The Gifted: eXposed

"It gets better. At first, it's like a sneeze. Something that just happens. You have to work at it."

It was only a matter of time before the X-Men universe found its way to network TV.

The premise of the show is rather simple: a family goes on the run from the government after they discover that their two children are mutants. There's your expected super scary government organization and your expected secret underground resistance. While nothing groundbreaking (yet), the pilot does a very good job of setting up the world and the stakes of what's going on.

I'll admit that I'm very familiar with the comic world in general, but I thought that everything was explained without too much clunky exposition. There was a little bit in terms of Reed's job and where the X-Men were, but I'm willing to forgive The Gifted for that in their first episode. I was mostly impressed with how scary they made the Sentinel Services. While our heroes ultimately managed to escape them, it wasn't without a cost. Reed was captured and Clarice was seriously drained. I'm excited to see them go up against the Underground in the future.

I'm less sold on some of our main characters. Reed's switch from prosecutor on the mutant task force to going on the run with his family felt a little off to me. I understand that parents are willing to sacrifice a lot for their children. Maybe we just didn't get enough of him pre-mutant reveal. Caitlin also didn't really have a lot to do. I mean, she's played by Amy Acker, so I have complete faith that she'll eventually be awesome, but she just wasn't that interesting yet.

On the other hand, I am absolutely adoring Lauren. She was strong, proactive, kind, and I love her mutant ability. The effects were just really cool for her. (And in general.) I really liked the idea of her being able to lead her brother into this scary new world and potentially teach him how to use his powers.

Let's talk about Andy for a second. Just how powerful is he? He seemed to be in a different league than all the other mutants. Sure, he can't control his powers, but he managed to take care of those mechanical spiders pretty easily. Not to mention the damage that he did to the gym. A part of me hopes that they avoid the "Super Powerful Mutant Savior" trope that's popped up a few times now. But regardless, I'm curious to see where it goes.

The X-Men, and mutants in general, have always been a prism in which we can view real world social issues, like racism, homophobia, and antisemitism. Some kind of horrible event obviously happened, one that caused a massive wave of anti-mutant sentiment. There was a mention of a revised Patriot Act, of mutants simply disappearing, of the attack on the gym being a terrorist attack. I'll be curious to see just how far The Gifted is willing to go with real world parallels. If handled correctly, it could really elevate the show beyond just a fun superhero show.

Random Thoughts

I'm not sure how I feel about the location titles every time we moved to a new area. They were a little distracting and unnecessary.

Bryan Singer, the director of the more recent crop of X-Men movies, directed this episode.

According to the internet, the series is connected to the movies, but in a more general sense that Agents of SHIELD is to the MCU. And this takes place somewhere between Legion, where mutants aren't really known or understood, and Logan, where mutants are essentially all but gone.

The X-Men and the Brotherhood either no longer exist or are deep underground. And if you watched Days of Future Past, you'll at least recognize the Sentinel name.

So, the family's last name is Strucker. Not Stryker. Very similar last names, though. I kept wondering if they were somehow related.

Stan Lee cameo!

I watched this episode on FOXNow, and the subtitles were a little wonky. They were correct, but the timing was very off. Eventually, I just turned them off.

Quotes:

Reed: Andy needs help, and if he doesn't get it, I will sue this school into oblivion!

Andy: I snuck out. I'm going with you.
Lauren: Didn't you tell Mom that you were going to be?
Andy: Yeah, that's why they call it sneaking.

Clarice: I just wanted to say thanks for, you know, saving me. Even though I threw a coffee pot at your head.
Marcos: And a mug.
Clarice: And a mug.


I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to. This was a very strong pilot, one that set up the world, the characters, and the threat that they face very well. I'm very curious to see what will happen next, and will definitely continue watching.
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An Honest Fangirl loves superheroes, science fiction, fantasy, and really bad horror movies. And sometimes she writes about them.

5 comments:

434444334 said...

Yeah I'm liking this show and the possibilities that can come with it the cameos we could get (and I hope it just doesn't end with then everyone died but they died on there terms bullshit)

I hope it doesn't get cancelled like so many other shows get

Billie Doux said...

I'm not sure how I feel about it. I'm unfamiliar with the X-Men universe and I feel like I'm reaching peak superhero, if you know what I mean. But I did like a lot of the characters and I liked the gym scene, and, well, Amy Acker...

sillyrabbit said...

Bryan Singer, the director of the more recent crop of X-Men movies,

Did I miss something? Didn't he start

topher darling said...

I thought it was a good start, especially after watching the Inhumans premiere.

It was like Heroes but Heroes Dark, especially with Lauren looking like Claire and having a Dad who was working for the other team (initially). Like you said, I hope they avoid overpowering their heroes like Peter Petrelli or Sylar and then have to come up with ridiculous storylines to neuter them.

It was a little heavy on the action but here's hoping they can take some more time for character development (I also loved the sibling relationship bonding moments) and real-world comparisons as you pointed out. I'll keep watching.

topher darling said...

I forgot to mention that I appreciated that Marcos's ring-tone was the theme song from the 80's X-Men cartoon. :)