‘The Gifted’ 2×01 Review: Both Sides, Now

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A lot has changed in the months that have transpired from the Season 1 finale to now. And yet, so much hasn’t. There are still “two sides” to this story (or is it three? Do the humans get a side?), but it almost feels to me like the impetus of the story in Season 2, very much like in Season 1, isn’t in the fight against the others – the humans, but truly in the fight against yourself. The fight for what you believe, and moreover, what you’re willing to do for what you believe.

But even considering that, the show is very clear, from early on, that there’s a good side and a bad side, or at least, a humane side and one that’s …well, a little gone. Sadly, there are human beings in either side, and more importantly, people we care about on both.

Namely, a very pregnant Polaris and a very blonde Andy, on the Inner Circle side.

This is only the first episode, of course, but if I had to guess, I’d say this season is going to be, mainly, about how people with vastly different ideas on how to deal with their abilities, how to deal with being different, find a way to co-exist, a middle ground. Because if the current political climate has taught us anything, is that, divided, we all fall.

United, we stand.

So, let’s go into the ins and outs of, as well as the people on either ‘side’ of this fight as we examine “eMergence”:

MARCOS AND CAITLIN

Are done. Abso-freaking-lutely done. And in a way, I totally understand and relate, and yet, in another, I spent all episode thinking, oh boy, they are going to mess shit up. They didn’t, and I have honestly greatly enjoyed every time they have teamed up, but …eh, neither of them is exactly thinking straight. Not that thinking straight is exactly Marcos’s strength, especially when he’s away from Lorna.

But hey, considering they didn’t get to Lorna and Andy (kudos for making me think, even for a second, this was a possibility), these two have many more chances to fuck shit up going forward. Cue more worried looks from Reed and more of John’s are you for real face.

Interestingly, in one episode, both Marcos and Caitlin sorta walked the line towards acting the same way Andy and Lorna acted at the end of Season 1, like the ends justify the means. If that’s true, then what’s stopping them all from being on one side? What’s stopping them from finding common ground? Other than Reeva, and Goldilocks times three.

Moral ambiguity, how I hate thee, and yet, how interesting you are.

I’d say I’m not looking forward to these two getting in trouble again, and to the inevitable confrontation, but that’d be a lie.

ANDY AND LORNA

Have become a team of sorts, in the time that has elapsed, and I anticipate the same will be true of Baby Polaris (what, it’s got a ring to it, doesn’t it?). There are still questions here, though, questions that I’d really love the show to go into. For example – even though it ended up working out, was Andy really willing to do anything it took to save Dawn, even if that meant sacrificing Lorna?

Does his end justify the means include, maybe, hurting his sister? His parents?

And more importantly, why? Andy made a choice, that much is clear – even if only Lauren and Reed seem to understand this, but what’s behind that choice? This is what makes Andy and interesting character, and I hope we get a chance to go there.

Especially because Lorna sure seems conflicted, now that she has a baby. What will she do when she comes faces to face with Marcos, the man she still loves, the man who has done nothing wrong to her, other than not be willing to go as far as she is? Will she be strong enough to walk away, time and time again, especially now that she’s a mother?

Do the end really justify the means?

WHERE ARE THE HUMANS?

The reason these stories touch us, the reason the X-Men, and mutants in general, have always resonated, is because there are stories about difference being persecuted. They are stories of intolerance, and stories about how fear plays a big role in how we view the people who are not like us. It’s the same reason why we desperately want these mutants to do normal things, to live normal lives, to argue about the dishes and to make out as they argue about that.

And yet, in 2018, it seems much more important than ever that a show like this gives us the first kind of stories, the ones about intolerance and fear. Because yes, it’s kinda cool to see the mutants vs. mutants story-line, and it’s infinitely more excitement special effects wise, and hey, I’m all for some domesticity, but that’s not really the story we need.

So, as much as I complained about how boring Agent Turner was, I do think we need that contrast. Especially in the political climate we live in. Because, sometimes, we look to TV to teach us lessons and this show is in the perfect position to teach us about tolerance.

Let’s get to it.

Other things to note:

  • The blonde is working for me, Andy. Keep it.
  • “My kid’s about to be born, John. Maybe I’m done being careful.” Yes, Marcos. YES.
  • I love that John is the one doing the dishes. I don’t really love that we’ve missed out on how Thunderblink actually got started, but I get the sense they’re going to be put through the ringer this season, so I’m just hoping we get to see them fighting against what’s coming together, and not like Lorna and Marcos, apart.
  • Mostly because I still kinda need to be sold on this, I’m not sure I’ve forgiven them for the whole manipulating her feelings thing of last season.
  • As much as I love Polaris, it hurts me that, in a way, to the people she’s with, she’s just her powers, same as Andy. Her family, her real family, is the one that loves her for who she is, and they’re not there with her.
  • Emma Dumont does a hell of a job, as always, of portraying the vulnerabilities in one of the most powerful mutants in this world.
  • I don’t like you, Reeva.
  • Can Cristina stick around? I need me one latina in this show!
  • We all knew Reed’s mutant abilities were gonna be a thing, so yay, finally.
  • I have OTP withdrawals. I need Eclaris together.

Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

The Gifted airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on FOX.


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