‘The Gifted’ 2×04 Review: Friend or Foe?

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New battle lines are being drawn every day on The Gifted, and “outMatched” takes that even further than any other episode has before, as Polaris is back from maternity leave of sorts, and ready to kick ass once again – even if the ass she’s now kicking belongs to people she loves, and Andy is …well, Andy.

On the other side, they’re met with a newly determined Marcos, and a Strucker family that is, for the first time in a while, sort of on the same page, as they face an Andy that isn’t really the Andy they knew. Or is he?

That’s the thing this season of The Gifted has done so well so far, it’s allowed characters like Andy and Lorna to grow, and yet it’s done so in ways that don’t completely contradict who they were before. It’s easy to see the seeds of Lorna getting to this point in season one, just as it’s easy to understand how Andy’s journey could have taken him to where he is.

And yet, at the same time, the other ‘side’ is infinitely relatable too. Marcos is still that guy who’d give an arm and a leg for Lorna, and for their baby, but who has done so many bad things in his life that he regrets that he desperately wants to do the right thing now. John is still a do-gooder at heart. Clarice is still someone who, deep down, only wanted to feel strong enough to help others. Lauren is sill Andy’s sister, first and foremost.

Which puts them all at an impasse. Except this is TV, and something’s gotta give at some point.

But probably not soon. This is, after all, only episode four. We’re in for a little more drama before we get any kind of resolution.

So, let’s go into the ins and outs, the sides and the family issues of “outMatched”:

THE STRUCKERS

I’ve been a little, upset is not the word, but annoyed at Caitlin Strucker the past few weeks. Yes, losing Andy is a blow, but she’s been acting like she’s the only one who lost him, and in many ways, clashing with Reed and ignoring Lauren by just hyper-focusing on her goal: getting her son back.

As someone who doesn’t have kids, I thought …I get it, but I don’t. And yet, even from my perspective as someone who doesn’t truly get it, and can’t, the first scene of this episode did so much to make me sing a different tune about Caitlin.

This is her baby, after all, the one she risked her life for, the one she suffered pain and possible death to bring to the world. Sure, he’s also Reed’s kid, and Lauren’s brother, but in so many ways, this is her special kid and she wants to protect him. She wants to save him.

And she’ll do anything, anything she needs. Even if that means compromising her morals.

Lauren, on the other hand, just firmly believes that her brother would never hurt her, that her brother will come back if she asks him to. It’s the same sort of naivete Marcos exhibited last episode, and it ends even worse for Lauren than it did for Marcos.

Think of Andy as the Lorna of her youth, extremely powerful, extremely angry. She found something good to channel her anger, and even though she’s lost her way a bit now, she still has that to fall back on. What does Andy have?

Well, as it stands, he doesn’t have Lauren. He, himself, hurt her, and that’s something he’ll have to live with. He presumably has Lorna, but as much as I’m sure Lorna cares, Andy is not her priority, Dawn is.

Above all, though, Andy has a family. Even if he doesn’t want them now. Even if it seems like he’s capable of hurting them. Even if he’s making the wrong decisions. And, at some point, that, I hope, will be the difference.

 

LORNA + MARCOS + DAWN

The family that isn’t a family because Lorna has chosen something else, this episode focused on Marcos’s acceptance, whereas the previous episode was more about him fighting reality. But now, he’s seen Lorna, he’s Dawn, and in a way he’s still fighting for them, he still wants them back, but he’s come to a place where he understands that Lorna has made a choice, and that choice puts her squarely on the other side.

As he himself said: “She looked me in the eye and told me she loved me, and that what they were doing mattered more.”

Now, I’ve theorized that this season is leading up to a confrontation where Lorna is going to have to decide what she loves most, where she’s actually going to have to make a choice, but in a way, the show is setting it up so that Marcos is presented with a choice of his own.

How much is too much? What would he be willing to forgive? Everyone’s got a breaking point, after all, and it seems to me we’re getting awfully close to Marcos’s.

Things I think I think:

  • John is like a guru, he always has answers. I kinda love it.
  • Reed’s powers are going to come out when we least want them to, right? Right?
  • Clarice is like, you doing stupid shit, so I gotta be with you two idiots, to save your ass.
  • Which sounds about right.
  • Is John bulletproof too or what? I didn’t think he could take bullets to the chest.
  • AND HE’S CARRYING THE GUY OUT WTF? Marcos, you could like, help.
  • Guess who I still don’t care about? Agent Turner.
  • Caitlin is now the only human around, and yet, she’s – the show – isn’t pushing her to the side because of that. I love it.
  • In this case, Reed, pills are not going to help.
  • John and Clarice fighting together is probably the most I’ve liked them.
  • I want more Polaris backstory, but not just little tidbits like this, I want a full Lorna backstory episode. Maybe Sean Teale can tell the story?
  • What? I dig Marcos’ voice.
  • Purifiers = White nationalists.
  • Marcos seems to be close to giving up, but will John? He’s got plenty of reasons to be loyal to Lorna, as well, and less emotions clouding his judgment.
  • Lorna didn’t directly harm John and Clarice, Andy, however, harmed Lauren – the person he cares about the most in the world, the one he’s closest to.
  • ANDY, YOU’RE HURTING ME.
  • I have a feeling whenever you-know-what goes down, it’s going to be down to Lorna and Marcos to be the link, to bring people together again.
  • At this point, if anyone can talk sense into Andy, it’s Lorna. I’m not even sure seeing the truth about what the Inner Circle is will work.
  • “Nobody made Andy do anything.” Ain’t that the truth. That’s why it hurts.
  • Making the whole break-in seem like it’s about mutant issues IS smart, though. #MutantUprising.
  • There’s so much pain in that final look between Andy and Lorna, so much pain. IS THIS WORTH IT? IS IT?

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

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




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