THE GIFTED “rX” Review
BY The Screen Spy Team
Published 4 years ago
The Gifted Episode “rX” Review
By Emma Crow
After last week’s extended trailer of an episode, it was exciting to think we might Iget more information on where this show is going narratively this season. This week we got that, sort of.
The Gifted episode 2, titled “rX,” begins with a happy family flashback from one year ago. The Strucker family, featuring random bonus grandma (don’t worry, she’ll become relevant later), is out, merrily bowling when a mutant incident occurs. Papa Strucker does his thing and handles the situation by convincing the young mutant girl and her father to leave. Lauren Strucker, who knows she is a mutant, is clearly distraught by her father’s treatment of the mutant girl.
This flashback hinted that we would start to delve into Mr. Strucker’s prejudices and the resulting strain with his kids, but once again, the Strucker patriarch’s character and storyline remains untapped.
Unexpectedly, it is Mama Strucker who really shines in this episode. She wasn’t given much to do in last week’s episode other than cry over her kids, but this week she gets to be a real life superhero, outshining (almost) all the mutants with their gifts. (I’ll get to that almost later.)
This week’s episode is all about Mutant healthcare, or rather, lack thereof. When Blink begins convulsing as a result of overextending her powers at the end of the last week’s installment, Mama Strucker (Caitlin), reveals she is a nurse. Blink’s convulsions, while life threatening, also lead to spontaneous portals beyond her control. These portals keep opening to the same road, compromising the Mutant Underground’s location and safety. Blink needs medicine, so Eclipse accompanies Caitlin to a local hospital to go undercover and steal what they need.
Lauren and her brother stay behind because Lauren’s shield ability can also be used to force the portals closed, but her strength has limits. Despite being the catalyst for everything last week, her brother is completely useless this episode.
Eclipse and Caitlin’s bonding hospital venture was a lot of fun and Caitlin had significant character growth. She and Eclipse connect as he enlightens her to the true plight of the mutants she has been willfully ignorant of. They pretend Eclipse is Caitlin’s boyfriend and use his bullet wound from last week’s episode to get them through the door. There’s an interesting moment where the doctor asks Caitlin if her “boyfriend” is abusing her because that’s often “how mutants are.” Caitlin is genuinely shocked and offended on Eclipse’s behalf that somebody would assume that his X-gene equates to domestic violence.
She then goes undercover as a nurse to steal the medicines and she and Eclipse barely escape the cops on their way out.
Finally, things get a tiny bit interesting during Papa Strucker’s ongoing interrogation/ battle of wills with the mutant task force officer. The officer mentions that his very young daughter died in “the July 15th incident” which apparently involved a “blast of energy” from a mutant, and explains his grudge against mutant kind in general. He also mentions the X-Men, so perhaps this incident is connected with the X-Men’s disappearance?
More interesting than the interrogation are Lorna’s attempts to stay strong in prison. She starts going by Polaris, and it’s unclear to me whether this is her real name or some kind of alias. Her hair is also apparently naturally green. Neat! It sucks to be a mutant even worse in prison. Mutant prisoners receive a literal shock collar that activates whenever they try to use their abilities.
Lorna is immediately targeted by the prison’s resident queen bully, who inexplicably knows Lorna is pregnant. How? Lorna stands up to her and is immediately beaten up by her posse and the queen bee threatens to kill her baby by kicking her in the stomach. Before she can do too much damage, in the best scene in this whole episode, Lorna overcomes her shock collar and uses her ability to smack the bully with a metal table. Heck yeah! Unfortunately, Lorna is rewarded for this act of self-defense by getting thrown into solitary without receiving medical attention.
Back at the Mutant Underground, Lauren inevitably tires out and can’t close Blink’s latest portal. John Proudstar is forced to fight some army dudes and its pretty cool. Unfortunately, Blink starts to really lose it with her portals and the entire building becomes unstable. It’s time for the mutants to hightail it out of there.
The grandma finally comes into play at the interrogation with Papa Strucker. That’s right, this officer uses Strucker’s own mother against him. That’s cold. Papa Strucker is not cowed, however. He uses his prosecutor powers to convince the officer to make a deal in which he gives himself up in exchange for his family’s freedom. The officer will only agree if Mr. Strucker gives him the Mutant Underground. Dun, dun, dun!
Finally Caitlin and Eclipse make it back to the underground as it is falling apart. Caitlin runs in like a badass with her bag of medicines and injects Blink with some stuff that cures her. Hooray! The portals are gone and the building is saved.
As Blink recovers, she and John have a moment that left us with questions. John tells her that she kept opening portals to the same road and wondered if that location had some significance to her. She denies remembering anything about her seizures and John immediately backs off. Is this location important? Also they may or may not have been having a romantic moment??
Then there is a super random scene at the end with a doctor we’ve never seen before going on about mutant siblings and wanting to connect the Strucker siblings to some incident that happened in Rio de Janeiro in the 70s?
Overall, we are slowly starting to get to know these characters better and it seems that the Struckers are going to become more intertwined with the Mutant Underground, but it’s still hard to say where the rest of the season is going. Reed Strucker’s storyline is particularly frustrating. Other than the tease last week that he would end up in prison with Lorna (which I am very excited about) his character trajectory remains murky.
The ladies really shone this week. Hopefully next week the men will start pulling their weight on this show.