The Gifted: afterMath


Tonight on “Young Supervillains in Love” 

Things keep getting more and more complicated for the Gifted as they deal with “afterMath.” The opening flashback that is becoming tradition shows Jace Turner in Dallas 12 years ago. He’s not at all the man we know now, and we see an event that probably put him on the road to the anti-mutant racist we know and loathe.


In the present, after the chaos at the mental hospital, the Underground gets back together at the clinic, getting their casualties and new arrivals tended to. Kate freaks out when she sees Lauren was injured, but Reed and her own sense of duty calm her down a bit. Kate complains incessantly on learning Andy “got away,” ignoring John getting injured caring for one of the patients, a man who sweats acid. I’m liking her less and less as she falls deeper down the obsession hole.  John pleads with her to salvage something from the mission gone awry.


Turner slips another few notches down the path of heading for villainy, while Marcos and Clarice deal with the unexpected and unplanned for influx of new arrivals. As Clarice comes up with an idea Marcos hates, Andy and the Cuckoos watch the news and smile at the chaos they are sewing. Andy’s a little unsure about Lauren getting hurt, but the Cuckoos reassure him and focus on Rebecca, the girl they rescued from the institution. They peer inside Rebecca’s mind, and even the jaded Cuckoos are shaken by what they see.


Reed talks to Kate on the phone after getting Laruen home, and Kate slips into full self-blame mode. Reed reassures her, and Lauren is a lot less confident about managing to reach Andy. Andy and the Cuckoos and Lorna plot out what to do next, and mention Rebecca is the key to their next step, which don’t even really get a hint about. Everyone else seems ready to give up on Rebecca, but Andy suggests something that the others didn’t think of, which speaks volumes about them.


In the Morlock tunnels, Clarice portals them all in, and Marcos is both suspicious about her knowing her way around and nearly overcome by the smells. One of the escapees, Glow according to IMDB, helps them find their way. Just as they are wondering how to find Erg and his group, the man himself makes a dramatic entrance.


At the clinic, they deal with the complications of treating people with powers that don’t shut off, which John bears the brunt of. Kate finally ramps her spewing outrage down and apologizes to John, who is competing with her in the self-blame department. The acid man wakes up long enough to give his name, Michael, and mentions that a Dr. Taylor was nice to the mutant prisoners. Marcos talks with Glow about what’s going on between the Underground and the Inner Circle, and she proves to be a remarkably optimistic person. Erg is a bit less happy with Clarice for all the unexpected guests. Don’t you hate it when folks show up announced around Thanksgiving? Clarice tells Erg off and they come to an arrangement.


Turner attends a Purifier meeting, and brings a dangerous amount of intelligence and planning to the band of bigots. Andy starts his attempt to help Rebecca, which shows there’s still some of the good kid in there, somewhere. Lorna isn’t happy about Andy’s plan but finally, reluctantly, agrees. Andy does make a great point during the discussion.


Clarice learns about Erg’s past and a major weakness of his powers as they go on their errand to gain admission for the refugees. John and Kate have their situation complicated when the Purifiers pay a visit to the clinic for bigoted vigilante action. They’re shocked when they recognize Turner among them. Marcos and Glow talk more, Clarice and Erg come back, and Erg sets a nasty condition on the newcomers being able to stay. Andy and Rebecca go on sort of a date for burgers, shakes, and mayhem. The Purifiers ravage the clinic and torture the doctor while Kate urges John to use caution and Michael agrees. Michael and Kate conspire in a lie.


The show wraps with a few random scenes scattered among the cast. Erg and Clarice have another chat where his way of thinking seems to be appealing to her. Andy and Rebecca get back from their outing, and she’s clearly a lot happier than she was before. Considering what they were doing, that’s really rather disturbing. Reed and Lauren watch protests on tv, both clearly worried. Rebecca starts training with the Inner Circle, showing her powers have an impressive scope. Glow leads the way for the refugees accepting Erg’s harsh requirement. Jace calls the Purifiers after he does some homework with a new idea that sounds bad.


What I liked: Andy is getting to be a really weird mix of nice and utterly destructive. I guess that’s about right for a teenage boy. Clarice is becoming a really fierce advocate for what she believes in. Reed is one of the few on the Underground side showing some degree of calm and common sense. John is a very self-sacrificing hero, but he’s really getting out of control here.


What I didn’t: I get stories need to have ups and downs, but I’m getting kind of sick of the good guys being at the absolute bottom of the pecking area. They were on the run from Sentinel before, now they’ve got both the Inner Circle and even the Morlocks who seem to be doing better than they are. I’m really about done with Obsess-O-Kate. John should be a fighting machine, but he seems to be suffering from what I long ago dubbed “Worf Syndrome,” where the character who is supposed to be such an amazing fighter loses pretty much every battle he’s in. John’s even worse, in that most of the time he’s not being allowed to fight.


The first season of this show was amazing. This one, I’m not enjoying as much. I’ll give this a low 3 out of 5.