By Christian Holub
December 04, 2018 at 09:00 PM EST
Annette Brown/FOX
S2 E9
  • TV Show

This week’s cold open flashback belongs to Rebecca. It’s a very tragic scene, as it only took place one year ago, and it begins with Rebecca eating a normal breakfast with her parents at their home in Fairfax, Virginia. Unfortunately for Rebecca, her parents are spooked by her powers (even when she uses them for something innocuous, like turning her blueberry pancakes inside-out) and call Sentinel Services on her. She’s handcuffed in her own kitchen, stuck with one of those power-restraining collars, and lugged off to an awful life in the mental facility we saw her escape from earlier in the series.

Flashback to the present day, where Rebecca’s still imprisoned against her will — this time, in a metal cylinder at Inner Circle headquarters. The device keeps her constantly moving in the darkness so that she can’t figure out how or where to use her powers. Andy is distressed by this situation, as we probably all are after watching that opening scene. Clearly, Reeva’s being draconian with her to get some small revenge for her dead lover, but is all the suffering really Rebecca’s fault when she’s been greeted with nothing but suspicion and imprisonment her whole life? I think I said this at the time, but now that “previously on” segments keep replaying the scene where she massacres the bankers, I can’t help but note that the blame for that should really fall squarely on the guy who screamed “you all deserve to be wiped off the face of the Earth.” If you say that to angry oppressed people with superpowers, you should absolutely expect them to turn your brain inside out. I don’t know what else to say about that.

The reason The Gifted is so compelling to watch, though, is because it refuses to let anything be simple. Disgusted with Reeva’s hypocrisy — decrying the humans for imprisoning Rebecca inhumanely and then turning around and doing it herself — Andy destroys Rebecca’s prison and frees her. He expects them to become young lovers on the run, but Rebecca has different ideas. Noting that Reeva already tracked her down once and would do so again, Rebecca heads up to the penthouse to kill the Inner Circle. Andy won’t let that happen though and knocks Rebecca out with his telekinesis before she can kill them. She’s thrown backward and ends up hitting a wall at just the right angle to break her neck (echoes of Gwen Stacy’s comic book death). Andy is, of course, distraught, but Reeva is relieved. He was forced to choose, and it turns out he loves the Inner Circle. He believes in their plan, and he just saved their lives.

NEXT: Attack on Regimen

Andy’s presence is felt even in scenes where he isn’t seen. Madeline Risman, for one, is very interested in him. The more she studies Lauren’s genes, the more she thinks it’s impossible to figure out exactly what’s going on with the Struckers without looking at Andy, too. According to her, Andy and Lauren apparently each have two X-genes (as did their Fenris predecessors) that activate in response to each other.

By the way, if you’re wondering how to feel about Dr. Risman after last week’s revelations, just know that Lauren is given a pamphlet about her X-gene research literally titled, “Final solutions together.” Although she wears a nicer facade than her Purifier brother, Risman is clearly just as much of a genocidal maniac. When Lauren and her parents break into her laboratory to destroy the blood samples and stop her from making an X-gene cure, Risman lets her nice-lady liberal exterior fall away. With her mask off, she venomously spews that God can’t possibly exist, because no god would curse families by giving them children like Lauren or Noah. That would be Noah, Risman’s loyal lab assistant who told Lauren where to find the samples and then told Risman, out of loyalty to how she had helped him manage her powers. This guy poured everything into his work, but after hearing his boss call him an abomination, Noah also takes his mask off. He rips out the implant keeping his powers in check and uses those powers to destroy all of Risman’s life’s work.

Three storylines climax simultaneously at the end of this fall finale, so let me backtrack real quick to explain the other one. Furious about his inability to stop the Inner Circle, John recruits Blink and Marcos to help him kidnap a security official for the tech company Regimen. Blink storms off after getting frustrated with John’s reckless attitude, but he was on to something: Regimen is the company that controls every single mutant-restraint collar. The Inner Circle is taking them in order to free mutant prisoners — one of those revelations that makes you question why exactly the Mutant Underground is bothering to do anything. These guys seem to have it in hand! All John and friends ever do is screw things up. For instance, the invisible mutant Fade bursts in to kill the Regimen guy, which summons a local Purifier citizen militia in the area. John holds them off long enough for Fade and Marcos to escape, but the end result is John gets personally captured by Jace Turner — only to learn intel that the Inner Circle is already putting into action.

And they do put it into action. A newly infuriated and impassioned Andy breaks into the Regimen headquarters along with the newly Magneto-ified Lorna, and together they destroy the company’s servers. We see a montage of mutant prisoners across the country taking off their now-useless collars, bursting the gates of their prisons, and telepathically setting guards on fire.

Pretty awesome way to end the first half of this season, if you ask me. I suspect things will only get crazier from here.

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