The Gifted: 1.03 eXodus
I go into this review completely divided. In some ways, this episode builds on what had come before it and delivered some of the best character moments yet. And yet, at the other end of the scale, it was all completely pointless. Not a single character succeeded in what they set out to do. I have no problem with a story where both sides fail, realising the pointless of their action, but in a season that is just six episode's long (making it more of a mini-series) it felt like a waste of a good episode.
The Gifted is a series that continues to make good use of its source material; the hunt and persecution of mutants in the wake of the X-Men's disappearance. The world building of this show was established very early on and continues to deliver, while also blurring the lines of moral ambiguity. Just when you have a bunch of gun-toting neighbours laying down the law and chasing down the Struckers for a handsome bounty, you have Coby Bell's Jace Turner who was a victim of a mutant battle that saw his son die. In his eyes, he is protecting everyone. And when you have a character like Elena Satine's Dreamer who can actually manipulate your memories to her own end, the danger is all to apparent.
I commented last week that the lack of a big villain was noticeable but I find myself changing that opinion; you might feel sympathy for Turner, but when his actions threaten the lives of a mother and her young girl - as Reed soon discovers - how can the imprisonment of children ever be deemed for the greater good? Of all the failed plots, Turner's inability to get Reed to lead him to the mutant hideaway was the most satisfying. Stephen Moyer's father figure has continued to face the ugly truth of mutant persecution and this week he saw a family torn apart just like his own. He was absolutely right to jump out of the van and give up the once change he had to make a deal.
I'm a little frustrated that Emma Dumont's Lorna Dane (AKA Polaris) continues to spend most of this short series in prison. Again we saw the futility of her attempts to escape her cell, while the flashback opening with her and Sean Teale's Marcos Diaz / Eclipse gave us an insight into her powerful and beautiful this mutant powers could be. More frustrating was Amy Acker's Kate who foolishly decided that she would seek legal help through her brother Danny (Jeffrey Nordling). Given her husband's job and the danger they were facing, did she really think there was a viable legal option? It's a bleak outlook sure, but one that the show presents well.
This was the plotline that seemed both wasted and obvious. The moment Lauren and Andy's cousin asked to see their powers in action, it was only a matter of time before the secret was out and sure enough everyone was in danger soon enough. The willingness to hunt down kids seemed too forced though, even in this show and the car chase was a little lacklustre as an action sequence (nothing has beat the escape from the Sentinel robots in episode one yet).
Suddenly, we are already at the half way point of The Gifted. Given that the show seems to be still getting started, I'm hoping things kick up a gear in the final three weeks.