‘The Gifted’ 1×08 Review: Do you think you’re what they say you are?

Yes, that’s a Jesus Christ Superstar reference. Because, why not? And also because “outfoX” has left me in such a good mood, I want to sing.

And that’s not even because absence makes the heart grow fonder or whatever. It’s because, eight episodes in, this show is finally getting close to fulfilling the promise it set up with a superb Pilot. It’s focusing on family; it’s connecting it all to the comics, to the X-Men, while still making us care for some characters that we probably didn’t care about before.

Plus, it’s just good, old-fashioned fun, with badass female characters, a diverse cast and a hell of a lot of unexpected feels.

Because yes, “outfoX” makes you feel. Not just for the Struckers and their family, but for what came before them, and for the makeshift families these mutants have created with each other. Family is not – has never been – just blood. Family is love, and these people love each other as much as the Struckers do.

Family protects itself. Family takes cares of each other.

There’s this quote, from writer Deb Caletti, that keep going through my head as I watched this episode.  “That’s what people do who love you. They put their arms around you and love you when you’re not so lovable.”

And isn’t that what this show is? Isn’t that the definition of family?

You bet your ass it is.

So, let’s go into the family feels, the foreshadowing and the badassery of “outfoX.”

 WE WON’T LET IT DESTROY OURS

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The Gifted uses mutants as a means to an end, a way to send a message. This should surprise absolutely no one, X-Men has been doing that from the beginning. It’s just that this show is not just sending a political message (though that’s unavoidable), it’s sending a human message, one about loving people, forming bonds, protecting each other. Which, in the end, I guess can be turned political too, especially in this day and age.

Andy and Lauren’s journey, their parent’s journey, has to do not with their powers, but with their belief that they are their powers, or that their powers control them. Family history aside, the X-gene is a way for this show to send the message that we are who we are because of our choices, not because of our genetics.

What comes next is Andy and Lauren’s choosing. They don’t have to be like the Von Strucker twins. They can have the same powers and be good. They can have the same powers and be heroes. It’s all up to them.

As for their parents, they have a choice too. A choice between being so scared that they isolate their kids, so afraid that they break the family apart. So far, they’ve chosen right. But the journey is not over. The right choice must not be made once, but over and over again.

You ready for more? I know I am.

THE LAST HOPE

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The way these people just leap into danger, headfirst, the way they have their own concerns, fears, loves, and yet they still put others first, consistently, is a tremendous message to send in the current political climate. Because it’s not just about fighting for yourself, it’s not just about looking out for the people closest to you, it’s all about banding together and helping each other to make a better world.

Poetic, I know. And true.

Would The Gifted had worked in any other moment, any other year? Yes. Would it have resonated the way it does today? Probably not. Because, doesn’t it feel sometimes like we are the mutants and we’re trying to keep each other alive, to band together to fight an evil that we can’t really comprehend because it’s not a villain with a cape but the evil that resides within other human beings?

But hey, if these people can keep fighting, so can we. We have to. What other choice is there?

Other things to Note:

  • If there’s one thing that absolutely does not work on this show its Agent Turner.
  • Men are so easy, God. Dreamer and Polaris barely had to try with that guard.
  • People not keeping secrets
  • The Mutant Underground leadership reunion or whatever had way more women than men, I’m not emotional, YOU ARE.
  • I hate mind readers. They give me the creeps. Plus, it’s so easy to use them to solve EVERY PROBLEM.
  • Two men talking about their male friend that they love and how they miss him, TOXIC MASCULINITY WHAT IS THAT I DON’T KNOW AND THE GIFTED DOESN’T EITHER.
  • Everyone protecting the kids, it’s okay, I don’t have feelings. I’m perfectly fine.
  • Okay, I’m not.
  • My vote was for bringing the whole building down, in case you’re all wondering.
  • Don’t cry, Amy Acker. When you cry I cry.
  • Cliffhangers are my least favorite thing ever. I’m having flashbacks to The X-Files
  • Next week looks INTENSE.
  • I’m still waiting for Reed to turn out to have these awesome powers because fuck the X-gene actually being suppressed.

The Gifted airs Mondays at 9/8c on the CW.

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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