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The Gifted

The Gifted – S01E03 – eXodus

Man, this show is just killing it next to The Inhumans. I think a lot of it is that everyone gets to use their powers. The Inhumans have what, guy who can’t talk, bald chick with magic hair, guy who calculates with a concussion, and guy who stomps. The little opening bit of this week’s The Gifted between Polaris and Eclipse was just so great.

The opening was this little flashback moment between these two, talking about when they first discovered they were mutants. Eclipse was talking about how he doesn’t like having to hide and his powers and Polaris talks about how she loves it. She also shows off how she can fly due to her magnetism ability and steel toed boots. She really subtley shows just how much she is like another Magnet powered mutant that any X-men fan should know. They also have this little moment where they accidentally create a mini Aurora, due to the interaction of her magnetism and his light. It’s cute, it really shows off the characters and their relationship and it worked really well as a scene.

We get a glimpse of the Redhead’s (Dreamer) power. Thunderbird wants to train Blink on how to use her powers with little luck and Dreamer suggests she could implant some memories that could help her focus better.

The Struckers sneak off to meet with a layer friend of Kate’s. She wants to try to fight back using legal means, but the Mutant Underground doesn’t want anything to do with it, too risky because they will probably just get betrayed. The MU wants to storm the jail and free Polaris and Reed.

Meanwhile, Reed is being set up by Sentinel Services to “escape” and get back into the Mutant Underground. He meets up with the bartender from before when he met with Eclipse as a way into the MU. He seems to be having some second thoughts when Agent Turner mentions treating the Underground like any terrorist organization. These second thoughts are amplified when he meets a mother and child also taking a trip tot he Underground with the Bartender. It culminates with him confessing to wearing a tracker and leaping out of the moving van.

Meanwhile, Polaris tests her limits by tearing the door off of her jail cell, despite the shock collar she is wearing to suppress her powers. It kind of feels like maybe she should find a way to rip the collar itself off.

The neighborhood discovers the Struckers are hiding out with Kate’s friend (apparently a brother or brother in law) and they come to storm the house and take the kids. Thunderbird and Aurora help them escape in a truck with the locals in pursuit. Dreamer, against Thunderbird’s wishes, implants memories in Blink to encourage her to be able to use her powers to help the others escape. Specifically a memory that was once Dreamer and Thunderbird, not Blink instead. Basically, telling Blink she and Thunderbird are lovers, so she can focus on saving him.

I have to say, this show is really shaping up to be pretty good. I think a lot has to do with the special effects, something a super hero show really needs. Even Agents of SHIELD sometimes feels like it could do a bit more with the super powers at times, take Ghost Rider for example, he was cool, but he showed up hardly at all and for very short periods of time when he did. Granted, this show has nothing to that level yet and I get that the effects are “expensive” especially for TV, but it’s really a necessary evil when dealing with super powers.

The Gifted – S01E02 – rX

The second episode of Fox’s The Gifted picks up right where the last left off.  Our band of mutants has just returned to base via Blink’s portal and Reed Strucker is being interrogated by Sentinel Services.  Polaris is still in prison.

There is a brief flashback moment of the Struckers in the past bowling, a mutant girl is being taunted by some other kids and accidentally released a blast of wind on the bullies.  Reed suggests that the girl has committed a serious crime and that the girl and her father should leave.  It’s kind of a nice little moment to show how Reed, despite his job at the time being kind of anti-mutant, he still cares.  I also kind of wonder how long until they reveal that he already knew about his kids carrying the X-gene, or even that he himself is some kind of mutant.

The base crew is mostly tasked with stabilizing Blink, who, after over exerting herself during last episode’s escape, us kind of out of hit, having some kind of seizures and creating random portals.  Kate Strucker and Eclipse head to a hospital to try to get the medication hey need.  There is a pretty nice throw back moment where they use the bullet wound Eclipse received in the first episode as an excuse to get into the ER.  It seems there are also mutant friendly hospitals, since the doctor doesn’t have a problem with Eclipse and his glowing light blood.

Meanwhile Polaris tries to befriend a mutant who looks like a girl version of Caliban from the movies.  She also get attacked by some other inmates and thrown in solitary.  Why is it in TV and movies the person being attacked ends up being the one thrown in solitary confinement?

Blink continues to have issues with her powers, she keeps opening a portal to the same point which is increasingly being filled with cops and SWAT.  Lauren Strucker is able to use her force fields to close the portals each time but it becomes more and more difficult.  Eventually she is unable to stop the portals, Andy steps in and sends a psychic pulse to stop the cops but he also knocks Blink in the process which causes complete chaos and portals all over.  Kate and Eclipse return during the chaos and are able to administer the medication to stop Blink from destroying the place.

The interrogation efforts of Reed Strucker don’t really go very well for Sentinel Services.  They don’t really have anything major to charge him with and Strucker makes it clear he just wants his family safe.  He is also offered a deal, to save his family in exchange for the Mutant Underground, though we don’t get to hear the outcome of the deal.

