This The Gifted review contains spoilers.
The Gifted Season 2 Episode 14
Jace Turner is the only significant drag on an otherwise terrific show in The Gifted. Season 1’s primary antagonist ended that first story alone and broken by his obsession, and came into Season 2 ripe for radicalization.
Or at least that should be the story the show is pushing. Unfortunately, Jace’s real role in the show is to be shitty in whatever direction the story needs him to be shitty at that second. So one minute he’s a hatemonger demagoguing what mutants are doing to his world, and the next he’s cuddling a mutant teddy bear. That definitional whiplash makes it hard to connect with his character at all, and raises the bar for the suspension of disbelief.
This week he’s leading a group of weekend warriors into a fortified underground location with some surprisingly thorough military hardware ready to take out the Morlocks. Once he’s finished having his bigot goons eradicate the Morlocks who couldn’t get to safety, and after he shoots Blink in the back several times (we’ll get to it), he picks up a Morlock kid’s left behind-teddy with a M brand on teddy’s eye. Jace looks at it and realizes what a monster he’s become. That’s the third time in this series he’s had that revelation, and let’s be completely up front here: killing him would solve this problem.
This all sounds like I hated the episode, when the exact opposite is true. Everything that wasn’t Jace was terrific, right down to the way they played up and telegraphed Clarice’s death. Jamie Chung was at her finest this week – Blink was heroic, decisive, kind, generous and a clearly talented leader at varying points in the episode, and she continued to be emotionally honest with her friends in a way that was really refreshing to see. Once shot, she sort of ports out in a different, conical teleportation tube, and there’s clearly more to her story that’s not out yet.
This episode was also tremendously successful at juggling an enormous cast. Even more fun, this week had a ton of mutants in it, from the Morlocks to the full Hellfire Club and the Resistance, but everybody got some screen time and felt like they were making progress in their story. Reva’s plot moved forward a ton – we see more of her backstory with Shane Hannity and her relationship with her underlings. Also she gave the Purifiers a map of the tunnels so they could massacre the Morlocks.
Lorna continues to be the world’s worst spy – calling from a cell in an obviously bugged room, behaving erratically when confronted about the existence of a spy, then crying when someone besides her gets executed. She keeps getting lucky, though, and she’s lined up to do some big things in the season’s close.
“calaMity” was a really good, action packed episode that sets up an interesting end game for this season of The Gifted.
LOOSE GENETIC MATERIAL
– Loads of Morlock stuff this week, but the biggest one is all the new mutants we meet. Unfortunately, I couldn’t recognize a single one, which is great for the show! There were some really creative powers, like the guy who could create spycams out of mud smears. If you know any of these people, sound off in the comments!
– I know this is easy to handwave away, but it really bothers me that Lorna keeps using her powers (of magnetism) to grab her stash phone. That thing would be fried six ways from Sunday after one lift.
– Anybody else wanna bet that the music box letter that’s making Lauren dream in German was written on Fenris skin paper?
– Love them giving Amy Acker more to do. Keep doing that.
– Erg’s backup plan, to flood the tunnels if their first line doesn’t hold, is very similar to what Mikhail Rasputin did after taking over the Morlocks in Uncanny X-Men #293.
– Also, this wasn’t THE Mutant Massacre, but a bunch of Morlocks getting slaughtered in tunnels certainly harkens back to that, doesn’t it? The Mutant Massacre was an early X-Men crossover between Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, New Mutants, Thor and Power Pack where a ton of Morlocks were murdered by Mr. Sinister’s crew of Nasty Boys (and Gambit, as we found out much later), and Angel’s wings got cut off, and Thor got turned into a frog.
– The “reveal” of the traitor was a nice switch – Sage is blamed here because Lorna used her password to access security footage of Max leaving the base. She was basically a long term embed by Xavier in the Hellfire Club in the comics.
– The green screen in this episode was awful. Especially the Lincoln Memorial scene and the Struckers’ car ride.
– Clarice gets line of the night for telling Erg she wasn’t suggesting everyone go pack up and start working at Starbucks, which is good advice! Then, in addition to being mutants, they’d also have to deal with randos opening their store door and shouting “YOUR BOSS IS AN ASSHOLE AND YOUR COFFEE TASTES LIKE BURNT HAIR”
– Reed’s probably going to die in the season finale, right?