The Gifted recap: A mutant meet-cute
Blink turns to the Morlocks for help with the rescued asylum patients, while Andy makes a new friend
After a break last week, we are back in action with the Mutant Underground — which is kind of funny, since this episode picks up immediately where the last one left off. It’s even called “afterMath.” The mutants managed to rescue a bunch of asylum patients and bring them to a mutant-friendly clinic, but of course, all Caitlin can think about is the fact that they didn’t bring back Andy. She whines and whines about it until John finally has to put his foot down and remind her that they did the best they could.
Thankfully, Lauren’s alive. She wakes up from her head injury but needs some time to rest. So Caitlin sends her off with Reed while she and John help take care of the patients at the clinic. Health care is hard enough when you don’t have to worry about mutant biology, but one of the patients literally has acidic skin. Neither Caitlin nor the doctor can get close enough to him to inject a needle of badly-needed medicine, but John has had enough of losing. He puts the needle in himself, and even though it burns him (not as bad as it would have hurt the others), it obviously feels good for him to help accomplish something. There’s an added benefit: Once the dude’s system is stabilized, he gives them the name of the patient the Hellfire Club took: Rebecca.
Soon enough, we get to meet Rebecca for ourselves. So far, she’s not meeting the Inner Circle’s expectations. She just lays on her bed, staring at the wall, refusing to say a single word to anyone. When the Cuckoos try looking into her mind, they see only torture and pain. They can’t figure out what’s wrong with her, but they know they need her for the next stage of Reeva’s plan. That’s when Andy comes up with a crazy idea: Why don’t we just treat her like a person instead of a thing? Sure enough, when he tries talking to her, he gets her to open up a little. Since she’s been locked up for over a year, he offers to take her outside. She really loves that idea.
Caitlin might be proud of her boy if she could see him now, but she also has other concerns: Namely, that the Purifiers are raiding the clinic under Jace’s leadership. These clear fascist analogs were ready to go full Charlottesville against this new, Inner Circle-inspired mutant uprising (they even wanted to say the same phrase as America’s neo-Nazi marchers: “They will not replace us”) until Jace suggested a different idea: Help round up the escaped mutant patients, and thereby prove that the Purifiers are here to help.
NEXT: Who are we rooting for, again?
I like this episode more than its predecessors this season because the Purifiers make for better villains than the Inner Circle. Talking to one of the new mutant escapees, Marcos tries to compare the Inner Circle’s utopian vision to Hitler’s “big ideas” (uh, harsh) and even seems to be ready to move on from Lorna, if not his baby. But if you side with the mutants on this show, then it’s hard not to sympathize with the Inner Circle’s aims, even if you quibble with their methods.
The Purifiers, on the other hand, are pure evil. Here, they storm a hospital clinic, acting like big tough guys even though they’re literally just beating up doctors and nurses. John and Caitlin watch from a security room, but they can’t help lest they reveal their survival to Jace. Luckily, Jace makes the Purifiers leave before they go so far as to kill the doctor, but they nevertheless manage to grab some important medical records.
This episode also gives us a closer look at Morlock culture. Blink and Marcos take their rescued asylum patients down to the Morlock tunnels for safekeeping, but Erg has a few demands. First, he makes Blink portal him into a warehouse so they can grab some supplies. Blink takes issue with the stealing, but obviously, Erg is in the right here, considering she just brought him a whole lot more mouths to feed. His next demand is a little harsher: The mutants who want to join the Morlocks need to accept the ‘M’ brand on their face. Marcos is taken aback by this, but the patients themselves agree to the demand in exchange for a safe home. Erg also appeals to Blink to strengthen their friendship, since she is most certainly a visible mutant. This conversation may or may not be the first time she’s ever been described as “Blink” on this show — if so, forgive me if I confused you by calling her that this whole time!
Andy and Rebecca’s outing eventually turns into a date. She reveals her power. It’s strange and hard to describe but basically amounts to turning things inside-out. She proves it first with a drinking cup, then with writing on a mirror, then with a cop car. Andy agrees to demonstrate his own powers in exchange and tears the cop car apart. By the time they get back to base, they’re on good enough terms that they even kiss. This all has a great effect on Rebecca: She starts excelling in her Danger Room training, and even Lorna and the Cuckoos have to admit Andy has the right idea. I’m telling you, it just gets harder and harder to root against the Hellfire Club here…