The image at the top of this review sort of encapsulates the season so far. Two people, standing on opposite sides of a war, with so much space between them, and yet, also, with so much love.
Because that’s the kind of war The Gifted has given us, and the kind of war we will often fight in life: the complicated one. Not every situation you ever encounter will be black and white, the right choice will not always be obvious at first glance. So often, life will present you shades of grey, and it’ll be up to you to draw the line of what’s right and what’s wrong, what you can stand and what you just …well, what you cannot.
“eneMy of My eneMy” tries to play on these dynamics, and raise the stakes that were pretty darn high to begin with, what with chaos and so many mutants on the loose, but it does so in sorta the same way The Gifted has approached everything in Season 2 – with a little bit of trepidation, and without a real sense of direction.
This show had a very strong first season, and a very strong Season 1 finale. There was little place to go once they took that leap than where they went with Season 2, but the problem was, of course, that the dynamics we came to rely on, the dynamics that carried the show in Season 1, were impossible to replicate when you had Lorna and Andy away from their family. And though in Season 2 the show has delivered some standout episodes (Marcos meeting Dawn, Lauren vs. Andy), it’s also true that we’ve kind of been in a holding pattern, just waiting for all the players to finally come together once again.
Waiting for what we took for granted last season.
Considering a third season is anything but assured, this was the time for The Gifted to pull out all the stops. There’s only 6 more episodes to go, after all. We’re as close to do or die time as it’s possible to be.
Let me just say, this episode delivered. Boy, did it. The problem is, it felt like a respite from the story-line that has been dragging the season down. Sure, it was fun, and I really and truly enjoyed it, but what does it change deep down?
Hopefully, something. Hopefully the last few episodes will maintain the pace this episode set. Hopefully. Because this is the show I want. This is the show that deserves a Season 3.
So let’s go into the two sides of this battle, and no, I’m not talking the Inner Circle and the Mutant Underground, but:
There’s no need to dig deep to discover what this allegory is all about. This show has never dealt in subtleties, and they really aren’t in this particular scenario. The Purifiers are, first and foremost, a hate group. There is no lofty goal here, no shades of grey – there’s just a group of people who hate those who are different, and who have taken that hate and transformed it into anger.
As pure social commentary, especially considering the year that just ended, this is on point. As the bad guys in a show like The Gifted, especially right now, though, they’re a bit lacking. We don’t really want to see the people we like fighting each other, but when there are mutants on both sides, that’s still a fight. This isn’t. We know the Purifiers might end up causing real damage, because that’s what hate does, but they can’t bring the Mutant Underground down. They won’t destroy all mutants.
This isn’t about the big picture, though, it’s about the idea that everyone matters. Every life matters. Every person the Purifiers attack, everyone they take prisoner, or kill, every innocent mutant who did nothing other than be born with the X-gene, deserves better. We don’t fight hate because hate has a realistic chance of overpowering everything we believe in, or at least, we don’t do it just because of that – we fight hate because we are better than it, and we fight hate because, above all things, we believe everyone is important.
We can compromise on many things, but we don’t compromise in that.
It seems easy to think, well, there are just two sides to this story, there’s the Purifiers, and then there’s the mutants. This season has been all about showing us it isn’t so, that the distinction of how and what you’re willing to do matters. But this season has also been, as we talked about in the intro, about shades of grey, and hopefully, it can still be about accepting your mistakes, about choosing family and love about all things.
Six episodes to go. Lorna and Andy have a choice. Is the future they so desperately want for all mutants worth it if they have to sacrifice everyone they care about to get it? Is Andy really like Rebecca, or is he just a lost boy who’s desperately trying to hang onto his last shreds of humanity in a world that has pushed him to grow up too fast? Can family, can love, save the day, in the end? What’s more important: The people you love or your ideals?
This episode gives us a straight answer, because, as I said before, this show doesn’t play with it’s themes. People are more important. People will always be. Andy and Lorna proved they know that too, even if they’re still hanging on to the idea that principles will win in the end. But the final battle is surely coming, and everyone will have to make a choice.
Bring it, The Gifted. We’re ready.
Things I think I think:
- The glimpse at good times with Marcos, Lorna and John is incredibly heartbreaking, all things considered.
- “You know I can hear your heartbeats get faster when you’re around each other, right?”
- Look, John, I’m not sure if you’re the best friend, or the worst.
- So, the whole purpose of that flashback was to hurt me, right?
- NO, Andy, when you try to KILL your sister, YOU HAVE TO GO THERE.
- “You want me to make you feel better about joining the Inner Circle?”
- Just say that with 1000% sarcasm, and you’ll be about halfway to how Lauren said it.
- One of the things this show still does very well is hit you with the family feels. It’s always been their strength.
- Marcos and Caitlin have always seen eye to eye, so it’s no surprising they do here.
- So cute, Andy looking at the TV and asking how they can lie like that while a FOX-news type host prattles on.
- That Marcos would be willing to take the chance that he’s walking into a trap for his friend says a lot.
- Also, I’m not exactly loving Clarice this season, but I appreciate how Marcos is not blaming her for having emotions.
- That jacket Marcos is wearing is hideous, okay? HIDEOUS.
- “John will never crack, he’s going to make the Purifiers kill him.”
- Ain’t that the truth.
- The only reason Purifiers plot is semi interesting is because they have John. SEMI interesting.
- Clarice and Lauren getting to bond is amazing.
- Principles aren’t worth more than people. That’s one hundred percent on point.
- Is Andy speaking common sense? What magic is this?
- “We love each other, we always will, but we will never agree on what we believe.”
- FAMILY REUNIONS GET ME TEARY-EYED, OKAY?
- I’m shocked John gave them the Inner Circle. I really am.
- But I guess something had to give.
- So, something’s gonna happen to Reed and that’s gonna make Andy come back?
- I have issues with how Andy and Lorna’s dedication to the Inner Circle has flip flopped at different times during the season, but I have no doubt the endgame here is for all to come together.
- This all goes back to John, he feels like he’s responsible for everything. What he doesn’t get is that HE is the only one who could bring everyone together. He doesn’t see it.
- Maybe now he will.
- CAN YOU ALL FIND A MIDDLE GROUND, PLEASE?
- “I like it. Looks badass.”
- AND CAN YOU TWO KISS?
- My babies, together again. Imma cry.
- John’s face when Jace tells him Marcos and Lorna are out there together. GAH.
- I’ve been done with you for a while Jace Turner, but I don’t think I hated you before.
- Just in case we needed a reminder that Andy isn’t doing that well.
- Well, at least now Reed and Catilin have seen it.
- “The only way we’re getting him back is if we destroy the Inner Circle.”
- You don’t kiss a man like that and pretend it means nothing, Lorna.
Agree? Disagree? Share with us in the comments below!