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The Gifted S1X02 ‘rX’ Review

Contains Spoilers!

Following a very strong start to the latest Fox X-Men TV adaptation, the second episode of The Gifted is quickly proving that this may just be the best and closest live action adaptation to the comics since the first X-Men film. The way the show has established just how bad it is to be a mutant in this universe strikes a real chord and shows the depth of the World they’ve created, as we learn a little more about just what happened on July 15…

Following the Strucker family’s escape from the Sentinel Services through Blink’s unstable portal, the family try and decide what their next move is following Reed’s capture. However Blink is left weakened following the jump and quickly goes into some sort of shock, causing her powers to malfunction and rip open portals that bring destruction to the Mutant Underground’s safe haven. Lauren Strucker manages to use her powers to close the portal, but every time Blink opens another one, it’s at the same street, with a growing amount of armed police on the other side!

Amy Acker finally has a chance to shine in this episode, as Kate and Eclipse have to race against time to get Blink the vital medication she needs. Eclipse takes Kate to South Street Hospital, a Mutant healthcare facility which is packed to the brim thanks to, as Eclipse calls it, “the ultimate pre-existing condition.” Using Eclipse’s previous gunshot (and amazing glowey blood!) to be seen, Kate uses her nursing experience to sneak into the supply room and grab what she needs. The discrimination against mutants is very evident as the hospital doctor presumes Kate’s injuries are due to mutant domestic violence and instantly calls the police. This is a worrying World in which mutants are feared, persecuted and very much legislate against.

Meanwhile Polaris is moved to Lakewood jail and is forced to wear a power restricting collar (a nice nod to the Genosha collars in the comics). Even in prison mutants, known as ‘muties’ here, seem to be hated and Polaris doesn’t exactly make things easy for herself. I have to admit the scene in which she takes a beating was pretty hard to watch, especially with last week’s reveal that she’s pregnant. Of course this was all her fault because she’s a mutant, so she gets thrown straight into solitary confinement. At least we got to see her green hair from the comics, interesting to discover she had it along!

This week’s B plot featured Sentinel Services agent Jace Turner going toe to toe with Reed to find out everything he can about the Mutant Underground – he even brought in Reed’s mum for interrogation! Turner reveals that his daughter was one of the casualties in the major mutant incident that happened on July 15, giving us an insight into just why there’s so much hate and fear towards mutants. “I’m never going to know if the blast of energy that killed my kid came from a good mutant or a bad mutant. And guess what? I don’t care.” Turner also name drops the Brotherhood [of Evil Mutants] and the Mutant Liberation Front; but what happens if this an accidental incident much like the one in Logan? It seems as if Reed will co-operate in the Sentinel Services’ hunt for the mutants, but only in exchange for his family’s safety. But when it comes down to it, will Reed really betray the Mutant Underground?

In the closing scene we’re introduced to Dr. Roderick Campbell (Garrett Dillahunt), a creepy mutant researcher working for the Sentinel Services, also known as Ahab in the comics. He asks a colleague to pull up a newspaper article about a mutant sibling attack in Rio, 1962. Here’s what the article says:

“Multiple international intelligence agencies are on the hunt for the perpetrators of Monday’s devastating terror attack in Rio de Janeiro. The suspects are of European descent and suspected blonde-haired, blue-eyed twins with dangerous and highly destructive mutant abilities.”

Local authorities are fully cooperating with their international counterparts in conducting a search of the greater Rio de Janeiro and surrounding areas for any leads or sightings of these two wanted terrorists. Once captured, multiple nations will surely vie for the opportunity to try and punish

Could the show be hinting at mutant twins Andreas and Andrea Von Strucker, also known as Fenris from the comics?

‘rX’ is another strong, action packed episode that teases more about the show’s mysteries whilst also developing key characters and the alternate X-Men universe. The Gifted’s portrayal of mutant oppression and prejudice is one of the best I’ve seen so far, let’s hope this high quality continues in the rest of the series!