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The Gifted - Got Your SiX - Review: “MaXimum Power”+ POLL

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This week The Gifted charged forward with plot development and great character moments in yet another very strong outing of the show. This show is greatly benefiting from this short season and is allowing the writers to keep the story fresh and exciting each week. Between a strong story and compelling characters, this series has a very good flow to it. The writers have found the perfect pace that keeps things moving without testing the timeline too much. This week showed how the mutants now have to change tactics in order to combat Sentinel Services new efforts to bring them down. This episode also took great lengths to build onto most of the main storylines keeping everything moving forward.

The episode launched with the now signature flashback. This one went back four years to a moment where John was out trying to help raise money for the victims of the July 15th terrorist attacks. Sadly it showed how blind people are to those that are different. There are always going to be those bigots who can’t realize that there are bad people in every group, but more often than not they are the minority not the majority of a group. It’s like how many see Muslims in society today. Ninety-nine percent are incredible people with big hearts and a great capacity for kindness, but some people judge the whole religious community based on the evil of a few. It’s not right and not fair and to subject them to cruelty based on nothing more than their religion is a horrible way to look at the world. It then makes those innocent people fearful when they have done nothing wrong to deserve the way they are being treated. That is exactly what The Gifted portrayed in John’s flashback. The many were being judged for the evil acts of a few. It’s an important message to portray, that there is evil out there but to condemn an entire group for the evil of a few is just plain wrong. When those awful guys chucked that pipe bomb at the crowd John’s instant reaction was to protect everyone. He didn’t care if they were mutant or not he just wanted them all safe. That is how things should be in an ideal world, helping and protecting without factoring in stupid labels that we as a human race have felt the need to place on sexuality, religion, nationality, economic class, etc. John showed that life is precious and when danger is present it should be protected whenever possible without question or prejudice. In this moment John really showed off how noble of a man he is.

Sadly, in the case of the mutants in this story, their lives are in such grave danger they’ve been forced to take action. Though, at least in their own moral code, that doesn’t mean killing. We’ve seen many confrontations between the mutants and the authorities and it’s always the authorities trying to kill them while the mutants do their best to avoid human casualties despite the fact they are the ones being attacked. It really is a no-win situation for the mutants. Now, here is another thing to factor in, not all humans are hateful towards mutants. Look at Reed’s mom for a prime example of that because she was for Mutant rights long before she knew about her grandchildren. This is literally a case of two groups going after each other because of the small margin of their community that does wrong. Mutants fear humans because of the few and some humans fear the mutants because of the few. Much like in real life it’s a sad situation. Even John, as a veteran who valiantly fought for the country, is vilified for no other reason than the fact he has special abilities. Showing this aftermath of the July 15th incident explained a lot about how things progressed from that to where they are now.

On the topic of John, there was a huge info drop about him thanks to Dreamer. She revealed that he was personally chosen by the X-Men to be a part of the Underground. Why was he chosen? How did they know about him? Why did they put together this underground movement then disappear? Or are they somehow still working in the background just outside the sight of everyone else? Even John doesn’t know their status and he seems to have at one time been somewhat close with them. He spoke of the X-Men like he had some sort of personal connection to them. The way he talked about his dad in that same conversation was interesting. Could his father have been an X-Men? John was already a fascinating character, but this new information makes him even more interesting.

From the bits of information that has been dropped we know that Lorna and John worked together to build up the headquarters. It’s a common bit of general consensus, mostly thanks to the actress revealing such in interviews, that Lorna is the daughter of Magneto. That would have automatically put her on the radar of the X-Men, but it’s interesting that they entrusted this facility to her. Though it does seem that John handles most of the logistics of the day-to-day running of the headquarters, but Lorna still has her part to play in overseeing the facility and for the most part it seems to be her facility with John taking on the role of an overseer. In this episode alone she took on the role of trainer that John had been doing in her absence, so that seems like her thing. She is no-nonsense and wants to make sure that all these innocent people and especially the kids can take care of themselves. More importantly, is that once they can master their powers they could be hugely helpful in the fight for the safety and freedom of mutants, and that fact is surely not lost on her.

