The Gifted Forgets to Use its Gifts in Teen Romance Episode

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. The Gifted’s biggest strength in its first season has been its fast, exciting pace. Even when the dialog wasn’t so great, even when it didn’t develop its characters all the way, every episode moved along at a fun clip. Well, that was nice while it lasted. Each episode so far has been somewhere between above average and great. Even when the show was just OK, the story at least did something. It led to a big reveal, or set up a fun action scene at the end. This episode, aside from an interesting X-Men comic/Days of Future Past connection, didn’t do any of that.I’ve had criticisms of certain elements of this show in the past, but this is the first time it’s been boring. It’s the kind of episode that’s hard to write about because there really wasn’t much going on. It wasn’t bad. I almost wish it was. That way, I could at least talk about why it was bad. If it tried to do something great and missed, I could talk about how. It didn’t miss. It just didn’t really try for anything great either. The stakes weren’t particularly high, but they don’t have to be if the character drama is interesting enough. It wasn’t. Most of the episode’s storylines were recycled TV plots with mutant powers. It felt like filler. Watchable filler, but filler nonetheless.Blair Redford and Jamie Chung (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)Of the four plots of last night’s episode, the two that were most interesting were the two we spent the least amount of time with. The first was Thunderbird trying to convince Blink to rejoin the Mutant Underground. Her out there on her own is a liability. If she gets caught, she knows where the Underground is and that’s bad. He finds her and we get one of the few scenes of the episode where the dialog doesn’t completely suck. Blink has some good responses to Thunderbird’s sudden concern. It doesn’t feel especially genuine after he (1) didn’t tell her about Dreamer’s manipulation, and (2) flirted with her so she’d make portals for the team. That’s a wild way to treat somebody and I’m happy she didn’t let him off the hook for that.The story also gave Blink some needed character growth. After walking away from the Underground, she decided to look for the road she kept accidentally making portals to. Thunderbird helps her out because it’s kind of the least he could do after what he pulled. He suggests that she might have been instinctively portalling to somewhere she feels safe. She remembers a foster home from when she was growing up that took in kids like her. They find the place, and things have gone real bad. Blink’s portals apparently tipped off Sentinel Services to a mutant safe house. They came in, rounded everyone up and tore the place apart. It gave us some insight into Blink’s past and more importantly, it gave her a reason to stick around. We have a better idea of who this version of Blink is, and now we can really root for her.  The dialog in this scene might have been blunt and corny, but it was easily the most effective scene in the episode.Coby Bell (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)The other story that saved the episode from being a complete bore was Jace Turner’s. As Reed and the Mutants find out about the Hound program Sentinel Services is using, Turner is getting drawn further into it. Rather than trying to find legal justification for brainwashing mutants to use as weapons, their partnering with a private company: Trask Industries. That’s a name that should get comics fans excited. Trask is one of the great recurring villains in the X-Men comics, and has even made the jump into the movies. In the comics, Trask developed the Sentinel robots in order to stop the mutant population from outnumbering humans. Here, they’re developing mutant sleeper agents to go into underground hiding places and activate once their inside. Not only is the idea incredibly creepy, it adds a nice bit of suspense to all the episodes to come. Now we know that someone inside the Mutant Underground is probably a Sentinel sleeper. But which one? It also creates in interesting conflict for Turner. Even though he’s been made to relive the trauma of losing his daughter, he may be starting to regret bringing Trask in. Their methods are extreme even for him, using a mutant to induce an apparent stroke in a critical politician investigating the agency.The rest of the episode, the plots we spent way more time on, were uneventful and pointless. They hardly moved the story forward at all, and there wasn’t even any good action. Lauren and Wes keep hanging out and there’s so much teenage romance. It’s only made slightly more interesting by the fact that Wes can make the rooftop look like the mountains. But wouldn’t you know it, he has a past. Reed looks through the files on mutant criminals he collected from Birmingham, and there’s a file on Wes. He used his powers to commit robbery when he was alone and desperate. We get teenage tantrums from Lauren, a heart-to-heart between Reed and Wes, and in the end, everyone learns a valuable lesson about honesty. Wes comes clean with the Underground about his past, promises it’s all behind him and they agree to let him stay. But he still can’t stay for some reason, as he’s been asked to go with a group of mutant refugees to another hideout. What was the point of any of this? To fill time until next week’s episode.Amy Acker, Natalie Alyn Lind, Stephen Moyer and Percy Hynes White (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)Well, it could be to establish that honesty is important to the Mutant Underground, as if we needed to be told that. The main plot, if you can call it that, concerns Eclipse getting pulled back into business with Carmen and the drug cartel. It’s the condition he agreed to in order to rescue Polaris. At the time it seemed worth it. Now that it led to such a boring episode, it seems much less so. There’s a lot of arguing back and forth between Carmen and Eclipse, both using the most awkward possible dialog to get their points across. They argue over whether or not Eclipse loved setting things on fire and running drugs, whether he believes in the cause or just loves Polaris. It gets old real quick. In the end, he does the job, Polaris catches him doing the job and they have the same “you lied”/”yeah, but for you!” argument you’ve seen in every TV show ever. Eclipse is kicked out because honesty and you already know they’re going to reconcile sooner rather than later.It’s a shame to see an episode like this, because The Gifted has seen consistently fun, plot-driving episodes since the premiere. This is the show’s first real dud. It’s the first episode that’s felt like the series is stalling for time. At least next week’s looks more promising. Reed’s father used to work for Trask industries, which should lead to some interesting reveals. Especially because it sounds like we’re going to get into the Von Strucker twins from the comics. You know, the evil Nazi twins that even most X-Men villains kept their distance from. There are definitely fantastic places this series can go. I just wish it took a step toward any of them last night. ‘The Gifted’ S2 Finale Recap: Death, Destruction & Hope for Season 3’The Gifted’ Season 2, Ep 5 Recap: The Reunion We’ve Waited For last_img