Spoilers The Gifted - Season 2

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by jmc247, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The flashback open evidently aimed to show two things; First and most important Caitlin was a good woman who rejected abortion not even to save the mother's life. Second, that she was fanatically invested in Andy, even though that's evil, showing why she would go dark in the torture scenes. I too am tired of torture scenes, but I have to say that this one was simultaneously more plausible than most, yet more gratuitous. Graph's brother was murdered. You would expect the dude to want to cooperate. Also, Kick is supposed to boost powers temporarily, a kind of speed that actually works to make people more creative. I think biologically this is highly unlikely, but this is SF, where the point is not to be believable, but to be plausible in the story. The groundwork was laid for torture to actually work in the story.

    The big "but" of course is that the dude shouldn't need to be tortured at all, just convinced he might get away with some payback. The scene is there to highlight how awful Caitlin's devotion to Andy is, even as it relishes her feminist agency, pretending not to enjoy it by moralizing against Caitlin. Like Daredevil the human lie detector torturing people, the scene is there for fun. Personally I prefer gratuitous nudity, or gratuitous spectacle in general. But that's just me.

    But as dubious and trite as the torture scene is, the really, really awful backwards, mean-spirited, ignorant and downright hateful part of the show was the insistence that crazy people are a bunch of animals that will either savage each other on sight or utterly helpless, even if they were merely labeled insane as a subterfuge to imprison them. The callous indifference of the supposed good guys to their plight is astonishing. They should have been ashamed not to help, rather than try to stop the escape. Marcos was ready to risk killing Lorna to stop her, just as Andy risked killing Lauren when he stopped her. The difference of course is that when Marcos burned people and killed them (the show is coy on this but it is really unlikely he didn't) for the cartel, he was just an Ordinary Decent Criminal. As The Godfather taught us, fundamentally criminals are just another set of businessmen, and that's what this country is all about. Andy is the dregs of inhumanity with puerile revolutionary ideas and that is unforgivable. Anything he does is manifestly evil, even acting goofy for the camera.

    The advertising for the show coded the Mutant Underground as team red state. They are indeed examplars of total devotion to the status quo, and will like all loyal Americans kill to keep things from changing. The Inner Circle was coded as team blue state, and like the disloyal fake Americans they are tearing down everything America is. By the way, my limited experience is that people with strong non-conformist political beliefs like to talk politics, and mostly can't be shut up. This show never shows the Inner Circle talking politics. In this episode in particular, Inner Circle people talking about how great it is to free the prisoners might inadvertently make the Mutant Underground look bad. So, they don't talk. (None of the prisoners say a word. I imagine Fox would have liked to have them scream curses against the Inner Circle for opening their protective doors and casting them out of their safe places.)

    There is one discrepancy between dialogue and action. The amount of time team blue state spent in the hospital rounding up prisoners and arranging the propaganda broadcast was entirely unnecessary unless one goal of the raid was to publicize the mutant rights issue. Yet, the dialogue explicitly condemned people in general for taking that seriously. To emphasize the point, the doctor spoke of things getting hot out there. We've seen two parents shot down for simply getting in the way. But of course this tells us that things getting bad is the Inner Circle's fault. By the way, it is not at all clear why they would need to release the prisoners cover their escape. As they drove away they would immediately lose their supposed protective cover of mutants running on foot.

    The PR invited us to choose a side. Then the show loads the dice in favor of team red state. Well, it is Fox. But in spite of it all I tend to favor team blue state. The show's even handedness is supposed to be showed in the Jace Turner character, who exemplifies how right-thinking Americans can go a little too far, and get sucked in despite themselves. Although last season has been so ret-conned that at this point we can only rely on this season's flashbacks to confirm which events from last season are still revised canon, I can't help but think the dude that handed over a couple of minors to a mad scientist or ordered the massacre of everyone in the mutant headquarters has his heart in the wrong place. When he said there's not even justice in the world for Grace, he meant there's not enough blood to spill in the world. I don't believe that's right thinking, but defective thinking and defective morals. The guy's objections to the Purifiers are the superficial trappings. That's as superficial as his morality.

