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The Gifted - rX - Review: “Fight To Bring Everyone Home” + POLL

The Gifted delivered one of the strongest series premieres this season. They managed to follow that up with a stunning episode full of big character moments and stunning visuals as Clarice's powers malfunctioned and Lorna tried to defy her captors. Not a single beat was missed between where the last episode ended and this one began. Most first season shows struggle to find their narrative voice, but not this show. The writers know who each character is and the performers have a firm grasp on the characters they are playing. They are definitely on the right track with this show and are proudly forging a new era for the franchise that birthed them. This show has a brilliant narrative and they somehow have figured out the perfect balance to give all of their characters quality time on screen while not relegating any of them to the background. For this episode, they were juggling multiple storylines and doing it with ease while making sure that every storyline got its fair share of time on screen. There was no second episode slow-down as this episode charged forward introducing new characters and further building up the universe this series exists within.

The big storyline involved Marcos and Caitlin trying to get the medicine that Clarice needed to stabilize her powers before the entire underground mutant refugee complex was destroyed around them. That left John, Lauren, Andy, and Dreamer (Elena Satine) to try and keep Clarice's portals under control. Lauren and Andy came through big for everyone, especially Lauren. She stepped up in a big way and took the brunt of the burden of closing up Clarice’s rogue portals. And by all accounts, she closed a ton of them before she was simply too exhausted to be able to handle the task any longer. Then, when things looked super bleak, Andy stepped in and did his thing which brought them a tiny bit more time. Unfortunately, it didn’t end up being enough time, and Clarice’s powers hit critical levels before Marcos and Caitlin could complete their mission.

Meanwhile, while that was going on back at the compound, Marcos and Caitlin were off on their mission desperately trying to retrieve the supplies that they needed to save Clarice. In doing so it gave the two some time to bond and get to know each other. The family isn’t really accepted in the early part of the episode. They are clearly regarded as outsiders who brought trouble down upon them. So this part of the story, combined with what Andy and Lauren were doing, was critical to their integration into the mutant underground family. Caitlin already had Marcos’ respect for the way she stuck by her children, something he wasn’t afforded by his own parents, but even he still wasn’t sure about her. To him, at the time, he knew he had to help them so that could all work together to get Reed back so they could rescue Lorna. Caitlin and her kids were a means to an end, but as the episode progressed he came to see their value.

It was made pretty clear very early on that the group lacks any medical access except for occasional doctors that they can’t always count on. Here they have Caitlin at their disposal and she has critical medical knowledge. She might not have an M.D. after her name, but she knows enough to help when it counts, even though she admitted to not being a mutant expert she still knew what to do. She also proved that she’s willing to put herself in the line of fire for the cause. She was obviously doing all this because her children were involved and she just wanted to ensure their safety, but what she did in the end, the way she ran into the complex to save Clarice was unnecessary yet spoke volumes to her character. She knew where her kids were and that they were safe. There was nothing forcing her to run into the heart of danger other than she’s a good person who couldn’t abandon someone who needed her help. Marcos gave her an out and instead of taking the easy way she ran towards danger. Clarice was a virtual stranger to her, but that didn’t seem to matter when she was risking her life for her. Yes, Clarice did help save her and her kids, plus she could potentially help save Reed, but again, that didn’t seem to cross Caitlin’s mind in the heat of the moment. She’s not a super-powered superhero, but that didn’t stop her from appearing to be one. Clarice is alive and the mutants still have their hideout thanks to Caitlin. It started out about her own family and became about so much more.

Based on the flashback, it’s pretty clear that both Reed and Caitlin have long been aware of the way mutants were treated. Reed seems to have genuinely wanted to try and do right by mutants while still trying to follow the law. He probably should have called the authorities when that girl went off at the bowling alley, but instead, he warned the father and sent them on their way. He understood it wasn’t fair, but he tried to advise what he thought was best in the situation to give the young girl a chance. Still, even knowing that, Caitlin seemed to be unaware of just how bad it was for mutants. When she heard the story that Marcos told her about his parents and then saw the reaction to him at the hospital it was evident that something triggered in her. Through this journey, she became one of them even without powers. While protecting her children and getting her husband back are her top priorities it’s clear that she just took on the burden of caring for all the underground mutants as well. She better brush up on her mutant medical knowledge because she’s likely to be very busy. Luckily she grabbed a lot of extra medicine that she didn’t use on Clarice, so she at least has a small backup supply.

Another important note in all this is that the mutant community accepted her. Marcos was tied to the family because of the deal he made with Reed, but no one else was obligated to them. They each proved their worth in big ways making them each invaluable resources. Lauren is a force to be reckoned with and is extremely powerful and given a little more training Andy will probably be just as fierce as his sister. The ending of the episode with the doctor and his suspicious inquires into sibling mutants makes it pretty evident that there is something very unique about the fact they both have abilities. That has seemingly landed them both with big targets on their backs making it all the more critical that they integrated into the underground family. Caitlin will need the others to help her children develop their abilities and to have a network of people to help look after them.

This also puts an extra strain on Reed, who unbeknownst to his family, had to make a deal with the devil to protect them. Too bad for him that he didn’t know that they were already well taken care of. They were in the best company to avoid the Sentinel Services. What Reed should know by now is that his family wouldn’t have wanted him to make that deal. His mom seems like a fierce liberal woman who believes in equality for all including mutants. Surely she wouldn’t have wanted her son to make that deal for her sake. That’s not even taking into account that he was effectively betraying his own children and wife since they were now a part of the group he was forced to promise to help take down. Reed surely must know all this which, hopefully, means he made the deal with no intention of keeping it. He clearly knows how to play the system and surely would realize that there is no way Turner and the organization he works for would hold up to their end of the deal if they got their hands on Lauren and Andy. So, hopefully, Reed was just buying time with the deal until he could work something else out.

