This Week on TV, Oct. 13, 2018

Spoiler Alert!

Doctor Who and Black Lightning both made their returns, alongside a number of other shows, as the new season properly kicks off. Small detail: my old methods of following these shows seems to have gone defunct over the course of the summer. It seems those logistical concerns I had are playing out a bit more thoroughly than I expected.

So, begging pardons and patience, I obviously need to figure that out before I can add them back to my weekly commentary.

As for The Gifted… honestly, I love how I can come to this show expecting something great, something emotional and personal and thrilling, and be so consistently rewarded. 🙂

The Gifted

2.03 “coMplications”

First and foremost, because babies are important, we have little Dawn suffering from I-have-no-idea-what-it-is. It’s apparently something that can be cured only with exposure to the right light, or the baby dies, and the doctor is unable to produce it. So, with much objection and trepidation, the Inner Circle reaches out to Marcos.

Dawn needs her daddy. 🙂

ADD Moment: I had not realized that “Dawn” in Spanish is “Aurora,” so, it seems Lorna did keep that name for her daughter, after fashion.

While the Frosts are out collecting Marcos, and bringing him back with a hood over his head, Andy and Lorna have to acknowledge the awkward position they’re about to be in.

I mean, Marcos is the man Lorna loves, the father of her daughter. They didn’t part on very good terms, and now they’re on opposing sides, but they still love each other, and this was bound to be a painful experience, not only because of their feelings for each other, but… well, Marcos is a father. He naturally feels so strongly that he cries just from holding his daughter for the first time, and making him let go of Dawn and leave is made even harder by his own issues with his father.

We saw that in a flash back, where his father abandoned him for being a mutant and hated him for his subsequent involvement with the cartels, while Marcos was angry with his father for turning him out, for his judgmental attitude, and for what he sees as his father’s treatment of his mutant mother driving her into an early grave, and yet still wanting to help when his father is sick and dying. Marcos may be filled with unforgiving anger, but he is a deeply selfless soul, all the more for wanting to not be like his father.

So, leaving his daughter? Especially in the hands of the Inner Circle? No. No, that is not going to fly with him. It’s simply not.

The tender moment of a father holding his baby daughter for the first time, of using his power to heal her, of wanting so much to keep her and stay with her, and her mother, that for a moment he considers doing anything to stay with them, it all too quickly becomes pain and heartbreak. He can hardly breathe, he tries to convince them, he only hands over his daughter and begins to leave under duress of the Frosts’ mental influence. It’s painful for Lorna and the audience to see… but I had a moment of cheering wildly (or perhaps savagely?) when Marcos’ love for Lorna and Dawn was so strong that he overcame the three Frosts, even at their maximum together, and fought for his family like a man!

He screamed for Lorna, that they were lying to her and in her head – I am highly suspicious that this might be true, and it would certainly make Esme’s dissension all the more potent if she breaks ranks and releases Lorna and Andy from any mental compulsion they might be under – and he outright overcomes their ability to command him, hitting them and burning one on the arm.

Unfortunately, his fight ended the instant Reeva got him with that scream of hers. There was a bit of property damage, and he can warn the other about her, but, still, he was firmly ejected from the place.

As for Andy, he was going to avoid Marcos altogether, because they were friends in the Underground, but Reeva talked him into standing by her side. A more friendly appearance, perhaps, but also because she wants people who can stand up to their friends as much as their enemies. I can see the reasoning there, but it’s a tremendous thing, to oppose a friend. One ought to be certain of the cause one is doing it for, in that case. On the bright side, Andy hesitated when Marcos ran amok. He stood behind Reeva instead of charging into the fight. Somehow, he wasn’t ready for that. Not yet.

Back in the Underground, the Struckers are trying to keep things going as per usual, but family drama interrupts, while John and Clarice look for subterranean help together.

In the case of the latter, Clarice is noticing John’s increasing drive, including how he manages to bruise his hands hitting hard stuff, but John is unaware of just how hard his anger and his guilt are driving him. They head down into the sewers to find that what’s already a maze has been enhanced to disorient and redirect unfamiliar parties. They manage to make their way through, partially because of Clarice’s abilities with portals, to find themselves surrounded by armed mutant vagrants. And thus, the Morlocks are introduced.

