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‘The Gifted’ 1×01 Review: Ohana Means Family

‘The Gifted’ 1×01 Review: Ohana Means Family

The Gifted - "eXposed"

And, you know, family means nobody gets left behind – or forgotten.

Yes, you are in the right place, I promise. This is a review for The Gifted, the new kick-ass mutant drama from FOX. Except the kick-ass mutant drama, while still kicking ass, having mutants and being hella on the nose with its political message, turned out to be more than just an X-Men movies remake on the small screen.

No, this show has heart – in spades. And good acting. Plus, a surprisingly strong and coherent plot, particularly for a Pilot that had to hit so many notes to just break even with the expectations placed upon it.

As you’ve probably guessed, this is going to be a gushing review. If you’re ready for the truth, come forth and let’s discussed “eXposed,” if not …then I guess you can always check out Marvel’s Inhumans?

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Kidding, don’t do that. Really, don’t. Look at the gif above. That’s probably how you’ll end up feeling if you don’t listen to me.

THE TRUE MEANING OF FAMILY

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The curious thing about this show is that yes, it’s billed a superhero show of sorts, what with the X-Men thing, and it’s also billed as family show, what with the Struckers and everything, and yet that is not the only family we’re introduced to in the Pilot, no.

Eclipse, Thunderbird, Polaris …they’re a family. All those people who belong in the underground resistance or whatever you want to call it, the people who look after each other every day, even though they have no blood bonds, those people are family too.

And that’s a really important message that TV has been sending out to the world, over and over again, and which The Gifted seems their whole show on: Family is not just about the people who share your DNA, no. Family is about the people you choose. Family is those that stick to you, through thick and thin. And family means nobody gets left behind.

See, I picked the right title for this review.

WHAT FEAR DOES

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It’s impossible to talk about a show like The Gifted and not go into the political ramifications of the message they’re trying to send, especially in the political climate we currently live in, and even more so because the actors were very eager to stress that message when we had a chance to interview them at SDCC.

The whole thing about X-Men, the message behind the idea of mutants, has always been to play with the human response to something different – to comment on the way fear plays a part in so many of the decisions that we take every day, especially discrimination.

And yes, this show is about that, and it’s not trying to hide it. The political message is loud and clear and before you go into this journey, you better be ready to face the parts of yourself that, sometimes, don’t react the best way when you’re afraid. And you better be willing to change it.

Yes, this is a “superhero show” – but that doesn’t mean it can’t dabble on social commentary, and it doesn’t mean it can’t teach us something. In fact, considering why the comics were created, it would actually be ironic if it didn’t.

FATHER OF THE YEAR

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See Also

Stephen Moyer, and by extension, Reed Strucker, absolutely blew me away in this episode. I’m still in shock. I knew of Stephen Moyer, of course, but other than The Sound of Music musical, I don’t remember having seen him in anything.

Right now I feel like going back and watching everything he’s ever done.

Because, honestly, he broke my heart and then he put it back together and now I’m basically just anxious about what’s going to happen to him and looking forward to a possible reunion and I just have too many feelings to be able to truly express them, and if that’s not the sign of just good acting, but great writing, then I don’t know what is.

Reed could have been a cliché. He could have been that strict dad that wavers between choosing family and duty. He could have been the guy you weren’t sure what side was on. Instead he was the guy who sacrificed everything for his family and didn’t even consider it a sacrifice, because what else was he going to do?

And that makes him as much of a hero as the people wielding powers.

Things You Were Also Thinking:

  • Someone’s gonna need to explain what happened to the X-Men, at some point.
  • STAN LEE! Seal of approval, right there.
  • Can you imagine Lorna and Marcos’ kid? The level of sass, OMG.
  • I kinda hope this family divided thing doesn’t last the whole of Season 1.
  • Maybe Lorna and Reed can escape together!
  • Or maybe we can plan some sort of misguided rescue? I’m all for bad ideas at these point.
  • Bullies are the worst and I have absolutely no sympathy for them. None whatsoever.

Mutant Ranking:

Yes, I’m going to rank them. For reasons, and science. Also because it’s fun. Feel free to disagree and tell me so. It’s not like I’m changing my mind. *wink*

  1. Polaris – MY HEART BELONGS TO YOU, LORNA. TAKE IT. What a badass. And all that attitude. Where is the fan club? I’m ready to join.
  2. Lauren Strucker – Badass big sister, and yet, deep down, just a kid who needs her family. She’d be my favorite if Polaris hadn’t stolen my heart.
  3. Blink – Attitude problems aside, I’m interested in where they’re going with her.
  4. Andy Strucker – Was I the only one who just wanted to give Andy a hug? He’s a kid!
  5. Eclipse – He’s okay, he’s just not easy to love yet.
  6. Thunderbird – I get nothing from him yet and he makes me feel nothing.

Agree? Disagree? Love what “eXposed” showed us? Hated it? Share with us in the comments below!

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

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