The Gifted: 2.05 afterMath
We're five episodes into season two of The Gifted and I have to admit that I'm starting to wane. The show has really embraced the social issues of today - racism, xenophobia - through the story of mutant persecution as the X-Men mythos has done so well many times before, but it's hard to feel excited about a show that isn't really moving from being more than just interesting.
Nothing this week felt exciting; Jace joining the Purifiers, a Mutant hate group, made him an even more dislikeable character. He's already lost his wife in his pursuit of revenge for the death of his daughter and now he's joined an organisation that will beat down and terrorise with impunity. And there was no subtlety in their goal, be it their half arsed plan to attack the pro-mutant rallies or violently plough their way through the mutant clinic to find the escapees from the facility last episode. I'm not sure if Jace thought his plan to aid the police would result in something different; right now I don't particularly care where his story goes.
The storyline with new mutant Rebecca (Anjelica Bette Fellini) was also somewhat ridiculous. With her abilities to turn anything inside out, it will only be a matter of time before Reeva puts her to use to destroy their enemies. But considering how dangerous she is, Andy taking her out for burgers and then indulging her in her attack on the police was ridiculous. I'm not sure whether there's supposed to be any sympathy left for Andy after fighting sister Lauren last week, but his enthusiasm for destruction after barely any convincing, will certainly not help that. Perhaps this is a fully planned turn to the dark side for Andy, but if so he's in danger of becoming a whiney, bratty villain instead or a dark and tragic one.
While Lauren and Reed sat out of the action, the rest of the Mutant Underground were split into two groups. Kate and John raced to save the life of an injured mutant who literally had acid for blood. This provided a bit of tension, particularly when the Purifiers came calling and they were forced to hide. One thing I am really liking this season is the growing confidence in Kate; she might be the only human character apart from Jace but she has real conviction and passion with a ruthless side that is becoming increasingly worrying to watch.
We also saw more of the Morlocks this episode as Marcos and Clarice led the rest of the psychiatric facility escapees into hiding. This community is providing a nice contrast to the similarly secret Mutant Underground, one that could potentially lead Clarice away from her human looking friends who don't have to hide their features in public. The manner in which she describes her abilities to Morlock leader Erg as blinking felt a little forced but did lead to a nice way of giving her her comic book identify Blink.
Some nice moments overall and some frustrating plot points too, afterMath continues to build on the Mutant world of The Gifted but without really pushing events forward. This seems to be a repeating pattern with the show; it's got a great message to give but not a huge amount happening. And being interesting isn't going to be enough to keep the audience's attention going...