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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    Confused as to whether you're referring to the ratings for a repeat versus a new Flash? The bump was two weeks ago, apparently the part of a Flash audience not interested in a repeat.

    As to whether the series will have a proper ending, it can't, not at this point anyhow. A proper ending would be the victory of one side or the other. The show won't let the Mutant Age actually Dawn, no matter what the ads say. And there's no way the MU can possibly win, not least because the show won't admit the government is the Big Bad. Also, the MU doesn't actually have any plan but killing the IC, because killing for the status quo is a happy ending. Twist will be killed and Reed will develop powers, although a metaphor about how a fifty year old might grow up to be anything is a little strained.
     
  2. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would have to imagine that they have at least a 4 season arc planned out given the way they do their episode titles.

    Season 1 had the capitalized Xs, season 2 has the capitalized Ms, and I imagine season 3 would capitalize the E and that season 4 would capitalize the N.
     
  3. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    I can hear it now...

    Producers: "You have to let us finish the series! Otherwise our fans will never figure the secret message we're sending them in the titles!"
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
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  4. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Won't Disney just end this series as soon as the takeover of the Fox IPs is complete? Their policy is that all the Marvel Movies and TV shows must be linked together via the MCU.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, I hadn't thought of that. I figured it was more like X for Xavier and M for Magneto. After all, the first season was about the leads trying to keep Xavier's dream of peaceful coexistence alive, while this season's arc is more driven by the Inner Circle pursuing Magneto's goal of mutant separatism and/or conquest. Although I'm not sure where they'd go from there. F for Fenris? S for Sinister?

    Well, we'll find out next season, if there is one.
     
  6. jmc247

    jmc247 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Tonight’s episode looks big and reminds me of episode 6, in the end I think the IC is going for mutant separatism.
     
  7. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There were many good things about the story of Lorna's big decision to send Dawn out of a war zone. This was a dramatic enough decision the many flashbacks felt needed. Yet everyone knows the cops keep an eye out on relatives when chasing fugitives. Lorna gave her baby to social services at best, and Sentinel Services at worst. So much of this was well done I thought, but the outcome was senseless. Aside from the usual Hollywood insistence there is nothing worse than foster care/orphanage, there's also Marcos blaming everything on his ex. At least Marcos restrained himself from violence.

    Ironically even as Marcos is raving about the Inner Circle two operations in the last weeks ruining everything for mutants and humanity alike, Otto Strucker's years long project to end all mutant powers sees the path to success. Attributing the failure of Otto's conditioning to stress reads like code for delayed puberty. I wish they had said something like the kids' use of their powers had wakened his. By the way it's not clear why Lauren's "X-gene" would be different at all. The same genes can have surprisingly different outcomes. Height is a notorious example. And, Marfan's is a genetic disorder whose expression is wildly variable, for instance, thank God, else everyone with Marfan's would be in dire straits. The notion there's "a" gene, then there's the predetermined result is residual scientific racism, which is to say, pseudoscientifc.

    They've already said Lauren's and Andy's powers are more or less the same, except different directions so to speak. Why not just add Reed's power is the same? Except that he makes things go back and forth, combining the directions, causing stuff to disintegrate? Increased molecular vibration is higher temperature and greater heat too, and if he could control his power he could make a fireball like Otto. I still can't figure out what's causing the pain, the power or the suppression. Immunosuppressants might relieve the pain, allowing control? This whole story line still feels cobbled up, thus less engaging for me.

    Evidently Risman Garner is aiming at the same goal as Campbell (who has joined Bret Ratner in the gallery of X-nonpersons.) It seems as if Lauren will be written as opposing this. It is unclear why. Metaphorically, superpowers are how an individual can be anything growing up. And by extension how things, society, the world may change. Wanting to forbid the very possibility of change for everybody is deeply reactionary. In a good story it would be presented as a mix of folly and villainy and cowardice. But Lauren has been committed to the status quo side all along, so why change now?

