The Gifted Review: The Heroes Form An “eXit Strategy”

The Gifted

I have a concern with The GiftedMostly, I’m concerned that they will not be able to keep finding episode titles with the letter “X” in them. I mean, it’s working out pretty well so far, but what if it runs for six seasons (and a movie)? How impossible will that task eventually be? Will they start titling things “Xanadu” and “Xylophone” just to keep it up? Only time will tell. For now, though, I AM enjoying paying closer attention to the episode titles.

Other than that very small quibble, I don’t have a lot of complaints about The Gifted. So far, it has proved to have compelling characters, an interesting story, and episodes that are well structured and keep you guessing. As they continue to explore the characters they get more complex and relatable, and the urgency at which the entire show operates makes things move quickly.

So any complaint I could possibly have about a show four episodes in is tossed out the window. I have concerns that perhaps the high stakes nature of it might not be sustainable, but with mutants actively being hunted and most of the main characters being mutants, I’d say the stakes are pretty safely high at this point. I find each character compelling the more I get to know them, and the mutants are powerful enough to make the show fun to watch.

The direction they take with their human characters make things pretty interesting too. I’d like to see more of the Sentinel Services guy and what his motivation is. Reed Strucker’s priorities shifted as soon as it became personal for him, but Jace Turner so far seems to either be motivated mostly by work or has just not yet shown any internal conflict. Still, I find him compelling and the show would do well to explore his motivation. Reed Stucker’s arc is a little more obvious one, but I think I enjoy Kate’s arc the most. What I find compelling is that while doing her duty as a mother, she has become a member of this ragtag mutant team, but her power is that she’s a mother and little else. I’ve seen her display remarkable courage and defeat enemies with no special powers, and is only motivated by the safety of her family. Not even the X-Men had a completely non-mutant member, and for their first, Amy Acker is a revelation.

That’s shouldn’t discount the mutant actors, either. They’re all wonderful, but the standouts for me are Jamie Chung and Emma Dumont (Blink and Polaris). Dumont’s jaded yet extremely powerful Polaris is easily the most compelling mutant on the show because she has so many layers as a girlfriend, expectant mother, and powerful mutant team member. Then there’s Chung’s Blink, another powerful mutant who was forced into a sort of emotional attachment in the form of a dream. I don’t agree with how they went about altering her mind without consent, but admittedly the effects have been compelling to watch on screen.

Here are a few other thoughts:

  • I really enjoyed watching the Strucker kids use their mutant powers in tandem. It was really cool. It’s also interesting to me that their stage of adolescence seems to have an impact on how easily they control their powers. It’s easier for Lauren (farther along in her puberty) to control her powers than Andy, which is an interesting way to address that topic.
  • I go on a lot about the Strucker women and the wonderful actresses that play them, but I’m afraid Stephen Moyer isn’t getting enough credit and he’s really really good in this.

Now that Polaris and Reed have been jailbroken, what’s the next task? That’s probably the most interesting question the show faces. I think it would be a mistake to break the Struckers off from the Mutant Underground, but I’m open-minded!

What did you guys think? Did you enjoy the episode? Let us know in the comments!

The Gifted airs Mondays at 9/8c on FOX


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