This The Gifted review contains spoilers.
The Gifted Season 2 Episode 16
It’s hard not to view “oMens,” possibly the last episode of The Gifted ever, through the lens of that news. It’s obviously disappointing, as someone who’s liked a lot more of this show than he’s disliked, that we might not be getting more of it. It also adds a layer of meta-interference to my ability to objectively quantify what we watched – the scale goes from “was this a good conclusion to the story the show’s creators have been telling this season and did it leave me wanting more?” to “well shit, I guess that’s that.” But really, from either angle, I think “oMens” was a success.
As a conclusion to Season 2, it’s really a perfect summation. Everything comes to a head from the stories that have been bubbling up, good and bad. The gang, prepping to go take out the Inner Circle, gets dimed out by Reva and surrounded by Purifiers. Fade (or “Invisible Dave Grohl“) sneaks the Cuckoos into their safehouse and helps them kidnap Andy and Lauren, and the Cuckoos use the Fenris kids to strip Sentinel Service’s headquarters down to the frame, killing a whole mess of people.
John uses his superpower of “having a lot of blood” to soak up the attention and bullets of the Purifiers while Marcos, Lorna, Kate and Reed flee in their nondescript 20 year old Jeep Wrangler. He manages to get away from the main Purifier trap and birth a thousand ‘ships when Erg finds him and helps him get revenge on Jace Turner. Team Underground saves Lauren and Andy when Lorna talks Esme into a face turn, then drops the kids off in the Morlock tunnels so they can go take on Reva.
There’s a big fight in the garage and Reed sacrifices himself to bring down the entire Inner Circle building. Then we get quick looks at the world a month or so later – Shane Hannity “confesses” to running the Purifiers (with Esme’s help); the Struckers have a quiet memorial for Reed; and the Underground plus Erg is about to reform when Blink mysteriously returns to life with her powers working the way they’re supposed to from the comics, with a burning world seen through her portal.
Everything pays off. Lorna and Esme’s friendship works. Badass Kate dual wielding pistols works. The Strucker family dynamic and Reed’s sacrifice works great. The only thing that didn’t work was Jace, which hasn’t worked in a season and a half. But he wasn’t a huge part of it, so his nonsense didn’t ruin the episode (and it was medium-satisfying to watch the show’s biggest character hole get punched a lot). The other things that really didn’t work were the flashbacks – they underscored Reed’s sacrifice, but they were fairly redundant for someone who’s watched the show regularly since season one.
As a series wrap up, it also worked pretty well. Blink’s return is a big deal, and it pays off her relationship with John, which is, as a storytelling device, a freaking miracle. Their entire relationship basically started when Clarice got love potioned by Dreamer. The fact that John and Clarice’s relationship became real and legitimate over the next two years is some serious storytelling wizardry.
The Esme/Lorna relationship inversion (from the comics) and Esme’s conversion to good guy are both believable over the life of the show, and to see Esme in the Underground post-Inner Circle is a solid payoff to a longer story. This also felt like a more technically proficient episode. The cinematography felt a lot bigger and more grandiose than normal – a lot of wide, iconic shots and less jumpy cutting than normal, with the best action sequences of the entire show by a large margin. If this is what they were building towards, it was worth it.
It’s disappointing that “oMens” might be the last The Gifted that we ever see, but if they had to go, this wasn’t a bad way to go out. It’s certainly been a very good X-Men show, a worthy addition to the franchise, and it might make a nice little booster for Disney+ when it eventually hits…
LOOSE GENETIC MATERIAL
-Flashback Reed not being able to turn off the tv on 7/15 is very real. Like “I spent all day looking for India/Pakistan news on Twitter when I should have been doing my day job” real.
-This isn’t really a dealbreaker, but Lorna is not a “dang” person. She’s a “damn” person. Making her say “the whole dang government”…when did Lorna turn into the radio edit of a dirty south rap song.
-Best part of Andy coming back to the Underground is that he can stop dressing like a goth tryhard.
-Line of the night had stiff competition this week! John telling Marcos to “burn it all. There’s nothing left to rebuild” as Marcos disposed of their Underground HQ paperwork was a touch on the nose, though I’m sure unintentional.
-Reed’s “Nice shot” to Kate was great.
-But the line of the night is definitely Kate’s. After Reed asks her where she got all her firearms from, she looks at him like he’s an idiot and says “This is America.” Well done.
-Except for John repeatedly beating him about the head and neck, the entire sequence between John and Jace was nonsense. Jace makes a big deal about having every angle on the building covered by multiple fields of overlapping fire, but the minute one dude comes running out of Underground HQ wearing war paint and carrying a machete, their response was to open fire for a bout a half a clip with one group of cops, then when that didn’t work switching to an oversized chain and hockey fighting.
-I officially ship Erg and Thunderbird too.
-I don’t know how I missed this, but is it possible Lorna sent Aurora off not to a Swiss boarding school, but to Wundagore Mountain (where Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were raised by a very nice lady with a cow head that didn’t feel as ridiculous when I was typing it out). Wundagore Mountain was first introduced in Thor in 1966, but for a while it became an all-purpose Eastern bloc country (like DC’s Kasnia)