Things close up with some scientists looking into some historical news involving Mutant siblings and having interest in the Strucker children.  Some sort of vague set up for a future plot.

Overall not a bad episode, though there isn’t a super clear direction yet on where things are headed int he long term.

On one last note, at one point there is mention of the Mutant Liberation Front.  This isn’t super notable at this point other than the Mutant Liberation Front is to X-Force as The Brotherhood of Mutants is to the X-men, so to speak.  X-Force isn’t a thing yet int he X-men Movieverse yet, but Deadpool 2 is going to feature Cable and Domino, who, along with Deadpool, are all members of X-Force.   Chances are, there will be something there, eventually, though possibly as some future stand alone X-Force film.

The Gifted – S01E01

The FX show Legion was Fox’s first foray with the TV world with it’s X-men franchise.  There was rumors for a bit of a show called Hellfire that would be set in the 60s or 70s or something and center around the Hellfire Club, seen in X-men First Class.  Something like that, whatever it was, that show never came to fruition.  Legion had a short but pretty good run, though being on FX it was allowed a lot more liberty with it’s plot than a show on broadcast network television.  The Gifted lands on Fox, in prime time.  It centers on the lives of a bunch of lesser known mutants in a time without the X-men.  They call themselves the Mutant Underground.

So touching a bit on continuity and the X-men.  The movies have never been super coherent with their connections, and there’s the whole split timeline thing which complicates everything further.  The X-men and the Brotherhood of Mutants are both mentioned, but both are mentioned as being gone, disappeared.  There is mention about a time in the past where mutants were fighting each other, these days they all seem to just be living underground in hiding.  The film Logan made mention of one possible explanation for why the X-men have vanished, though it’s never really stated in the show, it’s not super important, I suppose but it helps explain them away.

Instead we get a bunch of random other mutants, some more famous than others, but none particularly notable in any real meaningful way.  The show starts off with the Mutant Underground rescuing Blink from some police.  Blink, is the only character that’s been in any of the movies (in any notable way), she was in the future sequences of Days of Future’s Past.  She makes little portals.  She is rescued by Thunderbird, a strong Native American mutant who seems to also posses some enhanced sight and hearing for tracking people.  Way to play up stereotypes there I suppose.  With that power set he sort of gets to fill the Wolverine role I suppose, without all the metal claws and angst.    There is a new Mutant for the show named Eclipse, he has the power to control light.  Finally in this initial batch is Polaris.

Polaris is probably the most notable character from the show.  Some possible mild spoilers here, think, spoilers like David’s parent in Legion level spoilers.  in the comics, Polaris is one of Magneto’s three children, the other two being Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.  Her powers seem to manifest on the show with electrical control, but she essentially has the same basic power set as her father.  Now, will this ever come up on the show?  Maybe, vaguely, probably not.  Legion gave only the briefest of nods to David’s father very late in the game, literally so fast you could blink and miss it.

Polaris is taken captive during the rescue of Blink by the police.

The other half of this show centers on the Strucker family.  The father is the leader of a group who tracks down and captures mutants, meanwhile his son discovers he has mutant powers, which prompts his daughter to reveal she also has abilities, though she has been hiding it for a bit.  Her power seems to be creating little force fields, his power isn’t quite known, he has no real control over it and it seems to just cause the world around him to go crazy, so it’s probably some kind of telekinesis.

There is some vague theory going around that these two are a re-imagining of Fenris, a pair of mutant twins in the comics who were the children of Baron Von Strucker who is the leader of Hydra.  There’s a few issues with this theory, though they could be a very heavy re-imagining.  Firstly, Marvel, by which I mean, the MCU, pretty much owns Hydra.  I’m kind of surprised that the show was even allowed to use the name Strucker, but I suppose you probably can’t trademark a name like that.  In Age of Ultron, the slot of Strucker’s twin “miracles” was basically given to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.  They weren’t Strucker’s kids, but they are twins, and had been experimented on by Hydra.  Also, for what it’s worth, Mr Strucker here really really doesn’t seem like he’s secretly leading a decades old secret Nazi Cult hell bent on controlling the world.

After being exposed the Strucker family seeks out The Mutant underground for help, they meed up but are ambushed by Sentinel Services.  You might remember Sentinels also from Days of Future’s Past.  In the movie they were giant humanoid robots, and their creation was central tot he plot of that film.  It seems in this timeline, though they aren’t using giant robots, they are still in service hunting Mutants only now they use smaller drone sized robots of various types.  After some tense running, everyone except the father, Reed Strucker, escape through a portal created by Blink.

So, any good?  Yeah, it was pretty good.  The special effects were well done, the characters were all pretty decent.  The basic run and hide plot is a little overdone but that can be forgiven, not everything needs to be ground breaking.  I look forward to next week.