In a world where, once again, mutants are feared and mistrusted, a team of mutant outcasts fights for the survival of their species. This isn’t your dad’s X-Men though. While the team’s name is dropped, along with the Brotherhood’s, the fate of those groups seems to be in doubt.
The show begins with Clarice Ferguson/Blink, my favorite teleporting mutant, played by Jamie Chung, running from the police. Our first glimpse of mutant abilities in the world is Blink opening a portal to escape the cops.
While she does get away, she takes part of a cop car with her. This is when we meet the Mutant Underground. John Proudstar/Thunderbird played by Blair Redford along with Lorna Dane/Polaris portrayed by Emma Dumont, and Marcos Diaz/Eclipse played by Sean Teale are on her trail. There is some light banter between these three, showing the bond they share.
Proudstar manages to track down Blink using his mutant powers. A tense moment ensues as Eclipse talks her into joining them. At this point, the police show up and want Blink, who has escaped from a mutant detention center. The Underground saves Blink, but not without loss; Polaris is captured after Eclipse is shot.
Next, we are introduced to the Strucker family. A name that most comic book fans recognize from Hydra, or newer fans from Avengers: Age of Ultron, Strucker is not usually a name associated with the good guys.
And we aren’t disabused of this notion with the first glimpse we get of Reed Strucker, played by Stephen Moyer. While he does what he does for his family, the first impression he gives is a bit of a prick. He’s a prosecutor for the state of Georgia and it seems he goes after mutants like Apocalypse; only Reed wants to imprison them.
Along with Reed we meet Kate Strucker, played by Amy Acker. A loving mom, she wants what’s best for her children, which is why they are at their son’s school. Young Andy Strucker played by Percy Hynes White, has been bullied and his parents don’t like it. Reed threatens to sue the school if the bullying doesn’t end and the family goes home. Lauren Strucker portrayed by Natalie Alyn Lind, and Andy argue over what to call mutants, while we find out from Reed that Polaris is pregnant.
The Strucker children go to a school dance despite Andy’s bullying problems. That’s when the plot thickens further and we find out he’s a mutant. I’m not exactly sure what his powers are, it’s either psychokinesis or telekinesis, but he tears the boy’s locker room apart to save himself from torment. The school shakes and rocks as his powers expand, causing parts of the ceiling to collapse.
Jack, Lauren’s boyfriend, played by Steffan Argus, tries to get her to leave, but she says she has to find her brother. Here we find out she’s a mutant too, one with powers reminiscent of Invisible Woman. Sentinel Services shows up at the Strucker home after the kids have explained things to Kate. She tries to use her husband’s name and influence to protect them, but the agents aren’t having it.
Lauren uses her powers to save them, Andy seems to be having performance issues, and they flee to call Reed. This is the point when I started to like the character. Even though it took him a few minutes to understand his kids were the mutants responsible for the attack he tries to protect them. It could have gone a different route and the show could have had him chasing them, “for the greater good.” Luckily it veered from this and Reed, being a good father, sided with them.
On the run, Lauren tries to teach Andy how to use his powers, which ends with her getting hurt. Reed uses his connections in the District Attorney’s office, where the Sentinel Services people are searching for the family, to find out more about the Mutant Underground. Reed gets in contact with Eclipse; whose ringtone is the theme from the 90s animated X-Men show, to get his family out of the country. They meet and after some posturing, Eclipse agrees to help them, if Reed helps him save Polaris.
The family and Eclipse are preparing to leave for Mexico when Sentinel Services show up. Blink has informed Proudstar about the meeting and the Underground are tracking them. When Sentinel Services show up the family is saved when Proudstar smashes open a door and makes them an exit. They race along only to have the “weapon” deployed by Sentinel Services. (I know it’s a long name, but I can’t bring myself to refer to them as the SS.)
Eclipse cuts through some of the “weapons,” but they are self-healing and his attacks don’t inflict lasting damage. The real threat to them is Andy, who uses his powers to break them into small pieces.
Blink saves the day, even though she doesn’t like to use her powers if she can’t see where she’s going. The family jumps through her portal, along with the Underground, but Reed is shot in the back and can’t get through before the portal closes.
The Gifted started off great and has a lot of potential. I hope it stays on track and Fox doesn’t keep to its track record of canceling good sci-fi shows after a few seasons.
Here’s a look at what we can expect moving forward: