A review of “The Gifted” episode 3: “eXodus.”
Now, the die-hard X-Men fans out there saw the title of this episode and thought, “What?! This episode features Bennet du Paris?! How does his costume look?! And how many hair braids does he have?!”
Spoiler alert (not really), “eXodus” has nothing to do with Magneto’s buddy Exodus. But, it does feature another villain from the comics–but more on that later!
So, three episodes into Fox’s X-Men live-action series and where are we? Well, the Strucker family has received a brutal crash course in human-mutant relations after the revelation that children Lauren and Andy carry the X-gene. Their father Reed has been captured by Sentinel Services, a shady, anti-mutant government agency, and their mother Caitlin is in hiding with the Mutant Underground, a group dedicated to protecting their brothers and sisters and determined to free Polaris from prison.
You still with me? It’s OK if you’re a bit lost–it is an X-Men series after all.
Live-action series based on comic books can get pretty dull after a few episodes due to low budgets or poor writing (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes to mind), but I’m still enjoying The Gifted. While the special effects are good (Polaris flying), along with the occasional action scene (that truck chase), it’s the character moments that help this series shine brighter than Eclipse’s solar powers.
Speaking of Eclipse, “eXodus” begins by flashing back three years to an intimate moment between the mutant rebel and Polaris. In this scene, we get to see how mutants flirt (with powers, of course!). It’s a sweet scene that shows just how much Eclipse came to embrace his X-gene after spending time with the far-more-confident Polaris (she must get that from her father). Also–if you manage to create the Aurora Borealis with someone by simple holding hands–yes, they are a keeper.But it wouldn’t be an X-Men series without more than one mutant in love, and by episode’s end, it would appear we have the makings of a new love triangle. And it doesn’t even involve Jean Grey!
While love is important in the X-Men universe, so too, is anger. Young Andy has a lot of rage, and it’s on display so frequently, I’m starting to wonder if he’s Magneto’s kid too. If the Strucker children are indeed Fenris from the X-Men comics, then we’re starting to see Andy’s turn to the dark side. One day, they’re busting up parking meters, the next, they’re joining the Brotherhood. Kids these days!
I definitely welcome some evil mutant action, though. Because while The Gifted does an eXceptional job of portraying mutants in a sympathetic light, there’s a little too much emphasis on how cruel humans can be. Outside of Reed and Caitlin, humans seem to be filled with fear and hatred. Show us why neighbors will suddenly grab a shotgun and hop in a pickup truck the second they hear a mutant’s come to town.
Before I go, I mentioned an appearance from a classic X-villain in this week’s episode. I’m of course talking about Roderick Campbell, or Ahab. The creator of the mutant-hunting Hounds actually appeared in last week’s episode, but I failed to mention him in my previous review. It looks like his role will be eXpanding soon. Let’s see if that means upgrading his wardrobe from a white lab coat to a set of purple body armor. Purple: the official color of X-Men villains.