The Gifted Episode 10 Review: eXploited

A weirdly subdued episode ends by reminding us: never trust a telepath.

This The Gifted episode review contains spoilers.

The Gifted Episode 10

It’s a blessing and a strength for The Giftedthat they can have a seemingly insubstantial episode that’s still entertaining enough, and in snippets, moves the season’s plot forward pretty substantially. Ultimately what we get from “eXploited” is a reminder: telepaths, especially the ones who are clones of Emma Frost, are shady people who shouldn’t be trusted.

Esme’s been a bad seed for a few episodes now. She was clearly playing multiple sides, manipulating everyone in the resistance to get what she wanted: a reunification with her two sisters, who when the three work together, are extremely powerful hive-mind telepaths. We see her manipulation play out through most of the episode: she talks the Strucker parents into going to Agent Turner to try and convince him to transfer everyone from Trask’s experimental lab to regular prison; then going to the rest of the underground and diming the Struckers out to get them to set up an attack on the prisoner transfer. Herein lies the big problem with “eXploited.”

The Struckers have no problem swiping a car and running off, nor do they really get hassled when they get back to HQ. But for some reason, Esme couldn’t steal wheels and hit the transfer herself. This, despite the fact that she tasers Eclipse and takes down the entire caravan by herself, is a pretty gaping plot hole – she needlessly complicates her own sisters’ escape.

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This whole plot was really convoluted, though. The Struckers’ conversation, despite Cate’s condemnation of moderates in the ride over to Casa Turner, is pointless. Their plan is to convince Jace to make the transfer, but they’re really targeting Jace’s wife, considering Agent Turner spent a good couple of minutes earlier telling Dreamer how much he was looking forward to handing her off to Trask’s hound program. 

Speaking of Dreamer, she’s the big plot point of the third part of the story this week: her, Blink and the Strucker siblings are transfered to Trask, and Ahab shoots Dreamer to convince the Strucker kids to use their powers on their test room. That apparently convinces them, and they melt down an adamantium wall with their abilities. I’m sure it can be no prized away, but it feels like a missed opportunity that they didn’t use their combined powers to melt down their collars or lead an escape: they seem to impact things at a molecular level, so it shouldn’t have been that tough to break out. I know, I know, they’ve never really used their powers like that before. Still, it’s like Chekhov’s hand hold right now.

This episode was a lot better until I started thinking about it, and it’s a little disappointing how The Giftedseems to be slowing down as it heads to the finish line. The next episode is apparently a two-hour season finale, so the return to mutant-on-mutant violence will hopefully help it get back to what it was.


-The walls of the test chamber are lined with adamantium they pulled from a “decomissioned military base in British Columbia.” That is a reference to Alkali Lake, the facility that gave Logan his adamantium bones in X2

-I won’t say that the little girl at the Montez rally was a Nuke reference, but I also won’t say she WASN’T a Nuke reference. Nuke was a failed experiment with the super soldier serum who went crazy because of an imbalanced practice serum. According to Grant Morrison’s seminal X-Men run, Nuke was also Weapon II, the second attempt by the government to create a mutant hunter. He showed up in season 1 of Jessica Jones, too.

-I was going to make a crack about Lauren’s perfect manicure, but it’s really only been like, four days since the show started. I’m reaching mostly because this was such a light week for X-Men bits.

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2.5 out of 5