Things are not getting any better for The Gifted in “meMento.” It’s an episode with a lot of key relationships and attitudes shifting, which could have a lot of effects down the road. The opening flashback this week is set in New Orleans in 1985. Andreas Strucker pays a call at a shop, picks up something we’ve seen before, and makes sure the shopkeeper keeps the secret ala the old Ben Franklin saying.
Back in the present, Reed is worried about Lauren spending so much time listening to the old music box they got from Professor Garber. Reed wonders if fighting alongside Andy affected her in some way, while Caitlin seems all for it, since they need to be ready if they’re going to take down the Inner Circle. I suspect her obsession over getting Andy back has now transferred to ending the Circle, and I really don’t see that going well. At all.
At a meeting of the Underground who are still standing, Caitlin brings up attacking the Inner Circle. Marcos points out that John is under sedation while he recovers from his wounds from Turner’s shotgun, and the four of them won’t pose much of a threat. He goes over the Circle’s resources, security, better numbers, and Reeva’s so-far unstoppable power. When Caitlin suggests calling other stations, Marcos points out they are mostly not answering the phones. After Caitlin pushes more, Marcos agrees to spend the next day driving around to see if they can get any help. He reminds Caitlin The Obsessed that no one wants to give up, but they need to be smart.
Speaking of the Inner Circle, Lorna is standing, gazing out the window, flashing back to her and Marcos’ kiss at the end of the rescue mission. Andy comes in, all excited, telling her to check out the new people in the training room. Reeva has been recruiting among the recent escapees. Lorna and Andy watch as Reeva gives three new mutants a recruitment speech about being part of something larger than themselves and imagining a world without humans, which sounds really ominous to me. When the newcomers start acting up, Reeva brings them to heel with her still ill-defined power. It seems like come kind of combination sonic attack and power negation, maybe? Andy thinks all this is awesome, while Lorna is much less impressed.
Lorna goes to Reeva, concerned with what she knows of the three new additions. Reeva isn’t remotely swayed by Lorna’s arguments. Reeva tells Lorna she’s royalty, and that the new folks are going to tear everything down, while Lorna is to rebuild from the ashes. I really hope that’s not some kind of passing allusion to the Phoenix; that’s the last thing we need here.
While waiting for his meeting with tv pundit and anti-mutant bigot Ryan, Jace Turner texts his wife that he signed and mailed the divorce papers. We can see these are the latest in a string of unanswered texts. When the meeting does happen, Jace tries to focus on the news that John and the others thought dead in Atlanta are very much not, but Ryan is looking at larger issues and starts spewing more propaganda. I’m betting it’s a reflex action by this point.
Lauren, once again listening to that cursed music box, dreams of the death of Andrea Strucker. Andrea had similar powers to Lauren, but uses them in a destructive way we haven’t seen before. Unfortunately, Lauren learns this trick and starts doing it in her sleep. Her room doesn’t bear up well. Her parents eventually manage to wake her up, in part because Reed gets the music box closed. Lauren tells them she wasn’t dreaming about/with Andy this time, but then claims to not remember what it was. Her noise and destruction didn’t go unnoticed, and the building manager comes by to check, mentioning a crackdown on people renting to mutants, which is both horribly unfair and sadly believable these days. Reed puts him off with a story about a seizure.
At a local church, Jace is directing his “citizen militia” in a series of patrols. Ted Wilson, who survived the fight with the Underground after all, isn’t pleased at things moving so fast without him even knowing about it. Turner explains he was given their marching orders by their friend (Ryan), and that he’s hoping Wilson comes with him to check out a mutant sighting report in Anacostia (a poor, predominantly black section of Washington, DC).
Caitlin and Clarice tend to John, who is recovering from his wounds, just slower than hoped for. Caitlin is all for John getting back up and fighting more, while Clarice is worried about him getting hurt again, or worse. Caitlin tries to make her feel better with a story about the early days of Reed’s prosecutor career. Marcos calls in and says he’s found no help for them, when his car starts driving itself. More annoyed than worried, he glares as the car is guided into an alley by Lorna, who then asks for his help. Marcos is fed up and lets her have it, and she even agrees she’s been in the wrong, but tells him about the new developments at the Inner Circle. She makes a teary, heart-felt, self-flagellating appeal, saying he’s too good a man to let people die because she sucks at love. How do you say no to that?