    In a related issue, change that clashes with past morals, it is unlikely Otto was so emotional about his aunt's music box. But then, I thought it unlikely a kid in his early teens would be so politically engaged that saying terrorist would turn him against his parents. Finding out about his parentage seems to me to be very different. Yet this episode makes a point of reaffirming the linkage between Lauren and Andy. I don't know why they'd go there. They obviously either disliked Sense8, or are afraid, and will not explore any paths it opened up in thinking about future morals. At this point they seem to want to go with "Lauren and Andy are like the Frosts." Except the Frosts are conspicuously differentiating while they are congealing Lauren and Andy. Having it both ways is weak, because arbitrary.

    Last and least, you would think any self-respecting runaway would want to drive. Isn't that sort of thing why you run away?

    PS They missed a trick in not having Sharon Gless meet Madeline Risman Garner...again.
     
  8. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    This was actually a pretty good episode with an engaging character arc for Lorna. That is, until the mandatory cheesy pop song played over a montage at the end. The presence of the "We're not going to say his name!" helm-disk as if it was always there but we never saw it before was a little too much, too.

    I loved seeing Kathryn Erbe pop up as Lorna's aunt, even if she apparently didn't age a day from when Lorna was a teenager through adulthood. Also, and I know this isn't a big deal, but it was rather jarring that they cast someone whose nose looks nothing like Laura Dumont's. :lol:

    The whole time during the clinic story arc, I waited for the shoe to drop...and sure enough, it did at the end. "We want to cure mutants to save everyone!" Ugh. Is it so bad to just have a group of people who want to help mutants with ulterior motives that are super sketchy? I get that conflict is necessary for good storytelling but this was too much, especially considering how predictable it was.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, as in the comics, the "mutant cure" is something that can be quite ambiguous -- the developers can sincerely intend it as an option to help mutants whose powers are debilitating, but it could easily be co-opted and twisted into something more coercive and destructive. If the show embraces the complexity of the question, that could be a good thing.

    I agree about the "end every episode with a music video montage" tradition. Shows have been doing that for something like the past 25 years now. Time to change the habit. Like, maybe actually write dialogue for those last few minutes so we can get more actually goshdarn story instead of just slow-motion staring and brooding.
     
  10. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We have seen the medallion before. Evangeline Whedon brought it up when she recruited Lorna. What I didn't understand is why she wants that around her face? Is it supposed to keep her hair out of her eyes as she flies?

    Come to think of it, since Whedon isn't worried about the Inner Circle coming after her, perhaps that never happened? And that's why Lorna no longer knows Wedon is a Mutant Underground franchise saleswoman? But then again, Marcos wasn't surprised or worried that Lorna knew exactly where he lived either. Maybe on some level they know the Inner Circle isn't targeting them?

    The music video thing is the format. The camera customarily leaves one or more characters out of view. Or there are extreme closeups of props, followed by long views where they are much diminished. Or certain camera movement signal specific powers. This show has a fairly detailed house style or structure. I suppose it's conceived to be a kind of grounding, subliminal familiarity. Music video certainly has not worn out its welcome everywhere. Hell or High Water had country music videos. Baby Driver was half music videos. Rather more interesting is the occasional use within the episode rather than the
    denouement. In this episode the Spanish lullaby about a dream. Or the Fenris theme of the music box, which was conspicuously not traditionally beautiful in a music box way.
     
  11. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The cold open seems to show Dr. Taylor the Lynwood hospital shrink, was lying to Caitlin and Lauren. I suppose we can imagine that as the scene closed Rebecca everted her collar, then killed everyone. I can't think why they'd do that, though. De mortuis nil nisi bonum? We are to believe Reeva and Lorna are simply manipulating Andy by agreeing with his feeling Rebecca was a victim. I suppose Reeva was sure Andy would try to rescue her the truth and she would then expose her true self, and then Andy would be committed. (The part to play she told Sage about.) But she didn't think Twist would actually get the drop on them. Andy skipping the meeting wasn't an announcement he was running with Rebecca.

