It was just a matter of time. The Gifted was always heading here. And it was always going to hurt when this day finally came. It was always going to be brutal.
Because the truth of the matter is that this separation between the Mutant Underground and the Inner Circle was never about goals — deep down, they both want the same thing — it was about means. Andy and Lorna were willing to go much farther than Clarice, Marcos, John, Reed, Caitlin and Lauren, and that’s why they chose the ‘other side’ of this battle. The end justified the means, after all.
“no Mercy,” however is about examining how far is too far, for everyone. For Lorna and Andy, who have both had moments during this season of wondering if this whole thing is worth it, if they can do it if it means hurting their family, for Reed, whose fear is leading to a lack of control that can put his family in danger, for Clarice, who seems to be seriously struggling between the path she choose and the new one that has opened up for her, and even for one Jace Turner.
Of course, like it loves to do, The Gifted doesn’t really give us an answer to the main question it brings up in this episode. but it sets up the possibility that those answers are coming with a final scene that is as heartbreaking as it is brilliant.
Is Rebecca a victim? In many ways, she is. She was kept in isolation for a long time, and who knows what exactly went on in that hospital, and what she was subjected to, all because she was born a mutant, all because of something she didn’t choose. But the things Rebecca has done since she got out of the hospital, the good and the bad, those have been her choice.
And just as we won’t excuse Jace Turner for doing bad things with good intentions, we can’t excuse Rebecca either, even if she feels like she’s doing the same.
Choice matters. You make a choice to do good or evil. The Inner Circle has done questionable things, yes, but even Reeva proved in this episode she was not as far away from the people of the Mutant Underground as we were led to believe. All she wants is to be safe, to have a place where mutants can live in peace, and yes, she has been willing to do more in the name of that than the Mutant Underground has (let’s not forget that she also was willing to kill a room full of people), but even she has limits.
Rebecca doesn’t, because for Rebecca, it’s all about revenge, same as for our not so dear Agent Turner. And the desire for revenge is a very bad adviser, almost as bad as fear. It clouds your judgment, and it makes you feel like you alone know what needs to be done.
Now, the question, of course, is where do we go from here? How do the looks of horror on Reeva, Lorna and Andy’s face translate to dealing with Rebecca from now on? Can they move on? Should they?
What about the Struckers, and their family? Can they really find enough about their family history to keep their family together? Will they finally fight as one unit, and be completely open with each other? Will Reed stop fighting what he is and instead work on embracing it? Because Lauren is right, they can’t keep running from what they are, and they can’t keep pretending that the past doesn’t inform the future.
After all, those who don’t know their past are condemned to repeat it.
Then, there’s Clarice, or John and Clarice, and what the choices are in that regard. Because they’re now standing on opposites sides, just as Marcos and Lorna are, and it feels like, at least for now, it’s all going to transpire the same way. Or hey, maybe when Marcos gets Lorna back, John has to lose Clarice. Only one couple gets to be happy at the same time, okay? Don’t get greedy, The Gifted fans!
But through it all, there was hope.
In Reed, Caitlin and Lauren, taking a step forward, together, even without Andy. In the fact that, despite all that’s happened, they haven’t given up on being a family, and on loving each other, and having each other’s backs.
In John and Marcos, friends who have been through enough to be able to be honest with each other, romantic relationships be dammed. Because yes, John loves Clarice and Marcos loves Lorna, but they also love each other, and they believe in the same thing.
A better world. One of peace, and hope, yes, but not one that needs fear to achieve that.
It’s a beautiful dream. I’m not sure it can ever become a reality, not on this TV show, not in real life, but I would never want those people who believe in that possibility to disappear. Those are, after all, the people that make good things possible, the ones that change the world. The dreamers.
So I end with a poem, or a little part of one, by Langston Hughes:
“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”
Agree? Disagree? Share with us in the comments below!
The Gifted airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on FOX.