What exactly are the Inner Circle’s plans? Where do the Stepford Cuckoos come from? Will Reed ever learn to control his deadly powers? The sixth entry in The Gifted’s season two gives us a peek at some answers to these questions. But like the best episodic fiction, it leaves many more unanswered.
This review has spoilers.
1. As we start to understand the Frost sisters they become both more sympathetic and more terrifying.
I’ve raved about how much I love the antagonists in The Gifted before, and here I go again. It’s always a good sign when you type out the word “villains,” stop, grab your thesaurus, and settle on “antagonists” as an alternative.
The opening scene with the 13-year-old Frost sisters already went a long way toward making it easier to empathize with them. Like many of the mutants in The Gifted, they were held as prisoners and experimented on. But there was a more, a great deal more, including the revelation that they’re clones, raised in a lab, and trained as weapons. Even though they escaped from their creators, they use their skills to get what they want.
Esme has repeatedly demonstrated more compassion than Sophie and Phoebe, but the loss of Celeste and Mindee looms large for her. We’ve seen her go to extraordinary lengths to protect her family, even if it means using her powers to control a friend and teammate.
2. Did Reeva finally make her first tactical error?
I thought Andy wasn’t long for the Inner Circle, but Lorna got a lot closer to the door than he ever did this week. She bristles at spending hours away from her daughter, training for a mission she knows nothing about. Lorna’s also not satisfied with being treated like a lackey. She confronts Reeva directly, confident that she can either take her on or that she’s too valuable to kill. It appears she was right about the latter.
Later, when she discovers that Esme was “in” Dawn’s head, she nearly kills her, and might have if Reeva hadn’t stepped in. It’s clear she’s not the team player that Reeva needs for her mission, so she tells the Frost sisters to “handle it,” clearly meaning that they should manipulate Lorna into being more compliant.
Did they? It’s not clear, at least to me, if they had to push Lorna or if Esme convinced her. If they did manipulate Lorna and she figures it out, it could turn out badly for the Inner Circle.
3. Andy gets through to his sister.
Andy and Lauren continue to share dreams, and they’ve gained enough control over them that they can debate the Inner Circle vs. the Underground. Lauren is troubled by the encounters and is finding some of Andy’s arguments convincing. When she confronts a doctor that used to work at Lynnwood, she chooses a show of force over negotiation.
It’s nice to see Lauren gain some agency. I’ve been disappointed that her primary role so far this season has been someone for Caitlin to worry about. Even if it’s only a brief diversion, I enjoyed seeing Lauren get some character development.
4. Easter Egg or portent of villains to come?
So the Inner Circle’s next target is Creed Financial. Comic fans know that the Creed family name is important in the X-Men universe. Graydon Creed is a powerful anti-Mutant agitator, and having him at the head of a powerful private company that’s experimented on mutants would be very much in character. He would also be a decent candidate for someone that secretly backs an organization called “The Purifiers.” Maybe that where “.50 cal guy” got his gun.
5. Speaking of the Purifiers, nice going Jace.
So Jace tries, again, to convince the Purifiers that violence is the wrong way to achieve their goals. Then he masterminds a plan to bomb a church so they can follow the refugees to the Underground’s secret headquarters. Then they can attack that location with gun and gas bombs.
Violence is not the answer. But carefully-controlled mayhem? That’s the ticket!
So, surprising precisely no one, this leads to the death of one of the mutants. A personal favorite of mine to boot, who had an excellent scene with Reed that foretold his demise with a bold 26-point blinking font. I was hoping Shatter would be at least a supporting character this season and, well, crap.Continued below
But, after watching an visit to a medical clinic to escalate into a doctor getting the stuffing kicked out of him, Jace decides that he can use the same men to attack a church without any casualties. The biggest surprise is that it worked.
That’s it for Jace Turner. He’s no antagonist. He’s a villain.
That’s it for “iMprint.” What do you think? Is there any hope for Jace? Will Lorna be the person that destroys the Inner Circle? Who is the Q.M, that Reeva had dinner plans with? Let us know in the comments!