    There is a grave misunderstanding on the part of the producers when they give the big dramatic decision to Andy Strucker, who is still detested by all right-minded audience. I'm not sure they meant to, but they did.

    They tried to parallel this with John's redemption from the path of evil in the name of necessity and return to the true morality of saving people you know. Unfortunately this is kind of small-minded, quasi-pacifist twaddle bordering on moral cowardice, and stupid to boot. Beating the Purifiers, then questioning a real source, Fade, could in principle have led to them tipping off the cops about the raid on Regimen. That way the Mutant Underground could have kept all those mutants in jail, nice and orderly, the way MU thinks it should be. So that's no counterweight.

    There's also the big Strucker decision to forego the cure to save Reed's life (if you believe Risman Garber, which I wouldn't but I'm a malcontent who is baselessly suspicious of authority.) The thing is, it isn't at all clear why? Except they had Risman Garber get really mean, so clearly she needed to die. Reed and Caitlin are Good Guys, so when she mouths off to them, it justifies her death, unlike that jerk in the bank. (She should be dead, given what was said about Noah's power.) There's also some verbiage about genocide and a race. But the thing about the mutant metaphor is that mutants aren't a race, where ancestors and posterity are the same kind of people, where there is commonality between generations. The mutants are different people, new, not the old. Even worse, when the woman says Andy is a curse, everybody else in the audience is going to agree she has a point. They undermined their own point by forgetting their own metaphor. It's like True Blood "forgetting" that vampires really are monsters whenever they wanted. So that's no counterweight either. So far as making meaningful choices goes, we're stuck with Andy saving the Inner Circle.I thought it was affecting, but I have the poor taste to find all talk of the Speed Force more and more boring.

    Technical issues: Why do the collars need to be centrally controlled? How can that actually work? We saw Weeks turn off the collars at the Trask massacre too.

    The show says Reed's old treatment was an enzyme that neutralized the power protein (though it doesn't literally say "enzyme," that's what it is.) It is not at all clear how any toxic enzyme could become less toxic, lose it's potency due to "stress" or even survive without degradation for decades. We wish proteins like collagen wouldn't when we've looked into a mirror long enough.

    Double X-genes somehow being taken from sibling? Most traits are actually polygenic. As technobabble this is about as senseless as Threshold's three-stranded DNA. Also, since Andy has run away, all talk about being drawn together is nonsense. It's not like Lauren really has any plans.

    Lastly, is this a true game-changer? I don't think so. Team Red State is of course the hero. Pulp fiction, as I think Jack Williamson for one told us, is a matter of putting your hero up a tree, then throwing rocks at him. This is just more rocks, so far.
     
  12. The Scrooge Doctor

    The Scrooge Doctor Bah humbug! Premium Member

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    Well, now we know why Rebecca is so angry at humanity, her own parents turned her in and tried to distract her with a pancake break-oh, wait, it doesn't matter now because she's dead now. That turned until a character cul-de-sac and turns out her sole purpose was to die in order to further a male's character arc. Ugh, gross.

    Jace Turner continues to be a piece of shit by talking about a superior race. Are we seriously suppose to be still sympathetic towards him? Fuck this guy and the shitty horse he rode on.

    John wisely chased off Clarice, but I guess we're suppose to like again since he nobly sacrificed himself to the Purifiers to allow Marcos and Fade escape. At this point, the Mutant Underground is essentially dead. The X-Men must be so proud. Please don't punch me (although to be fair, I wanted Marcos to...).

    Oops, turns out Dr. Madeline is all about race purification, too, just in a clean manner. At least her research is destroyed and another cul-de-sac hit.

