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The Gifted - Season 1 Roundtable Review

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The Gifted completed its final episode of the season and we here are SpoilerTV wanted to look back at the season and that incredibly intense season finale. Sit back and get comfortable because this is a long article full of some interesting thoughts and great speculation for what is to come next season.

What did you think of the emergence and formation of the Hellfire Club and the two separate teams?

Aimee Hicks: They did a terrific job building up to the Hellfire Club storyline so that wasn’t really a big surprise. What was the most surprising was the splitting of the team. This gives them a lot of different directions to go next season, but it was also sort of sad to see this once strong team fracture so fiercely.

Luana: I think it’s a bummer because splitting up only seems like it will make things harder, but I can’t say I’m not interested in watching the Hellfire Club using their powers, it just seems like they will have more fun with it, and I’d love to see a few training-with-powers scenes.

Milo: The Hellfire Club are an important factor in X-Men mythology, so it’s great to see the show delving into them. One of the key themes of the X-Men comics has always been how far they’re willing to go for the protection of mutants, and even though Professor X and Magneto and the big heavy-hitters aren’t around anymore, it’s good to have a divide like this between the mutants as well as the humans, just to make that all the more challenging for our protagonists. It was a good decision to keep the cast united for most of the season as well so we got to care about the characters like Polaris before they turned to the dark side.

DarthLocke: I think it's wonderful. The one place where I think the first season really suffered was with too much repetition and not enough factions to create more diverse plots and/or have avenues for better character development.

Prpleight: I don’t read Marvel comics. It seemed like the groundwork for season two, but a couple of things were going on that left me feeling like I’d missed an episode. One thing was an article that implied a huge reveal about Polaris finds out about her father. I mention this because I’m not certain that my reaction to watching the revelation was fair. The least trustworthy characters we’ve met tell her that her father was a great man and she just accepts it. The reveal was also light on details. That less than a minute conversation with no evidence produced wasn’t a revelation worthy of an article, IMHO. I had the same general reaction to the Hellfire reveal. The reactions of the characters seemed to be stronger than I warranted given what I’d seen on screen. Did I miss an episode? Or, I may have let my attention wander at the wrong moment.

Jamie Coudeville: I’m a bit on the fence. I’m curious about what the Hellfire Club is planning and I did want things to get a bit darker, but I’m not sure I like the opposite sides aspect. There’s already so few of them, they should stick together.

Patrick Flaherty: I like the idea. I think having some evil peers to test them will make for compelling tv. And any chance to see mutant on mutant superpower fighting is alright in my book. Could the billionaire Esme mentioned be Sebastian Shaw?

Lisa Macklem: I think this was an interesting twist. I’m wondering where Jace will end up – will he align himself with the X-men group?

Whose turn to the dark side was the least and most surprising?

Aimee: Andy was definitely the least surprising. The only thing surprising about his turn to the dark side was that it didn’t happen sooner. For a while there it seemed like Reed had saved his son, but the senseless murder of Dreamer caused the seed of darkness within Andy to surge and explode consuming him. Most surprising was Polaris because she put so much time and effort into creating the team to just effectively turn her back on them. She also seemed to want to be different from her father and is now on a path to be just like him. The big question is how much of this was her own doing and how much of it could be some sort of control by the Cuckoos? She was definitely the most surprising, but Sage was a strong second.

Luana: Least: Andy, it was always pointing there, though he is losing the chance to in powers with Lauren. Most: I’d say Sage, I really thought she was loyal to John.

Milo: Andy’s turn to the dark side is one of the most obvious ‘twists’ I’ve seen this fall season, pretty much telegraphed from the very start. He’s one of the weak links of the show so far and I’ve never really liked his character that much, so hopefully, now that he’s not holding back he’ll become a more interesting character. I wasn’t really surprised by anybody’s turn to the dark side but I did like how they built up Polaris’ decision to embrace her father’s destiny.

DarthLocke: The least surprising is Lorna and Andy. The most surprising was Sage.

Prpleight: No surprises. I do think they did a good job of laying the groundwork for the choices Polaris made.

