Episode five of The Gifted’s second season is aptly-named “afterMath.” The Mutant Underground struggles to handle the refugees from Lynwood Hospital. The Inner Circle works to rehabilitate Rebecca, the mutant they extracted from the same place. Meanwhile, Jace deals with the ramifications of joining a violent hate group.
While the title reflects the consequences of episode four, episode five has another theme: characters struggling with unfamiliar roles or ill-fitting positions.
This review contains a few minor spoilers.
1. Clarice is stuck between two worlds.
John and Caitlin return from Lynwood HospitalPrison with a large group of refugees. We never get a number, but it appears to be at least a dozen. When they discuss where they can keep the refugees safe, Clarice immediately things of Erg and the Morlocks.
Clarice has an emotional connection to the Morlocks. Erg is a charismatic and convincing orator, and he had an impact on her when they met, but there’s more to it than that. It’s evident that if she had found the literal underground before she fell into the Mutant Underground, Clarice would be a Morlock.
When Erg insists that Clarice help him steal some supplies, she falls back on quoting John to explains why it’s wrong. When Erg throws her weak objections back at her, she gives in immediately. Later, when he tells her for the third or fourth time that she belongs with the Morlocks, Clarice doesn’t have a lot to say.
Her inner conflict isn’t going away.
2. Andy doesn’t belong with the Inner Circle.
Andy thinks he believes in Reeva’s vision. He lacks the context and background to understand how her ideas could go wrong in just about every possible way. But he still doesn’t belong with the Inner Circle.
Injuring Lauren has Andy visibly shaken, but Lorna gives him the kind of anodyne pep talk Sgt. Rock does after a recruit shoots a Nazi. Her conversion is near complete, but Andy is still a Strucker.
It’s Andy, the fifteen-year-old boy, that’s the only compassionate person in the room when the Frost sisters and Lorna try to figure out how to help Rebecca. Mainly because he’s the only one who wants to help her. The four women only want to get her to destroy a safe. Even Lorna, who repeatedly points out that she experienced exactly what Rebecca did at Lynwood, displays no empathy for the young girl. She, as Andy points out, only sees her as a weapon.
He’s never going to fit in.
3. Rebecca doesn’t seem to belong in the outside world.
Rebecca was locked up in prison, drugged, and kept in isolation for about a year. She may have been let out of isolation so they could experiment on her, which is something. It’s a terrible, horrifying image and should be illegal if it isn’t already in the Giftedverse.
But it doesn’t mean that Rebecca didn’t need help before they took her. It’s not a given that she didn’t end up incarcerated because she hurt somebody. The kind interpretation of her behavior in the city with Andy is “free-spirited.” The not-so-nice version is “reckless and dangerous.”
Rebecca’s devil-may-care attitude is going to have consequences.
4. John is not a spectator.
John’s guilt over Atlanta and frustration over how the effort to free Andy and Lorna (even if that’s not how they see it) from the Inner Circle has been building since the start of season two. In “afterMath” he nearly explodes.
First, one of the patients he brought back from Lynwood may have information about the mutant the Inner Circle took from there. Unfortunately, he is unconscious and has a punctured lung. Oh yeah, and he bleeds acid so that no one can work on him. John takes things in hand, literally, and exposes himself to the acid so he can save the man. They don’t call him WolverThunderbird for nothing!
Then, he has to hide and watch the Purifiers storm the clinic. He immediately wants to stop the attackers and reveal his presence, despite Caitlin explain that if he does, everyone will discover that they weren’t killed in Atlanta. Only a calculated lie, perpetrated by the patient himself, keeps Thunderbird from ruining everything.Continued below
John is a man of action, and he may be too impulsive for everyone’s good.
5. Jace has bitten off more than he can chew.
So, what good comes of joining a violent hate group?
Yeah, that’s a trick question. It’s the same as joining as a non-violent hate group. No good comes of it, but you do get more violence.
Jace convinces the Purifiers not to go to a march and beat up protesters. So they beat up some nurses and a doctor instead! He’s both too smart and too obsessed at the same time.
Jace didn’t hit bottom when he lost his job and his wife. He’s too good for that. He’s still looking for the bottom, and he won’t stop until he finds the best one there is.
That’s it for “afterMath.” What did you think? Where do you think Reeva was this week? What’s next for the Inner Circle? Let us know in the comments!