    For an organization whose sole purpose is controlling mutants via technology, their control site is severely lacking in security. Andy and Lorna barely hit any resistance. :lol:

    And now everything is chaos. I guess I'm suppose to be excited by this huge game changer, but instead it all feels rather mundane. I want to be excited about this show but it feels like it's doing it's best to drain an interest out of the whole thing. At least the dialogue and episode-ending musical montages weren't so bad this time around.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    This one was rather unsubtle. So Lauren tells her parents that the doctor's research might be used to wipe out all mutants, and they just take it on faith that she's right and jump right to "We have to destroy it?" I mean, sure, full points for trusting their daughter, but that's the sort of thing you should corroborate first before acting on. At least they should've broached the subject with the doctor, voiced their concerns and seen how she reacted, before deciding to go behind her back.

    And all the mutant suppression collars nationwide are controlled from a single server farm, with no backups, no redundancy? That's a very bad design. Why would it even be set up to work that way? You'd think the actual control mechanisms to switch them on and off would be local at each facility, and the nationwide system would just be for, like, monitoring and software updates and stuff. Not to mention that the collars would logically be designed so that if they lost connection with the central control, their failsafe would be to automatically stay on, not turn off.
     
  14. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "That turned until a character cul-de-sac and turns out [Rebecca's] sole purpose was to die in order to further a male's character arc." It is bizarre to imagine anyone really thinking Twist was ever intended to be anything but a disposable homicidal maniac. Her fate is largely about showing Reeva's terrorism in unleashing the crazy/evil/demonic Twist, then having it both ways in showing Reeva's cruelty to her. It was Rebecca's life, not her death, that might have been part of an arc for Andy. As is, the show is so coy you don't even know Rebecca and Andy were lovers. Rebecca's death restored the status quo of Andy's commitment to the Inner Circle. Having Andy's big decision take over the episode is partly an accident, but the reason it's so unsatisfying isn't nonsense about serving a male character:It's because Andy isn't someone anybody wants to identify with. The PR color codes the politics, giving us Red State/Mutant Underground and Blue State/Inner Circle is. If that's not worth comment, nonsense about the sexual politics aren't.

    That weird contraption in the middle that Andy blew up I'm pretty sure was supposed to be the backup, hardened against an EMP attack like Lorna delivered. It is true the designers put a lot of faith in the physical barrier of that big door. Also, I'm pretty sure the four (or more?) guards dead at the gate don't feel like there was no resistance. We were supposed to hate Frost for the flippant remark about their death, "No problem."

    Try as I may to fanwank the server farm, the only thing I can think of is that the computers didn't control the on/off switches, they identified mutants for attempting to exercise their power. After all, how does the collar "know" when the mutant is doing something mutant-y? The computer program analyzes the data and "tells" the collar something is hinky, and to shock, now. And that's the sense in which the server farm controls the collars. Except of course that's not the way normal people would talk, I think. They'd say something like, the collars need the computer programs to work. So I'm pretty sure it's like the Creed Financial vault which couldn't be opened by the employees.

    On for the collar is shocking the mutants. A default to on means the mutants would be shocked indefinitely which seems likely to be lethal. We know the Mutant Underground has no problem with the authorities keeping mutants in prisons and fake hospitals but fitting them with kill collars seems a tad extreme even for them.

    PS Good to see Christopher Cousins, seen on SG-1 and Breaking Bad. In the former, he was one of Samantha Carter's doomed love interests. And he was the doomed love interest for Skyler White too.

    But speaking again of love interests being killed off to keep one character available for another...Risman Garber openly referred to the Strucker twins as Reed's grandparents as I recall. Also, she pretty much asked if Lauren and Andy were getting it on. Suppression and repression being the Strucker way it is unclear whether any character will say anything about this. In retrospect the music box may be Lauren's version of Andy's Fenris wolf, which comes up again this episode. If I remember correctly, Andy's first scene shows him drawing one. The show has never acknowledged neither Lauren nor Andy knew about Fenris at that point. This puts back into the Andy the (dream) rapist story line, which asks the question: Is Rebecca's death supposed to foreshadow Andy's?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018