Jamie: Andy’s was the least surprising, I’ve been noticing it for a while. I didn’t think Lorna would distance herself from Marcus, though. I did notice that she was getting a bit darker but I thought he’d be able to keep her from going dark.

Patrick: It was pretty obvious they were setting Andy up to leave with all his broodiness, and flirting with the Dark Side, but I actually thought it was going to be the sister. So I really was shocked when they went ahead with him leaving after telegraphing it all season. And I also didn’t think Lorna was going to full Dark Side like she did, I mean did you see that jacket? I thought maybe she’d lose the baby in her attack and reconcile with the others afterward, but nope. She’s full team Hellfire.

Lisa: Sage! I did not expect her to go with Lorna! I think Andy’s was actually even less surprising than Lorna

What was the best use of “superpowers” in the episode?

Aimee: It’s a tough call between Polaris bringing down the plane and what Andy and Lauren did together. Though, Polaris has to take the win here. It was a major turning point for the character. It was also sort of a point of no return. That one decision has effectively changed her forever. Even if she one day finds her way back to the team she’ll never be quite the same ever again.

Luna: To me it was the twins, no question, after what seemed like a lot of teasing they finally got to use their joint powers in full force.

Milo: When Polaris brought down the plane. It was a big, character-defining set piece moment that really worked even if it was done on a network TV budget and it showed.

DarthLocke: Fenris.

Prpleight: I did like the way they worked their powers together during the attack on headquarters sequence.

Jamie: This has to be a tie between Lauren and Andy blowing up a building and Polaris taking down the plane. Both were equally satisfying.

Patrick: I’m tied with two scenes, both with Lorna. I liked how she casually swung the giant vault door closed with the flick of her wrist. Really showed how her baby was augmenting her abilities. And then when Lorna lashed out and bent the metallic support columns on her bed. That was a real cool representation of her emotions and her abilities and power, going hand and hand. Also how dangerous, and unstable, she potentially could be…

Lisa: Definitely Andy and Lauren working together – that will always be my favorite! But also really liked Shatter “weakening” the concrete to get them all out.

What do you think of the show’s subtle winks and nods to the larger X-Men world? For example, the use of the Hounds, Sentinels, and Lorna being Magneto’s daughter.

Aimee: All the little bits taken from the prior X-Men incarnations and comics were cool to see. With that said, the series needs to be careful to not go overboard with them. Not that the show has established itself the writers seem to be feeling more comfortable sneaking in X-Men comic book elements. That’s awesome and fun to see, but as with all things it needs to be done in moderation. As long as they don’t start going overboard it could be fun to see a few more comic book elements brought in next season.

Luana: I like it, but I’m glad they’re doing their own thing too.

Milo: The X-Men are my favorite comic book superhero team apart from the Justice League so it was fantastic to see that this show wasn’t afraid to include nods and winks like these to the larger X-Men world. As well as using comic book characters like Blink, Polaris, The Cuckoos and not ignoring the Struckers family history, The Gifted’s nods like these were very awesome. At this point, you kind of have to accept that there’s no hope in following the continuity of the X-Men series, but the more this show delves into the X-Men story arcs, the better.

DarthLocke: It's a good thing in my opinion, because it then no doubt feels like a X-Men show, where it's looking to a new generation of mutants to decide what the world is going to be like and has an opportunity to contest what the X-Men were and what legacy is.

Prpleight: I wouldn’t consider the use of the hounds or sentinels as subtle. But I made complete sense that, in a movie set in that universe, that these elements would be present. I was supposed to figure out that Lorna/Polaris is Magneto’s daughter? Missed it completely.

Jamie: I love them. I know very little of the comics so they’re all surprising to me. I’d love it even more if one of the X-Men would appear but I know that’s a long shot.

Patrick: I really was pleasantly surprised at the scope and knowledge of the mutant world this show is attempting to portray. They’ve used second-tier mutants, name-dropped comic legends suggested at storylines and characters, and seem to really respect the medium. I say bring on more.

Lisa: I loved it – just like I love when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. references The Avengers – I miss them doing it in the way they did in the early seasons.

What are your predictions for Season Two?

