The next chapter of The Gifted’s story, “outMatched,” starts off 16 years ago in Atlanta. Reed and Kate Strucker’s second pregnancy was a lot more troubled than we ever knew. It does show the depth of Kate’s devotion to her children, and might explain a small bit of the obsession she’s showing with getting Andy back.
In the present, the three Struckers still on the good guys’ side have a family dinner. Reed and Kate have finally talked about his newly manifesting powers, and have decided to talk to John about them. They also acknowledge why Lauren might have some conflicted feelings about getting Andy back. Lauren shares some insight about her dreams.
The team has a meeting where Marcos warns them about his encounter with Reeva, and what she does to powers. He tries to give Kate some bad news about Andy, but she’s not going to listen. There’s a lot of debate about what to do with the very little information they have so far. Marcos wonders about going back to Wire, and Kate makes a comment that worries Blink. At this point, Blink seems like the only one of the Underground who is really seeing things clearly. No one else has any better ideas, and a vague plan is agreed on.
In the midst of the team heading out, Reed has a rushed and not well-handled conversation with John about Reed’s powers. Reed comes up with several desperate suggestions, which John regretfully shoots down each time. Reed doesn’t like anything about what John has to say, but they don’t finish their talk as he has to go with the others. John is clearly feeling like he’s being pulled in too many directions, and I don’t blame him.
Marcos, Blink, and John go to Wire’s place. They don’t exactly get a friendly welcome, and things are very tense. They finally find out who is behind the unpleasantness that John mostly had to deal with. With sirens sounding in the background, they decide it’s time to go, and bring an unwilling guest along with them. Former Agent Jace Turner reflects on where his life has ended up through his obsession. He’s just about to do something I think he really needs to when he gets a call from one of the cops he talked to before, and gets a meeting set up at a local diner.
Dr. Kelsey helps John deal with the aftermath of meeting Graph, Wire’s brother. Seriously, Graph and Wire? These are the names they picked for themselves? John explains some of the limits of his powers to Blink. Marcos wakes Graph up, and Graph explains what happened to Wire and shows some examples of how ruthless Reeva and her crew are. The group tries various ways to persuade Graph to cooperate with them, and he has no interest at all. Kate sinks to a new low, and I have to admit I’m consistently disappointed by her actions throughout this season. Lauren doesn’t seem too thrilled with her mother’s actions, either. Graph suggests his own deal when Kate takes matters into her own hands.
Blink, who very tellingly wasn’t around for most of this, is surprised Graph is helping. Marcos dodges the issue by saying Kate was “persuasive.” The team gets new intel about a mental hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. Marcos talks about Lorna being put in a place like that when she was young, which we saw a few flashbacks to last season. Kate is relentless about pushing Graph to help, and shows a really ugly new side of her obsession. Finally, he agrees, and they find out the Inner Circle is moving on the hospital right now. Blink asks a great question, and Reed is in the background, popping pills, which he’s doing disturbingly often.
Jace calls Paula, but his wife sounds like she’s well on her way to becoming his ex. Jace is crushed by this conversation. Graph is feeling the after-effects of Kate’s “persuasion” and can’t really help anymore. Kate finds another line to cross, and Reed looks like he’s really starting to wonder what’s happening to the woman he married. Graph is a lot better after Kate’s new low, and gets into the hospital security cameras. There’s a weird comment about Sage that makes no sense, considering she was killed a while back by Sentinel Services, who have/had nothing to do with either the Hellfire Club or their successor Inner Circle as far as I know. Blink portals herself and John inside, while Marcos and Lauren stay outside to keep an eye on things. The first thing they see is a really ominous development.
Blink comments that the place is even more depressing than she thought as John shares some information about Lorna’s past in a similar place. Marcos tries to prepare Lauren for a bad confrontation with Andy, but she’s not listening. There’s a lot of denial going on this episode, and the Underground really can’t afford to keep not-thinking that way. Jace has his meeting with the cop, learns a few shocking things, and decides there are a few lines he won’t cross, putting him ahead of Kate in my book.
At the hospital, things are looking bad inside, and John’s powers aren’t helping a lot. Blink finally asks a question I’ve been wondering myself, and John hops on the denial train. As they argue, the building shakes. Outside, Lauren says she can feel that Andy is there. Reed provides some dark details from his past as a prosecutor that points them toward the basement.
Kate shows she hasn’t found that point she won’t cross yet as gets Graph to push his powers further. Reed looks shocked and worried. When Graph gets the lower level cameras working, Kate gets a very unwelcome surprise of her own. Reed guides Blink and John where they need to go, and Blink asks more good questions John has no answers to. The Inner Circle gets away with someone wrapped in a blanket, and John tries to talk Lorna down. Her answer is an unequivocal “No,” and covers the Circle’s retreat. Blink forces John to see the reality of their situation and, unlike Kate, John makes the right choice.
The Circle is getting away in a silver Hummer, and Lauren uses her power to stop it. This leads to a direct clash with Andy. Lauren is stunned he actually acts out against her, and we see he seems to be a lot more powerful than I remember (or Lauren does, either). The Circle gets away. Back at the clinic/base, Kate has pushed Graph too far and Reed finally gets Kate to help him. Reed makes some long overdue comments about what Kate’s been doing. She evades the hard questions by going for some supplies.
The show wraps with scenes of the aftermath at the hospital. John and company are evacuating the wounded, with Kate shrieking at them for “letting” Andy get away. The Circle have forced the staff at the hospital to make a public statement that is going to complicate matters. Kate gets bad news about Lauren, and Reed’s powers flare in an ugly way. Jace watches the media coverage of the escape in his hotel room. There’s a vague hint about who the Circle took out of the hospital, but based on that small glimpse, I’m not going to make a guess. Most of the ones that come to mind don’t quite work for one reason or another.
What I liked: Blink is becoming the moral center of the group. Lucky for her this isn’t The Walking Dead, the person in that position always dies there. John is trying hard to do the right thing but is being pulled in too many directions at once.
What I didn’t: Way too many people are either in denial or becoming really, really dark versions of themselves. Kate is well on her way to becoming a villain in my opinion. Reed is trying to stand up to her, but is both being weak and distracted by his own power and pill issues. Lauren will hopefully snap out of her delusions about her brother after this, but I’m not sure. I don’t like Jace Turner, but I’m actually starting to feel sorry for him. The “good guys” are starting to seem a lot less good overall. The writing still doesn’t seem as strong as first season, but this was a better episode on some fronts.
I’ll give this a 3 out of 5. Last season, The Gifted was a very close second to Black Lightning as best hero show on tv in my opinion. They’re slipping from that spot for me, and I hope they snap out of it soon.