Let the Holiday Draught begin! …mind you, it begins very easily when, out of three shows in my lineup, only one of them is airing. As for the other two, one returns in January, for its conclusion, and the other is hunkering down until after Avengers: Endgame… which I am super excited for! 😀
But, setting that aside for the moment, The Gifted had its fall finale, so we’ll see it again next year… in a month. 🙂 And wow, did they pick a climactic moment to leave us with!
2.09 “gaMe changer”
The Struckers probably have the easiest time of it. I mean, they find out that the woman they went to for help has ulterior motives which they are accidentally serving. She’s devoted her life to helping people, but her definition of “help” is skewed. Hers is a perversion of the crusade against hatred. It’s not really “fighting hatred” when you try to erase what is hated. That is hatred itself, just more cold-blooded.
Of course, it’s easy to see how the woman sees herself as a hero, and how her followers see that too. After all, she’s alleviating suffering and enabling people to live normal lives, without the need to fear either Purifiers or their own powers. But at the very root of it all is her hatred, her belief that the X-gene is a stigma, that mutants are bane to their families. When the root is poisoned, the fruit is too.
This puts Lauren, Reed, and Cait in the difficult position of having to weigh their own needs against the world. They came looking for a way to save Reed’s life and protect everyone around him, after all, and now they know that anything but a permanent solution will only delay the inevitable. Without a cure, Reed’s power will eventually kill him. None of them want that, but Reed is the one with the most right to choose, and he doesn’t hesitate. They can’t put his life above all the mutants in the entire world. He would rather die, painfully, than be anywhere involved in their extermination.
So, Cait steals as much of the available medication as she can without attracting notice, Reed and Cait keep the doctor occupied with questions, and Lauren charms her way to finding out where they keep the blood. Unfortunately, this attracts the doctor’s attention, and she comes with security to stop them. The Struckers are caught, and at a disadvantage.
But when the doctor’s mask slips and her assistant, Noah, sees it, he understands. He may not like his powers, and he may like being normal, but he is not a curse upon his family. After all his service and devotion to her and her cause, hearing what she really thinks of him enrages him. So, he destroys the blood samples himself, and annihilates years worth of her work, and the building around them as well. He lets the Struckers get out, but the doctor tries to plead with him not to, and she’s still in the room when he lets loose.
Moving from the Struckers over to the Underground trio of John, Marcos, and Clarice, things are breaking down. John has usually been a voice of caution, but now he’s just bulldozing ahead without slowing down for anything. Marcos is grief-stricken at the losing his daughter? They need him anyway. Finding out what the Inner Circle wants with Regimen involves talking to a particular executive? They kidnap him. The man has security? They do it anyway. The man doesn’t instantly spill everything? They scare him. The authorities are rounding up all the mutants they can get their hands on because of this kidnapping fiasco? They have to keep going anyway.
Clarice gets angrier and angrier, frustrated with John’s single-minded pursuit of the Inner Circle and the lengths he is going to. She eventually bails, running out to try and help the innocent bystanders caught up in their mess. As for Marcos, he gets to be the voice of caution for once, but John isn’t listening. Eventually, they find out that Regimen deals mostly in utilitarian stuff, but they also run the anti-mutant collars. And by that, they mean all of them.
That’s the Inner Circle’s next target: the collars.
John, Marcos, and their captive are on the brink of narrowing it down a bit when Fade shows up. Or, rather, he sneaks in invisibly and murders said captive. Sage detected the remote login and followed the trail back to them, and John barely hears Fade coming before he takes the shot. The former comrades are not happy with each other, but Fade doesn’t want to hurt them. As far as the Inner Circle is concerned, they have no beef with their Underground friends, except in keeping them off their trail and out of the way.
And then, to make things even worse, as the mutants are colliding, the Purifiers show up.
