The Gifted Season two has been a roller-coaster of emotions, and I’m not saying that entirely as a compliment. The show has delivered episodes that have had us at the edge of our seat, barely breathing, and it has also given us episodes that make us like things are just happening because we need to get them out of the way before the next exciting episode, and as such, it’s hard to predict what you’re going to get from each hour, and/or if the show is going to manage to touch you emotionally.
Put “teMpted” in the this episode wrecked me category. In fact, put it near the top.
With only three episodes left to go, it kinda had to be, but then again, the balance of this season hasn’t exactly been on point, so I still went into this hour cautious. But hey, after hitting me with metaphors all hour, finally making some sort of progress in Reed’s story-line and then, of course, that ending, I’m happy to say this was a great hour of television.
So, let’s examine the heavy handed messages this show has never been shy about sending, the Strucker family issues and why the only way through, for everyone, is to work together, as we review “teMpted”:
ARE WE BETTER OFF
Yes, I went political. Well, to be fair, The Gifted did it first, but then again, they always not so subtly do. That’s their vibe.
This week, though, in going political, the show managed to make the question facing all of our characters turn from Am I better off to Are we better off, as they finally took advantage of the ONE human character they have, and what it means for her to not just be human, but to be there, to be an ally. With three episodes to go, and the fate of the Mutant Underground, the Inner Circle and this nebulous idea of a place where mutants can live free in the balance, this was the perfect time to do it.
Ally-ship is a very important concept for this show, just as it’s a very important concept for the world we live in. As a minority, and yet, someone who could probably ‘pass as white’ and sometimes benefits from privilege, this is an evolving concept for me, as I try to find the best way for me to be proud of my heritage and also be conscious of the fact that many people have it worse than me, and that it is also my responsibility to not just recognize that, but amplify those voices.
Of course, The Gifted isn’t talking about race, and yet, the X-Men, mutants, have always been an easy metaphor to understand and apply to marginalized communities. And just like in the show, in real life, minorities cannot – not in the world we live in, not the way it’s set up – achieve their full potential without breaking the wheel, so to speak.
So for this show to take the time, today, to establish Caitlin as not just an ally, but the right kind of ally: one who doesn’t always understand, but who cares, who evolves and who looks at people and sees people, not differences, is not just uplifting, it’s necessary. And hey, the X-Men were never subtle either, and we loved them. So why not?
One of my biggest gripes about this season has been how slow they’ve taken Reed’s story-line, and though I still got my complaints in that regard, I’m glad we’re at least moving now.
For so long the show has painted Andy and Lauren as two sides of a coin, and they are, but the thing we cannot forget is that their heritage, their family history, whatever they are, comes from their dad. He’s part of this too, and he’s an integral part. Lauren is lost without Andy, and she feels like no one can understand her, but she’s wrong. Her dad can. He just has to allow himself to do it.
And, I think, sometime soon, he’s going to have to let those powers come out – as dangerous as that might be, because that might be the only thing that brings his kids back together. Andy is many things, but the kind of person willing to actually harm his family isn’t one of them, that’s already been proven, and Andy is also growing ansty and he misses his family, and did I mention the end of the season is coming so things have got to go to hell?
Polaris has already seen the light. It’s Andy’s turn, and if he’s going to do it, he needs his family. Not just his mother, who he’s never doubted, or the sister he has this super strong connection to, but the father who is, in many ways, afraid to look at Andy and see the worst of what he could be in his kid.
For now, it was Lauren’s turn, and Lauren who made Reed confront what he is, what he was and what he could be. They’re now in this journey together, as they should have been from the start, which I hope means we can finally blow the lid off this joint, so to speak.
I’m tired of waiting.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE
Hopefully to wherever Caitlin is so she can stitch you up, Marcos. Don’t go doing stupid shit like going to Lorna who can do a lot of stuff with her powers, but close a wound isn’t one of them. Be smart, for once.
Gah, he’s not going to be smart, is he? He’s all heart, after all.
But more than that (I refuse to even consider the possibility that Marcos won’t be okay), I have no idea. Lorna’s cover won’t hold, I know that. Andy won’t do well without Lorna and his family, I know that too. Jace Turner will be back to be a pain in the behind once again and make us forget there was a time where we thought he wasn’t that bad, that’s also a given. But what’s the endgame after that?
Who tells this story?
Only three more episodes. We’ll find out.
Things I think I think:
- I appreciate the background on Erg, I do, but what I almost appreciate more is HOW LITTLE SUBTLETY THIS SHOW HAS OMG.
- Clarice, don’t try to overcompensate. Just be you.
- John is entirely too pure for this world, I swear to God.
- At least they still trust Lorna. Though at this rate, who knows how long that’ll last.
- Oh, lovely, wipe out the entire government. Why make small plans?
- “No more plans involving stabbing yourself.”
- Okay, look, you know what this show has not given me in almost two seasons. ENOUGH MARCOS AND LORNA. I swear to God I’d watch a show about just the two of them.
- Erg is so scared he’s willing to let people die.
- So, just in case you were wondering, this is where the show is being obvious about there being no perfect “sides” or perfect choices and no black and white and all that shit.
- Which reminds me, no Jace this episode YAY.
- “If all you’ve got are speeches, then they’ve already won.”
- Point. Though, to be fair, words mean something. Words inspire people. The problem is, people also need like, plans.
- I have no idea what the plan is here, btw. No earthly clue.
- OF COURSE Clarice was gonna turn to Caitlin.
- Reed is as scared as Erg, and he’s failing Lauren by not trusting her with his own issues.
- Powers aren’t inherently evil. Differences don’t make people evil. People make choices. Period.
- “Everyone I know is a mutant, including my family, don’t tell me where I belong.”
- TELL HIM CAITLIN.
- Zombie Lauren is kinda hilarious.
- And the Frost sisters suck ass. Didn’t they consider this possibility?
- Also, Andy, dude, it’s about time you did something to redeem yourself because I really do not like you right now.
- Reed needs to get to the point where he accepts himself – and now it’s not just for his sake, but for his family.
- Lorna, your poker face kinda sucks.
- Marcos would do anything for you, Lorna.
- That can’t come as a shock to you.
- Lorna YOU’RE STRESSING ME OUT.
- Worried about Lorna is my new aesthetic.
- Marcos doesn’t deny it, because he can’t. Lorna will always have his heart.
- Caitlin is basically an honorary mutant now.
- Lauren made her choice, what about you Andy?
- OMFG Marcos.
- ARE YOU GOING TO END IT LIKE THAT?
- Just when we’ve got a two week break.
- Lorna is going to burn the world down.
The Gifted airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on FOX.