The Gifted: 1.10 eXploited
The moral dilemma that is the persecution of mutants and xenophobia from the rest of humanity has been at the heart of The Gifted since day one. It has been the most engaging aspect of the show even when the characters and episode plots haven't been the most riveting, offering an intelligent look at the core themes of the X-Men franchise. And that was certainly felt in this latest episode, which dealt with the big cliff-hanger of last week (the capture of Dreamer, Blink and the Strucker children) and saw just how far Trask Industries would go.
Garret Dillahunt is really relishing his performance as the cold, ruthless Dr. Roderick Campbell, complete with evil facial scar. Dreamer, Blink, Andy and Lauren were handed over to Campbell for testing and we saw just how far he would go to gain control of the Strucker sibling's combined powers. Killing Dreamer was shocking but inevitable and the near destruction of the Adamantium-reinforced test room (complete with nice quasi-reference to the Weapon X program) saw the Struckers go further than ever before.
But there was also some interesting events taking place outside Trask Industries. Esme continued her manipulations - though I'm still not sure if she's a Trask mole or has her own agenda. Either way, she manipulated Reed and Kate to confront Jace Turner in his own home, bringing to light just how twisted his actions have become. Jace's wife might still be supportive, but the expression on her face as she learned the kids were going to be subject to drugs, torture and brainwashing was clear. It was certainly enough to convince Jace to retrieve the mutants from captivity at Trask Industries.
And this led to a thrilling climax, as Esme's manipulations went to another level, using her psychic abilities to turn the guards against each other and create a bloodbath as the mutants escaped. Again, I'm not sure if this was to show the world just how dangerous the rest of the mutant population are or something unrelated to the actions of Trask and Sentinel Services. Either way, it was a shocking turn of events.
With three episodes left, the stakes continue to rise and I am intrigued to see how the season concludes. Certainly the line between hero and villain seems to be blurring, particularly for Esme and Jace. Given that The Gifted has not been granted a second season yet, I hope the show delivers on its promise when it returns for its final three episodes in January.