This Week on TV, Nov. 10, 2018

Spoiler Alert!

Right. I’m calling it. Due to a lack of ability to follow properly, I am officially dropping Doctor Who and Black Lightning from my lineup. On the bright side, I now have some room to fill out in my weekly lineup, so I can shop around for new shows to follow. 🙂

As for the last standing show in my lineup, the only one running at the moment, The Gifted once again delivers!

The Gifted

2.06 “iMprint”

We got a lot of insight into the Frosts this week.

For one, their behavior. They don’t just dress alike and talk in unison for the fun of it. It doesn’t even occur to them not to, because they’re so accustomed to being like one entity instead of three. With Esme burned by Marcos’ touch, her sisters are a bit sour at having to keep their arms covered so no one sees her burn. When Esme makes a small mistake that seems to have ruined things, her sisters say “we broke it, we‘ll fix it.” Only, that last bit was supposed to have been said by Esme, but she hesitates, and doesn’t have the same attitude as her sisters. There’s some division going on here, they’re falling out of sync with each other, and they’re getting irritated by it.

And with the three of them, their inner struggles, usually more well-hidden among normal people, are spelled out more clearly as they actually argue about it out loud instead of in their heads. Using their abilities, for instance, to control, spy, manipulate… it’s what they do. It’s what they were specifically made for, and taught to do.

Yes, they were made. In a lab. They’re clones (fans know who of). They were made to take information from mutants who just wanted to protect their families. They were made to control others. The moment came where they had enough, and overcame their oppressors, but they failed to save two of their number. There were originally five of them, and two were held back, kept in their collars, as leverage. When the three who survived made to escape, they thought they could save their sisters, but they failed. They felt them suffer and die. They experienced dying, and lived through it.

Small wonder they’re so sore at humans, with that as the defining experience of their lives!

And now they have a chance to strike back, not only at humans in general, but at the people behind their creation and their loss.

The company is called Creed, I think. They have lots of money, and they’re heavily involved in anti-mutant activities, including sponsoring the Purifiers. It would not surprise me if they had some connection to Trask as well, but that’s neither here not there at the moment. They’ve developed a mutant-detecting security system and deployed it in one of their banks. Reeva intends for the Inner Circle to hit said bank in full force. What the exact goal is, we don’t know yet, but it’s definitely an aggressive maneuver, and dangerous.

As such, Andy, Rebecca, and Lorna are being driven hard in their training, such that Lorna is getting a bit annoyed. She has a daughter in need of constant attention at the exact moment her attentions are being occupied with training. She has a daughter that needs her to survive at the exact moment they’re gearing up for something that will obviously be very risky. She has a daughter that she will be a mother to, and so she intends to keep her fate securely in her own hands. That means not being kept in the dark about the impending op.

Reeva really doesn’t like that. Forget how she wanted Lorna for her spirit in the first place, and how she’s used to being a leader, she’s supposed to fall in line and be a good little pawn! And forget Esme’s point about how they can’t control Lorna forever, Reeva doesn’t care about forever, she cares about immediate results. And forget how Andy and Rebecca would react, if Esme can’t convince Lorna to cooperate, they’re to do whatever it takes to make her fall in line. About the only ground she gives is letting Esme tell her about the mission beforehand.

Lorna, for her part, is mostly placated by this, but when Esme accidentally hums her family’s lullaby, Lorna realizes that her arrival just after Dawn went to sleep was no coincidence. She really does not like Esme being in her baby daughter’s head, not for any reason, not even for a moment, and she does not hesitate to make her displeasure known by choking and hoisting Esme with her own necklace.

I can certainly appreciate a parent’s protective instincts, and it is important to set boundaries early on, like, “Stay out of my daughter’s head if you value your life.” 🙂

With the Inner Circle on the verge of collapsing over this – and that would be such a shame, wouldn’t it? – Esme opens herself up to Lorna, by way of apology and explanation. She shares what happened with her sisters, and she shares what she gained in that moment within Dawn’s head. She knows pain, and has known little else, but love? That’s new, to the point that she makes a solemn, tearful promise that she would and will do anything to protect Dawn, including protecting Lorna.

It’s an intense moment between the two women, and it convinces Lorna to go along with the op, next episode.

Back over on the Underground’s side of things, Cait and Lauren go to talk to Rebecca’s psychiatrist, while Reed trains with John. In the latter case, Reed is at a disadvantage compared to his kids, who don’t have their own lifetime of experience working against their ability to adapt. Reed wants a quick fix, a single solution like a silver bullet, but that’s not how this works. Indeed, to master his abilities, it seems he must master his issues, which, he’s still trying not to face them. It’s a good thing to want to move forward, Reed, but sometimes you just gotta stop and sort yourself out.

