had sex with an old woman.
Curtis: “Are you into that?”
Oh, Curtis, and I thought you weren’t funny. How wrong I was!
Nathan tries to explain about the whole old woman morphed back to her young self thing, but the gang are too busy having hilarity at his expense to care.
He storms off. Kelly calls after him and apologises for blurting out his thought, but he is still pissed at her, and she screams after him, “Granny fucker!”
Seriously, OTP, you guys. OTP.
Having said that, if Nathan had left his relationship with the old woman there, I wouldn’t have been able to like him for the rest of the series.
He has an attack of the conscience and goes to Ruth’s house, only to find the door slightly ajar… you just knew instantly something was horribly wrong.
Ruth is sitting up in her chair, dead, with a photo album proper in her lap.
Here, Robert Sheehan’s acting just absolutely blew me away. He is devastated that he missed his chance to make things right with Ruth, you can see it in his usually merry green eyes, which are downcast and regretful.
He gently pulls the album from her lap, and flicks through to the end. I love that this whole scene is entirely free from treacly sweetness. For instance, there are loads of pictures of Ruth with various men, and he affectionately says, “You little tart!” as he looks at the story of her life.
He flips through a few empty album pages, presumably looking for the photo Ruth took of the pair of them on their big partying night.
His “I’m sorry” at not ultimately deserving to be one of the many good memories she has tucked away in the book is incredibly emotive.
Nathan tries to kiss her on the head goodbye, but still squicked out, can only manage to rumple her hair gently.
This scene just perfectly captures why I love this series. There is always humor in sadness, and any pathos is always treated with an unbelievably light touch.
Ruth and Nathan were both incredibly lonely when they connected, and their respective real ages helped both of them through a tough time in their lives. Ruth needed to feel what it was like to be young and irresponsible again, while Nathan needed the gentle guidance of someone with the wisdom that age can bring. It was incredibly poignant that Nathan wasn’t able to make it right with Ruth in time.
The silver lining is that his experience with Ruth finally allows him to come to terms with his mother having a boyfriend.
The next day, he gives his blessing to her boyfriend in a Nathan way, threatening to put him down at the vets if he ever hurts her. Awww! But also, hehe!
And there you have it! Can’t wait to recap the next episode, because it just keeps getting crazier!