He knows that Lorna is still in play and in custody. He would also seemingly know about the contraption dampening her powers, so if he can get to her they could join up to get back to the others. With his knowledge and her powers, they could cause some damage. Now, there is another problem with this situation, the last time Lorna saw Reed he was working against her, so she probably doesn’t have great feelings regarding him. If his true plan is to get to her and stage an escape he’ll first have to get her to believe that he’s on her side and that won’t be an easy task. However, at this moment in time, Lorna could really use a friend even if that friend is a former enemy. It’s a “beggars can’t be choosers” type of situation and they’ve both got very limited options. Even her fellow mutants in lock-up are against her. Her show of power, despite the consequences, might earn her some respect, but it’s more likely to keep bringing trouble down upon her. While she seemed distressed at solitary it’s probably safest for her and the baby at the moment. She could definitely use someone on her side and if that’s Reed then she’s just going to have to get over their last encounter.

Now, if he does try to live up to his end of the deal, and he was legitimately making a deal with Turner, then that’s going to cause major issues with his family when they find out. They have rapidly started to bond with their new companions and none of them are likely to take kindly to him initiating any series of events that would harm any of their new friends. For Reed’s sake, he’d better be planning on the other option where he screws over Turner and escapes to freedom with Lorna. That is, of course, pending he manages to get to her in lock-up. In this scenario, his family is still in danger, but at least he still maintains their love and respect. Though, given his last name, and its dark comic-book origins anything is possible, but the story would seem to work best with Reed reuniting with his family against a common enemy. With his insider knowledge, he could be a very dangerous enemy for the Sentinel Services and surely that fact isn't lost on them, so there are very slim odds that they would ever let him go. Escape is his only option and that could make for some very compelling future events. Besides, the show introduced the clearly sinister doctor at the end, and the show only has room for so many morally questionable characters. They need to leave Reed as a morally righteous character and let other characters play the baddies to try to foil the good guys.

The show also has Turner, who has justified his cruel actions against mutants based off of what happened to his daughter. While that was a tragic loss it certainly doesn't justify the fact he is willing to work for an organization that doesn't seem too worried about killing and injuring mutants and those that aid them. Even worse is that he seems to know how unjust things are for the mutants he targets and he seems more than happy to do whatever is necessary to make their lives living hells when he gets his hands on them. His actions are coming from a place of immense hurt and pain that he has turned outwards. To him, no mutant is a good mutant and he’ll prosecute, hunt and punish them all equally. That makes him a very dangerous foe for the mutants and the Strucker family to be up against. Yet, somehow under it all, there seems like there could be a decent guy hiding under all the pain. But, at least for now, he’s just as dangerous as the mysterious doctor.

This episode had a lot of things going on and it dove a bit more into everyone’s story. There is still a lot to learn about the characters, but the layers are starting to slowly peel back on some of them. They definitely set something up regarding Clarice’s past given that road she kept going back to. It was clearly a place she knew very well. One guess is that it could be the street her family lives on. That would be a place that she’d probably want to go back to when in a vulnerable state. John definitely caught onto the fact that it was something significant to her. Also, of interesting note, is how hard John fought for Clarice. He even stayed with her when her damaged abilities were about to bring the building down around them. Then he made sure to check on her and reassure her while she was recovering. They still shouldn’t try and pair up these two romantically anytime soon, but the hallmarks for a really beautiful friendship are firmly in place.

The Gifted delivered yet another strong episode that further built on its mythology and set up some big things to come. Caitlin, Lauren, and Andy are all firmly integrated into the underground family while Lorna and Reed are still trying to survive on the outside alone. Though, that seems like that could change if Reed is as smart as he appears to be. The underground is already on the radar of Sentinel Services, but with Lauren and Andy in their midst, they might have just added an extra target to their ranks thanks to the not so friendly doctor that has now taken an interest in them. Deals were made and lives were risked, but for the time being, they all prevailed and survived. Now that the Strucker’s, as well as Clarice, are firmly a part of the underground family things can really start happening. Instead of dealing with these newcomers they can all unite with common goals. They all have a sense of responsibility regarding Lorna and they still have to deal with getting Reed back as well. The plot of this episode was fast moving and well structured and if they can continue this way the show should be able to maintain this high level of storytelling.

Another thing that makes this show work so well is the bond of the cast. They are truly a perfect blend of performers who each bring something unique to the show. This show has an extremely high level of talent both onscreen and off. All people involved in this production continue to deliver and if they can keep this up then perhaps they can draw more viewers in. The premise gives them so many different avenues they can explore and aspects of the X-Men world that they can dive into. There are endless possibilities for where the story can go, so be sure to spread the word and help this immensely talented creative team keep delivering these high-concept episodes. The ratings weren't as high as anyone had hoped, but with a short ten-episode season the show could have a good chance at continuing on well beyond this season as long as the fans continue to support it. Hang on because things are surely about to get even more intense. In the immortal words of Caitlin Strucker, they will “fight to bring everyone home”, so things are just getting started.

Don’t miss the next action-packed episode when it airs next Monday, October 16th at 9/8c on FOX.

Hit the comments with your thoughts about this episode. Do you think Reed was sincere in the deal he made or just playing Turner? What do you think the doctor wants with Lauren and Andy? What was the significance of that road to Clarice?