The Gifted: eXodus

"Ever wonder what you did in a past life to deserve this? Having a gene that forces us to live this way?"

Apologies for the lateness of this review. I've spent most of the past week sick in bed.

I've been thinking a lot in terms of episode structure in The Gifted. I'm not sure if I quite have a fully coherent thought yet, but I've started to notice a pattern. We only have ten episodes this season, but the show still feels like it's just spinning its wheels on some aspects of the story. I'm not sure if they necessarily have the luxury to do that. When you only have ten episodes, you need to be efficient with your storytelling. I don't think "eXodus" was that efficient.

Only one thing was really accomplished: Clarice regained control of her powers because Dreamer implanted a false memory. I'll admit that I'm a little unhappy with this development. I was hoping that The Gifted would avoid the obvious and subvert my expectations. Plus the implication that someone needs a romantic connection in order to be their most powerful self is... not great. Maybe I would feel differently if Dreamer chose to make Johnny Clarice's best friend instead of lover. It would feel less icky.

Regardless, I'm glad that they didn't drag that reveal out. And I am a little curious to see what the side effects will be. Messing around with people's memories can't be good, and it seems like it's gone very wrong before. There are a lot of events that are only mentioned in passing that I'm very curious about. It's good world building, but also I'm getting to the point where I want more concrete information.

I also want Lorna to have more to do. She could very easily be my favorite character if she was able to do more than just sit in a jail cell. The beginning flashback with her levitating and Marcos and the Aurora Borealis was wonderful. It was fun, clever, and reinforced my liking of them as a couple. Hopefully she'll have more to do next week when she's transferred to whatever scary federal place Reed is also going to.

So Reed immediately backed out of his deal with Agent Turner. I'm a little disappointed about that. I was hoping for some inter-family conflict stemming from that. Reed deciding not to play double agent makes him a less morally ambiguous – and to me, less interesting – character. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that the little girl and very nice mutant woman got away safely. It just felt like the safe way out.

And this makes me very curious to see what happens with Andy. I'm got some serious Star Wars: Episode II Anakin vibes during this episode. He definitely seems like he could embrace the Dark Side. And it makes sense. We've never really seen Andy in a position of societal power. He was very heavily bullied, he's being hunted down by the government, he sees all the hatred directed towards him and his family. But now he can actually do something about it. He can fight back. That is a very dangerous road to take. My hope is that if Andy goes go Dark Side, then The Gifted really goes there. No half measures.

As negative as this review may sound, I actually did enjoy the episode. The acting is good, the production values are good, the parallels between mutants and real life social issues are a bit heavy handed but are there. I'm vaguely invested in most of the mutants at this point. I just need a little more forward momentum.

Random Thoughts

Agent Turner seems to be married to a Paula. Bet you she'll be important later.

Johnny apparently trained most of the mutant underground.

Yeah, I know that Dreamer is the only one who calls him Johnny. I'm still going to do it.

I really liked that Caitlin was sleeping with a giant knife under her pillow.

We got another very short scene with Dr. Campbell. He's still very interested in mutant siblings. It seems like they're rare. I'm not sure if that makes sense from a genetics point of view. Wouldn't siblings actually be fairly common?

Quotes:

Clarice: Like what? We do some hot yoga and find my spirit animal?
Johnny: Um, no thanks. I'm pretty sure your spirit animal would bite me.
Clarice: No, it'd bite your head off.
Johnny: That's impossible. My head can't be ripped off.

Scotty: I don't know if this is inappropriate or not, but did you guys have to fight off the cops?
Danny: Yeah, that's inappropriate, son.

Andy: Mom, why should we hold back when nobody else does?
Caitlin: Because people could get hurt, and because we don't rob banks!
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An Honest Fangirl loves superheroes, science fiction, fantasy, and really bad horror movies. And sometimes she writes about them.

1 comment:

Thomas Ijon Tichy said...

Bloody fantastic episode, that's all.