‘The Gifted’ 1×04 Review: Risks, Hope and Lorna

“Sometimes you just have to take a risk and hope for the best,” Caitlin Strucker tells her kids, before the attempted rescue, before the action, before this show has delivered, arguably, its best moments so far in its young first season. It sounds like a thing you say, a practiced phrase, and, just like the plan in this episode, seems like it’s going to blow up in your face.

And then …it doesn’t. Because, somehow, miraculously, everyone finds a way to work together, from Natalie and Andy to, even more surprisingly, Reed and Polaris. Because Thunderbird is finally a leader with an actual purpose, and dare I say it, some heart. Because Caitlin Strucker doesn’t have powers, but she’s anything but a bystander.

But mostly because Polaris kicks ass, okay? Mostly because of that.

All in all, this, despite the still questionable moments between Blink and Thunderbird, this is, without a doubt, The Gifted at its best. Question now is not if they can keep it up, but how do they build from this?

Considering how disappointed I was last week, it’s a relief to discover I actually want to find out.




FENRIS?

Well, not really, but as close as they come.

In the comics Andrea and Andreas von Strucker (original names, I know), are known as Fenris. That’s not the name of a good thing, as they’re actually villains there, and twins, which they aren’t in this continuity, but if you were hoping for some Easter Eggs in that regard, I think this episode is as much as you’ll get.

Because they do work together in this, Natalie and Andy, they use their powers in conjunction to get the ball rolling and help the others save Lorna and their dad. But that’s not all they do, no, they also, somehow, manage to behave like …well, actual siblings.

Sometimes that’s one of the hardest things to get right on TV, especially on shows geared towards “adults,” the way teenagers relate to each other, especially siblings. For all its flaws, The Gifted does this right, striking a good balance between annoyance, affection and just regular brother/sister teasing.

It’s more than a tad refreshing, and a mark on the plus column on a show that last week made me so angry it was hard to remember the things I actually enjoyed about it.

REED AND LORNA

This conversation was way overdue, and in a way, I’m sad it was over so quick and that it transpired in the most clichéd way possible. Yes, Lorna is angry. Yes, she’s got every right to be. No, she shouldn’t have to forgive Reed. But Lorna isn’t an idiot either, and in this instance, she held onto the anger way longer than it was intelligent to do so.

And Lorna has always struck me as the kind of person who knows how to survive.

Either way, it all worked out in the end, because they were able to trust each other for 3 nanoseconds, because Lorna is the most badass badass who ever badassed and because Reed has turned over a new tree, not a new leaf. But – I just wish this show had, in ANYTHING OTHER than the Blink/Thunderbird thing, manage to go for the unexpected like, at least once.

Just one time surprise. Is that too much to ask?

ECLIPSE

Can you blame him? I can’t – and won’t. The end justifies the means, and all that. Besides, wouldn’t you have done it to save your family? I would have – no questions asked. No hesitation, either.

But, again, although the decision was in a way, interesting, and the complex moralities of a choice like this are something the show should delve upon, they really should have given this complex moral issue to someone who had us at least guessing a little bit?

Who thought Marcos wasn’t going to do this? Anyone? Anyone.

I didn’t think so.

It’s been only four episodes, but if we know anything about this guy is that he’ll do anything to save Polaris. So, really – we have a problem when even the interesting plot points are being given to characters that take suspense out of it.

What would Blink have done? Dreamer? Now that would have been interesting …

BLINK AND THUNDERBIRD (AND DREAMER)

Not that their storyline is anything but gag-worthy. If the rest of this episode sorta worked, this part felt flat once again, mostly because the setup was so cringeworthy that at this point, I’m not sure there’s anything that can be done to fix it.

And no, not even making Blink realize that the memory that was planted wasn’t real helped, because she still thinks it belongs to her, that she got to the point where she was imagining these things with Thunderbird by herself, and she didn’t. That’s still manipulation. That’s still wrong. And though, yes, he isn’t taking advantage of it, he isn’t telling her either, which opens up a whole host of moral complications, and not the fun kind, like with Marcos.

Like before, though, the worst thing about this plot point is that it’s lazy. Setting up a love triangle between these three characters would have been a piece of cake without that stupid fake memory, so why go for that? Now nothing feels earned, I can’t ship anything and I just really want them all to never share a scene ever again.

I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the intention.

Other things to note:

  • Dude in the cold open always dies. Those the rules.
  • Lorna, my love …I’m on your side. Always. But you’re not getting out of there alone.
  • Thunderbird is the red power ranger.
  • The whole storyline with Marcos and the Cartel was ZzzzzzzZzzzZZ.
  • Also, what’s wrong with liking “that music”? That’s some stereotypical bullshit.
  • “I’m not leaving here without Lorna” IMAGINE NOT SHIPPING ECLARIS. Can’t relate.
  • PULSE WHY? WHYYYYYYYYY?
  • I can’t believe this shit worked.

The Gifted airs Mondays at 9/8c on FOX.



Lissete Lanuza Sáenz

Senior Managing Editor

Lawyer. Dreamer. Geek. Eternal optimist. Fangirl since the dawn of time. Hates the color yellow, olives and cigarettes. Has a recurring nightmare where she’s forced to choose between sports and books. Falls in love with fictional characters.

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