The Gifted “Monsters” Review
The Gifted has always been everything I have wanted in a live-action exploration of the X-Men universe. This was a show that captured everything that the movies failed to acknowledge about the mutant problem and the things that happen on a street-level rather than end of the world scenarios. However, this season of The Gifted has been without enough direction that we needed for the engagement you know we should be able to get out of this story and cast. Last week I said that all I see is the Inner Circle and Purifiers making real progress in their respective wars. But everyone else? We are weighing too heavily on an underdog story without pay-off. It has to change.
This week’s episode of The Gifted was a big turn of events and general atmosphere for this season. Nothing is getting any easier for these heroes, but it was about time that we began breaking away from the predictable series of events we have been given up to this point. There was one thing we had to look forward to this week, and that was the Mutant Underground family reuniting at some point in the episode. You didn’t know when or where that would happen, but you knew that this was all that mattered when it came to being able to root for a side. It’s hard to root for the extremists, and Reeva has been way to vague about the plans of the Inner Circle to genuinely experience excitement. The execution of that point alone made this one of the best episodes wince we now have a reason to stay tuned for what comes next. I mean, Lorna and Andy no matter which side they are on will tip the scales automatically. Not to mention whoever lost them would be crippled.
Working up to that point was a thrill as well because anything could have happened from point A and point B. Conveniently all of this came down to the reveal of Reeva’s plan for the Inner Circle. When we speak of plans, it is obvious that her endgame is a world where mutants have their own sanctuary away from humanity. The only question was how she could achieve this goal the way she has been carrying on. That part was surprisingly satisfying since her actual plan better lined up with the fact that she is willing to go to great lengths to get what she wants. Those sacrifices ultimately make her the villain, but someone I guess had to fill that Magneto-like role of making sacrificed for what you believe to be the greater good.
On the other end we had the trio of Marcus, John, and Reed. This was probably the best dynamic written for these three because they were all shown as mutants with great power, but too little control over themselves. Well, maybe Marcus showed more control than the others, but none of them were safe from their fears of loss. The loss of Blink, the possible loss of Lorna, the loss of control over your powers. The fact that they are all too stubborn to even allow each other to fall victim to those fears was handled very well. Especially for Reed who had one of his more memorable series of moments throughout the episode. Impressed felt like an understatement when it came to what he could accomplish with a little bravery and self-awareness. I could only hope that it doesn’t stop with the events of this episode. As for John, that was a tough pill to swallow since this is the second person he has lost(?). He may not have had too much to offer the fight this time around, but it was also about time where he could get around to fixing himself. It’s not that a death was needed for that to happen, but something had to give him that kick he needed.
At the same time that all of that was occurring, there was still Caitlin and Lauren on the run. The suspense was brutal for where things could have gone wrong. You knew that at the end of the day everything would work out for them, but that didn’t change every other variable leading up to that escape. Caitlin had another shining moment here when proving that having powers isn’t the only way to survive in their world. Her ability to think on her feet and even made the hard call was not something to overlook when it mattered most.
Jace confronts some regrets about his actions was always going to be a point he reached. This ended up being sooner than later if you ask me. There was only so long they could take this character down the rabbit hole that is the Purifiers before he would become irredeemable. Not that you would have needed him to, but in a story where they always want characters to meet in a grey area, this was the best approach for his progression.
The Gifted “Monsters” is one of the strongest episodes of this second season and I need this team to work harder to rely less on the phase where heroes fall. It’s nothing new with these stories that a hero must reach and low before they experience a rise, but this low had dragged on way longer than it ever should have. Now is the time to show what happens when mutants remember what they are fighting for and the strength in numbers which can’t be underestimated. This episode had heart put into it, and plenty of action to carry us through from start to finish.