Aimee: A “them versus us” scenario where both sides of the mutant revolution think they are doing the right thing. Divided families and lots of drama will be caused by that. There should be some truly epic fights as the mutants will likely engage in more than a few fights against one another. It should be quite an intense and powerful season as everyone scrambles to try and figure out who are friends and foes. I also expect to see the Struckers and Marcos fight hard to get Andy and Lorna to come back to them. Losing those two to the proverbial other side was a major blow. But as we’ve seen time and time again this season, they will do anything and everything in their power to stay together.

Luana: A lot of drama between the split families, a lot of badass fights.

Milo: It’s not much of a prediction but more of an extremely wishful thinking that probably won’t happen. Given that Fox is selling Disney to Marvel, I’d like to see The Gifted expand not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe connections but also include Dafne Keen from Logan as Laura, aka X-23 in the comics. X-23 in the comics is another excellent X-Men who’s currently taken up the Wolverine mantle after the apparent “death” of Wolverine in the comics, and I would definitely like to see the show go down a similar route. It’s possible as Fox was putting out Logan whilst working on The Gifted, and it’d be a crime not to see a character as rich as Laura on the big screen again played by the same actress, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’d also like to see more of a role for Amy Acker because she’s awesome. And of course, the more mutants the merrier, please. Can we accept that the Gambit movie is going to be stuck in development hell forever and add Gambit and Rogue to Season 2 if possible? That would be a dream. Hopefully, the show can go into the more insane parts of the X-Men mythology. Savage Land, anyone?

DarthLocke: In terms of plot, I'm not sure what to expect, except to say that the Hellfire Club has an opportunity to push the characters on their morality. I think we finally have a really nice cast of characters, so I'm hoping for more character-driven plots and bit more nuance.

Prpleight: The biggest being that we’ll see ‘our team’ learn more about the organization that Esme and her sisters claim to represent. (I say claim because the organization seemed about as annoyed with Esme and her sisters as John was.) But we’ll also see a contrast between how the Hellfire Club and The Resistance approach the same goal.

Jamie: I think they’ll really delve into the Hellfire club vs the “good mutants”. Not sure what’s going to happen with Lorna’s pregnancy, she’s not exactly out of harm’s way. Agent Turner is going to keep being a problem, but a much bigger one now that Campbell is dead. I’m hoping we’ll get to see Lauren in action a bit more (separately from Andy).

Patrick: I see the good guys vs. the bad guys in a battle over what to do against all the crazy humans who are coming to take them away. Should make for some fun storylines.

Lisa: I think there will be at least one big confrontation between the two teams – and Lorna will have a change of heart – I don’t think that she will want to be apart from Marcos… at least I hope not! I think that Kate and Reed will try to be a bridge between mutants and humans.

What are your final thoughts as a whole regarding this season?

Aimee: I went into this season with high expectations and wasn’t disappointed in the least. It wasn’t perfect, by any means, it fell into a few storytelling tropes that were annoying at times like the love triangles. But it excelled in delivering major surprises and delivered some terrific action sequences and the drama was well done. The cast was exceptional this season with everyone delivering exceptional performances. They couldn’t have cast these characters any better than they did. The cast has impeccable chemistry which is what made the season finale’s betrayals all the more impactful for the audience to witness. All around it was a powerful first season and very well done.

Luana: I didn’t think I would enjoy this show so much, it’s dark, it explores complex subjects and it’s somehow a lot of fun at the same time. Andy is annoying but he might be right about some stuff, same for Lorna, but she’s so badass I don’t care. Lauren’s doubts are getting a bit tiring too, maybe she’ll come into her own without Andy.

Milo: It wasn’t perfect, I’d probably give it a 7/10 if I was ranking it – better than Arrow in its current form (although not quite as good as Arrow at its peak in Season 2) and The Flash but not quite as good as Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD in terms of network comic book adaptions. Not all of the actors were convincing enough and it got repetitive at times (I don’t think I would have been sold on this had it been a full 20-episode season – I hope they don’t extend the episode count next time around), but the show hit the emotional beats perfectly and really worked with most of its characters and pulled off its arcs well. Although Legion sets the bar for X-Men comic book shows on television, The Gifted is certainly closer to the more mainstream comics and it’s great to see that it has showed signs of improvement over the course of the season.