On that note, we see some old, friendly faces again. When Purifiers, under Turner’s rising leadership role, start targeting the Underground itself in earnest, they begin by bombing a church. This drives the innocents inside towards the local Underground station, overloading it. These people need help, so they go and help. It’s good to see friends who haven’t become enemies, especially when all the people who used to help the Underground are abandoning them. One of said friends, Shatter, gives Reed some very good advice, sharing his own story about when his powers first manifested.

Unfortunately, it’s all a trap. The Purifiers tracked the mutants to the Underground station, and now they attack in force, surrounding the building and filling it with knockout gas. Only a handful make it out of the room, and they’re facing gunfire at every exit. Clarice is out cold, so they can’t portal out. John is conscious, but definitely feeling the effects, he needs help to get out. That leaves Reed, Marcos, Shatter, and a couple kids. Enough to put up a fight, but not enough to win. They must find a way to escape, or they’re all dead.

Reed digs deep to make an opening in the wall, to get to another exit underground. Everyone else has to cover him, including the kid who stuns one man, Marcos laying down cover fire, and Shatter, who charges out and draws enemy fire. He takes out one of the Purifiers, but Turner shoots him with something high caliber, straight through the chest, right around the heart. He dies, his body falling to pieces. Another friend down forever, and so many more taken by the Feds, courtesy of the Purifiers.

And what really gets me is how Turner actually said, “Don’t make me do this,” before murdering Shatter in cold blood. Yeah, as if anyone was making Turner do anything. He killed a man who was only defending his own, and he kept a piece of him.

I will admit, when they mentioned the higher ups taking an interest in Turner, and they’re obviously referring to Creed, part of me wanted to hope that maybe Turner was doing all of this as some kind of deep cover op. I mean, the mutants are perfectly innocent ninety-nine percent of the time, but the Purifiers and they’re ilk come along and attack them. It’s feasible that an agent with a believable history could work his way towards the upper echelons of their leadership, to take the organization down. It would fit. But that’s likely just severely wishful thinking on my part.

At the end of the day, the Purifiers won this round, and hundreds of innocent mutants lost, including one who laid down his life for his friends.

Oh, and Reed apparently can’t turn his power off. He found the on switch, but where’s the off switch?

Things went only slightly better on Cait and Lauren’s side of things. They got the information they needed, yes, but it’s not exactly comforting. They pose as Rebecca’s family, but that gives them away immediately, because Rebecca doesn’t have family anymore. She killed them. She turned them inside-out. The psychiatrist has a video to prove it, of an unfortunate assistant in the asylum who thought she was on her meds at a moment when she wasn’t, and… well, they don’t show it, and that’s pretty much all we need to know about it.

Andy’s girlfriend is a full-on murdering psychopath. Oh, sure, she was among a bunch of mutants who were all innocent and wrongfully imprisoned, but being among the sheep does not make a wolf one of them.

All in all, a bad day for the good guys. About the only “good” thing, and it’s questionable at best, is how Lauren and Andy had another talk in their dreams. Andy is confident in his growing strength, and though he regrets hurting his sister, he’s not backing down from it. Just the opposite, he’s full of swagger as he tries to convince her to join the Inner Circle. She’s obviously tempted, but that’s before she sees who they recruited in Rebecca, and put right next to her brother. With that in mind, she’s determined to beat Andy over the head if need be to bring him back and get him away from Rebecca.

Interesting detail: she can get hurt in these dreams, as proven by pricking her finger on something. Hm.

Also interesting detail: who was that Reeva was texting all lovey dovey?

So, Turner’s getting deeper in with the Purifiers, including spilling blood for them and helping them adapt and evolve, a bunch of mutants got snatched all at once, Shatter is dead, other friends are captured, another Underground station went under, Reed’s powers just went nuts the moment he finally used them on purpose, Lorna and Esme are bonding, Rebecca is proven crazy and homicidal now, Andy is still drinking the Inner Circle cool-aid right next to the crazy, homicidal girl, Lorna almost quit but was talked out of it by bonding with Esme, who is growing apart from her sisters, who are forever psychologically scarred in hatred of humanity, so the Inner Circle will launch a pivotal operation with a united front… is anything good ever going to happen for the heroes ever again?!

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