Look, if there’s one thing “boXed in,” The Gifted’s fifth episode makes clear, is that this show is at its best when it’s dealing with complex morality issues that mirror real life in scary was, and of course, when Lorna Dane is out and about, kicking ass and sharing most of her scenes with Marcos Diaz.
Remember how I said last week’s episode was the best of the young season? Well, it pales in comparison with this one, and if we remember what happened in this hour it’s not, gasp, because of the action sequences, or because of the daring escapes, or even because of the Struckers, who were, despite my previous complaints about the soundness of their decisions, actually pretty damn badass this episode, but because of the moral implications of just about everything that happened.
And, for the first time, it all revolves about Agent Turner.
Look, I’ll be the first to say I have very little sympathy for the guy. Yes, he lost his daughter, and yes, a part of me was as touched as Eclipse and Polaris were to hear his story, because it is tragic, and unfair, and the kind of thing that throws you off-kilter, but it is not an excuse to go on a witch-hunt. It’s not an excuse to throw morality aside. It’s not an excuse to put revenge against everything.
Life sucks sometimes, it does. We lose people we love and it’s not fair and sometimes the idea of going on with our lives, of living, without them next to us becomes unbearable. But I can think of only one thing worse than giving up completely, and that is using their existence, their memory, as reasoning to commit evil deeds.
This, despite what Turner might want to tell himself, is not a self-righteous cause. He’s not doing it because he thinks it’s right. He’s doing it for revenge. And what is that thing they say …an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind?
Plus – if he gets a chance at revenge, if he deserves it somehow, doesn’t Lorna? Marcos? The Mutant Underground that’s been so persecuted? Where do we draw the line? How do we decide who gets a crack at revenge first?
Did I make your head hurt? Well, The Gifted actually made my heart soar a little. In the world we live in, these are important questions, less because we might actually one day get mutant powers and be faced with the same decisions and more because we might, one day, like in Harry Potter, be forced to choose between what is right and what is easy.
What would we choose? Well, at least we know what these heroes would.
“You go, I go,” says Lorna, and I just want to go with both of them. Wherever they go. This is the Polaris and Eclipse show, nothing else matters. Or, well, considering this was a pretty solid episode all around, I’m not going to say nothing else matters, but I am going to go with the truth: nothing matters as much.
Often times a character can carry a show – and though I remain convinced that Emma Dumont’s Polaris could do that, if needed, truth is she doesn’t have to do it alone. She’s got Sean Teale’s Marcos to have actual adult conversations about their hopes and expectations re: their future child, and of course, to create pretty lights with as they touch.
#OTPGoals right there, I tell you.
All in all, though, the reason these two work is because, in a way that’s not at all common in network TV and that probably has to do with the different thinking that goes into bringing two characters with “superpowers” together, these two are actually allowed to be equal. Polaris can be the badass, Marcos can be sensitive, they can work together, they can make repeated confessions of love and male/female stereotypes are completely thrown out the window.
These are just two people who love each other, two people who are a team. And they’re, without a doubt, our #1 reason for watching.
Other things to note:
- I know the cold open was supposed to make me feel sorry and/or sympathize with Agent Turner. I did not work.
- Do not fight a mutant with your fists, Reed. DO. NOT. FIGHT. A. MUTANT. WITH. YOUR. BARE. FISTS.
- I’m all for Reed being useful but was he really the only one who could have figured out Sentinel’s Services’ plan? With ALL those mutants around, isn’t there at least one who could be useful?
- “If it’s a girl we should call her Aurora.” Please, the Gifted. MAKE THIS HAPPEN. MAKE IT HAPPEN.
- THEY MADE A MINI AURORA OVER THE BABY THEY MIGHT CALL AURORA YOUR OTP COULD NEVER.
- Agent Turner, really – going after a mutant who can control metal, with just two guys as backup AND GUNS?
- But fine, I did feel for Agent Turner during that conversation with Marcos and Lorna.
- Might just be that Marcos and Lorna make everything better.
- Even Agent Turner.
- When creepy mustache dude says “whatever you say boss” I don’t believe him. Why do you, Red Power Ranger?
- Badass, Momma Strucker. Badass.
- Badass Lauren.Badass.
- It’s like a Strucker family resurgence!
- And Dad is even back for dinner. Amazing.
- Thank you, The Gifted, for not going the awful, cliché and disrespectful way with the stupid Blink/Dreamer/Thunderbird thing. Thank you for making this about morality and not about manufacturing a love triangle. Thank you for letting Dreamer be honest. Thank you for Blink’s anger. Thank you for treating this how it would go in real life.
- Again I didn’t really feel bad for Agent Turner, even if the final scene was perfectly acted.
The Gifted airs Mondays at 9/8c on FOX.