Back at the Underground, Clarice is startled by this news, and then annoyed at what Marcos asks next. Reed and Caitlin argue about what’s going on with Lauren, with Caitlin still in denial while Reed makes a few good points. Wilson, Turner, and a few other Purifiers go to a homeless shelter and scare some kids into running. They finally corner the kids, at least one of who is a mutant, and Turner talks the kid into powering down.
Clarice and Marcos go to meet up with the Morlocks to ask for some help, and Clarice is extremely annoyed at Marcos. The man finally has the sense to apologize, and they find Erg and Glow, the woman who was showing a good bit of interest in Marcos. They flirt a bit as the group moves down into the tunnels. Lorna goes to see the new folks again, and not so subtly asks about what they’re going to be sent to do. The main guy, a smug annoyance named Max, doesn’t know, doesn’t care, and makes some more comments about Lorna’s dad that really make me wonder if they can’t use the name “Magneto.”
Lauren practices with her new ability, and Caitlin comes in, a bit worried, but mostly praising her for getting stronger. Before that could get the chills going full-scale down my spine, the cops show up outside and then come banging on the door. Reed tries to stall them, and we see once again these are dirty, anti-mutant cops. I think the only group it’s ok to show in a bad light almost all the time these days is law enforcement. Caitlin and Lauren hatch a plan and the young mutant distracts the cops at the cost of a poor innocent lamppost and a windshield or two.
Marcos and Glow flirt more, talk about her life down there, and almost kiss but not quite. Marcos may be conflicted, but he’s honorable. Glow has heard something about his ex, and offers some insight and advice. Clarice and Erg talk, and we get a bit more information on how he works, and see that some of Clarice’s assumptions are wrong.
Turner is talking to one of the two kids they stopped, and isn’t pleased when the kid (very accurately) compares the Purifiers to the Klan. Jace’s justifications that he might actually believe get interrupted when tragedy erupts in the next room. This is a big moment for Jace to step up and show some trace of the good man we know he used to be. He fails spectacularly, lying to the police. Unless they altered the scene or the cops are exceptionally stupid, this lie shouldn’t work, but I expect it will.
The Struckers argue over the police visit and Lauren’s tactics during it. Reed is a bit surprised to hear this was Caitlin’s idea, and he realizes he’s outnumbered at this point, which doesn’t make him wrong. Marcos and Lorna meet up again to compare notes, talk over their relationship and beliefs again, and kiss with that cool special effect when their powers combine. I did notice that the position Marcos is in is virtually identical to the one he was in when he almost kissed Glow earlier.
The Ryan report spins the mess Turner ended up in, and he gets an unexpected call from his wife (ex-wife?). She’s being swayed by the publicity around the event, and we finally see that Turner isn’t happy with himself right now. John finally wakes up and he and Clarice talk about their fears and them being together. This is the not really opportune moment when John’s phone rings with some surprising but welcome news from Evangeline. Lauren pokes at her music box more, makes a discovery, and decides to pay a visit to the building manager. She, too, is starting down the road to the dark side. Marcos and Lorna end the show with their stakeout providing some very surprising information.
What I liked: Reed is trying really hard to find a safe path for his family, in spite of their best efforts. I’m glad that Lorna was big enough to apologize, as was Marcos to Clarice. I liked the scene with Marcos and Glow, and wonder if they’d be a better couple than Marcos and Lorna. I’m also glad that Lorna’s fanaticism to her cause isn’t utterly blinding her, like Andy’s seems to be. I’m hoping Evangeline’s phone call is going to finally be a turning point for the Underground.
What I didn’t: Caitlin is really charging hard into dark territory, and Lauren seems to be joining her. I’m even more disgusted with Turner than I was before. I didn’t expect any better from Wilson. I don’t care for the new Circle recruits at all, and I think Reeva lost a bit of herself during Rebecca’s massacre. Remember how Sentinel Services was all over any mutant activity in season one? Did they all quit when Turner was fired?
I don’t like a lot of what they did here, but that’s mostly personal taste and not errors per se. I’ll give this one a 3.5 out of 5.