DarthLocke: I think on the whole the show is a decent show and it worked really hard to build up a cast of interesting characters centered around the Struckers, including having some nice action sequences and begin to delve into symbiotic relationships, but it lacked in really being able to emotionally evolve due to too many repetitious scenarios. It needs to find a way to get out from cut-out story-telling. Maybe find some more interesting science-fiction avenues to go down.

Jamie: Loved it. They definitely started out strong. There was a large focus on the Struckers, hoping for the focus to be a bit more balanced next season. Can’t wait for season 2.

Patrick: This first season of The Gifted was better than I expected. They put a lot of the story on the Strucker family and watching them interact with a new, mutant, family was fun. I’d like to see more of a mutant of the week storyline, less Mom and Dad worrying about school at the refugee hideout kind of stuff. We will see some sparks fly when the baby X-men go against the all-new Hellfire Club.

Lisa: I really liked this show! It is SO much better than Inhumans – though I still prefer AoS. They did a good job of fleshing out all the characters – even making psycho Dr. Campbell somewhat sympathetic. Having a great cast really helped. Love, love, love Amy Acker, Stephen Moyer, and Sean Teale. Great special effects when they needed them.

Season One Look Back Rapid Fire

Favorite episode:

Aimee: They were all incredible, but The Pilot still stands out. It was by far the best pilot of any new show this entire season. It hit all the right points and perfectly set up the season.

Luana: boXed In (1x5) I loved seeing Lorna and Marcos as a team, also then the torture of Turner was especially heartbreaking and showed just how complex the war is.

Milo: Either 1x10 eXploited or 1x13 X-roads, the midseason finale and the season finale. Both episodes forced the show to bring it’s A-game to the table and it really delivered in full force.

DarthLocke: OutfoX

Prpleight: The Pilot

Jamie: The Pilot

Patrick: 3x1

Lisa: Can I just pick that I loved they used “X” in every title???

Favorite character:

Aimee: While they were all very well written and acted I must say Polaris. The complex and unexpected journey she went on this season was quite amazing.

Luana: Marcos.

Milo: There’s no way I can answer this without the bias of the comic book characters, but I’m going to go with Polaris.

DarthLocke: Thunderbird

Prpleight: John or Caitlin.

Jamie: Polaris.

Patrick: Polaris.

Lisa: Nope. Sorry. Can’t choose!

Favorite power:

Aimee: Polaris. The visuals of the power were well done and the way Emma Dumont brought them to life was incredible.

Luana: Lorna’s (it’s just so cool).

Milo: Got to be Blink’s. Again, comics bias plays in here.

DarthLocke: Fenris.

Prpleight: Making Portals.

Jamie: Polaris’ ability of electromagnetic manipulation.

Patrick: Polaris’ ability of electromagnetic manipulation.

Lisa: Always the combined power of Andy and Lauren.

Most shocking moment:

Aimee: Dreamer being killed.

Luana: Andy turns on Lauren (I didn’t think he’d go that far).

Milo: Dreamer’s death paved a nice way to shape certain character’s arcs.

DarthLocke: Dreamer was suddenly murdered.

Prpleight: Esme & sisters killing all the agents.

Jamie: Sonya’s death.

Patrick: Sonya’s death.

Lisa: Dreamer’s death.

Most surprising moment:

Aimee: When Polaris demolished the plane. It was an incredible character defining moment that was quite surprising to see.

Luana: The split of the team.

Milo: I wasn’t expecting them to reveal the Frosts aka the Stepford Cuckoos this quickly, but I’m glad they did as it really gave the show added agency going forward.

DarthLocke: Andy lets go of Lauren's hand to stop Fenris ability.

Prpleight: Polaris actually demolished the plane.

Jamie: There’s three of them!!!

Patrick: The show actually went with the Stepford Cuckoos, oh look what they can do.

Lisa: Finding out that Reed was a mutant!

That concludes this roundtable for The Gifted. Please leave us your thoughts about this first season and tell us what you expect to see happen next season and what you want to happen.

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