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The Gifteds Greatest Mutant Power is Teen Angst

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target For the last two episodes, The Gifted has been dragging out its biggest mystery. Why are there mutants fighting for the Sentinels? For two episodes in a row now, we’ve seen Eclipse and his crew make some kind of progress towards solving that mystery, but the exact nature of that progress has been unclear. Last week, they got some vague information about a building. This week, they got… some other kind of information. I’m sure we’ll learn what it is at the beginning of next week’s episode. This would be more frustrating if The Gifted didn’t have so much else going for it. The mystery is just here to provide a bare minimum level of intrigue to keep us coming back. The season will dive into that story when it’s good and ready. Until then, everything else that happens is much more interesting.The opening flashback didn’t have much to do with the rest of the story, though it did give us a little glimpse at Thunderbird’s relationship with Pulse. They were both veterans raising money for the victims of the incident we saw last week. Some people took issue with the fact that mutants were volunteering, which led to a pipe bomb attack. Thunderbird threw the pipe bomb under a car, which feels like the worst possible option, but hey it worked. At least we got a cool shot of him grabbing a flying piece of metal out of the air. None of this comes into play for the rest of the episode. It doesn’t even focus on Thunderbird that much. We get a scene of him arguing with Dreamer about what she did to Blink, and Dreamer brings up their past relationship. Is anyone else starting to suspect that Dreamer could have planted some of those memories in Thunderbird’s head? Not really based on anything, I just think that’s a possible direction this story could take.Guest star Eric Hunter and Blair Redford (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)Dreamer’s manipulation of Blink did lead to one important development in this episode. Blink’s out. She’s tired of being used whenever the mutants need to get inside a building. Even Thunderbird was complicit, knowingly flirting with her to get her to open portals. Well, she’s had enough. That means the Underground has to find another way into the mysterious building in Baton Rouge, La., where certain mutants are taken. There’s still some distrust of Reed, who has sent mutants there in the past without asking any questions. Thankfully, the episode moves past it after a single brief exchange. The show already told that story last week. There was no need to tell it again. It’s always a relief when a show realizes it can’t keep teaching its characters the same lessons over and over.So how do they get inside a reinforced concrete building without Blink’s portals? They’ll have to tear a more permanent hole in it. And the only mutant who can do that is Andrew Strucker. Most of the drama of this episode comes from the parents’ reluctance to let their kids fight. If there’s one story I don’t mind being repeated on this show, it’s this one. It makes sense for this argument to keep playing out, and The Gifted consistently finds new ways to keep it interesting. This time, Andrew’s abilities lead to some nice father-son bonding scenes. It’s a long drive to Baton Rouge, and that means there’s lots of time for deep talks. This episode might have some of the best-written dialog for Reed yet featured on the show. That’s not saying much, but this is the first time it hasn’t come off as ham-handed or corny. He sounds like a human. That’s why it feels like a natural progression of the plot when Reed reacts negatively to Andrew’s talk about his powers. He’s clearly out of his depth here, and when he tries to connect with his son, he screws up at first. It was an honest, relatable scene from a character who hasn’t had that many of those.Sean Teale (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)It’s not like he didn’t have a reason for his minor freakout over his son’s powers. Andrew’s talk about it feeling good to tear things apart is definitely concerning. Knowing the character’s villainous role in the comic books, Reed’s right to be on high alert for any signs of evil in his son. Over the course of the trip, Reed does make an effort to connect with his son, bonding over Andrew’s beatboxing skills. Apparently, that was why the bullies at school kept beating him up. Has being a teenager really changed so much since I was in high school? Back in the early 2000s, the beatboxers were the cool kids. Am… Am I old? The inevitable and crushing march of time notwithstanding, Reed’s efforts pay off. Twice. First, after Andrew rips a hole in the building, Reed’s able to convince him to follow the plan and go back to the truck. Then, as they’re chased into a roadblock by police and sentinel services, Reed calms his son down, preventing him from possibly murdering a bunch of cops in broad daylight. There’s no mutant more dangerous than an angry teen.The Underground scenes do a great job of building the tension that comes with having too many people in too small a space. Due to the Struckers’ escape, other mutant hiding places are being raided, driving them all to the Underground’s compound, which is already way over capacity. Lauren is doing her best to make sure everyone has a bed and food while Kate is the resident medic. There’s a brief teen romance introduced between Lauren and Wes, a new arrival with the power to make any scene appear in front of someone. Teen mutants using their powers to flirt with each other was one of the cutest parts of the first two X-Men movies, and it’s equally adorable here. It also comes in very useful in the final action scene.Once again, Kate has to deal with the fact that her children will have to fight. As much as she doesn’t want that to be their future, the fact that they are mutants in an increasingly fascist world means they might not have a choice. She still takes issue with Polaris’ training methods. Throwing sawblades at kids so they can use their powers to protect themselves is a little… extreme, but hey it sure motivates the students. In the end, Kate is forced to let her daughter fight yet again. This time by using her bubble shield to provide an escape ramp for the truck. In an episode full of awesome mutant power effect, this was absolutely the coolest. The semi jumped over the police barricade using Lauren’s bubble ramp, while Polaris used her powers to stop the cops’ bullets. At the same time, Wes used his power to camouflage the truck and send the cops in two wrong directions. Climactic action sequences don’t always have to be giant battles.Emma Dumont, Natalie Alyn Lind and guest star Danny Ramirez (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)The Gifted is building towards something, even if it’s not always clear exactly what. This episode contained the most intriguing X-Men reference so far when Thunderbird says the X-Men told him a war was coming. It certainly feels like the show is preparing for some kind of war, but it’s not telling us exactly what that will look like. A war between the Underground and Sentinel Services? Maybe. A war between mutants? That seems likely too. The show’s refusal to let us in on the information the Underground is collecting is a little frustrating. There’s only so much I can care about a MacGuffin if you don’t tell me what it is. Where the show succeeds is that it’s not only about the coming war. It’s a family drama first, and a pretty good one. The political thriller elements being kept in the background adds a nice tension to every scene without letting it take over the entire show. While I wish some episodes would deal with the world of The Gifted more directly, it works for what the show is trying to be.If nothing else, it’s cool that every episode leaves us demanding to see what happens next. This week, we saw Agent Turner agree to turn the Strucker kids over to the creepy doctor who wants to experiment on them. Anything that makes a vindictive Sentinel Services agent uncomfortable is clearly bad news. In more immediate concerns, Eclipse’s ex-girlfriend called in what’s clearly the first of many favors. We already know that’s going to cause trouble next week.center_img ‘The Gifted’ S2 Finale Recap: Death, Destruction & Hope for Season 3’The Gifted’ Season 2, Ep 5 Recap: The Reunion We’ve Waited For last_img read more