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The Gifted - iMprint - Review + POLL



WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.

Three familiar little blonde triplets are carted down a hallway in a facility. Each of them is collared, though their collars are removed quickly in the face of their latest assignment. They must get into the mind of a man who is trying to hide the location of his family because they are mutants.

"Don't make me ask twice." The doctor threatens. These younger versions of the Frost sisters are forced to use their combined powers to infiltrate the man's mind. Esme pleads with the doctor to not make them do it but he gives her a choice: his family or hers.

We always knew Esme had a softer heart than her sisters, and this is one of the earliest examples in their lives as we dive into the past of the Frosts.

THE INNER CIRCLE


Esme looks at the scars on her arm. She looks pained at her memory of Marcos attacking her. Is it pity for Marcos and the situation he's in over being forced to leave his daughter? Or fear?

Andy and Rebecca are flirting over pancakes. Rebecca's has taken on a frowny face. Andy mimics the expression. Is he worried about her?

Lorna is spending some quality time with Dawn when Andy asks her to come to the training room. Apparently they've been running drills like crazy under Reeva's instructions, though she has been mysteriously absent as of late. Lorna is growing frustrated with the increase in training.

I was more distracted by Andy's ever changing hair. This week he's sporting a flock of seagulls haircut.

Back with the Frosts, Sophie and Phoebe are irritated because they're being forced to wear outfits with sleeves. "I can't believe we're being forced to wear last season's looks because you let that human flashlight grab you." Doesn't seem like Esme's sisters have much compassion for her.

Reeva finally makes her grand return while Andy, Rebecca, and Lorna are training. There is some intense animosity between Lorna and Reeva at the moment. Lorna is frustrated about being kept in the dark in regards to their upcoming missions and she's tired of being kept away from Dawn by what she deems pointless "whack-a-mole" games with holographic SWAT team members.

If something doesn't give on Reeva's end soon she may have a mutiny on her hands or a walk out from Lorna. I worry about her and what that could mean for Dawn if she winds up on the wrong side of Reeva or the Frosts.

But surprisingly, the Frosts are on Lorna's side, or at least Esme is. They convince Reeva to give Lorna a chance. If they want her to truly be part of their cause then they need to be able to fill her in on the mission and not leave her out in the cold. They have to trust her or risk losing her. Reeva reluctantly relents, though she's firm on the sisters. "Don't make me regret it."

Afterwards we see Reeva making a mysterious phone call. Is she serving someone greater than the Inner Circle?

Lorna is struggling to get a crying Dawn to sleep so Esme does a little mind magic to soothe the baby. She needs an opportunity to talk to Lorna who makes Esme take her to the target for their upcoming mission for some recon. Lorna doesn't want to rely on blueprints and to-do lists, she wants to get this right. She owes it to her daughter not to die and abandon her in the process.

Creed Financial. That's the Inner Circle's next target. Esme and Lorna sip chamomile tea (much to Lorna's disgust) outside while scoping out the place. Esme explains how their liberation of the mental asylum inspired hundreds of mutants to take the streets in protest. If they shut down Creed Financial, which is a bank that has funded years of mutant suffering, they might inspire thousands, an army of mutants.

Plus, Esme admits, this mission is personal to her and her sisters. Creed Financial is responsible for funding the division that created them. We finally get confirmation that Phoebe and Sophie are indeed Esme's clones.

The Frosts were forced to do terrible things until they couldn't take it anymore and killed everyone in the division to get out. They were only 13 years old at the time, and even though they were able to leave the facility, they will carry the trauma with them forever.

Things are not copacetic back at the Inner Circle compound. The brief camaraderie between Lorna and Esme comes to a swift and violent end when Esme begins humming a lullaby that Lorna only sings to Dawn when they're alone. She works out that Esme was the one who made Dawn fall asleep earlier and freaks out over the fact she was in her daughter's head. Esme's necklace becomes a weapon of destruction as Lorna strangles her with it while issuing threats.

