The Gifted Review – The 3 Episode Test

Have you finished watching all of the Marvel series on Netflix? Don’t worry network television is here to save you with The Gifted on Fox. While some Marvel fanboys aren’t too keen on network stations getting a hold of their favorite franchises, it’s not time to run away screaming just yet. Find out if it passes our 3 episode test and whether or not you should give it the ol’ snikt!

the gifted x-men episode 1

The Gifted: Episode 1 – eXposed

Episode Recap:

In the pilot we’re introduced to a group of underground mutants in the middle of rescuing a mutant outlaw named Clarice Fong. Clarice is on the run from police after using her ability (teleportation portals) to escape prison.

During the rescue, Polaris, one of the underground mutants, is captured by DA, Reed Strucker. Reed seems to have a personal grudge against mutants and tries to coerce Polaris into selling out her friends.

After an ‘explosive’ high school dance we find out that both Strucker’s son and daughter are mutants. Strucker seemingly loves his children more than he hates mutants and turns to the very people he was chasing for help sheltering his family.

Episode Verdict:

  • I had a lot of fun with the first episode. The series has a lot of talent backing its production and it pays off.
    Series creator Matt Nix is no newb to TV. He has experience with a long running hit show (Burn Notice) so I have faith that the show can last at least a few seasons before going into a slump.
  • Bryan Singer (X-Men, Usual Suspects) is producing and even directed the pilot.
  • If the behind the scene talent wasn’t enough for you, the on-screen talent certainly will be. We have the wonderful Stephen Moyer (Bill Compton from True Blood) as DA Reed Strucker who plays the rigid authority figure that deeply cares about his family being supported by an excellent cast of mutants: Sean Teale as Eclipse (Skins), Natalie Alyn Lind as Lauren Strucker (Gotham, The Goldbergs), and Jamie Chung as Blink (The Hangover, Gotham).

the gifted x-men episode 2

The Gifted Episode 2 – rX

Episode Recap:

Blink, the teleporting mutant from the first episode, is going in and out a consciousness after overusing her teleporting powers evading the police in the last episode. This causes her powers to go out of control and she begins opening up random portals which of course alerts the police.

While half the gang looks for medicine to help her, the other half are busy protecting the mutant underground from the trouble on the other side of the portal.

Episode Verdict:

  • First off this episode is carried by the performance of Natalie Alyn Lind who plays Lauren Strucker. She obviously is the backbone of her family: she’s saved her family from a horrible car crash, calms down her little brother when he rages, and is responsible for using her “shielding” ability to close the portals.
  • This episode is really setting the stage for what this show will be. It is a teen drama surrounding a bunch of young adults with mutant abilities. Think X-Men first class without all of the A-List X-Men. Does it work? Heck yeah!

the gifted x-men episode 3

The Gifted Episode 3 – eXodus

Episode Recap:

Agent Reed begins working with Sentinel Services to capture the mutant underground in exchange for the safety of his family, but bails after meeting a young mutant and her mother.

Reed’s wife Caitlin and the kids leave the mutant underground to ask for help from a family member with political connections. This of course goes wrong and forces the members of the mutant underground to swoop in and save the family once again.

We also get to see Polaris use her powers (magnetism) to try and escape her prison cell.

Episode Verdict:

  • This episode is the weakest of the 3.
  • Caitlin’s plan was dumb and put her family at risk, no one in real life would do what she did. As an audience member we knew that her brother-in-law didn’t have the authority to make any real change to mutant legislature and especially not quickly enough for it to help them out. It was unbelieveable and was pretty much a waste of an episode.
    We get our first bit of backstory on Dreamer, Polaris, and Thunderbird. Can’t wait for more!

Final Verdict

Two out of the three episodes were very good. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that the last episode was an outlier and will not be norm for the series. The Gifted is not mind-blowing, must-see TV. But who was expecting that? No one.

The Gifted is a teen drama that just so happens to take place in the X-Men universe. Sometimes I think we forget that comic books are for teenagers! We can gritty them up all we want to make ourselves feel less childish when we watch them, but the whole superhero concept is built from childhood fantasies. What teen doesn’t want to imagine a life where they are more than just an average teenager?

Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of shows like Riverdale or The 100 then The Gifted will be your new favorite show. If you’re too “adult” for those shows, then move along. We’ll be having fun here without you.

Listen to episode 8 of the Scene Invaders Podcast where we discuss The Gifted.

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