    Since it is officially required to bag on Andy, that idea Andy might have been aborted and the fictional world made a better place? Was it cruel to tease us, or a happy thought to brighten our day? Still, if Reed has been home to turn Andy in, there wouldn't have been so much misery for us to enjoy.

    PS The Inner Circle knows where the Mutant Underground in D.C. is, Andy gave them up. If they wanted to kill team red state they would have done it already. It's team red state that wants to do the killing, even if they hope Lorna sees the light. (Reeva need not apply.) I think this says something, thought I'm pretty sure the show does not.

    2nd PS After correcting some typos, it occurred to me I should have just recapped team red state's fundamental mission, Marcos' custody dispute, to wit: He's getting violent about it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
  2. P Tom

    P Tom Commander Red Shirt

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    Longshot gets name-dropped in the episode :D
     
  3. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's about escalation. It was in reaction to what the IC did.

    Say what? Nothing from season 1 has been retconned.
     
  4. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Hound program has disappeared from history and therefore the Frosts and Reeva did nothing admirable at any point, ever, especially not ending the Hound program; the assassination of Dr. Campbell (and a sitting senator) has been forgotten including by the police who pretend Polaris, Blink, Thunderbird and Eclipse were never in Charlotte and therefore must be dead; Atlanta, where a bunch of lethal Hounds were killed but all the Mutant Underground members were saved is somehow shorthand for terrible disaster; Clarice was never threatened by Campbell, so she has no reason to have any feelings but hatred for the Frosts and Andy; the Mutant Underground was not broke and on the run and in dire straits but had plenty of ways to re-establish new cells in other towns, even without Eclipse and the Struckers, who spent six months on a search; Otto Strucker's research last season threatened to end all mutants because it was so effective, but now it doesn't even work; Evangeline Whedon doesn't worry about the Inner Circle killing her, or simply outing her, because she never revealed herself to Polaris; instead of the attack force on the headquarters being four Hounds who had been torn away from their families, it was Andy who murdered those innocents which is why Lauren is so devastated at the thought of Andy's return...

    There's probably more. I'm not sure that Clarice ever had beloved foster parents, even ones she ran away from at fifteen, but she isn't driven by hostility to Sentinel Services any more. Technically Dreamer still exists but she was never loved, as her death was pretty much on par with Lorna leaving the Mutant Underground. And so on and so forth. Basically, the first season worked up to a tremendous climax where real, serious choices were made, and the show's been ret-conning like crazy to denature the consequences. Maybe halfway through the season they'll play with another major climax...or maybe not. The red state/blue state references in the advertising suggests they dare not pick the wrong side. At any rate, these things are why I say season 1 has been extensively ret-conned.

    Not directed to me, but the events at Lynwood are not an escalation compared to the deaths in the attack at Trask by Esme Frost, or to the assassination of Campbell/Sen. Montez, none of which seem to have ever happened any more. In any event, the most likely outcome is increased funding for Sentinel Services and more punitive laws, not a desperate need to go cosplay with amateurs. I think it wasn't a big reversal for Turner because Turner was always vicious and his real objections to the Purifiers were a trivial distaste for the low rent trappings. Deciding to slum with the blue collars is not a big reversal.
     
  5. crookeddy

    crookeddy Commodore Commodore

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    1.93 million for the last Gifted episode as the slide continues. No way do we get a season 3 at this rate, unless this show can survive on FX.
     
  6. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have no idea why Fox thought The Gifted would beat The Flash. It's like they ditched it. On the other hand, Fox's issues with Disney/Marvel are so complex I'm not sure what the relevant numbers are. I think Fox's only real successes are Empire, Star, 9-1-1 and Sunday night cartoons. At this point Fox is no more a major network than the CW. The Gifted may be the best Fox is likely to be able to put up against the competition. But then, they may think anything has a better chance.

    PS Got curious enough to actually google numbers...The Gifted is doing about as well as The Flash, which is much more marginal than I thought. At least, going by the Oct 16 numbers.
     
  7. kitik

    kitik Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just got caught up on this thread. And I regret it.

