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01 ноября 2017, 15:54

The Gifted Takes a Break from the Action for some Medical Drama


Stay on target

After last week’s exciting superhero rescue mission, the show was going to have to slow down a little bit this week. When you end an episode by ripping pins out of a dude’s leg and using them to escape an armored truck, there’s really no way to follow that. The Gifted didn’t try. Instead, it used last night’s episode to establish a new status quo, as much as this show ever had one, and set a more manageable pace. Even with that in mind, it’s hard not to see this week’s entry as a bit of a letdown. This show has gotten us so used to insanely paced superhero action every week, it’s a little jarring to see an episode where not all that much happens.

The most interesting part of the story revolves around Eclipse and Polaris. They’ve spent pretty much the entire series apart, so it’s a relief that they’re so likable as a pair. Sean Teale and Emma Dumont have fantastic chemistry together, and their scenes contain some of the best writing we’ve seen from this show. It’s fun to watch them giggle over what to name their baby. It’s also fun to watch them use their powers in concert to destroy a Sentinel drone. That’s what makes The Gifted work so well as an X-Men show. It’s not afraid to show the mutants using their powers. The show clearly doesn’t have the budget of the X-Men movies, but uses its resources effectively. It’s confident in its special effects, and doesn’t shy away from showing them. These little, mostly inconsequential uses of mutant powers make these characters feel human, and give the world some legitimacy. Of course, people with superpowers would find random, novel uses for them. This episode especially was really good for those moments.

Guest star Jermaine Riversin (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)

It also pulled off its big power display well, too. After Polaris spent so much of this season captured by Sentinel Services, it was satisfying to watch her rip those guns out of the soldiers’ hands and send them flying off screen. The show is finally giving her things to do and it’s so cool. She and Eclipse capture Turner and bring and spend most of the episode debating about the ethics of interrogating him. They need to find out how the Sentinels turned Pulse. The debate over how to get the information out of him turns out to be the more interesting part of the episode. I like that it took the time to really dive into what Eclipse and Polaris are like together after spending so many episodes apart. It’s an effective way to show us that despite having similar attitudes toward how to go about running a mutant resistance, they disagree on just what methods are acceptable.

Sadly, the show missed an opportunity to teach us more about Turner. We already knew he lost a kid in a mutant-related incident. Now, we learn that it was a mutant rights protest that somehow turned violent. We don’t see what incited the violence, or even what mutant is powerful enough that a stray blast could destroy a park playground blocks away. More importantly, Turner doesn’t see what caused the violence. He immediately blamed all mutants. Sure, it fleshes out his backstory a little bit, but there’s really nothing in there we didn’t already know or couldn’t infer. Maybe this is setting up some big reveal for Turner to come later in the season, but for now it feels like stalling for time at best. At worst, it’s trying to make some kind of “both sides are bad” statement, which would be especially tone deaf for this show.

Jamie Chung and guest star Elena Satine (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)

The episode did redeem itself with its use of Dreamer though. It slowly built up Blink’s suspicions over the course of the hour, only to have them confirmed when Dreamer extracts memories of Pulse from Turner’s head. She’s understandably mad that she’s been given memories that aren’t real, and that dynamic will continue to provide great story fodder for future episodes. Even more heartbreaking was the effect Dreamer’s mind-dive had on Turner. Since the extraction was rushed due to the cops closing in, something went wrong. Dreamer erased the memory of his daughter dying, meaning he has to live through losing her all over again. It’s the best job this series has done of making us feel for Turner. For the first time, I’m interested to see where his story goes.

The Strucker family oddly had the least interesting story of the week. For them, the episode was all about them finding their place in the mutant underground. For Reed, that meant gaining the mutants’ trust after almost turning them over to the Sentinels. There are a few people that understandably don’t trust him after that. The way he earns his trust was way too predictable and not exciting enough to make up for it. He starts helping out by using his knowledge of how mutant task forces work to keep Thunderbird abreast of Sentinel movements. When they appear to be closing in, he volunteers to make an appearance further away to draw the cops off the trail. This isn’t nearly as tense as it should be. There’s a brief moment where you think his getaway driver will abandon him, but he just gets picked up at the next block instead. I get that he had to earn his trust back with the mutants, but they could have thought of a way that wasn’t so… boring.

Amy Acker and Natalie Alyn Lind (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)

Kate and the kids had a much more interesting story even though it kept them in the hideout the entire time. Kate uses her medical knowledge to tend to Trader, the mutant who got shot in the last episode. Her scenes turn into a surprisingly well-done medical drama. Seriously, if Marvel/Fox wanted to make an X-Men version of ER, I would totally watch that. As over-the-top as it got, with Kate using her own son as a human blood bag, they put together some real harrowing surgery scenes. Lauren using her shield to stop an arterial bleed was another example of the smaller, novel uses of mutant powers that make this such a great X-Men show.

I guess we can’t expect every episode of The Gifted to keep up the insane pace established by the first few episodes. Even so, it needs to find something to do with Turner and Reed. They are the least interesting characters on the show, and that doesn’t look like it’s going to be fixed anytime soon. Hey, maybe I’m wrong and the show will give us an episode that dives into either character. One that gives them a motivation beyond “family.” (Yes, family is an instantly relatable motivator, but it’s played out and tells us nothing about who a character is as a person.) I really hope so. The Gifted has too much going for it to spend time on boring characters.

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Source: https://www.geek.com/television/the-gifted-takes-a-break-from-the-action-for-some-medical-drama-1721212/?source