Personally, I thought Lorna might have been overreacting just a little bit. I mean she had been struggling to get Dawn to sleep for ages before Esme came in and it's not like she harmed her.

Reeva ends up rescuing Esme, though I don't think Lorna truly intended to kill her, and with the look she gives Lorna as she storms away, this conflict is a long ways away from being settled.

Now they've got a problem. They need Lorna for their takedown of Creed Financial to work and that means the Frosts may need to get inside her mind and control her. Esme is against this plan. She doesn't want to use mind control to solve her problems, that's what the man who created them wanted but not what she wants. She stands up to both her sister's and Reeva. They're supposed to be building a new world, one built on trust. Reeva admires her passion but essentially calls her a sentimental fool. It's implied she wants them to go through on the mind control but Esme is looking rebellious as she departs.

Reeva gets a text message from someone listed as Q.M. in her phone. Someone who can't wait to meet her for dinner, complete with heart emojis. Hmm. Could she have a secret lover? One who has more to do with the Inner Circle if Q.M. was the same person she called earlier in the episode?



Visiting Lorna in the aftermath of their confrontation might not seem like the smartest idea, but Esme is determined to mend fences. She offers a sincere apology and tells her the whole story of the Frosts siblings origins. There were originally five of them. Celeste and Mindy died when Esme, Phoebe, and Sophie escaped. Their escape triggered the other girls kill collars and they weren't able to get them out in time. They were forced to feel and witness their own sisters' deaths due to their mental connections whilst being helpless to stop it.

Wrapping things up for the week, we see Andy and Rebecca flirting over video games, and a wordless exchange between Reeva and Lorna - I'm guessing implying that Lorna is back in on the mission.

There is also a neat visual of the Frost triplets in their beds mirroring the layout of the beds from their flashback sequences.

Except, this time, Esme is the only one on her side whilst the other two are asleep on their backs, conveying a dissonance between them.

THE MUTANT UNDERGROUND


Caitlin declares Lauren fully recovered from her concussion and the two discuss tracking down the doctor Michael told them about in the last episode. Lauren has misgivings about this, after all, Doctor Taylor did work at Lynnwood, how can they trust her? True, but Michael claims she was always nice to them and she's one of their only current leads so Caitlin wants to look into her anyways.

I'm with Lauren on this one, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Who knows what Doctor Taylor's true intentions were? That said, I understand she's their only lead but they should tread with caution on this one.

Remember Reed's newly discovered powers? Well the anti-anxiety meds aren't cutting it. He wants an easy fix but it's not going to happen, which means it's time for him to start training. Reed isn't too thrilled about the prospect but Caitlin gently coaxes him into coming around to the idea.

Andy is visiting Lauren's dreams once again. He wants her to join them at the Inner Circle. He shows her the safe that Rebecca flipped inside out. "We can do things you can't even imagine." He says.

Just thought I would note that dream Andy has different hair than current Andy. Continuity problem? Or is Lauren visualizing the version of Andy she saw in person?

In the dream, she touched the safe, and when she wakes up there is a speck of blood on her finger. Not entirely sure what to make of that and it isn't addressed in the episode again. Perhaps just confirmation that these dreams have some degree of reality to them?

John has a big task at hand, trying to train Reed to get his powers under control. Reed thinks he can get it figured out fast and easy. But he can't even remember entirely what made him trigger his powers in the past. John is able to work him up, get his heart rate elevated, and he melts a cast-iron radiator. "You want to tell me you're in control now?" He asks and Reed is speechless. Clearly they've got work to do.

But not right now. Clarice interrupts their training to inform them they've gotten a call from Shatter. The Purifiers have upped their game and begun bombing churches. They struck a sanctuary church in Baltimore, leaving hundreds of mutants stranded. Shatter won't be able to provide for them all so the Mutant Underground is going to have to stand strong, show them that they still exist, even with the cops swarming the area. It's definitely not going to be an easy task to find refuge for all those people.

