We’re back with the third episode of The Gifted’s second season. This time, the episode title nails it with “coMplications,” as a few plot threads finally came together and rather than resolving matters, raise the stakes higher and fix absolutely nothing. This review contains a few spoilers, so you might want to watch the show first if you haven’t already.
1. Reed’s secrets catch up with him, and everyone else at the same time.
Reed has been hiding the reemergence of his powers from everyone, including Caitlin and Lauren. This finally comes to a head when he nearly gets himself and his daughter killed. The scene is very well-choreographed and feels like sitting in a car as an accident unfolds, right up to and including the impact.
But the real pay off is that the lying and bickering finally have consequences. In just three episodes the arguments with Caitlin had become nigh intolerable, and it’s good to see that they were taking us somewhere. Reed’s recklessness has brought attention to the mutant underground, and nearly set up a reunion with Cory Booker’s Evil Twin.
But his attempts to conceal what’s happening to him also led to a critical scene with Lauren. After Reed is forced to come clean about what’s happening to him, Lauren shares a story about what happened to her in high school. She confesses to misleading him about an incident that occurred to her in high school. The scene is both a subtle nod to #MeToo and a gut punch to Reed when it reminds him of his past as a prosecutor that specialized in pursuing mutants.
2. Jace is back on the trail, for better or worse. Probably worse.
We first see Jace in front of a local police station, talking to his wife’s voicemail about how she won’t take his calls. This is all we need to tell us that he is still careening down the path of self-destruction. However, we at least hear that he has a new reason for throwing away his marriage and a new career: Marcos’ “light show” the previous night made the news and put Cory Booker’s Evil Twin back in the hunt.
This all leads to Jace coming with 30 feet of Lauren and recognizing her, so it’s only a question of whether or not he’s sleeping on the sofa or in a Red Roof Inn next episode. It’s also the first example of how Reed’s and Jace’s self-destructive tendencies have put them on a collision course.
3. The Morlocks are here!
We met the Morlocks, led by Erg rather than Callisto. I was hoping to see Callisto so it might assure me that the stain of X-Men: The Last Stand is gone from all of the franchise’s properties. That said, Erg is a compelling character, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of these Morlocks.
Erg refuses to speak to Thunderbird and insists on taking Blink aside to deal with her. We learn that this is because of her eyes and her ears: her appearance marks her as a mutant. She is one of them. “We who choose not to hide our nature.” They have a fascinating debate about the Morlocks’ and X-Men’s different goals. “The X-Men didn’t fight for freedom. They fought for tolerance. You know what people tolerate. The things they hate.” Erg says, in another subtle reference to today’s politics. It also puts Blink in the position of being an advocate for the Underground, a group she only reluctantly joined in the first place. Will her loyalties shift? Last season’s Blink seemed to be a better fit for the Morlocks than the Underground.
4. The Cuckoos are not all-powerful.
The Frost sisters have to push Marco to get his cooperation. Later, when he inevitably tries to convince Lorna to leave the inner circle, they try to control him, and he resists all three of them. We learn that it is possible to escape their influence, given sufficient motivation. While he is fighting them, he shouts to Lorna that they are controlling her too. Are they?
I can’t help but think this will become an essential question in the future.
5. Reeva kinda is all-powerful.
One of the frequents knocks on how Chris Claremont wrote Magneto in the X-Men comics is that he made him so over-powered that it was difficult to figure out what he could do or how he could be stopped. One of the frequent retorts was “Who cares? He made him a lot more interesting too.” (At least, that was my answer.)
This is where we seem to be with Reeva. She takes down Marcos with her sound attack and it not only stops him, but it also interferes with his structural integrity? (Or something?) We also see, for the second time, that while it seems to be a sound-based attack, she can direct it at a single person. The Frost sisters are standing next to her and are entirely unphased. What’s going on with that?
I don’t care. I believed Reeva when she said that killing Marcos now would be a bad move. She’s a planner and a tactician. I’m hoping that we get to see at least part of her “Mutant in the High Castle” vision come to fruition. She’s the best mutant villain we’ve seen in the best live-action mutant show or movie so far. Vive la révolution!
That’s it for “coMplications.” Jace is closing in. The Morlocks are reluctantly helping the Underground, for now. Reeva and the Frost sisters have their eye on the capital. What’s next? Let us know what you think in the comments.