Things continue to look bad for this bunch of Marvel’s mutants as The Gifted deal with “the dreaM.” The opening flashback is seven months ago, as Lorna and Marco are in bed together and talking about their at-that-point unborn child. The talk drifts to parents, especially her father. In the comics, after years of stories to the contrary, Marvel rewrote Polaris’ past and made her Magneto’s daughter after all. That seems to be what they hint at here, although Magento is never named to the point where you have to wonder if they’re not allowed to. Lorna asks Marco to promise they’ll never be like their parents, which he agrees to and she smiles about.
The present storyline picks up on a much less happy note, as the Inner Circle flee their Creed bank heist and Rebecca’s spontaneous slaughter. Lorna is pissed at Rebecca, which I don’t blame her at all for. After a lot of argument, Rebecca bails out of the car, using her power on the door, leaving behind a relieved Lorna and a worried Andy. They show something lying on the street that looks significant, but we never return to whatever that was in the episode. Andy wants to go after her, but Lorna says she made her choice and keeps driving.
In other driving news, the Struckers have once again gone a-wandering, now to Charlotte to find Reed’s father’s former co-researcher, Professor Garber. Reed is in the back of the reinforced ambulance, shying away from anyone touching him, as they finally get there. Reed and Lauren have a nice little father/daughter moment in the back of the ambulance.
The news covers a call for mutant curfews after the Creed Financial Massacre, and John, Clarice, and Marco argue about what to do next. John, clearly feeling desperate, decides to go try and track the Inner Circle. After more argument, Clarice joins him while Marco stays behind to try and work the phones and drum up some support from the other Underground Stations. Caitlin, Reed, and Lauren have to deal with a lot of red tape when they get to their destination, but luckily, Professor Garber passes by at just the right moment and recognizes Reed, getting him past the unimpressed guard.
At this point, everywhere new that seems nice generates the same reaction as a new place on The Walking Dead: “Ok, how long until THIS goes bad?” Professor Garber shows them some of her work, and seems to be one of the good guys. She even voices the controversial opinion that the X-gene isn’t something to cure, and likens some of her work to giving diabetics much-needed insulin. Garber isn’t sure why Reed’s treatments have failed, but hopes to find something, especially using Lauren’s genes to compare and contrast. Garber appears to be very nice and concerned and it’s still having me sit there going, “Wait for it…”
Sage is monitoring the feeds from the streets as protestors wander around. Andy is worried about what happens if they do find Rebecca, which Esme says will be up to Reeva. I can’t imagine their leader is going to be in a forgiving mood. John is using his tracking powers, and getting some odd impressions, while Clarice essentially fills the role of little kid asking, “Are we there yet?” Esme and Lorna talk about what to do next and whether or not Dawn is safe, given Rebecca’s actions and all the anti-mutant sentiment the rogue mutant has stirred up.
All this gives us another flashback, this time to Smithville, MO, when Lorna was 12. She has a rotten birthday and sullenly uses her powers to torture a poor innocent tree until her aunt comes to get her. When they get home, Lorna finds a small box that has a red disc inside with a big M, probably for Magneto, possibly for mutant. She hides the disc and rips up the accompanying note. This spills over to the same timeframe as the opening flashback, where Lorna shows that disc to Marco as the sum total of her relationship with her dad. She reflects that the world hates her father, but she hates him more.
In the now, Lorna uses her power to beat up a statue, explaining some of the finer points of her power to Dawn. Esme comes off the elevator, startling Lorna and almost getting her own lesson about powers. After wondering about training Dawn so early, Esme offers a surprising answer to Lorna’s concerns about Esme’s safety. Lorna hates the idea, but Esme makes some good points.
Professor Garber goes to work on Reed, starting with the old formula to get Reed’s destruction power under control. It clearly isn’t an enjoyable process, but it’s not as bas as he remembers from his youth. Garber’s assistant, Noah, takes some samples from Lauren in between flirting. John and Clarice keep following the odd trail they’re on, and find a grisly sample of Rebecca’s work.
The next flashback is some six years ago, with Lorna getting hit on at a bar. The guy’s approach needed some work, but her reaction was a bit disproportionate. Her aunt later bails her out of jail, and Lorna has a lot of questions the aunt can’t answer. An irked Lorna uses her powers to get into the car, much like Rebecca bailing out earlier. At the end of the flashback, Lorna pays a surprise visit to Marco.
The news is covering protests about the mutant curfew, and Professor Garber seems to be taking a very fair and common sense approach to the events. Caitlin claims they don’t get involved in politics, and Garber tells her not to worry about it. Reed makes a few comments about his father, and Garber provides some insight and a gift. Lauren seems utterly entranced, and Garber hopes they can succeed where Reed’s father failed.
Marco and Lorna have a very emotional visit as she tells him about the decision she’s made. I have to say, Lorna is making a lot of decisions without consulting Marco and it’s really not fair. In another flashback to the opening time frame as Lorna and Marco talk about the baby and what gender it might be, as well as things Marco wants for it. In the now, they have a teary goodbye with special effects and rage flips.
Garber talks about treatments with Reed, and why the old one isn’t a good idea. Noah takes Lauren on a tour of the campus and ups his flirting game. John and Clarice finally catch up with Rebecca and have a very tense exchange of information. I’m not sure either why Rebecca helps them or threatens them or runs off. Lorna has a reunion with someone from her past, makes some amends, and then asks for a big favor.
John and Clarice get home and have an argument about his attitude and outlook. I can see both sides of that one, but I think Clarice is overreacting a bit. Noah draws more blood from Lauren and finally lets the other shoe drop, giving Lauren a lot to think about and maybe talk to her folks about. Andy gets another reminder of his link with Lauren, Lorna makes a piece of her classic comic book costume, Marco gets some reassurance about something he was worried about, and Lauren has a moral dilemma to end the show.
What I liked: It was interesting timing on Lorna making her costume bit. Esme really does seem to care about Dawn, and is separating herself more from her sisters and the rest of the Inner Circle. I admire John’s commitment to his cause.
What I didn’t: While I understand the motivations, I’m liking Lorna less and less as this season goes on. Rebecca needs to be put down like the mad dog she is. The Struckers need to curb their wander-lust and stop getting into trouble on their own.
I’ve said this a few times, and I’m still of the opinion that first season was a level of quality better than this one. I’ll give this episode a 3.5 out of 5.