When the group arrives in Baltimore, they greet Shatter and some of his own crew. Shatter is a mutant who sports a milk white right eye and turns things to crystal. He overhears a terse discussion between John and Reed. John is trying to convince Reed to accept his powers and truly begin to understand his emotions surrounding them but Reed doesn't really want to hear it. Shatter decides to give him his point of view, detailing how he discovered he was a mutant and the low point in his life where he tried to end it all, resulting in a graphic "shatter" scar across his forehead and temple.

"Sometimes the more you reject the things you can't face, the worse you make it." Reed looks affected by this comment. Hopefully he'll start to take it into consideration because the more he tries to pretend his powers don't exist, the more volatile they could get.

He should consider his own kids and the safety of his family, what if he lashes out and injures someone? Or consider what has already happened with Andy and the times he wasn't able to control his gifts.

You'd think he would have learned by example of the catastrophe that can happen when destructive powers aren't maintained.

Well, maybe the Purifiers are smarter than we thought. Even though they "bombed" the church, none of the mutants were actually harmed. Reed figures this out and brings it up to the others. If that was their goal, then why were there no casualties? John quickly deduces they've been set up, but by the time they realize they've been trapped, it's too late. The Purifiers, lead by Jace Turner, of course, are already arriving.

On their way to visit Doctor Taylor, Lauren tells Caitlin about her latest shared dream with Andy and gives her some tough love regarding her son's mental status. Caitlin is still very much in denial about Andy's departure and refuses to give up on him. "Andy believes the Inner Circle is saving people, he doesn't want to be saved." She yells. And then in an unsettling moment, Lauren herself wonders if Andy might be right. I can't imagine how Caitlin will react if Lauren ends up going over to the Inner Circle's side. She's already barely holding it together, if Lauren left too I think she would come apart at the seams.

Once they arrive at Doctor Taylor's, things don't take long to escalate. They try a cordial approach at first. They claim Rebecca is their cousin and they want to know what happened to her and this clearly rattles the doctor. She shakes as she pours them tea and excuses herself to get her "notes". From the beginning of the episode I had a feeling this meeting would play out exactly the way it does. Taylor immediately gets on the phone to call someone for assistance and Lauren figures this out just as fast, storming in and destroying the phone before asking her again, much less politely this time, about Rebecca.

Luckily, Caitlin is there to keep the confrontation from getting violent because Lauren seems ready to go there. I can't say I blame her after everything she's seen and been through, her instinct is to lash out and go on the offensive. But Doctor Taylor is open to helping once she understands the gravity of the situation. She tells them about Rebecca and shows a video recording of one of her sessions. The reason she was kept drugged is because she could simply turn her collar inside out and in this instance, they thought she was medicated but she wasn't, and she turned her orderly inside out.

"That's how I knew you weren't Rebecca's family." The doctor says, "That's how she killed them too." Oh my god! So the sweet Rebecca that Andy has come to know is likely a facade. This girl is clearly capable of cold-blooded murder. It'd be one thing if she was only killing the people that abused her at the hospital but if she killed her family that brutally too... who knows what else she's capable of? I wonder if Reeva is aware of this girl's blood thirst.



Back in Baltimore, the Purifiers launch their attack. They throw gas grenades into the building and Clarice loses consciousness which vanquishes any of the portal-based escape plans they had been trying to concoct. The group has to come up with a back-up plan fast. One that involves a sad sacrifice where Shatter goes outside to take fire since his body can sustain most small firearm shots. Unfortunately when he gets blasted with a much stronger force he's no match for it and dies.

It's finally Reed's turn to save the day when his ability is the only one that can break down a wall preventing them from accessing a service tunnel - their only escape route. He's able to muster up his powers and get them through it but it's clear he still needs training to access them faster.

