They’ve been doing a good job with the titles on The Gifted. They not only made the play on “X” for X-Men work, but they’ve been making the titles actually fit what’s been going on during the episode. Well, until this one, anyway. “eXodus” doesn’t really make sense– there’s no big movement and no major relocation of people or places. It was still a good episode, though. There were some very annoying choices, but they made sense and were in character.
They open with a flashback, like last week, but this time it’s within the Mutant Underground. Marcos/Eclipse gets a tour from Polaris, apparently having just arrived. They chat and flirt some, and she pushes him to say something good about his powers. Finally, he does something cool, they kiss, and their powers combine in interesting ways. It’s a neat effect.
In the now, Polaris is considerably less happy in her prison cell. The day gets worse when Agent Turner comes in to taunt, terrorize, and harass her. He pushes her to turn on the Underground, but he isn’t really offering much by way of incentives. After a few more threats, he leaves.
Back at the Underground base (that facility needs a name), John and Marcos argue about what to do for Lorna. Marcos wants John to train Clarice, in hopes that her teleportation portals can help spring Lorna. John isn’t sure this is a good idea, and he has a good point. Caitlin, meanwhile, hasn’t really adjusted at all to her new circumstances. She goes on about calling her lawyer, and makes what would be a good point under other circumstances, that, “We can assault a building but not talk to a person?” She just doesn’t get it quite yet. John cautions her that they just can’t risk the exposure.
Clarice is still having problems with her powers, and comments that a hacksaw and glowsticks would be more reliable than her powers in a try at freeing Lorna. John tries to offer her some encouragement, and there’s some entertaining banter about spirit animals and ways to train her in the use of her powers. Dreamer pulls John aside and hints at ways to push Clarice, and John advises against it.
Caitlin and the kids, who were playing Monopoly earlier, come up with an ill-advised plan to sneak out and talk to her brother, because what could possibly go wrong with that? Turner leans on Reed about ways to go after the Underground, and Reed tells him about the bartender where Reed and Marcos met up.
John tries to start training Clarice, drawing on his past in the Marines. I wonder if this world has a “mutants can’t serve” issue like some current real world policies? His attempt to get her to focus derail a bit when his tracking talent kicks in and he realizes the Struckers have crept off in the night. While the alarm gets spread among the mutants, Caitlin and her kids debate what to do next. Andy is really veering towards the militant side, which could be a problem down the road. They sort of compromise to at least get enough money to get to Danny’s place.
After a bit of Dreamer trying to encourage Clarice, and her powers not really cooperating, we see the Strucker family reunion. Danny seems to be casually anti-mutant, and things don’t go as well as Caitlin hoped. Danny’s son Scott thinks Andy and Lauren being mutants is cool, and is a lot more interested than his father seems to be. She wants to use his connections, and he says people are already not talking to him because of his connections to them and them being mutants.
Under a lot of pressure from Turner, Reed starts his undercover mission. His pleading with the bartender works because Reed truly is desperate. We also get to see the bartender’s power, which could be really useful for a hidden network. Reed talks his way into a back room and meets a few other mutant refugees, who immediately start making him regret what he’s doing.
There are a few more scenes of Scott and Andy playing video games, Lauren finding nasty comments about them being mutants online, and Andy’s fascination with his cousins’ powers. Agent Turner texts with his wife, and we see they share their general attitude about his work.
Reed gets shipped off with his fellow refugees in a van, and his conscience, and the girl’s cuteness, prey on him. Finally, he tells them what’s going on and then jumps out of the van. Turner is less than thrilled at his decision. Things are not looking good for Reed. They’re not looking good for Lorna, either, as she tries to overcome her inhibitor collar with mixed results.
John and Marcos catch up with Caitlin and her kids. I’m familiar with John’s powers from the comics, and I don’t remember tracking being one of his abilities. Something he learned a lot about, sure, but he’s not in Wolverine or Daredevil’s class with his nose. Anyway, Danny isn’t happy about more mutants in his house, and then a mob shows up, demanding the mutants be turned over to them. Things so about as badly as you’d expect, especially with Andy’s worsening attitude. It ends up being an escape/car chase. After Dreamer does something really questionable, Clarice manages to portal the away team back home. This is going to have some nasty consequences down the road.
The two wrap up scenes are setting up future episodes, I suspect. Turner gets a call from the odd Dr. Campbell, who is fascinated by the Struckers. Turner isn’t really interested in what the doctor offers, and ends the call. Caitlin, John, and Marcos meet up with Danny, who tells Caitlin she’ll never see Reed again, that he and “some girl,” no doubt Polaris, are going to be moved to a secret, high security facility.
What I liked: This is consistently well written. I’m really enjoying it. Caitlin’s blind faith in the system was annoying, but it makes sense given how she’s lived up to now. How their cover was blown at Danny’s place almost made sense. Dreamer giving in and doing what she did I can also understand, no matter how bad it’ll get later. And Reed, with no powers and all alone, is still doing his damnedest to do the right thing.
What I didn’t: John’s tracking skill isn’t a superpower, unless they’ve changed him a good bit from the books. It shouldn’t work that way. I’m worried that Andy’s lurching down the road towards future villainy. And they didn’t make the title work so well this time.
I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5. I’m really enjoying this take on the mutants of the X-verse.