Review: The Gifted 1.09 “outfoX”

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Welcome back mutants! If you missed the Struckers and the mutant underground, so did we! When we last left our heroes, Reed Strucker confronted his father, a former employee of Trask industries. Otto Strucker sacrificed himself to save his son and his family after warning his son that his great-grandparents were mutant terrorists, the very people that Reed spent his time trying to put away.The Strucker Family confrontation ended with Rodrick Campbell with a damaged face and the mutant underground recommitted to the fight.

There have been a number of stand-out performances from the underground during the show including Blair Redford’s Thunderbird who offered a poignant goodbye to his best friend Pulse, also known as Gus, who the team had thought was dead. It turned out that Otto had indirectly helped Campbell develop a means of brainwashing other mutants, pulse included. While Otto Strucker has a lot to answer for, his sacrifice ultimately helped Reed get away to protect his kids at the expense of his understanding of the world. It turns out he might have been a mutant too. Who knew?

Meanwhile, #eclaris, also known as #polareclipse, also known as Polaris and Eclipse aka the best ship of 2017-

I could go on. They’re on the rocks with Eclipse paying for joining up with his mafia girlfriend to try and safe Polaris from Sentinel Services. Lorna insists that he should have held true to his principles but Eclipse, thinking of their future family, made his decision and now he’s having to pay for it. While things are up in the air for the couple, there’s a lot going on and the show’s got only a few more episodes to go to resolve it! Let’s dive right in!

A Traitor Among The Team?

The biggest focus of the episode was Esme the telepath played by Skyler Samuels. Introduced in the last episode, she has apparently an inside scoop about just what happens to mutants during the “hound” program. However, she seems particularly intent on getting our beloved heroes into the building no matter what the consequences to them – or to her. After giving Lorna a vision of all her friends jailed and her baby (or did she give her that vision? It’s unclear.) Lorna becomes an ardent supporter of Esme’s plan. The time to take down Trask and the Hound program is now.

Of course, it’s not a huge stretch for Blair Redford’s thunderbird who lost his best friend and committed the unforgivable sin for a marine, leaving a brother behind. Together they formulate a plan, take out a power plant nearby that powers the lab then break in and grab the mutants who are trapped. It’s risky stuff but they enlist the Strucker kids. They go, but only if their parents can come along. It’s a far cry from the opening scene of the episode where the Struckers go on a family outing and everything is normal, well, as normal as it can get for them.

A brief thing to note is that people are never sure of Esme’s emotions and we as the audience see her using her abilities to read minds and manipulate the situation without the consent of the characters. That alone might be a reason to distrust her – no one should ever read another person’s mind without consent after all, but it’s a very cool way to show what a telepath can do. Gone are the days of friendly Professor X. It’s time for Esme and her “family” to rise!

They’ve Got the Power (And then some)

After deciding they have to break into Campbell’s lab Blink, Dreamer, and the Strucker kids end up in a power station to try and destroy the lab. Pairing Blink and Dreamer up is a smart move, while they don’t have much interaction beyond their previous arc with Thunderbird, the characters are fun. Joined by the Struckers, they get caught halfway through the building. Blink is caught by an improved sentinel robot who can’t be easily torn apart by Andy’s abilities, screaming at them to flee. Dreamer is eventually caught as well leaving the Strucker kids on their own to face Sentinel Services.

Meanwhile, Esme and the mutant underground are forced to abandon their operation. Esme is desperate, screaming to be let into Campbell’s lab while Marcos, Lorna, and others retreat. It’s some powerful acting from newcomer Skyler Samuels, but the real strengths continue to be the main players who deal with their own issues separately. Blair Redford’s Thunderbird is suddenly (but we know why perhaps) more willing to support Esme’s cause, along with Lorna who had some frightening dreams about her baby. The idea of a baby influencing a mother’s emotions isn’t new, but the idea of a baby’s powers influencing a parent is an intriguing one to explore. Of course, with Esme in the building, how much of what Lorna saw was real and how much of it was something the telepath put into her head? Only time will tell.

Fenris Rises And Falls

One of the biggest reveals of the show was Andy and Lauren discovering their family history. The Von Struckers who became the Struckers had an incredible ability when they joined hands, something that Lauren and Andy discover they share. After trying it at the behest of their parents they discover that they’re desperate to recreate it however they can.

By the end of the episode once Dreamer and Blink are captured, Lauren and Andy attempt to re-create it to bring down the building, with Andy stopping them. Throughout the previous 8 episodes of The Gifted Percy Hinds White’s Andy Strucker has been the violent one, more than ready to embrace causing chaos and destruction. When he’s given a chance to truly use his abilities in a way that could help him and his sister, he can’t, claiming that if they were in the basement it’d kill everyone including the people struggling to kill them.

Needless to say, the show ended on a bit of a cliffhanger as Andy and Lauren were put into the same shock collars that Polaris wore in the first few episodes. Bring on episode 1.10, eXploited.

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • Is Esme responsible for manipulating Lorna, is the baby responsible, or did Esme’s meddling make the baby manifest mutant abilities? I’ll let you guys ponder that one.
  • The Andy switch was a REALLY nice change. It goes to show you what a person can do with positive role models. Both Caitlin and reed had issues with their families and the fact that they’re so willing to work together to protect their children isn’t seen on Network TV. More of this from everyone.
  • The show was directed by a woman and written by a person of color, The Gifted really upped the diversity behind the camera and I am LIVING.
  • Next week’s episode is going to be very, very interesting. Campbell returns, we find out what he really wants.
  • Did you catch the REALLY COOL easter egg that I hope influences season 2 and beyond?

 

Do you think Andy and Lauren are going to turn to the darkside so to speak? Can Esme be trusted? Is Reed still a mutant? Sound off and share your thoughts in the comments below and stay with us for next week’s “eXploited!”

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