"You know I love you every bit as much as your brother right? I would never put you at risk to save him." Caitlin tells Lauren, and I honestly think Lauren really needed to hear that. Caitlin's been so wrapped up in losing Andy that she hasn't noticed Lauren's suffering as much as she maybe should have but the great thing about Caitlin is she learns from her mistakes. She realizes that she's making the same missteps she did with Andy and wants to reach out to Lauren to ensure she feels loved and important. Their scenes this episode have been great, I really love watching Amy and Natalie work together.

But Lauren is still conflicted. She is more determined now to get Andy back, and it looks like, with the way things are going, we're going to see a big Strucker sibling duel before the end of the season. I feel for Caitlin and Reed who are going to wind up torn between their warring children, especially if one of them winds up seriously injured... or worse.

Before Caitlin can even begin to worry about Lauren's ominous statement they arrive back to their compound to find Reed a mess in their bedroom. He's destroyed half the room and cowers in a corner, "It won't stop, I can't make it stop." It looks like Reed's powers are going to be more to handle than anyone could have predicted and I have a feeling things are going to get worse before they get better.

THE PURIFIERS


Blech. These guys again. Honestly I could understand Jace's character more if he was an outright violent mutant hater, but as it stands he doesn't know what the hell he's doing. I mean he goes to a Purifier meeting, a place where they literally have "the only good mutant is a dead mutant" written across the chalkboard, and talks about trying to round up mutants in a "civil" way. He tells them not to wave their guns around because it will make people less inclined to join them if they believe it's an outright hate group.



Newsflash Jace: It IS an outright hate group! I mean what did you expect to come of this honestly? Suddenly he wants to go about things humanely again but he joined a Nazi-style anti-mutant brigade. I can't believe he didn't know what he was going to get when he went to his first Purifier meeting. Maybe he does want to make a difference in how they go about things but this is a group that needs to be arrested, not reformed.

They decide to trap the mutants by orchestrating a bombing that is meant to scare rather than harm. This herds all the mutants up in a local sanctuary for them to lure out to bring to the "proper authority". Jace continues his moral posturing, barking orders for the men to remember they're here for "justice, not blood". He really believes in this ridiculous agenda and it's absolutely going to backfire on him. Especially since I'm pretty sure not all the Purifiers are on the same page as Jace.

Well Jace is officially "one of them" now as decreed by the leader of the group at the episode's end. But as he sits there, holding a piece of Shatter's crystallized remains, he doesn't look too happy to hear that. Sorry dude but this sudden empathy or show of mercy is too little too late for me. You joined a hate group. There's no coming back from that even if you did suddenly get cold feet. You knew what you were walking into when you went to that first Purifiers meeting. But maybe the Jace Turner redemption arc is going to start soon. I don't know that I could forgive and forget but bringing down that group from the inside would be a good place to start at least.

EXTRAS


Standout Performer: Skyler Samuels has been doing an incredible job at the arduous task of playing all 3 Frosts. I thought she did especially fantastic this episode with having to grapple with many of the emotional scenes about their origins. Especially the ending scene where she relives her sisters' deaths to Lorna.

Mutant of the Week: Shatter. Another good mutant gone too soon! He was kind and helpful to Reed and all the other mutants, and then he sacrificed himself so everyone else could escape. I would have liked the chance to see more of him. RIP Shatter!

Best Pairing: I loved seeing the growth between Esme and Lorna's relationship this week. I'm really hoping the two of them become closer because I think they have a fantastic dynamic together.

Best Scene: I had to go with Esme standing up to Reeva and her sisters. I was happy she finally stood up for what she believes in despite the fact it goes against everyone else's wishes. She's not just a mindless Reeva lackey, she has her own moral compass and is willing to prove herself to be better than even her sisters.

Funniest Line That's Not Meant to be Funny: Jace saying, with a totally straight face, "We're the good guys here. Remember that." The delusion is strong with this one.

THE INNER CIRCLE MAKES A BIG MOVE ON AN ALL-NEW "THE GIFTED" TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, ON FOX.



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