    Perhaps from now on I'll just watch the show and not post about it.
     
  8. crookeddy

    crookeddy Commodore Commodore

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    The Flash does well by CW standards. The Gifted does poorly by Fox standards.
     
  9. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

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    Finally got around to watching the last episode. Looks like I was right about Marcos. He's been inside the Inner Circle headquarters, has seen two different and distinct views of DC from their building, but has no idea where to begin looking for them.
     
  10. kitik

    kitik Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Can't say I'm down with the Morlock branding. It'd be one thing if they were walking around on the streets with a big M that screamed "mutant and proud", but scarring yourself to hide underground is a bit too cultish.

    Andy and Rebecca's date was unexpected. As was her declaration that she hates the police, though I suppose pefectly understandable for a mutant in this world.

    No clue why they'd need Rebecca to break into a safe when they have Lorna right there. I suppose we'll find out there there's more to the plan that requires Rebecca's power. And speaking of her power, pretty gruesome when used on a human being. Would they show that on a series like The Gifted?

    And then there's Jace. Perhaps setting him up for the expected flip sooner than we all thought, or just planting some seeds now that may not pay off until season 3 or 4, if the show makes it that far?
     
  11. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    So...is Jace still suppose to be sympathetic? Because he's pretty much a criminal now by joining a mob that unlawfully broke into a health clinic. I've never liked the guy but he keeps sinking to lower depths. And he can't fathom why his wife ditched him. :rolleyes:

    I liked how Andy was able to reached out to Rebecca and brought her out of her shell by actually treating like a human, but I find Lorna's reaction to the whole thing baffling. She repeated said "I was in a mental institute, I know what it was like!" and yet she kept acting like someone who had no empathy for Rebecca's situation.

    Meanwhile, John continued to act like a complete idiot. Between him, Jace, and Lorna, I'm finding myself disliking too many characters. That said, Andy didn't annoy me for the first time in ages. I want to say Rebecca is a good influence on him, but I see a mean streak in her that might bring out the worst in him.

    I also didn't like the Morlock branding, which is a shame because I like what they stand for in general as a contrast to the principles and needs of the Mutant Underground and the Inner Circle. As you said, kitik, the branding comes off cultish and counterintuitive to what they want. It's a shame because I felt like the lightbringer mutant (I forget her name) could be a new love interest for Marcos and potentially more stable than Lorna.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm also confused by Erg because he seems like a version of Bishop, what with the M brand and the power to redirect the energy that's used against him. Why not just make him Bishop?

    Anyway, the actor who plays Erg, Michael Luwoye, also played Hades on The Magicians, so he's sort of getting typecast as lords of the underworld.


    The safe was just to practice on, to demonstrate her power so they could study it. It's probably more a matter of its size and mass than its composition. Maybe they want her to evert a concrete vault or something.


    He's supposed to be ambiguous, a guy who started out decent but keeps getting dragged deeper into hate, not unlike Sam Witwer's character on Supergirl. So he symbolizes the slippery slope.
     
  13. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    Pft, ambiguous? He's hardly been ambiguous this whole time. Slippery slope, maybe, but not ambiguous.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    In the sense that we know his actions and views are wrong but can be sympathetic toward the experiences that shaped them.
     
  15. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Almost all the politics of this show are clearly well within the comfort zone of the vast majority of the commenters here. The only qualms seem to be about how the show treats Jace Turner. Jace Turner is an anti-hero in the trendy sense of the word, a hero who does bad things because, well, damn it, it's a tough world out there and somebody's got to stand up. The cold open puts the murder of a cop offstage. But the show is quite clear that Jace's hatred of mutants is a natural reaction to the murders of policemen and their children by militants/mutants. That's why the show can openly say "They will not replace us!" without it being a dealbreaker for their sympathy for Jace Turner, who is just a good man who's gone a little too far in response to extreme provocation. Blue Lives Matter politics in my eyes. The experiences that shaped Jace are popular myths drawn from a certain kind of discourse I think and should not be accepted as good premises. Of course Marcos made it clear to us the real fascists are the Inner Circle, so I suppose the show stood up against fascism.

