This Week on TV, Oct. 6, 2018

Spoiler Alert!

Ah, we are back! The weekly shows and my weekly commentary! Oh, how I’ve missed this! 🙂

Though, it seems I got so accustomed to having nothing to comment on that I was caught unawares and arrived late to the party! Apparently I missed the second season premiere of The Gifted last week? Oh, Merlin, Merlin, Merlin, how unbecoming! 😛

All for the best, maybe. I’m not sure I could’ve handled leaving off at that heart-breaking scene at the end of the first episode.

In other news, Gotham and Agents of Shield will be taking their sweet time showing up again, the former for its concluding season and the latter for… whatever they decide to do with it.

Black Lightning will be gracing us much sooner. And as for Doctor Who, I still haven’t decided if I’ll follow it or keep commenting on it, but logistical concerns may take care of that for me anyway. Figures.

So, with that said, let’s dive in! This should be a most interesting season!

The Gifted

2.01 “eMergence” & 2.02 “unMoored”

Ya don’t get a much stronger opening than a bloody coup.

Reeva Payge (and I looked it up on Wikipedia to make sure I got her name right) is terrifying. Not simply because her ability is evidently very debilitating to be on the receiving end of, but because she is absolutely not at all hesitant to murder anyone.

Apparently, the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club was not at all united, and not at all happy, concerning the events in Atlanta. When they refuse to get on board with Reeva’s “mutant homeland” project, citing how dangerous it is, she summarily executes the entire lot of them with the Frosts’ assistance. These are people she’s known and worked with, shared goals with, probably assisted and been assisted by, and she kills all of them without hesitation. Anyone or anything which might get in her way, she will eliminate with extreme prejudice and without remorse.

I say again: terrifying. That is exactly the sort of person you do not want to follow, because even the tiniest deviation from their agenda gets you instantly dead. Loyalty and compassion mean nothing to her.

About the only good thing there is how mind-numbingly stupid it is to drop bodies willy-nilly. What, does she think no one will notice a pile of corpses? Does she think this engenders loyalty towards her, when everyone knows they can be cast aside at any moment? Does she think that she can make the world be a better place?

Anyway, so, Reeva rules the Hellfire Club now, without question, and her brilliant plan is apparently to take over the country by force and magically turn it into a place where mutants can live in peace. Because that’s always been such a great plan in the past, right?

Meanwhile, over on the human side of this war, SS is keepin’ up the good ol’ work of storming into innocent people’s homes, murdering them in cold blood, terrorizing anyone they happen to not murder, hunting human beings who happen to be mutants as if they were active terrorists, that sort of thing. With the manpower and firepower they bring to the party, the Underground can hardly take them head-on, but they’re still doing what they can, rescuing as many as possible as quickly as possible.

Reed listens in on the radio, dispatches the team, and makes papers for people to help them get clear. Lauren and Clarice are partnered up, going for one group while John and Marcos go for the other. Innocent blood is spilled in the latest SS raid, and honest people are captured, but the Underground saves some, if only a few. The don’t even have a proper way station or HQ anymore, but they make do, partially operating out of a clinic.

So, they’re pretty effective with what little they have, but they’re stretched thin, and getting pushed towards emotional breaking points. They’re fighting a desperate war for survival, but the single most pressing stress weighing down on them is family.

Marcos knows that his baby is due any day, and what he wants most is to be there. The Struckers are still reeling from Andy leaving them, with Cait in the denial stage of grief, acting like her little boy was kidnapped, Lauren in the angry stage, wanting her brother back but also afraid to have him because of Fenris, and Reed trying to hold it together despite how his mutant powers are manifesting. Both families are trying, fighting to reunite with their loved ones, but it’s all in vain. SS is on one side, Hellfire and the Inner Circle are on another, and they, the Underground, are caught in the middle, enemies of both.

For Marcos, his frustration comes to a head when Lorna goes into labor. Reeva and the Frosts apparently had the foresight to prepare a near fortress for her to give birth in, protecting her from the sporadic surges of electromagnetic energy which struck all of DC, resulting in power surges and a vortex of everything metal flying in every direction. What they did not have was the foresight to do so a little earlier, just in case the baby came a bit early, which… yeah. Baby says, “I’m coming out now!” Things get a bit hairy there for a bit, with some kind of mental block inhibiting the birthing process. Reeva and the Frosts motivate Lorna with a vision of what they hope for, igniting Lorna’s will to see the birth through.

