The Gifted Review by John Keegan

The Gifted 1.02: rX

The Gifted 1.02: rX

Written By:
Matt Nix
Directed By:
Len Wiseman

Matt Nix continues to bring a smart sensibility to The Gifted, making sure that the familiar aspects of the X-Universe remain part of the background, focusing instead on the specific and more intimate ordeals of the Struckers and the Mutant Underground.  Not only that, but the serialized format allows the pacing and intensity of the premiere to carry forward with relative ease.

 


 

The cold open is actually quite revealing, as the parental Struckers end up telling a mutant and her father to go find a place to hide before the authorities arrive, while unaware that Lauren herself is using her abilities sneakily in their very presence.  Without needing to resort to long stretches of flashbacks (a narrative device that has all but been played out through poor overuse), it establishes the kind of societal tension that has led to their current crisis.

 

The immediate issue for those on the run is Blink and her injured state, which is opening portals without much warning, essentially giving the authorities regular access to their hiding spot.  It allows for some of the best moments of the episode, as it keeps everyone on their toes and the FX crew working overtime.  It also allows the audience to get a sense of Lauren’s abilities and limitations.  It’s far more interesting to get that information in crisis than through exposition, after all!

 


 

The series premiere didn’t give us a very good look at Caitlin Strucker, so I’m glad that there was a bit more attention spent on her character this time around.  That said, it seemed like her understanding of the world they were living in was limited at best, which doesn’t speak too well for her.  While there is a difference between

The series premiere didn’t give us a very good look at Caitlin Strucker, so I’m glad that there was a bit more attention spent on her character this time around.  That said, it seemed like her understanding of the world they were living in was limited at best, which doesn’t speak too well for her.  While there is a difference between hearing or knowing that massive civil rights violations are taking place and actually seeing them happen in front of your face, Caitlin just seems consciously ignorant.

 

Meanwhile, there is Polaris and her experience in prison.  I’m curious what some viewers will think of the “bad girls in prison” vibe that is all over these scenes; certainly there are some sexual undertones to everything.  Lorna is gorgeous, to be sure, but one wonders if these scenes are intentionally playing with audience mentalities.  Are the writers and producers commenting on some societal issues while indulging in others?  Perhaps only time will tell, though director Len Wiseman is best known for a franchise where the female lead’s sexuality and badassery are selling points.

 


 

Probably the least effective is Reed’s subplot.  Beside messing about with legalities that are handled with typical television hand-waving at how things actually work, there is also something about Reed himself that doesn’t quite add up.  The cold open made it clear he understands how things are, and his role in it, so his motivations (beyond protecting his family) are a bit unclear.  But given that this is only the second episode, there is time to clarify his true nature.

 




Our Grade:
B+
The Good:
  • The action and visuals are incredibly slick and worthy of the X-franchise
The Bad:
  • Is Caitlin really as ignorant as she seems to be?

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

The Gifted by - 10/12/2017 11:58 AM28 views

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