As a result of everything going on because of the Strucker family, the facility is way overcapacity as raids have become far more frequent. Things were made even worse when their Underground Alpharetta facility was raided with only half the refuges their being able to make it out. For those not in the know, Alpharetta is a suburb of metro-Atlanta. Depending on where the main facility is they weren’t all that far away from headquarters. Sentinel Services is definitely hot on their trail. The overpopulating of the main headquarters did serve to bring Wes (Danny Ramirez) into Lauren’s life and his ability to create illusions was quite impressive and came in very handy. The potential for future romantic involvement between Wes and Lauren is quite appealing. It was adorable how immediately infatuated Wes was with Lauren. He even crafted up some very clever illusions to make her pay attention to him and by halfway through she definitely seemed to be interested in him too. For some reason watching their love story develop is a lot more appealing than the potentially very messy love triangle situation between John, Dreamer, and Clarice.

That whole love triangle mess got a bit of airtime this week with Clarice confronting John and abruptly making an exit. One can’t really blame her given the violation that she must be feeling over having her head messed with. The fact that John also knew and didn’t tell her absolutely didn’t help the situation. Then to make things worse he implied that he might actually have some real feelings towards her. Between having her head messed with and the mixed signals from John it’s no surprise that she blinked out of there immediately. With her out there on her own she is sure to find her way into some trouble that will circle her back to the group in one way or another. It was a little annoying that Dreamer was so fast to dismiss Clarice. Dreamer is an awesome character and her reaction to Clarice leaving seemed a bit out of character. Then again, life goes on even on the cusp of war, so it appears that jealousy rages on as well. Though, does Dreamer really have any right at all to be jealous? Here’s the thing, she loves John, that fact can’t be disputed, this whole situation began because of how much she loves him, but when she did what she did she had to be ready to accept the consequences. She confessed as much to John on top of the fact that she knew Clarice developing feelings for him could be an unintended side effect. What she might not have accounted for was the fact that John might have gone and developed feelings for Clarice. Is this complicated and messy love triangle really necessary right now? The show has enough drama and romantic entanglements to last it for many seasons without this. On the bright side, all three performers have ridiculous chemistry which is perhaps why it's so hard to see this storyline going this way. The characters and the performers do amazing things together, but it is television and drama is what keeps stories flowing. Hopefully, the writers have a good way to pay off the whole story that makes it feel a bit more organic and a tad bit less forced because all these characters deserve better. No matter what comes of this trio there are no winners here.

Despite all the internal drama going on, there were a lot of great wins for the team. Taking the intel they gathered in the prior episode, Marcos, Reed, and Andy took off on a road trip to Baton Rouge to try and obtain critical Sentinel Services files and hard drives. It was a tenuous trip wrought with risks, but they made it and Andy more than proved why he was right to invite himself along on the trip. He proved invaluable when it came to breaking into the building. Plus the time away allowed for a little father and son time that led to a rather revealing chat where Andy confessed to the fact that it felt good to rip things apart. Thankfully Reed’s reaction was one of justified concern. He needs to set his son on a better path and stat. The last thing they all need is one of their own turning into a darkened super villain mutant. Enough people already want to do that for them so no need to make their jobs any easier. Marcos and Reed have developed a bit of respect for each other since their initial meeting in the pilot, so hopefully, Reed can do his fatherly part and get Marcos to help Reed learn better guidelines for his abilities.

The chat that Marcos and Reed had was a nice one. It showed how nervous Marcos is to be a father. It doesn’t seem to be because he doesn’t want the child, on the contrary, he’s beaming (literally) at the idea of being a dad. That doesn’t help stop his nerves though and having Reed to talk to seemed to really alleviate some of his own fears. It was also good that Andy overheard them talking because he needed to know how much his father does indeed love him and Lauren. Marcos was kicked out by his father while Reed literally put his life on the line for his mutant children. Hopefully understanding that will serve to make Andy more appreciative of the fact that he has a supportive and loving dad. Reed might not have always gotten things right beforehand or been around much, but that doesn’t change the fact that he has always loved his family. It’ll be interesting to see how Andy’s story keeps progressing. Many fans and characters alike see the dark path Andy is on, so will he turn things around or find himself one day fighting against his new friends and family? He’s an interesting character because of how uncertain his future is and it'll be very intriguing to find out what the writers have in mind for him.

Though, now that Dr. Campbell is in the picture again, thanks to Turner, Andy might not get much of a say in his future if they get a hold of him and Lauren. The Strucker kids are of particular interest to Dr. Campbell and that can’t bode well for them. Even worse is that he bears the same symbol on his wrist that Pulse had. There is something very nefarious going on at Campbell’s facility. The fact that Campbell was able to get Turner reinstated so easily and got control over Turner by making him promise access to the Strucker children is also very disconcerting. Turner was just forced to relive the loss of his daughter for the second time, and that rightly infuriated him, but when it comes down to it will he be able to sacrifice someone else’s children, even if they are mutants, in the name of vengeance? Right now it appears so, but when the moment comes, and we all know it will, it might not be quite as black and white as Turner hopes. Vengeance is one thing when it’s against other grown adults, but when confronted by young teenagers, not much older than his own daughter, will he be able to hand them over? It’ll be a fascinating moment to watch play out, that’s for sure.

