The Gifted: 1.02 rx
Episode two of The Gifted picked up right where the eXposed left off, with Reed stranded on the other side of the portal and facing interrogation from the very people he worked alongside. But despite this separation and all the drama unfolding Blink's out of control powers, the theme of family was still very much apparent, starting with the opening flashback that saw the Struckers enjoying a night out bowling and encountering a man protecting his mutant daughter from abuse.
In some ways, this scene was a little heavy handled, showing that Stephen Moyer's Reed Strucker was not a cold, heartless by the book man in letting the father and his girl go despite the damage she had caused. But it did serve to remind us of this strong family unit too, making their separation and pursuit by the authorities all the more traumatic. Interesting the episode also worked to get some humility to the other mutant-hunting 'bad guy', Coby Bell's Jace Turner, who admitted to Reed that he lost his daughter in an incident presumably involving a battle between the now missing X-Men and Brotherhood of Mutants. That being said, Tuner's decision to interrogate Reed's innocent mother (Bell's fellow Burn Notice alum Sharon Gless) demonstrated a ruthless side too.
The chaos of Blink's trauma from opening the portal at the end of episode one, provided a more compelling narrative for episode two; the use of her powers ripping portals through to other places looked fantastic and gave Amy Acker's Kate Strucker something to get her teeth into while her kids battled to close the portals as armed police attempted to burst through. The half a truck tearing through was a great action set piece; my only question though was that in a safe house full of mutants, there didn't seem to be anyone else with abilities to help in the ensuing fight against the authorities. The fear-creating mutant outside was quite cool though.
Sean Teale's Eclipse and Kate found themselves sneaking into a local hospital to steal medication for Blink and face the sheer level of mistrust and paranoia around mutants themselves. While the scenes were enjoyable, giving Kate something heroic to do when she returned to save Blink, it didn't feel utterly absorbing either. The same could be said Polaris (Emma Dumont), who faced abuse and discrimination in prison where she struggled to adapt with a collar suppressing her abilities.
There is certainly a compelling narrative in humanity's persecution of mutants and the absence of The X-Men certainly complicates things, but it doesn't feel fresh. While Legion attempted something utterly surreal and psychological with the X-Men universe and upcoming movie The New Mutants looks to translate the story into pure horror, the storyline of The Gifted seems fairly standard fare, if well executed. I am definitely enjoying the show and it is great to see mutant powers expressed on the small screen without the big movie budgets to back them up. I'm just not sure if The Gifted is going to quite rock the superhero TV genre boa in the way Legion has.