    Branding people who can pass, instead of tattooing them, is an initiation rite. I think it is inspired by ritual scarification in technologically primitive tribes. Tattoos can be removed, scars not so much. It is a method of control. Perhaps the show is setting Erg up to be an outright villain and a flaw in the otherwise perfect Blink? Why I keep watching. At any rate, Morlocks are separate but equal, which acceptable politics these days I guess. Personally I think separate is never equal. I must note that the idea that roadblocks will keep the Underground from taking the escapees out of town to safety is BS, a particularly weak contrivance: Blink can portal past the roadblocks. We know she doesn't need any more to see her destination (which never actually made any sense, she can look through the portal anyhow.) The show was desperate to show us the Morlocks branding people. I for one do not accept they are in "sewers." Those are not sewers, they are just the visual equivalent of a ghetto. (Cue Elvis "In the Ghetto?" for their next video? Oingo Boingo "Only a Lad" for an Andy video?)

    Similarly foolish was the idea that wire is better suited to stitch up a mutant who excretes acid, because acid works most potently on metals. It's like talking about a t-shirt rusting, just a real tribute to the Whedon mindset.

    John "losing" Atlanta was directly a consequence of the Hound pair that tracked the Struckers, and not his fault. John "losing" Lorna and Andy is nearly as absurd. He never had Andy in the first place, who is just baggage as far as anyone but the Struckers are concerned. It's not like anyone else likes him. And it's not clear why he thought he was Lorna's CO either. But, the thing he might blame himself for, Sonya's death because he sent the Struckers in without a backup plan, he omits!

    Speaking of Andy, the notion that Andy ever had a date with a girl where he found her not eating slightly rude was inadvertently funny. The Jerry Maguire reference was meant to be funny, but Andy is no Tom Cruise, so it seemed a little forced.

    The show usually remembers the blue glow when the Frosts are peeking into somebody's mind, or talking amongst themselves, but when Andy and one were watching and she was PO'd about Andy's disapproval, they forgot.

    And speaking of Andy and the Frosts, the scene where the Frost see Andy and Rebecca coming back? The Frosts were talking to Andy. This is I think what they call a soft reboot of the character.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  16. jmc247

    jmc247 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He doesn't know the first thing about the IC goals and I suspect quite a few of the Inner Circle haven't sorted out who is on what base there. The audience right now can see the IC actions, but not their goals.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, great. Just when I was glad to see Shatter return and get some character development at last... I guess I should've predicted what would happen next.

    And now we know why there are only three Cuckoos instead of five. This was a good episode for Esme, and I'm finally warming to the actress.

    Reed has become an idiot, and it was way too contrived that they ended up in a situation that required him to control his power just when he was trying to learn to control his power. I mean, sure, it's a pretty common trope, but it felt extra-stilted here somehow.

    The doctor that Caitlin and Lauren spoke to was played by Sumalee Montano, who has prior superhero-show experience -- she voiced Katana on Beware the Batman and is Captain Yuri Watanabe on the current Marvel's Spider-Man animated series, as well as playing Queen Mera in Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, plus Mantis in a Guardians of the Galaxy video game and Renee Montoya in a Batman video game.
     
  18. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    Reed has become an idiot? He's always been an idiot. :lol:

    The Cuckoos were the only good thing about this episode. The back history, the character development for Esme, and Esme's interactions with Lorna (who's becoming more and more one-dimensional) were all wonderful. Outside the Cuckoos scenes, however, I've realized I just don't care anymore and the terrible dialogue keeps pulling me out of the episode every few minutes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  19. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

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    Marcos is still the biggest idiot for not being able to narrow down the Inner Circle headquarters location after looking out two different windows with distinct views and elevations of DC.

    Watched the last two episodes. The writing is still underwhelming. Reeva is still boring and one-dimensional. I know what they were going for with the Morlock branding but they failed. All I could think of was it's a good thing they didn't cast Allison Mack as Erg.
     
  20. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    @Aragorn -- perhaps one of the Cuckoos fiddled with Marcos' memory. It's an explanation that I would totally accept, however I agree that there should have been some indication of it from the characters.