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THE GIFTED “eXit Strategy” Review

By on October 24, 2017


L-R: Emma Dumont and Stephen Moyer in “eXit strategy.” Co. Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX


The Gifted Episode 4 “eXit strategy” Review


By Emma Crow


This week’s installment is titled “eXit strategy” for obvious reasons. The entire episode centers on the planning and execution of the mission to rescue Reed Strucker and Lorna aka Polaris from prison.

But first, we get a flashback that seems to foretell doom for our squad’s present endeavor. The flashback takes place 2 years ago and features John Proudstar aka Thunderbird, Marcos aka Eclipse, and friends attempting a rescue mission at a Mutant Relocation facility. One of these friends is Gus, played by Zach Roerig who you might recognize as Matt from The Vampire Diaries. He gets shot and left for dead as their rescue mission falls apart.

We can see why the rest of the Mutant Underground wouldn’t be eager to attempt such a mission again. Caitlin Strucker is not one to give up; she comes up with a plan to attempt the rescue during the prison transfer as opposed to trying to attack Sentinel Headquarters head on. It’s a good plan, but they need more intel. Luckily, Marcos just so happens to have ties with the Cartel who have that kind of intel.

Meanwhile, Lorna and Reed are locked up side by side while they await transfer. Reed immediately wants to form an alliance. He opens up to her about his kids being mutants, apologizes, and whatever, but Lorna isn’t buying it. I’m paraphrasing, but she basically points out that it took Reed having mutant kids for him to suddenly grow a conscience. What about all the others he has hurt? His apology, in Lorna’s eyes, just isn’t good enough. It was so good and so perfect. Finally, this show is addressing Reed Strucker’s flaws and prejudices in a meaningful way.

Finally, we get some development on my favorite love triangle. John wants Dreamer to tell Blink what she did to her because messing with someone’s mind without their permission is very wrong. However, Dreamer is afraid Blink will leave, and they need her portal power for the rescue. John seems to see her point. (He doesn’t want her to leave!!) But he should definitely tell her the truth.

Marcos arrives at the Cartel home base, which is, of course, a club. Marcos’ ties to the Cartel turn out to be a past relationship with the Cartel leader’s daughter, Carmen, who he dumped for Lorna. And guess who has now taken her father’s place as leader of the Cartel? That’s right, Marcos has to deal with his ex in order to save his baby mama. Eventually, Carmen offers him a deal. She will get Marcos the information he needs in exchange for the use of his gifts for torture. Despite his morals, he gives in and tortures a man who has stolen from the Cartel. Marcos returns to the Mutant Underground distraught, but refuses to open up to John.

They have the intel, but they still need a way to stop the van so that Blink can portal Lorna and Reed out. Lauren Strucker comes up with a way to combine her powers with her brother’s in order to explode the wheel of the van, thus stopping it without harming anyone inside.

Everyone gets into place. John goes with Blink to help her with her portal. Cue a moment! Blink confesses that she hasn’t been sleeping. (We know it’s because she can’t stop dreaming about the saucy memory Dreamer implanted.) She asks John if that really happened, in a very coy sort of way. He tells her gently, that no, it didn’t really happen. Now would be a perfect moment to tell her the truth! You know he wants to, but he can’t jeopardize the mission.

Finally, it’s go time. But of course, everything goes immediately wrong. Baby brother Strucker gets cold feet. Lauren has to bully him into using his powers and eventually they succeed in blowing up the wheel of the van, but much later than planned. The van is far out of position. Everyone is scrambling. This is when the episode gets really, really exciting.

To make matters worse, everyone loses their mutant abilities. Turns out, the culprit is John’s old buddy Gus, from the flashback, aka Pulse. He has the ability to suppress mutant powers, and he’s apparently working for the other side. John is determined to confront his friend and charges into the fray; it is super badass. Pulse doesn’t seem to be in control, and John is forced to knock him out in order to shut off his ability.

Meanwhile, Caitlin gets her kids out (they’ve done enough damage for one episode), Blink portals Dreamer and another mutant to safety, and Lorna and Reed come to a precarious truce in order to fight their way out of the van with no success. Then Lorna feels her powers return after Pulse is disabled. The problem is there isn’t anything metal for her to weaponize. But don’t worry, Reed Strucker offers her THE METAL SCREW IN HIS KNEE. Lorna uses the screw to free them from their confines and escape. Lorna really shines in this moment. Free from restraint, she fires the officers’ bullets back at them and unleashes hell, while John and Marcos admire from afar.

It’s refreshing to see a dark, gritty show like this give us such a positive outcome. However, how far that high note reaches may very much depend on how well  Lorna and Reed interact with the gang moving forward.

Next week promises some background on the “Incident” we keep hearing about and possibly the whereabouts of the X-Men? 

The Gifted continues Mondays at 9 pm on FOX.

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