Clarice, and only Clarice, is allowed to speak with their leader, Urg. He shows her the community they have down there, people who are somehow visibly deformed or physically maimed. Urg sells it as people living together according to their own rules, instead of the rules dictated by the humans who hunt them. It doesn’t seem to be a particularly comfortable way to live, but I can see the appeal, being able to hide away from a hostile world, safe with people like you. That’s not an entirely bad thing.

But the part where they all have to look different from normal humans, with those who look normal being branded with Ms on their faces, in order to be part of this community, that speaks of something less appealing to me. It’s what draws Urg to Clarice, actually: her eyes and her elfin ears. She’s a visible mutant, unlike the handsome John or a number of others we’ve seen, so he builds a rapport with her. He offers the information they’re looking for, but in return he wants her to spy for him.

Urg, I think, is clever and scheming. Perhaps he has to be in order to keep his people safe, but he’s still dangerous, and this danger could easily threaten what little is left of the Underground, no to mention Clarice’s relationship with John. The first thing we see of him, he leads people who are willing to do harm, whose followers seem entirely indoctrinated by his way of thinking, which doctrine is partially based on the merits of one’s appearance, including scarring their own people, and he immediately wants to turn Clarice to his own ends. And if living under his rule is so great, why didn’t I hear any laughter among his people?

Still, they get information. It turns out there’s a mutant who produces some sick sort of slime that he can see out of, like security cameras. Something he saw included the Inner Circle in the tunnels beneath the health department.

…and that, right there, with the words “health department,” make me shudder in horror, thinking that maybe my initial guess that Reeva just wants to take over the country might have been optimistic. What, exactly, is she planning with that? And how many people does she intend to kill?

Between that great unknown and Marcos returning hurt, exhausted, and quite rightfully furious, it’s safe to say the Inner Circle will have to get past the Underground in order to do whatever it is they’re intending to do. That will not be a pretty fight.

Finally, back in the center of the Strucker arena, now that Lauren has confided her feelings about the dead bodies they’ve left behind to her father, things between them are somehow even more tense. Reed goes on a run for supplies, and Cait, wanting to make things a bit better after she said such horrible things to Reed the previous day, encourages him to take Lauren along. It’s on the way back that things start going wrong. They’re talking, they get a call from Cait asking about the file cabinet Reed accidentally destroyed, he gets stressed, his powers act up, dissolving the steering wheel in his grip, and they crash.

Yes, Lauren, your dad is a very late-bloomed mutant, and he didn’t tell you.

Amidst the stress of having to grab their stuff and run for it, Lauren is furious at her father for keeping secrets again. Secrets are how so much of their lives went wrong, right down to when Lauren was too scared to tell him when her powers manifested. It’s a heart-rending moment, really, but one that was much-needed. It’s only when Reed gets back and tells Cait the truth that this invisible barrier that’s been rising between the two of them vanishes, and they embrace, husband and wife. Lauren, who has had very little joy in her life of late, is able to smile when she sees her parents like that.

Unfortunately, they didn’t even notice an old enemy on their tail.

Turner, it turns out, failed to actually move on. He shows up in DC with his box of files, looking for the mutants he blames for ruining his life. He presents a good image, connects with the desk sergeant on duty, offers valuable information. He’s welcomed, and gets to work, but it doesn’t last long. He goes off book a bit when he, an unauthorized party, goes out to a crash site. He’s good, manages to catch up just in time to see the Struckers driving off in a stolen truck, but the captain is not happy with him. Add his presumption to how he was blamed (and burned) for Atlanta, and his loud insistence that the dead mutants he’s hunting are not dead is not so well received. He’s made to leave, disgraced yet again.

So, the Inner Circle is up to something possibly even worse than previously imagined, Lorna’s mind may not be her own, friends and family are being set against each other, the price for Urg’s information is a piece of Clarice’s loyalty, John is pushing a little too hard to get into this fight, Marcos is enraged with a desire to hit the Inner Circle back after they let him hold his daughter only to take her away, Reed’s powers are uncontrolled and dangerous, and Turner is still hunting all of them.

On the bright side, the Frosts’ are not all-powerful with their abilities, taking out Reeva would clearly turn the tide of any conflict, Andy is hesitant, Lorna may have cause to question her loyalties to the Inner Circle now, the Struckers are starting to come back together as a family… and little baby Dawn is alive and healthy again!

So, not all bad, I’d say, and very entertaining either way! 🙂

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