A pulse-pounding The Gifted

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The Gifted is quickly becoming the best major network Marvel TV series. The premiere efficiently set up the story and the characters, and the second episode quickly ramped up the action and the drama, while first taking back in time a year to an incident at a bowling alley. The Strucker family, including Reed’s mother (played by Sharon Gless), were enjoying a night out when another girl was being taunted for her mutant abilities (the girl seemed to be vibrating at a very high speed). When she lashed out and caused a tiny bit of damage, Reed told the father who he was, a mutant prosecutor, and that for the girl’s sake they should leave. An action that did not sit well with his own daughter.

Jumping to the present, we pick up where we left off with Reed left behind when Clarice (aka Blink) wasn’t able to hold the portal open long enough for him to join the others at the Mutant Underground headquarters, setting up all the drama for this episode which deftly cut back and forth between Reed being held by Sentinel Services, the headquarters and a harrowing trip to the hospital.

For Reed, being questioned by Jace Turner was no big deal. Being a prosecutor, he knew all of his rights, he knew they had no charges against him, and he knew unless he had a lawyer present anything they did have would not stick. But he may have overplayed his hand just a bit because he hadn’t been charged with anything yet, he was just detained for questioning. By asking for a lawyer, Turner decided it was time to throw some charges at him including terrorism. Reed knew still that there wasn’t much Sentinel Services could do but then they pulled in the bg guns … Reed’s mother who was forced to endure questioning about her past including participating in protests. Not wanting to put his mother, or the rest of his family, through any more distress, he agrees to make a deal with Turner — he takes the rap for everything and no one touches his wife, kids or mother. Turner agrees, but he wants Strucker to give up the Mutant Underground in exchange. Will he do it?

Meanwhile, back at the MU, Clarice’s system is going haywire after attempting to hold that portal open too long. Now she’s feverish and can’t control her powers, continually opening up a portal on a road somewhere. The first time it happens, a pickup truck nearly drives right into the building but the portal closes in time to cut off the back of the truck. But the next time it opens, there are more people gathering, and it gets to the point were a SWAT team is on the scene. If they can’t get Clarice settled down, everyone in the building is in grave danger. Luckily Lauren is able to close the portals with her shielding powers but she can’t keep that up forever.

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Kate Strucker tells Marcos (aka Eclipse) that she’s a nurse and can help but what Clarice needs is at the hospital. Naturally, a trip to the hospital with a malfunctioning mutant is not in the cards (having mutant abilities is the ultimate pre-existing condition Marcos tells Kate). To get into an over-crowded ER, Marcos unbandages the gunshot wound he received trying to help Lorna (Polaris) and that gets them admitted and attended to right away … even though his blood is sort of like white hot lava. The doctor sees Kate’s head injury from the pickup truck incident and assumes her “boyfriend” is abusing her. She assures him that is not the case and she manages to slip into some scrubs and steal the medicine she needs for Clarice. But the doc has already called the cops and the two have to make a hasty exit before they’re in custody too.

Unfortunately, Clarice has lost all control of her powers and Lauren isn’t able to close the portal so little brother Andy steps in and causes a ripple in the earth to toss everyone backwards giving them just enough time to get the portal closed. But more portals begin opening up all over the interior of the building and Thunderbird tells everyone to evacuate. Kate and Marcos get back to see all the mayhem at hand and Kate is able to administer the meds to get Clarice into stable condition. But one question that lingers with Thunderbird is why did she keep opening a portal to that one specific place? Clarice claims not to know but I think she’s not telling the truth.

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While all that was going on, we also spent a little time with Lorna in prison and it’s not going well. They’ve put a power-dampening collar on her that will zap her if she tries anything funny. She’s being taunted by the other inmates, and can’t even make friends with the one other mutant in the joint. Then she runs up against Scar, who tells Lorna she runs the joint and Lorna will do what she says. Not likely, so some of Scar’s girls begin punching Lorna and then Scar, who somehow knows Lorna is preggers, decides to kick her in the stomach to see how tough that little mutant baby is. Lorna is somehow able to override the zap collar and manages to throw a table at Scar. And she ends up in solitary for her troubles.

The episode ended with the introduction of Dr. Roderick Campbell (Garrett Dillahunt) who wanted to see any news articles in the database about sibling mutants. Finding one from the 1960s about an incident in Rio de Janeiro by twin mutants, he was very interested to speak with Sentinel Services. The character was actually not named on the episode of IMDB spoiled that and a quick Google search shows that Campbell has a history in the X-Men universe. How that comes into play here remains to be seen.

And lastly, what exactly is the “incident” of July 15th that took the life of Jace Turner’s young daughter?

It usually takes a new series at least three episodes to really find its footing, but it feels like everyone involved here really spent some time developing the characters and plotting out the story enough that by episode two we’re already in “must see” territory. The question is will they be able to keep it going for an entire season? Time will tell but for now, The Gifted is one new show this season worth spending your time on.

What did you think of this episode? Will Reed turn on the Mutant Underground? What is Clarice hiding? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

 

 

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