Fox’s new series, The Gifted, gives us something we’ve seen before. A group of people being persecuted and discriminated because they have special abilities. The Gifted stems from the X-Men movies and moves the story to a time when mutants are not considered heroes.
In the movies, the government was looking for ways to regulate the mutants. In their minds they were keeping normal people safe. And in episode one or The Gifted, “eXposed,” it looks like they may have succeeded.
The season premiere begins with a chase. The cops are tracking a mutant girl in Atlanta. They almost have her trapped, but she opens a portal and escapes.
There are three other people looking for the same mutant. They don’t mention their names or abilities right away, but I’m going to tell you anyway. John Proudstar/Thunderbird (Blair Redford) tracks mutants and has super strength, Marcos Diaz/Eclipse (Sean Teale) manipulates light, and Lorna Dane/Polaris (Emma Dumont) can control magnetic fields. They are searching for Clarice Ferguson/Blink (Jamie Chung). Marcos and Lorna are obviously a couple as they flirt while on the mission.
John tracks Clarice to an office. Clarice throws a coffee pot at the three other mutants and says she won’t go back to the mutant detention center. Marcos and Lorna talk her down saying they are just like her. John warns them that the police are coming.
The cops show up and it’s too late for the four of them to escape. Lorna holds them off while the Clarice and John escape out the back door. Marcos emits light from his hands that blinds the cops and Lorna is able to run toward him.
They get to the back of the building and a cop shoots Marcos in the arm. Lorna gets angry and hits the cops with some kind of invisible force. Another cop shows up out of nowhere and uses a taser on Lorna. The police take Lorna into custody. Marcos yells for Lorna, but John puts him in the car and they leave.
The next day we meet the Struckers. Reed (Stephen Moyer) and Caitlin (Amy Acker) are meeting with the high school principal about their son Andy (Percy Haynes White). Andy is being bullied and the principal is not taking the situation seriously. Reed threatens to sue the school and the principal leaves for reinforcements. While he’s gone Reed gets called away to work. Reed is a district attorney who specializes in mutants.
At the Strucker house, Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind) prepares for a school dance. She joins her mother and brother Andy for dinner. Her brother mentions mutants and Lauren is offended by how he talks about them.
Lorna is being detained inside a Plexiglas-type cell. Her hands are tied together when Reed meets her. Lorna is charged with intent to kill a police officer. Reed says he will lessen the charge if she gives up the Mutant Underground network.
Lorna says if she wanted the cops dead, they’d be dead. She uses her powers to mess with the screws in Reed’s knee. Lorna refuses to give up the network. Reed shows her a file. He says she may want to rethink her decision. Lorna gets angry and she lashes out, destroying some of the glass in the cell.
Later that night, Lauren finds Andy in her car. He’s tired of staying home so Lauren lets him tag along. When they get to the dance, Lauren meets her boyfriend and Andy sits in the stands. He sees his bullies and walks away from the bleachers. The bullies find him and drag him to the locker room.
The bullies are upset that the school called their parents about bullying. They hold Andy down in the showers and spray him with cold water. The bigger guy turns off the cold water and turns on the hot.
Andy is screaming. His screams make the building shake. The walls start to shatter, the lights bulbs burst, pipes in the locker room bend and the ceiling starts to fall. The bullies are knocked back by some kind of blast coming from Andy. The dance clears out, but Lauren runs to find Andy. She uses her powers to shield herself from falling debris. She finds Andy in the shower and grabs him to calm him down. The siblings make it out of the building.
Clarice is examined by a young woman at the Mutant Underground HQ. The young woman tells Clarice that they will find her safe place. John patches up Marcos, but Marcos is ready to leave to find Lorna. John says they can ‘t take the risk right now and Marcos asks when. Marcos says they don’t know if the X-Men and the Brotherhood exist anymore. They are the only ones who can save Lorna. John says they will destroy everything that Lorna built if they move now.
The young woman bursts into the room and tells the two men to go with her. They go into a common area and the news on the television is about a high school destroyed by two teens. John uses the story as proof that they cannot make a move…it’s too dangerous.
Andy and Lauren go home and tell Caitlin about what happened. Both teens reveal to their mom that they are mutants. Caitlin asks why they didn’t tell her or their father. Lauren reminds her that their father puts mutants in jail. Caitlin assures them that Reed wouldn’t let that happen to them.
Cue the authorities. Agent Jace Turner (Coby Bell) and the Sentinel Services arrive at the Strucker home to “talk” to the teens about what happened at the school. Caitlin won’t let them in, so they force their way in.
Andy and Lauren defend their mother. The house starts shaking, courtesy of Andy. Lauren throws up a force field and they run to the garage. Someone starts shooting at them as they back out of the garage. Lauren throws up another force field and they are able to get away.
