This episode is so big that I don’t think I need much preamble to get into the discussion. The first half of the season has all been leading up to this. Here we go.
The first thing we see in this episode is Rebecca and the moment her freedom was taken from her. Now that we know her better, we can understand the decision her parents made a little better. As much as I’d like to believe the institution she was in caused her to be the way she is, I think the show is being clear that she always had these violent tendencies. Rebecca is complicated. She is a victim and an abuser.
But she made a choice. A very terrifying choice and her confinement is her punishment. She is a threat to everyone around her in ways that other mutants aren’t.
Now it’s Andy’s turn to make a choice. Will he make the right choice? He looks to Lorna for guidance. He wants to know if her choice from last week was worth it. Lorna tells him it will be, but Andy doesn’t seem convinced. I can’t say I blame him. What they’re doing is sketchy and potentially apocalyptic. Is it worth giving up the people you love?
Andy decides it’s not worth giving up Rebecca so he breaks her out. If he’d asked me, though, I could have told him that wouldn’t end well. She was never going to leave quietly. Rebecca was always going to want to take Reeva and the Inner Circle. Andy accidentally killing her was inevitable in my mind. He may be a little lost at the moment, but he is not capable of murder or even aiding it. He stopped Rebecca in a heated moment of panic. His choice to free her ultimately caused her death and he will have to carry that with him. His scene with Lorna was beautiful and it was the first time that his tortured emotions made sense. This episode’s circumstances result in pain that justified his angst. He uses that. It fuels him and leads him into the Inner Circle’s next mission.
Andy’s choice, ultimately, works in Reeva’s favor because the sacrifice leaves Andy committed to them. He is a part of their cause now with both feet all the way in.
Marcos and Clarice had similar issue with John this week. I saw this coming a mile away. John is caught up in how he failed the Underground last season — this season too — and is blind to the damage he is leaving in his wake. In trying to save the Underground, he’s forgotten its original purpose: to help people. Both Marcos and Clarice try to remind him of this as he spirals out of control but he doesn’t listen. Innocent mutants are being persecuted for his crimes and he is losing his restraint.
It’s not until Marcos hears that Clarice has left that he finally manages to get through to John. This fight is for the people they love. For Marcos, that’s Dawn. For John, that’s Clarice. He is at risk of losing Clarice and he begins to see that he’s made the wrong decisions.
The argument with Clarice was also inevitable. They’ve been going in different directions for eight episodes. Clarice is more concerned with the people while John has been focusing on the big picture. They are the personification of “forest versus trees.” It was hard to listen to John throw unfair accusations at Clarice and I was so grateful for Marcos. He pointed out that he told John about his worries about Clarice so that he could fix whatever was happening with her, but instead he made it worse.
Marcos, John and Fade end up in a perilous situation. I loved how they both tried to keep Fade alive through all of it, even after he betrayed them for the Inner Circle. It reminded me of their honor and goodness. John finally remembers what he’s supposed to be fighting for during all of this and watching him try and hold off the purifiers on his own was truly stressful and utterly heartbreaking in the end.
All I have to say about that moment is that I am really annoyed with Jace Turner and I have no interest in his story. He has crossed a line for the sake of validation. The worst part of it is that he knows he’s being validated by awful people and he’s beyond caring. I am truly disappointed in him. He had so much potential in season one but the writing for him in season two has been lackluster at best.
I am not looking forward to seeing what Jace does with John in his custody. I hope he won’t have him in custody for long. I prefer to not pay attention to his scenes. Coby Bell is an admirable actor, but the plots they’ve assigned him are boring.
The Struckers spend the episode struggling to deal with Madeline and her “cure.” Like I said in my last review, It never should have taken them this long to put the pieces together. A “cure” for mutation is not a “cure.” It’s eliminating an entire people. It’s playing God. It’s one of the bigger and publicly misunderstood threats that mutants have traditionally faced in comic books and that definitely carries over here.
I thought Lauren was brilliant with her execution of getting into the lab, and I love how she held her ground with her parents. She was right and she knew she was right. They could not convince her otherwise. She is the child and they are the parents. That would normally diminish her authority, but not for Lauren Strucker. She is becoming a leader and I have fallen completely in love with her this season.
With the exception of Jace Turner, this was one of the better episodes of the season. Some of the plot points were a little predictable as a comic book fan and an avid television viewer, but predictable doesn’t mean they weren’t enjoyable. Watching this cast is always a joy. They are all very capable actors and they hold their own even when the writing doesn’t.
The front half of this season has had some truly weak moments, but I believe that the latter half has the potential to be outstanding. I cannot see what they do with this show when it returns from winter hiatus. See you then!
The Gifted returns with all new episodes on January 1 at 9/8 on FOX.