Last season...In the very near future both the X-Men and the Brotherhood are gone. Sentinel Services has taken advantage of the anti-mutant hysteria and hunts and imprisons mutants even as they seek a more "permanent" solution. Mutants have been driven to underground networks. Andy and Lauren Strucker have just manifested their abilities. Their parents Reed and Caitlin have taken them on the run and joined the Mutant Underground where they work with Thunderbird, Polaris, and Eclipse to stay one step ahead of Sentinel Services.
Now, after a set of identical looking triplets known as the Frost Sisters shows up and have sown discord among the others with their more aggressive approach, the Mutant Underground is divided. When their base of operations is destroyed in a battle with Sentinel Services Polaris, Andy, Sage and some other mutants leave with the Frost Sisters intent on rebuilding The Hellfire Club.
Season 2 opens six months later. Eclipse is desperate to find his pregnant girlfriend Polaris as is Caitlin to find her son, Andy. In what Marvel often called “ripped from today’s screaming headlines” Sentinel Services raids an apartment building full of mutants. With the help of Lauren and Blink, several mutants escape including Cristina, a Hispanic mutant who gets separated from her sister after Sentinel Services agents kill their parents. It’s like watching an ICE raid. This is what the mutants do best…serving up a metaphor for all the persecuted segments of society…people who have been deemed “not equal” due to an accident of birth that made them different from what another group of people has decided is “the norm”.
Meanwhile, after the Frost sisters and a woman named Reeva stage a coup on the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle, they procure a sturdy building to serve as a maternity ward for Polaris whose intermittent contractions are causing magnetic havoc on her surroundings. Eclipse and Caitlin engage the help of a mutant named Wire to try and find the Hellfire Club’s location. Polaris bonds with Andy and asks him to protect her baby from the others when it arrives in case she is unable. As Polaris goes into labor, her powers begin affecting the city seemingly reaching out to the baby daddy, Eclipse.
The Gifted turned out to be a surprise hit in my eyes last season. The show finds a way to fit into the highly convoluted X-Men movie franchise in spite of not having any of the major characters such as Prof X, Magneto or Wolverine. Of course none of it matches up with the comics it's based on but at this point I've come to just take that as a given. What The Gifted does manage is to give us names! Absent from almost all of Marvel's other television shows, we get to hear the characters called "Polaris", "Thunderbird", "Sage" etc on a regular basis. We also get to see them use their super powers frequently. Now, if we could just get those costumes....
What I was less impressed with was how droll the Hellfire Club was. But I am hopeful that we may yet get to see the Hellions at some point this season. The weakest part of The Gifted is Jace who heads up Sentinel Services in pursuit of the mutant "menace". He's a field grunt motivated by the loss of his daughter which fuels his hatred of all mutants. He's not really a villain or even a bad guy. But he just doesn't have the threatening presence the show needs in this character. It's hard to find someone threatening when you're busy feeling sorry for him. Plus the character is so bland. Is it the writing? The actor? Both? I think they need an actual evil mutant who has slyly infiltrated Trask Industries and the Sentinel Services for his own diabolical agenda. The in-fighting and the division within the Mutant Underground is a trope we've seen so many times. Unfortunately. "division" seems to be the theme this season as conveyed by the advertising.
The Gifted “What Side Are You On?”
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Acting - 9/109/10
- Music - 7/107/10
- Production - 9/109/10
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