This The Gifted review contains spoilers.
The Gifted Season 2 Episode 11
Man, tonight’s cold open was pretty on the nose.
It’s not The Gifted‘s fault, but it was probably to their benefit that the delay got me in the mood for some righteous, “they made their beds, fuck ’em” fury. This week was all about everyone* realizing what a mistake they’ve made and reevaluating their lives. Unfortunately for everyone involved (including The Gifted), very few of the characters made defensible choices coming out of those reevaluations.
Lorna realizes that Reva and the Inner Circle are disasters after she catches Reva coaching up a crew that slaughtered thousands of people, including kids, on a cruise ship. So she heads to Marcos to bail her out. This is probably the most well-written exchange of the group: Lorna is simultaneously begging Marcos for help and admitting she’s taking advantage of his sense of right and wrong. It’s messed up and a little abusive, so there’s no small sense of satisfaction when he’s heavy flirting with Glow, the Morlock he reconnects with as a result of Lorna’s revelation.
Clarice and Marcos don’t share a romantic moment, but Blink continues to be the most well adjusted character on the sho. When Marcos asks her to go to Erg and the Morlocks for more intel on the Inner Circle’s plans, she gives him a rash of crap and calls him out for diming her out to John. It’s a refreshingly straightforward interaction – it would have been so easy to try and draw drama out of their frustration with each other, but the writers had it confronted head on and put it away. This is perfectly in character with what Clarice has been on the show so far, and it felt really good to deal with.
Lauren’s story feels like space-filling setup. She gets a music box that Andreas Strucker used to listen to, and now it’s making her evil. It’s just…there. There’s a cool bit with her slicing up distant light poles to throw some nosy cops off their tail, but she’s also just focusing her air shield powers into Destructo Discs, and I doubt they’re going to actually turn her into Krillin from Dragonball, so it’s just there.
Jace continues to be the worst part of the show. The whiplash he causes with his seesaws between being an upstanding law and order person and being a middle manager in a hate militia suck the life out of the show. This week, him and his partner, Racist Steve Zahn, bust down the doors at an orphanage and wave guns at a couple of mutant kids. Then Jace gets lectured by the black mutant kid about how bullshit his racism is while Racist Steve Zahn screams “WATCH OUT HE’S COMIN RIGHT FOR US” and shoots the other mutant kid in another room, and after Jace freaks out and tries some futile CPR on the kid with the gaping chest wound. Then Jace refuses to help the cops in their investigation, and after that, he gets a call from his now ex-wife telling him she saw him on the Shane Hannity Show or whatever they’re calling Peter Gallagher’s character, and she and their dead daughter would be proud of how he “helped” in that orphanage. And then, after 10 episodes of unrequited pining and just after he filed divorce papers, she’s like “hey maybe we can hang out you brave fella.”
This makes no sense.
Last season, when Reed and Kate broke into the Turner household, she was the voice of reason. She connected with Kate and felt empathy for the kids. There is no way she sits around watching Shane Hannity for nightly updates about Mutie Crime. It’s also extremely unlikely that even if she was the kind of person who smashed up her Keurig because they sponsored the X-Corps, she’d call Jace after seeing his picture on TV and start to undo the extremely fraught divorce they just wrapped up. And even more nonsensical was when Jace cut her off and declined to meet. He’s been pining for her hard all year, but when she asked to meet, he just drifted off and told her no. I guess they wanted to show that he’s married to the cult now?
The frustrating part of this development, besides the obvious “it makes no sense,” is the knowledge that we’re going to be dealing with this nonsense choice as long as Jace is a character on the show. We’re going to either be playing games about whether or not they get back together, or we’ll be watching him mourn the death of a relationship he could have inexplicably resurrected, or he’ll fully snap and dedicate his eventual genocide to the memory of his still living wife or something.
Further damaging this episode was the ending, where literally everything felt like a trap. Lauren is being baited into being a psychopath by a creepy incest music box. Jace’s conversation with his wife felt wiretapped. Lorna and Marcos are out on a date following up on info from the Morlocks when they see Reva and Shane Hannity exchange envelopes and shout at each other. John, freshly healed from his chest full of buckshot, gets a call from Evangeline Whedon where she breaks every rule of underground opsec and organizes a meeting of every available cell. The Marcos/Lorna date makes the most sense, but none of it was all that great.
This week’s episode had a couple of things going for it, but much of it felt sloppy and rushed, and I fully expect them to get back on track next week.
lauren reads german now?
LOOSE GENETIC MATERIAL
– What’s up with the episode naming conventions? If we’re going by last week’s episode, this one should have been “MeMento.”
– HOLY SHIT THEY DID THE STRUCKER SWORD. In the comics, Andreas skinned his sister and wrapped the hilt of his sword in her skin so he could still use their shared power. In The Gifted they did exactly the same thing I can’t believe it.
– This is less important than skin sword, but in the skin sword flashback that took place in New Orleans, everybody was dressed like they were making fun of the town. How many mutants can possibly share “Big Daddy” as a code name?
– The cruise ship killing crew includes a guy who can heat things up, a girl who can teleport things, and a guy who claps and can make things explode. The teleporter’s powers actually look like they work a lot like Blink’s in the comics do, but not exactly. She’s probably not Lila Cheney, because she ddidn’t need to stop off on another planet between ports. I’m not sure who the warming guy is, and the clapper is probably not Arclight, one of Sinister’s Marauders.
– In retrospect it’s probably good that they didn’t name the baby Aurora, since that already happens every time Marcos and Lorna bone.
– Lauren finds a note in the music box and apparently can suddenly read German? I don’t know, man.