This was a strong character episode, but there was still a couple cool sequences. The aforementioned invasion of the Baton Rouge Federal Building was cool, but that had nothing on the epic escape the men had thanks to Lorna, Lauren, and Wes. The three of them made for one hell of a powerhouse trio. Lorna has only had a little time with her young protégés, and even less time with Lauren because of Caitlin’s concerns, but in the end, they worked together like a seasoned team. Lorna guided each of them and brought out the best in them. She believed in them and in that moment that was exactly what they needed to deliver the goods and they didn’t disappoint. Each of the three of them played their parts and scored a big win for the Underground by ensuring that the Baton Rouge team made it back safely.

Both Strucker kids really delivered again this week. Everyone seems to want to get their hands on them for good reason. As Lorna pointed out it’s highly unusual for two sibling mutants to exist yet alone to be as powerful as these two are. Lauren can learn a lot from Lorna and while Caitlin fought against the idea she came around when she realized that letting Lauren do her thing was the only way to ensure her husband and son made it back safely. In the end, Lorna took great care of protecting her two young charges, Wes and Lauren, and keeping them out of danger while ensuring everyone came home. Hopefully, that’s what Caitlin needed to see to give Lauren her full blessing to start training. Like it or not, Sentinel Services' recent activity has made a startlingly powerful case for why Lorna needs to work with these young mutants and train them. She is, in fact, starting her own X-Men school and it’ll be fun to watch how that storyline continues to evolve.

Caitlin herself was toying around with the idea of starting up a school for her kids and all the young mutants. It could be a serendipitous coming together of skills between her and Lorna. Caitlin could help them with their studies while Lorna handles the physical training aspect. They could, in fact, be the ones to carry on the X-Men legacy of helping the next generation grow and evolve into the next X-Men. It can’t be a coincidence that both these women were setting up educational sessions in the same episode without some intention to continue growing that. Caitlin is the new facility medical professional, but she has a lot to offer beyond that. The core team has come to trust her and she’s proven herself, so surely the other mutant parents would be more than happy to trust the education of their children to her. Could we be witnessing the birth of the next generation of X-Men? It would be very cool to see. Quick side note, how seriously evil was it that Sentinel Services targeted entire families when they were getting their kids from school? We've known from the start that they can be extremely cruel, but that's on a whole other level of heartlessness.

In the midst of all this, the two main couples, Reed and Caitlin, and Marcos and Lorna found a few moments to connect. They’ve all spent so long separated that it was really nice to see them all slip so effortlessly back into their lives. Surely this won’t last though. Something will come up to cause these two couples more heartache. Reed and Caitlin had two lovely moments, especially their final scene where Caitlin slipped a ring back onto Reed’s finger. They better enjoy those moments as their new life doesn’t really afford many of them. Marcos and Lorna got some lovely “I love you” moments, but by the end of the hour, their relationship had a new wrinkle thrown at it.

Just when things were starting to look positive for the team, Marcos’s past might just be coming back to bite them all in the butts. While Marcos is the only one obligated to Carmen it goes without saying that his actions will impact everyone. If he doesn’t help Carmen she’ll expose the whole underground, but if he does help her he could risk all of his most important relationships. He’s found himself in quite the predicament and things might not go so well when Lorna learns the truth of the deal he made in order to rescue her. Also not helping the situation is that he's keeping it all to himself which never leads anywhere good for any character ever.

One thing was made very clear, war is coming. The X-Men left behind a very ominous message and it doesn’t bode well for the Underground. They have the strength to field off small attacks, but at their current state, they certainly can’t survive against a full onslaught. Will the war begin before the end of the season? Who will survive and who will fall? As the show charges towards the last half of the season things are likely to only keep growing more and more intense. Brace yourselves, because “war is coming”.

Don’t miss the next episode when it airs next Monday, November 13th at 9/8c on FOX.

Hit the comments with your thoughts about this episode. Will Lorna forgive Marcos when she finds out about Carmen? Will Campbell get his evil hands on Lauren and Andy? Will Andy turn to the dark side? Can Caitlin and Reed keep their family together through all this?

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