Things keep getting worse for The Gifted, as we see in “the iMprint.” With another flashback, we get a glimpse into the past of the triplets, who didn’t exactly have a great upbringing. I still think they’re evil, but why is a bit more understandable now. They did, apparently, at least start out as kids with a somewhat normal outlook.
In the present, they have their beds set up in this weird fashion so they sleep with their heads in, feet out, like a triangle. The two uninjured ones are complaining that their sister got hurt by Marcos, so they have to wear sleeves now. Nice to see their lack of caring is equal opportunity. Andy and Rebecca flirt over pancakes, and then Andy gets sent to tell Lorna about more training. Lorna isn’t pleased at the amount of time away from her daughter, or being kept in the dark about nearly everything. After some time in the training room, Lorna loses it, and, when Reeva strolls in, tells the closed-mouth leader that either Lorna can learn more about what’s going on, or she will leave.
Kate continues her really fixed obsession, barely finishing checking Lauren for lingering problems from her concussion before launching in to her plan to go see Doctor Taylor, the psychiatrist who quit the mental institute that’s been such a big part of the season. Lauren wonders if this is a good idea, and Kate insists it might be a step closer to getting Andy back. Kate talks with Reed, who is worried about them going without him, but he has training with John to deal with his new power. Reed talks about how odd his ability makes him feel, and the unresolved issues with his father it brings up. Kate manages to not talk about Andy long enough to reassure him.
The Purifiers have a meeting, celebrating their recent win. Hate groups are terrifying enough. Adding Jace Turner’s intelligence makes them a lot more dangerous. Honestly, the more I learn about the man and the more he talks, the more repellant I find him. Now, he coaches the Purifiers on essentially public relations and tactics. He gets some resistance from a few hotheads, but Officer Wilson, who seems to be in charge, backs Turner up, citing orders from the leadership, whoever they are. Turner also shares some things he’s learned from the files they captured at the clinic. That night, Andy and Lauren share a dream again where they argue about the Inner Circle and Lauren gets more proof about how real the dreams are.
Reeva is disappointed with the Cuckoos, particularly Esme. She tells them to handle Polaris. Esme points out that none of them like being in the dark about what’s coming, and Reeva pretty much tells her to deal with it. Reeva threatens someone over the phone while Esme does something really questionable to get Lorna to listen to her. They strike a bargain to go check out at least one of Reeva’s targets.
John tries to train Reed, and it doesn’t go well. Not only is Reed a lot older than most mutants manifesting their powers, he’s desperate for some kind of fix or shortcut. John does his best to patient with him, showing him various techniques. I kind of wonder where John picked this up, since his powers are fairly simple. I guess someone in the Underground taught him to teach others? Their arguments get interrupted when Marcos and Clarice come in with word of the Purifiers bombing a church. Most of them are worried about the cops being everywhere, but John says that makes their going even more important.
John, Reed, Clarice, and Marcos go the Baltimore Underground station and meet up with Shatter, an old friend from the Atlanta days. He briefs them that they have so many new refugees that their meager resources are stretched too thin. Reed and John argue about Reed’s control of his powers and Reed starts to work on new IDs for the refugees. Shatter overhears some of this, and shares some of his origin story.
Lorna and Esme scope out Reeva’s target, and Lorna has a lot of doubts. The target is Creed Financial. In the comics, Creed is Sabertooth’s real name, so this may be some kind of nod to him. If it is, it’s one of most direct links to a big name character they’ve done so far, aside from vague references to the missing X-Men and Polaris’ connections to Magneto, who they still haven’t mentioned by name. Esme shares some of her background story with Lorna. Whether it’s a bonding moment, manipulation, or both, I’m not sure.
Reed, in the process of getting the IDs together, has been talking to the refugees and is noticing something really troubling. In the Purifier attack and bombing, no one was injured. For the story, this is a trap. Personally, I’m wondering how they managed to control a bombing that closely, even with Turner’s assistance. They figure out it’s a trap just a bit too late as car- and truck-loads of Purifiers roll up. I’m not clear on how they traced the group to the location. As the Purifiers surround the building, Jace gives them more advice and shows he has some gear he somehow got from Sentinel. The man really does believe he’s doing the right thing, which is how the majority of the greatest evil in the world has been done.
Esme and Lorna get back from their outing and the telepath makes a really stupid mistake. Lorna puts the pieces together and shows why you don’t want to piss off someone with magnetic powers and anger issues. Reeva steps in to save Esme’s life, but Lorna is furious, and tells the leader to keep the others away from her and her daughter.
Kate and Lauren continue their girls’ day out to the doctor, while Lauren tries to get Kate to listen to her about Andy. Kate is deep in the grips of denial and obsession and isn’t really getting it. In the office, things go well initially, but Kate hasn’t done her research and the story falls apart. The doctor freaks out and Lauren plays the role of bad cop pretty damn well. Shaken, the doctor tells them about Rebecca’s powers and history, and it’s disturbing.
The Cuckoos fight amongst themselves, with the other two mad at Esme for having feelings. Reeva comes in, equally displeased. Esme makes an appeal for Lorna, arguing well for her, which the other sisters don’t seem happy about. Reeva stays cold and professional, then does some texting that doesn’t match her icy demeanor.
John sees Turner with the Purifiers, and everyone gets even more worried. They come up with a desperate plan that they never manage to execute as the Purifiers launch gas bombs into the building. There is a way out, it turns out, but it’s behind a wall. For reasons unknown, they have to use Reed’s power to get to it, instead of, say, John’s strength or Shatter’s transformation power. Shatter makes a suicide run to buy them time, and Turner gets to put another notch on his gun, although he doesn’t seem as bloodthirsty as the other Purifiers. The heroes manage, barely, to get away.
Esme goes to patch things up with Lorna, who isn’t in the mood to listen. Esme shares more about her and her sisters’ history, and it’s a grim addition. Lorna listens in spite of herself. Esme makes a good case for herself, and then makes a promise that I expect Reeva wouldn’t be happy about at all. Jace has some conflicted feelings post-mission, and Wilson both cheers him up and gives him some unexpected news.
Kate has a change of heart about some things she’s been doing, and apologizes to Lauren. Lauren has made her own decision, which isn’t what Kate wants to hear at all. Andy and Rebecca game and flirt. John and Marcos mourn Shatter, and then Kate and Lauren get back. They learn about another new development which ends the show on a bad note for one of the heroes.
What I liked: Shatter went out like a hero, although I’m not sure what he accomplished. The Cuckoos’ origin story was dark and grim, and gave some good insight into who they are and why they’re so cold. Lorna nicely defined her priorities, and the Inner Circle better pay attention. Kate may, possibly, be finally working through her obsession, or at least realizing it might have a cost to the people around her.
What I didn’t: Marcos seems to be steadily less and less use in a fight. He hit nothing in the battle with the Purifiers. As I said, there were other ways they could have gotten through that wall. Considering how Turner left Sentinel, I’m surprised he managed to come away with any hardware. John has gone from a powerhouse warrior to mostly a background character who just uses his enhanced senses. I’m tired of the good guys being dead last in the hierarchy of being able to get anything done. How did both the Purifiers and the Underground manage to respond to the mess in Baltimore before Sentinel Services, who seem to have disappeared from the show?
The show was amazing first season, and it seems to have lost something in the hiatus. I’ll give this one a 3 out of 5. The show is good, but it used to be great.