The Gifted Tries on Medical Legal and Prison Drama Stories

first_imgStay on target After a solid, but predictable pilot episode, The Gifted returned this week with more of the same. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The first episode moved along at a quick, entertaining pace, and the same can be said for this one. The powers are still cool, and are used to decent dramatic effect in this episode. There are a couple well-executed character moments, particularly in the opening flashback, and the three separate storylines were given just enough time to get they’re point across. If this is what we can expect from the show going forward, it’ll be a fine little X-Men show. It might not be fantastic, but there are worse ways to spend a Monday night.The opening flashback scene is probably the best of the episode. It’s a little glimpse into what Lauren’s life was like before her family went on the run. It kind of makes me wish that’s what the show was about. There are all sorts of little things her character does that make this scene feel real. Like the fact that she uses her powers to cheat at bowling. Or when she becomes visibly worried when she sees a group of kids making fun of another mutant girl. Or her disappointment and fear when her dad refuses to stand up for the girl and her father. That’s the kind of family drama I was hoping for from this show.Instead, we have this on-the-run story where the parents are fully on Team Mutant as soon as their kids develop powers. Seeing someone suddenly care about an issue only when it affects them doesn’t exactly make us want to root for the character. Eclipse calls Kate out on that in this episode, but he lets her off the hook a little too easily. Sure, there were more pressing issues to deal with, and she had helped a lot, but it felt like the show just wanted to deal with that question and be done with it as fast as possible.Sean Teale and Amy Acker (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)The dialog isn’t any less clunky. I don’t ask for a lot of subtlety from my comic book superhero shows, but even Reed’s speech during the opening scene was pretty hammy. When we cut back to the immediate aftermath of last week’s cliffhanger, we get more exposition shouted between the characters. As Blink tries to catch her breath after jumping too far, she collapses on the ground. “I’m a nurse!” Kate Strucker yells, and I realize how completely the show failed to develop her character in the pilot. We literally knew nothing about her other than the fact that she’s a mother. As a result, a line inserted awkwardly in the middle of a scene is all the setup we get for what’s to follow. It’s still not enough to make her sudden switch to medical jargon any less jarring.Despite the awkward entry, the medical storyline is easily the best of the three. As Blink convulses, she keeps inadvertently opening up portals to the same stretch of road. The first time it happens, a truck almost drives through it and the closing portal slices the vehicle in half. Just like with the squad car in the pilot, that looks really cool. No matter how the rest of the series goes, I don’t think watching Blink slice cars in half will ever get old. Kate and Eclipse leave to steal medicin from a hospital, while Lauren closes Blink’s portals with her bubble shield. I will give the show this. The mutant powers look great, and it’s fun seeing the writers come up with different creative ways to use them. Each time Lauren closes a portal, it tires her out. As a result, each subsequent portal gets harder to close. With the police and SWAT team showing up, it leads to some tense and exciting moments. Like Thunderbird fighting a SWAT officer and kicking him back out of the portal. That was also pretty cool.Stephen Moyer and Coby Bell (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)We also got to see how mutants are treated in this world when Kate and Eclipse go to a hospital to nab some medicine for Blink. It handles the whole mutants-as-oppressed-people aspect of the story pretty well. Again, you can’t expect a whole lot of subtlety from a comic book superhero TV show, but there’s a little bit of nuance here. The doctor treats Eclipse’s bullet wound as he would any other patient’s, but then he pulls Kate aside, assuming she’s dating a mutant for the thrill, and assuming that Eclipse is abusing her. This is supposed to be her seeing the unfair treatment of mutants firsthand, and it’s probably what gets her on board with the Underground. Well, other than the fact that her children are mutants. It would mean a lot more if we had any idea who she was before this. Her character is still too thin for this to have a real impact.Her husband has kind of the same issue. We know a little bit more about him based on the flashback, but not much. He clearly has some sympathy for the plight of mutants, but not enough to do anything about it. His motivation is still protecting his family. I suppose we can’t expect much more. He spends the entire episode not answering a Sentinel agent’s questions, so it’s not like there’s a whole lot of character development that can come from him. Still, it makes his decision to turn on the Underground less of a shock and more of a, “yeah, we saw that coming.” On the bright side, it sets up an interesting conflict for later when he reunites with his family. For now, it’s not really doing much for us.Emma Dumont and guest star Anissa Matlock (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)The Polaris scenes in prison read like someone just watched a ton of Orange is the New Black and added mutants. While there’s not a lot of original ideas here, the scenes are well-directed, and I’m interested to see where her story goes. The color palate is oppressive and just realistic enough that it’s a surprise when Polaris uses her powers to fend off an attacker. Two episodes in, a pattern seems to be emerging for The Gifted. The writing is just alright, but the show has a great look to it. It’s stylishly directed with at least one exciting mutant-powered action scene per episode. What more do you want on a Monday night?Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. ‘The Gifted’ S2 Finale Recap: Death, Destruction & Hope for Season 3’The Gifted’ Season 2, Ep 5 Recap: The Reunion We’ve Waited For last_img

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