The Gifted recap: Mutant marriage counseling
We’re not even two weeks into 2019 and already it’s brought lots of changes to the struggle between the Mutant Underground, the Inner Circle, and the Purifiers. In case you missed last week’s New Year’s episode, it found the first two organizations teaming up to save John Proudstar from the latter. Well, Inner Circle leaders like Reevan and the Cuckoos didn’t help with that — only the organization’s former Mutant Underground members, Andy Strucker and Lorna Dane, put aside their differences to rescue the Mutant Underground leader. Although everyone acted like this temporary team-up didn’t change anything, it clearly did. Andy got a little sadistic while defending Lauren from a Purifier, which horrified their parents…and had a slightly different effect on Lauren herself. Lorna and Marcos couldn’t stand being around each other that long without sharing a kiss so passionate they’re starting to reevaluate things.
The toll of that episode may have fallen heaviest on Jace Turner, though. When we last saw him in 2018, Jace seemed to have finally regained control over his life. He was an effective and popular Purifier leader and had just captured his opposite number among the mutants. Jace interrogated John and protected him from trigger-happy Purifiers, hoping to finally get some answers out of him. Once the rescue party showed up, Jace lost his mind and unloaded a shotgun into John’s stomach as he sat tied to a chair. Jace was shuttled out of sight before any mutants actually showed up, which left his best buddy Ted to get flattened by Andy.
That takes us to this week’s episode, which opens with a flashback featuring Andreas Von Strucker visiting New Orleans in 1985 to get his music box fixed. After the man completes the procedure, complete with an unidentified “modification,” Von Strucker kills him for his trouble. Have you heard of sword canes? Well, Von Strucker’s cane could also shoot energy. How about that?
In the present day, Lauren is starting to spend a lot of time listening to the music box, and it’s starting to get to her. After watching Andy gleefully hurt one of the Purifiers, Reed and Caitlin are disturbed and determined to destroy the Inner Circle so that they can rescue their son. Lauren, though, is starting to get into a similar mindset as her brother. She’s also connecting with her grandparents. While sleeping one night, Lauren starts dreaming about the night Andrea Von Strucker died in her brother’s arms. In her nightmare thrashing, she accidentally cuts her dresser in half and pulls her light from the ceiling — but isn’t that Andy’s power, not hers?
It’s a dangerous time; following the mutant prison break, police are barging into any suspicious apartment to check for escaped mutants. Lauren’s fit draws suspicion, and the next day cops come through their door. Luckily, the Strucker family is able to outwit them thanks to a strategic use of Lauren’s power. Encouraged by her mother, Lauren uses her new telekinesis-inflected powers to disrupt a nearby streetlight, sending the police on a goose chase in a different direction.
NEXT: Aurora borealis reborn
While Lauren dritfts further from her parents, other relationships on this show are slowly starting to reconcile. Neither Lorna nor Marcos can get that kiss out of their heads, but things really kick into gear when Reeva recruits three newly freed mutant prisoners to help the Inner Circle’s cause. Once Lorna realizes that these people are infamous terrorists (whose powers work together in tandem to create devastating explosions), she brings her concerns to Reeva. What part of “utopia” involves “massacring innocent people?” Reeva responds that their job is to burn things down, and her job as “royalty” (the daughter of Magneto) is to build from the ashes. Funny enough, Jace is simultaneously getting a similar lecture about strategy from Benedict Ryan. Jace wants to use his new information to prove the mutants thought killed in Atlanta are still alive, but Ryan tells him the priority is winning the trust of the people.
To that end, Jace brings his traumatized buddy Ted to check out reports of runaway mutants in a shelter for homeless youth. They find two mutants, but they’re just kids. One of them, a black kid, calls out Jace for working with a hate group — “my granddaddy didn’t need a reason to run from the Klan, and neither did yours.” Damn! Just then, Ted (obviously traumatized from his encounter with Andy last week) shoots the other mutant kid without any provocation. Ryan spins this into propaganda, calling them brave soldiers who protected kids. The lie works so well that Jace’s ex-wife Paula calls him to commend him. I don’t know where Jace’s head is at after this roller coaster of episodes, and apparently, neither does he. Even though a reconciliation with Paula is all he’s wanted, he refuses to do it on a lie.
Lorna and Marcos’ reconciliation goes a little better. She comes to him asking for help thwarting whatever terror attack Reeva is plotting with the prisoners, and though he’s angry at her for their months of separation and lies, he can’t resist the chance to save lives. Although it takes him a while to forgive Lorna, their reunion is beautiful — their latest kiss reignites the old aurora borealis effect of their combined powers, which is still one of my favorite things on this show.
Now it feels like this season is really kicking into gear. With her head full of Von Strucker vibes, Lauren threatens their landlord never to call the cops again. Evangeline calls John and tells him that it’s finally time for a Mutant Underground mass meeting, to figure out how to fight back. Craziest of all, Lorna and Marcos spot a nighttime meeting between Reeva and Ryan. They’re supposed to be on opposite sides, but instead, they’re working together? I can’t wait to find out what’s going on here.