The first episode of the highly anticipated second series of The Gifted has arrived, and it doesn’t disappoint. Where in the first series the directors and creators were, inevitably, finding their footing and cultivating their particular oeuvre. The series begins with a seemingly blissful Polaris (Lorna) but we quickly see the anxieties that have infiltrated her mind.
The Gifted as a series interests me personally because it explores a range of different sociological issues that permeate society, commenting both on the problematic structures that run the world, and also the traps that vigilante groups and groups that wish to end corruption fall into. It also shows, however less forcibly, that when violence is the main instrument used by fringe groups, who may be advocating for justice and the end of corruption, all that enacting violence will do is brand the word terrorist on the individuals and groups, and delegitimize any of their beliefs and wishes in the eyes of the public. The government gets to point at the violence and brand them volatile and untrustworthy.
This series we meet a new cog in the infamous ‘Hellfire Club’ – Reeva Payge, who we immediately learn is incredibly volatile and violent, showing extremist leanings. She’s part of the infamous ‘Inner Circle’ of this group. She then uses her eerie mutant power to incapacitate the entire group (minus the trio that aids her) and together they kill every single person at the table. This is some strong foreboding of what kind of behaviour and decisions she’ll make in the future, if our first glimpse of her is exploring the deplorable things she’s capable of and will continue to do in the name of the ‘greater good’. The end justifies the means in her books, no matter what means were utilized.
We see Lorna continually losing her grip and control over her continually strengthening power. We also see that even Lorna who has handed over her belief and power to the Hellfire Club, doesn’t fully trust either Reeva or the blonde trio (Esme, Sophie & Phoebe). She believes, at least on some level that they will choose her life over her babies, if things go awry during the childbirth. She seeks out Andy and begs him to protect her baby at all costs, even if it means going against the powers-that-be, he obliges.
Onto papa Strucker, in the first series of this show we learn that he and his family come from the all-powerful Von Strucker clan, who hailed a brother and sister that could unleash an unimaginable power by combining their respective powers and utilizing a force that was at that time, unprecedented. We also learn from his father, that he exhibited powers as a boy and that his father went to great and painful lengths to seep out his mutant gene’s and prevent him from ending up with a life of being on the run. We now see him witnessing headaches and pains, and what are either severe delusions, or, more likely, the re-emergence of his mutant powers.
We get a brief happy interlude when we witness the domestic bliss that John (Thunderbird) and Clarice (Blink) are currently enjoying. Considering we spent the entire previous series building towards this, it’s a happy presence on our screens, considering the incredible lack of chemistry that John and his former paramour had, the connection these two have is a welcome addition to the viewers.
We can only speculate as to whether or not what the trio showed Lorna (in order to get her to continue through the troublesome labour) is actually true, or was it just a creation designed specifically to get her to do what they wanted. Is their help with the birth of this child true, or is it a means to an end in order to potentially secure their position with Lorna and the child, to use her and the baby in the future for nefarious purposes. Let’s see how next weeks release plays out.. Stay tuned.