Turner has risen high and quick in the Purifier ranks, and at at his direction, they’re organizing. They’re going out, patrolling the area, calling in suspicious (read: “any”) mutant activity. They’re becoming a militia, taking their safety into their own hands. So, they respond to a shooting and find three mutants at the scene. Fade gets hit, but not fatally. John shields Marcos before telling him to take Fade and get out while he holds the humans off. And he does, by charging the truck and slowing it down, even though it pins him against a dumpster, and Turner, so smug, says, “Gotcha.”
Yeah, Turner, you got him. You got a guy who only had to fight because Purifiers kept attacking mutants, and who still was only trying to stop the Inner Circle from hurting you. You’re organizing one side of the war the Inner Circle wants and stepping on one of the people who are trying to stop them. Yes, that’s so excellently done, you little fool.
And speaking of the Inner Circle, they have a little inner drama to work out before their next mission, involving Rebecca.
This episode’s flashback showed her parents turning her over to SS after nearly killing her teacher. They collared her just as she was sitting down for breakfast. As we know she murdered her family and was able to overcome a collar, I’m guessing this didn’t work out so well.
In the present, she’s confined to a unique cell. In order to confuse her space-warping abilities, they have to keep her in the dark and constantly in motion. It’s not pleasant, and she never stops screaming (that she didn’t do anything, which is most emphatically false), but it’s the best alternative they can come up with instead of killing her.
Andy is most unhappy with her discomfort. Reeva tries to explain it, even playing into Andy’s own excuses for her, how she was “victimized” by the world. Andy talks to Lorna as well, asking if what they fight for was worth giving up her daughter, but, really, he’s thinking about if the fight is worth him giving up Rebecca. As the rest of the Circle goes over the plan, Andy packs up, busts Rebecca out, and wants to run away with her.
Rebecca has other ideas. Much like his family is seeing under a doctor’s disguise, to the madness beneath, Andy is forced to see Rebecca as she truly is. She’s cool with running, but first she wants to kill everyone. What, Andy thinks she didn’t mean to kill thirty-seven people? Of course she did! Why wouldn’t she?
You can practically hear the horror breaking Andy’s heart as it shoves its way in.
When the elevator opens, there is a horrifying moment where everyone else in the Inner Circle, the Frosts, Lorna, Reeva, etc. all see Rebecca emerging, all feel the space beginning to warp, and they know they’re about to die. But Andy hits her from behind, hard. He doesn’t mean to really hurt her, but he chooses to defend the others. She goes down, sliding until her head hits the wall. She doesn’t get up again.
Andy just accidentally killed his first girlfriend to keep her from murdering everyone else in a psychotic rampage.
It’s a defining moment for Andy. He’s lost and sacrificed for the Inner Circle, and he has something to blame on the human world, driving him on. He’s truly dedicated to the Inner Circle now. So when they attack Regimen, he goes with them.
It’s a simple matter at this point, and they leave bodies behind them with little to no difficulty. Andy breaks through a wall, and he and Lorna go into the facility which controls all of the collars in the country. In one blow, the two of them deactivate the entire lot. In every prison, detention center, and every psychiatric facility, outside those like the one Rebecca was in, every confined mutant is suddenly unleashed, all across the country. Prison guards are overwhelmed and slaughtered, walls and fences obliterated, and the largest breakout in history is completed.
So, in practically one moment, the humans lose the only chance they had at “curing” the X-gene, and they lose the collars, making every corner of the country erupt simultaneously, and the Purifiers themselves bring one of the Inner Circle’s most dedicated enemies low. It seems like the mutants have this in the bag now, right?
I disagree. The mutants might be erupting in violence everywhere, but the humans are organized, and only getting more so. The mutants might have abilities, but the humans have guns, missiles, tanks, jets, etc. The mutants might have a horde, but the humans already have actual armies. And the mutants might have a lot of fighter and killers, but humans have the sheer, overwhelming weight of numbers on their side.
If I were a betting man, my money would still absolutely be on the humans, not the mutants, which makes this series of aggressions by the Inner Circle tantamount to racial suicide, and they don’t even see it.
And on that happy note, see you next year! 🙂