The Gifted recap: 'outfoX'
The Strucker twins learn more about their combined powers, just in time for a break-in attempt
Well that certainly didn’t go according to plan, did it? On this week’s The Gifted, our mutants got a little too desperate and a little too high on their own supply, and several of them paid the price.
The Struckers, of course, are still reeling from the blockbuster revelations of their now deceased patriarch, Otto. Reed can’t believe that he was a mutant, and then he was cured, and that his father kept it all secret. Obviously that’d be a lot for anyone to take in. Caitlin, however, is determined to make sure this same pain never happens to their family like it did to Reed and his parents. She declares “no more secrets,” and insists that Reed tell Andy and Lauren the truth about their Fenris great-grandparents: that they were not just inconceivably powerful, but also terrorists who sowed destruction and death across the world (apparently they were associated with the Hellfire Club, which is a fun little continuity reference for all you X-Men fans out there).
That Andy and Lauren might gain extra power by holding hands is not exactly news to them. At a picnic months before this all started blowing up, Andy and Lauren ended up accidentally holding hands after an attempted skateboarding lesson went sideways. They suddenly started glowing and even started to perceive the world around them differently. This happened even before Andy knew he was a mutant, and he credits it with influencing his behavior ever since: He just wanted to recapture that feeling again.
Now it’s here. In order to get a sense of what’s going on, Andy and Lauren practice holding hands, under their parents’ supervision in the Mutant Underground base. At first nothing happens, but soon the two siblings start glowing. Everything around them does too; to hear them tell it, they can feel everything around them, and they know all they have to do is push. Luckily Reed pulls them apart, because if they’d gone on like that any longer they might’ve brought the whole building down on top of everyone. It’s a truly dangerous power they’ve got there. If only they had some use for it!
Esme certainly has an idea. Having seen inside the mind of the Sentinels’ “Hounds,” the blond telepath is now desperate to break into the Trask lab to free her other family members trapped inside (other family members…does that include sisters? Are we going to get more Stepford Cuckoos in this show?). Polaris warns Esme not to go barking orders when she’s still a newbie, but her emotional appeal has an effect on John. He just watched his best friend Pulse die, having first been turned into a monster because John left him for dead. He’s determined not to let that happen to anyone else. So even though the mutants are desperate, barely informed, and outgunned, he decides to greenlight a break-in of the Trask lab. Here we go. (Recap continues on page 2)
Dr. Roderick Campbell, you’ll be happy to know, is screaming painfully in a hospital bed, his face swathed in bandages after his run-in with the nuclear-powered Otto Strucker. Jace Turner, however, is more than happy to clean up his mess. Although other Sentinel officials are skeptical, Jace is convinced that the mutants are going to try attacking Trask, and he wants the Sentinels to be fully prepared when they do so. On a phone call with his wife, our Evil Cory Booker once again brings up his dead daughter as a justification for his police-state authoritarianism. I’m sure one of these days we’ll get a closer look at what actually happened on July 15th, but I’d bet money Grace was actually killed by cops or Sentinels in the crossfire, not mutants.
Unaware that the Sentinels are ready for them, the mutants move in on the Trask lab. Reed and Caitlin stay in the truck watching security camera feeds (they insisted on coming with since Andy and Lauren are there, but being powerless, they won’t be much help in the field). John, Esme, Polaris, and Eclipse stake out a position outside the fence, while Blink teleports herself, Dreamer, Andy, and Lauren inside the facility to see what’s what.
At first things seem to be going well; Dreamer is even able to convince a guard to throw his gun and radio in the trash rather than impede them. But then Caitlin sees a Sentinel spider-robot moving in, and this one has learned its lessons; it’s too fast for Andy to destroy it with telekinesis. As the robot grabs Blink, Dreamer and the kids try to make a run for it, but soon they’re grabbed too. Trapped on a basement level, Andy and Lauren decide to use their combined powers to fight their way out. They clasp hands, start feeling the glow…and then give up, once Andy realizes they’d just kill everyone in the building, friend and foe alike. So Jace and his goons run in, collar them, and arrest them, even as Caitlin screams helplessly in the van. They and the other mutants get away, though John has to carry Esme over his shoulder in order to take her out of there.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that the mutants have suffered one of their worst defeats yet. Their most powerful trump cards (not just Andy and Lauren, but the incredibly useful Blink and Dreamer as well) are now in the hands of the enemy.
Coolest power use: Since Andy and Lauren didn’t actually do anything with their powers, I’m giving this week’s award to Esme. Using her telepathy to get inside Polaris’ head and watch the first scene of the pilot was pretty fun — especially useful for any viewers who haven’t been following since the beginning!
Dumbest Reed move: There wasn’t really one this time. Go, Reed!
Most impossible choice: Obviously this one goes to Lauren and Andy at the end there. I understand why they passed up using their powers, but these mutants are just going to keep getting their butts handed to them if they aren’t willing to kill some Sentinels every once in awhile. First of all, they’re evil fascists (especially Jace — the vague nods at him being slightly uncomfortable with his job have left me cold). Second of all, they already hate you! There’s little to lose, especially since the Sentinel camp is already treating this like a war. If one side in a war isn’t fighting to win, they’re going to lose.