Caitlin calls Reed and fills him in on what’s happening. Reed is confused at first and thinks his kids were attacked by mutants at the school. Caitlin corrects him and tells him that their kids are the mutants.
Reed tries to assess the situation from a legal standpoint. Caitlin mentions that Sentinel Services are the ones looking for them. Reed becomes more concerned. He tells the family that they cannot go back. They have to get out of the country. He says the last time Sentinel Services got involved in his case, a mutant disappeared. He is not going to let that happen to his family.
Agent Turner shows up at Reed’s office. Reed’s colleague, Carla overhears Turner mention that they are looking for Reed’s kids. Reed calls Carla and asks him to get the files on the mutant underground. She is hesitant at first, but helps when he says he needs the files to help his kids.
Andy and Lauren talk about their abilities. Lauren has learned to control her powers to bring elements together. She asks Andy about his. Andy says he felt like he wanted to push back and that’s when it happened. Lauren wants to help Andy control his powers. They practice on a vending machine. Andy concentrates too hard and thinks about being bullied. He destroys the vending machine and the two run away.
At the Mutant Underground HQ, Clarice thanks Marcos for saving her. She says she knows they paid a price. She apologizes for getting Lorna caught. Clarice asks about the underground network. He tells her that the network formed after the anti-mutant laws went into effect and shortly after the X-Men disappeared. It’s a national network with cells in bigger cities. Lorna set up that cell. He was recruited by both Lorna and John.
Marcos is planning to break Lorna out of jail. He realizes that Clarice might be able to help. She tells him that she has to know where she’s going or it can get bad. Marcos’ phone rings, with an awesome original X-Men theme song ringtone! Reed Strucker is on the other end. He offers Marcos information about Lorna in exchange for helping his family get out of the country. He also tells Marcos that Lorna is pregnant.
The Struckers wake up and have to quickly leave their hotel room. Sentinel Services has sent out a probe to find them. They steal a truck to make their getaway. This is the first time that Reed sees Lauren use her abilities.
Marcos passes Stan Lee as he walks into a bar to meet Reed. The only thing Marcos wants to know is if Lorna and the baby are okay. He admits the child is his. Reed wants reassurance that Marcos will help him get his family to safety. Reed asks how much it will cost to get them across the border. Marcos says he doesn’t want money. He tells Reed he will get his family to safety. He wants Reed to help him get Lorna back.
Back at HQ, Clarice tells John about Marcos’ phone call and meeting with Reed. The two leave HQ to find Marcos. The Struckers meet Marcos. He tells them the details of what is going to happen and the Sentinel Services shows up. Reed tries to negotiate, but Agent Turner doesn’t want to listen.
John and Clarice arrive and give the others an escape route.
Turner releases the sentinels on the group. The sentinels are spider like, robots designed to track the mutant gene.
As the group runs away, Andy falls. John picks him up and a sentinel latches onto John’s leg. Marcos melts the sentinel allowing John to get away. The sentinel recovers and continues it’s pursuit. The sentinels back the group into a dead end. Lauren uses her ability to shield everyone, but she cannot hold them. John tells Clarice to open a portal. It’s the only way they can escape.
Clarice has a hard time opening the portal. Marcos keeps the sentinels back while the rest of the group jumps through the portal. Andy uses his powers to tear the sentinels apart and then jumps through. Reed is shot and falls back away from the portal. Clarice passes out and the portal closes, leaving Reed behind.
I really liked this premiere episode. The view jumps right into the story without a lot of background story. I’m sure we’ll get a full recap of what’s going on as the story unfolds.. I like that the writers take the viewers on the Strucker’s journey as if the view were one of the Struckers. A normal, average family thrown into a world of danger because they are different.
The writers do a good job of mentioning the time line in connection with the X-Men. And it is obvious from the beginning this will be a story about survival. The heroes are clearly defined and the story gives you enough reason to root for the mutants.
The Strucker kids stole the show. Viewers might be sympathetic towards Lauren and Andy because they are new to the mutant world. I’m interested to see how Andy develops. The writers made it a point to focus on the bullying issue. Andy has a destructive power. Will he use it for good? Or will he be one of those who turns against humanity after humanity turned against him?
I also liked that they had an established mutant underground network. If you’re going to piggyback off of X-Men, you have to have a system in place to help mutants. Otherwise, mutants have no hope.
I love the diverse cast! Blair Redford is Native American. His character is Native American. I’m Native American. I LOVE seeing Native Americans portrayed as something other than an historic people!
The show started off with a bang. The story moves at a steady pace and gave enough background to pull the audience in. I just hope Fox can keep the momentum.
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