This The Gifted review contains spoilers.
The Gifted Season 2, Episode 3
Y’all, the Struckers are doing so much better. I mean… not Andy. He’s still in a scorpion pit, but Reed, Caitlin, and Lauren are much healthier as a family unit, even if they continue to have a hell of a lot to deal with. At the beginning of tonight’s hour, the parents apologize to Lauren. Lauren apologizes back. Everyone’s getting their grievances out in the open, and Reed is even ready to talk to John about his powers.
Of course, Reed doesn’t like the answers John gives him about how to control his powers (basically, that he has to work at it and figure out how to healthily express his emotions), and everyone’s gung-ho about the next step in the plan to find Lorna and Andy.
It turns out that next step is kidnapping. The team scoops up Wire’s hacker brother, Graph. He has the same abilities as his brother, but is, um, unwilling to help because he doesn’t want to get killed. Reed’s plea for his teen son doesn’t help. “As far as I’m concerned, she can eat your son.” You gotta appreciate his honesty.
But Caitlin, who we learn in the episode’s prologue risked her own life to give birth to Andy, will do anything to get her son back. She gives Graph drugs that make him help to the point where his heart temporarily stops. It’s yet another boundary that Lauren has crossed, while Reed and Marcos look on, in her quest to find her son. To a certain extent, the rest are enabling her, as well. Lauren and Clarice may speak up against everyone’s methods, but no one is actively stopping Lauren.
Even at the end of the episode, Reed only gives her a lecture, rather than stepping in at any point to stop her. His point is pretty effective, that they are no different from the Hellfire Club if this is what they do to reach their goals, but it seems likely that the only thing that will stop Caitlin’s single-minded, destructive pursuit of her son is Lauren’s injuries.
Lauren faces off against Andy outside a facility that has been holding Mutants and experimenting on them against their wills. She tries to reach her brother, but, in the end, he uses his powers on her, and she is knocked out when she hits the pavement hard. It hits the rest of the Mutant Underground hard, too, including Marcos who is there when it happens, hammering home just how much of a family this has become.
But, of course, Reed and Cailtlin are especially affected, not only by the news that their daughter is injured, but that it was their son who did it. It may seem like the Struckers aren’t doing well, but the fact that they are together and able to process these developments together is what makes them so much stronger than Andy, who, aside from Lorna, has no one to depend on or help work through his emotions. Reeva manipulates him for her own uses, and, judging by the reflection of one of the Frost sisters’ hands in the window, it seems like the Frosts may truly be inside of Andy and Lorna’s heads, making them do things.
Meanwhile, Jace Turner’s plotline continues to be very sad. His wife is pissed and has stopped responding to his texts, but this just makes Jace fall further into the obsession with finding the Mutant Underground.
When an office from the DC precinct contacts Jace and asks him to join The Purifiers, an anti-Mutant hate group, he is hesitant at first. He isn’t a bigot, he tells himself. Really, he always has been, but he has had institutional power to back his prejudice and injustices up.
When his wife leaves him for good and he sees news of the Mutant attack on the prison facility, he is driven into the hands of the Purifiers. This is how terror and it is so very scary in its simplicity. “We’re regular folks who love our species, our lives, and our families,” The Purifier tells Jace, and we can see the moment when Jace lets himself belief it. Because it’s easier to believe that he is doing the right thing than to admit that he has been wrong all along.
All in all, this was another solid episode of what has been a great Season 2 for The Gifted. I’m disappointed that the show seems poised to take the mind control route rather than have Andy and Lorna truly believe in a different cause, but the angst and emotion that has come out of the separation of the Mutant Underground family continues to drive the drama of this highly-watchable story.
Who did Lorna and Andy pull from the Mutant prison facility? Guesses in the comments below!
By sticking to the Mutant Underground’s perspective, “outMatched” had much more suspense than previous episodes. This won’t work for every episode, as it will rob us of Andy and Lorna’s perspective, but it worked beautifully here.
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