Of course, first they had to get past Andy, who, at Lorna’s maternal insistence, promised to protect the baby even if their “friends” wanted to save her at cost of the baby’s life. They did, though, and it turned out well, though I wonder if they might have altered something in Lorna’s mind in that moment. I mean, what happened to naming her daughter Aurora? Instead, in honor of the impending dawn of the mutant age, she’s named Dawn.

It’s kind of a beautiful moment, but warped, with a little girl, Dawn, coming into life amidst a storm of power, surrounded by her mother’s keepers instead of her family.

Said family was en route, easily detecting Lorna’s wildly-active powers, but they didn’t make it in time. Marcos was left in the dark with the rest of DC, weeping, his light flickering, with friends who could only share his sorrow.

As for the Struckers, that’s still coming to a boil. Lauren and Andy are dreaming of each other, and it’s putting both of them off. Lauren is increasingly afraid of Fenris even as she wants her brother back, while Andy is left unable to perform in training.

The Inner Circle preparing for a specific mission, probably to assassinate the President or something like that. Reeva’s so paranoid about this mission that she wipes out every trace that could lead back to them from the power outage, including destroying the building, murdering a hapless security guard who couldn’t identify them anyway, and also murdering the man they just bribed. So, when Andy, as a teenage boy, is less than forthcoming about why he’s under-performing, she’s ready to kill him then and there… until, at the last moment, he confesses. His mother has been messaging him, so he used that info to try and call Lauren, just to hear her voice, but she wasn’t there. Reeva uses that, tells him not to try and forget his feelings, but use them. They’re fighting for mutants, including her, so he ought to fight for her as well. It works, he manages to do it, and they’re all happy (and living).

Reed tried to confess the truth of his changing condition to Cait, but they were interrupted by the crisis of Lorna giving birth and Marcos trying to get to her. He only put his mutation on the back burner to begin with because Cait is violently obsessed with getting her son back. He’s her little boy, too young to be going to war, and all that. She’s so driven that she takes Marcos to go see this mutant with power as a hacker, who, after nearly selling them to the Inner Circle, gives them some intel. They still can’t find the Inner Circle, but they know they’re up to something big and violent in DC.

On that note, John went to Evangeline, the woman who recruited him and others for the Underground on behalf of the X-Men. She’s largely given up, and hurls John’s failures back in his face, which he’s already torn up over, but she still helps. It’s not much, but she’s able to direct him to someone who can help them muscle up, down in the tunnels beneath the city, without drawing on what little the Underground has left. They’re already fighting a war, after all, and losing. Fighting another war against the Inner Circle? Someone else will have to do that.

On the note of John, at least he and Clarice are finding some moments of joy. I have to say, I love the two of them together! They are just so adorable!

As for John’s responsibility for Atlanta, I actually can’t fault anything he did. He may have made mistakes, but he absolutely did the best he could, and I can’t think of any choices he made where there was anything better he might have done. Which is probably even worse for his morale, really. It’s one thing to lose because you make mistakes you can learn from. It’s another to lose without having made such mistakes, having done everything right, but still in vain, still losing, and still losing his dear friends.

That is a terrible burden to bear. Small wonder he wants so badly to hit something.

About the only good news is that Hellfire is hardly united. Reeva does not command loyalty, Lorna’s first concern is her daughter, Andy fights for his sister, not Reeva… and even the Frost sisters have a little crack in their unity. Esme, the one who was with the Underground instead of getting captured and tortured, is hesitating, arguing for less murder. The security guard they already compelled to forget them, the manager they paid off, Andy… she argues against harming all of them. Still, it’s only a start. She relents on all three. About the best mercy she can scrounge up is having the manager hit by a truck instead of made to walk into an airplane’s rotor blade.

And then there’s Lorna, who truly misses Marcos. So, when Marcos gets a bit drunk and, not-so-prudently lights up the sky, she smiles to see it. She even tells Dawn, “Your daddy is saying hi.”

Less happy: the baby’s burning up.

There’s a reason that’s a nightmare for any proper parent.

So, recap: Reeva’s leading an ambitious plan to take over the country (probably), murdering anyone who might be an inconvenience to her; Lorna gave birth without Marcos; Lauren and Andy are dreaming of each other and it’s not in a happy way; Reed is mutating and it’s starting to hurt him; Cait is crazy to get her son back; John is trying to save the Underground and take up the mantle of the X-Men, though he may not think of it in those terms; the Frosts are dividing; and the baby is in danger from some sickness. I miss anything?

Oh, and Turner seems to be leaving his mutant-hunting past with SS behind him. At least, for the moment.

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