‘The Gifted’ 2×03 Review: Love is the Brightest Star

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…in life’s darkest skies, I read somewhere, and it’s stuck with me. The whole idea kept playing in my head as I watched “CoMplications,” one of the best episodes The Gifted has delivered in its entire run.

Because, isn’t everything about love? Doesn’t the whole metaphor this show is based on, one that strikes very close to home in this day and age, come down to that? Reed the prosecutor saw no problem with jailing mutants, until it was his kids. Jace isn’t really out for justice, he’s out for revenge. And the rest, well, they just want to live in a world where they’re free to be, and to love.

Thing is, we all do crazy things for love, and for the people who awaken that feeling in us. Sometimes, we make mistakes in the name of it. Does that make us villains? Does it make us heroes?

Thankfully, the show never attempts to answer this question as it confronts the choices Lorna made for Dawn with the very real love Marcos feels for her and for their baby. And the thing is, this episode makes it clear Lorna loves Marcos too, that’s never been her issue. Love has never been the problem.

But, can it be the solution?

So far, the answer is no, but have they really been tested? What will Andy and Lorna do when the choice isn’t between some idyllic future and giving up their family, but between some idyllic future and losing the people they love? Can love really conquer all?

I don’t have an answer, but I’m willing to bet the scale tips on the side of yes.

So, let’s talk about fathers and daughters, about families and about the message of freedom the show is trying to tell.

AND BABY MAKES THREE

Let’s make one thing clear: what Lorna did, by depriving Marcos of a choice, by taking his daughter away from him, no matter her reasoning and no matter her endgame, was wrong. She’s making the choice for Marcos and her daughter, and she’s effectively erasing half of what Dawn is, and even worse, she’s depriving Dawn of the chance to grow up with a father that loves her.

We knew that before we even got a glimpse at the full extent of Marcos’s daddy issues, but when confronted with them, with the father who basically stepped out on him, it’s easy to see why Marcos has been so conflicted.

Yes, he loves Lorna. Yes, he’d do anything for her. Yes, he wants to be with her. But he also, really, really doesn’t want to be like the man who hurt him so much by leaving him. In fact, he’s so desperate not to be like his father that he’d go against his principles, the things that make him Marcos, if that means staying with Lorna and Dawn.

And yet, the thing is, he isn’t anything like his father. He didn’t choose to abandon his kid; Lorna made the choice for him. And she knows enough about who he is to understand that, no matter what he says, he could never be ruthless. He could never be the kind of guy who thinks the ends justify the means.

That’s not his nature.

So she makes the sacrifice, again, and by doing that, forces him to make the sacrifice. Because they love each other, but is that enough? The answer, for her, seems to be no. It isn’t.

I’m not usually a fan of drama, but I’ll take this kind of well-written, well-acted, actually-makes-sense drama over the general drama shows give me. Because this is not an easy decision, and though we, the viewers, know enough to probably guess where it’s going, it’s hard to truly blame Lorna and Andy for their decisions.

Three episodes in, we seem to be in the same place we were in at the end of last year, with people who love each other on very different sides, and no hope for compromise. And yet, when there’s love, there’s a way, right?

Let’s hope so.

 

FATHERS AND DAUGHTERS

In a very real way today’s episode was about fathers and daughters, about doing better, and about secrets. Marcos and Lorna couldn’t find the desired middle ground, but Reed and Lauren kind of did, all thanks to powers that popped up at the most inopportune moment, and good old-fashioned communication.

Everyone should try that, I swear.

The thing that tore this family apart, the thing that, right now, is keeping them apart, is secrets and lies. Lauren kept the secret of her ability for years, because she didn’t want to disappoint her father. Reed is keeping the secret of his abilities because he’s afraid of Caitlin’s reaction.

And yet, when things are out in the open, both Lauren and Catilin react in predictably positive ways to Reed’s powers, which, of course, makes me think that some other drama is coming our way in regards to this. The issue was never how those two were going to react, but the issue might be how the Inner Circle does, or Andy …or someone else?

For now, though, ¾ of the Struckers get a nice moment to be a family, and to accept and love each other, as they are. Considering there’s another family that has the same amount of love, but can’t find the middle ground, that’s saying something.

It’s just that the arc of Eclaris for Season 2 is clear – the arc of the Struckers not as much. Or maybe, it is about love too. About Lauren’s love for her brother. About their love for each other. What was that thing I said before? Oh yes, love conquers all.

Things I think I think:

  • Marcos’s daddy issues are KILLING ME. And I thought last episode was emotional.
  • Good, Clarice. Ask the tough questions. Confront him with his lies.
  • Hey, John, lying to your girlfriend won’t make me like you OR the relationship more.
  • Methinks you’re avoiding your daughter, Caitlin.
  • “I can handle a few minutes in a room with Marcos.” FAMOUS LAST WORDS.
  • Look, if I were you, I would never think I’m imagining things, Marcos.
  • “Me and Marcos were friends.” Yes, you were Andy. You were.
  • I hate you, Reeva.
  • I especially hate what you represent – the idea that there’s no possible way to compromise, that stomping over people who are weaker is the only way to get what you want.
  • When is Jace going to become interesting again?
  • Reed, dude, we need you to control that power, soon.
  • No, Lorna, you don’t get to say hello like no time has passed, like you didn’t take his kid away from him. You do not.
  • I knew she named her Dawn because in Spanish her name would be Aurora, but to see Marcos realize BROKE ME.
  • “The X-Men didn’t fight for freedom, they fought for tolerance.” This is a powerful idea. There’s a difference.
  • Natalie Alyn Lind really and truly killed it this episode. That scene in the car with Stephen Moyer was tremendous.
  • Struckers, let’s listen to Lauren.
  • And that’s without going into Sean Teale, whose FACE WHEN HE WAS HOLDING DOWN is the stuff of nightmares. Painful nightmares. Gah. Let him be happy!
  • So much kudos to this show for not just making Lorna’s baby weight a one-episode thing.
  • You don’t get to console him and tell him he’s not like his father, Lorna. You do not.
  • I figured Reeva wasn’t going to be stupid enough to kill Marcos. That would have lost her Lorna, for good.
  • Clarice, secrets are BAD.
  • Also, the whole thing with mutants branding themselves? Me no likey.
  • “I don’t want to rest. I want to hit them back.” Please.
  • My prediction: the season ends with Andy and Lorna back with the Mutant Underground, and Blink gone.

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

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



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