The civil war between the mutants currently rages on in season 2, plus a recap of everything else that has happened in The Gifted.
The Gifted is an American television show, now in its second season, based around the X-Men. It was created by Matt Nix (Burn Notice and The Good Guys).
Season 1 of The Gifted revolved mostly around The Strucker family. Reed (Stephen Moyer) and Caitlin Strucker (Amy Acker) had the average American family until they found out that their kids, Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind) and Andy (Percy Hynes White) were mutants. Since mutants caught using their powers were being hunted by a government operation called Sentinel Services, the department Reed ironically worked for, the Struckers ended up on the run, and eventually in alliance with some of the Mutant Underground. Their lives were immediately turned upside down, but things became even murkier for the family when Reed’s past as a Sentinel Service employee surfaced. Eventually, however, the Struckers were accepted among their new allies—Thunderbird (Blair Redford), Polaris (Emma Dumont), Eclipse (Sean Teale), and Blink (Jamie Chung), to name a few—and ended up fighting with them to stay alive, all the way to the explosive season finale.
The first three episodes of Season 2 undid this newfound solidarity, as the mutants found themselves engaged in a civil war. The once tight-knit albeit persnickety, group end up on opposite sides, when some of them—Sage (Hayley Lovitt), Andy, and Polaris—who’s nine months pregnant with Eclipse’s baby, decide to leave the Mutant Underground, in favor of the Inner Circle. Reeva Payge (a new addition to the show played by Empire’s Grace Beyers), rose up in ranks at the Inner Circle Frost after she had, with the aid of the Frost Triplets (Skylar Samuels) murder the members who opposed her tactics. Unlike the Mutant Underground, who want to live in peace with humans, she believes that to be a waste of time. Instead, Reeva wants to create a mutant-only utopia and she’s willing to do anything, murder included, to achieve this.
The mutant civil war rages on in Season 4’s second episode of The Gifted, entitled “Outmatched,” but this time, the divide hits especially close to home for Caitlin Strucker, who’s having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that her 15-year-old son has run off with a group of mutant vigilantes.
It’s not like she can stop him, as he, along with his sister, Lauren (and their father too) are arguably some of the more powerful mutants—especially when their powers are used in unison.
Not that he would use his powers on his family, or would he?
Eclipse, who was at The Inner Circle’s headquarters when he visited his and Polaris’s newborn baby, tries to assure Caitlin that her son has changed, but she isn’t convinced.
Lauren, who’s been having very realistic dreams about Andy, believes that she’s the groups best bet at luring him back with his family, but more about the siblings later.
First, let’s dig into Caitlin and her mom pain…
The episode opens with a flashback to when she was pregnant with Andy. Caitlin’s doctor informs her and Reed that the chances of her and the baby surviving are slim to none. Determined to deliver a happy, healthy baby, Caitlin ignores the doctor’s advice and refuses to terminate her pregnancy, however.
Back in the present, Caitlin continues to shock Reed with how far she’s willing to go to keep Andy safe. After Blink and Thunderbird kidnap Graft, the brother of a mutant hacker named Wire (who was murdered by The Inner Circle), and who has similar hacking powers as his brother, Caitlin, a nurse, resorts to unethical torture methods.
First she injects Graft, an addict, with a drug that induces instant withdrawal symptoms. When that doesn’t work, she ends up bargaining with him, by promising to give him the medical version of a street drug call kick.
Her unorthodox methods work—for a time—because drug-aided Graft is able to give them a clear picture of what’s going on inside of the hospital, as Blink and Thunderbird try to navigate through the eerie facility.
When Blink and Thunderbird come face to face with Polaris in the basement of the hospital, Thunderbird tries to reason with her to listen to them. Briefly, it appears that his pleas are getting through to her, but she proves to them whose side she’s really on, when she uses her ability to unlock the doors where the mutants are being held.
Once free, the mutants start to turn on each other.
The climax of the episode occurs as Blink and Eclipse decide that they need to get the mutants out of harm’s way before The Inner Circle gets to them, or before they all kill each other.
Blink then uses her powers to open a portal so they can escape.
Meanwhile, Thunderbird uses his foresight abilities (one of several powers) to see that the Inner Circle has been kidnapping mutants from the hospital for personal gain. He also sees that it was Andy’s powers that caused the blast they felt downstairs.
Using that information, Lauren and Eclipse end up finding Andy. Lauren uses her shield powers to block the path of Andy’s car out in the parking lot.
Eclipse has already warned her about Andy, but she still believes that she can get through to her brother…
Enraged, Andy gets out and demands that she move out of the way. She stands her ground, refuses, and they end up in a battle. First, Lauren appears to hold her own, but then Andy gets the best of her, and sends her, along with Eclipse, flying across the concrete.
Andy looks the slightest bit guilty, but it’s not enough to make him check on his flesh and blood. Instead, he climbs back into his car and drives away.
Fortunately, Lauren and Eclipse aren’t dead, just unconscious.
Ultimately, it’s Thunderbird that delivers the news to the Struckers that Lauren has not only been harmed, but that the person who did it was their son, her brother.
Oh, and there’s also Reed. He’s been having a hard time dealing with his powers, which are uncontrollable. (Anything that he touches burns.) Earlier in the episode, Thunderbird tried to convince him that embracing, not suppressing, his powers is the only way he’ll learn to control them.
Time will tell if Reed takes his advice.
The show also circles back around to former Agent Jace Turner (Coby Bell) and his rocky marriage. Season 1 saw Jace leading the Sentinel Services team in the hunt for the Struckers and the other mutants.
Jace was fueled by his desire to punish all mutants after a mutant attack ended up killing his young daughter. We haven’t seen quite as much of Jace and his wife this season, but it’s still early on. Besides, his actions prove that he is still just as obsessed with getting revenge as ever. His wife, though she still mourns for her daughter, just wants to move on. After Jace fails to assure her that he will become her husband again, she tells him not to call her anymore. If Jace is as persistent as keeping his marriage intact, as he was last year, this won’t be the last we see of this relationship.
The episode ends with Blink, Eclipse, Thunderbird and an unconscious Lauren, and some of the mutants they saved driving away in the back seat of their car. The Inner Circle also manages to get away with an unidentified mutant, who no doubt has some kind of powers they believe will aid their mission.
Overall, “Unmatched” is probably the most balanced episode of season 2. Reeva wasn’t actually in the episode, though her impact was felt. Grace Beyers is great at playing the villain, though, in her own words, she doesn’t see Reeva as the bad guy, but it was nice to see more of the OG cast getting screen time, especially since the writing has shifted away from a Strucker-focused narrative.
Hopefully, episode five digs further into Polaris’s motivations to stand with the Inner Circle. Andy is a young, impressionable teenager who’s going through a bit of a rebellious stage. But Polaris is an adult with a brand new baby by the man who she’s still in love with. Yet, they’re fighting on different sides. Despite her words, it’s not outside of the realm of possibilities to assume her allegiance isn’t as clear cut-and-dry as she’s making it out to be.
Porlaris did, after all, instruct Andy to act in the interest of her baby (and use his powers to protect her if Reeva, who needed and prioritized her and her powers) when she was in labor, instead of her own, in the event that something went wrong.
You can watch The Gifted on Tuesday nights at 8/7c on FOX.