What may be the final episode of The Gifted is a busy outing that ends dramatically, and makes me wonder if the possible cancellation was a surprise to the showrunners. It’s not confirmed to be axed, but there’s nothing about it positively coming back, either. I hope we don’t go out on such a big cliffhanger. Since this is certainly a season finale, and possibly a series finale, be warned there are spoilers below for “oMens.”
The show opens five years ago, in the infamous 7/15 disaster. We still don’t know a lot about what happened then, aside from mutants were involved, and that’s the date the X-Men apparently vanished. Ripples from whatever occurred put in motion most of the events of this series. The flashback features the Strucker family watching news coverage, much like people in reality did on 9/11. After the kids go to bed, Reed makes the fateful decision to transfer to the Mutant Affairs Division at work, saying the he feels like he has a role to play in the “mutant situation.” There are several flashbacks throughout the episode, dealing with the Struckers, mostly Reed, trying to figure out their place in the changed world.
Back in the present, Lorna finishes briefing everyone on what Reeva is planning, and says they have to move against her now. She suggests using Lauren and Andy’s joined powers to bring down Inner Circle headquarters. The adult Struckers are not pleased about this idea, but the younger ones accept the plan. At said headquarters, the Frosts report in that Lorna and Andy are gone, and Reeva decides to move ahead anyway. She leaves the others to call Ryan and point the Purifiers at a new target.
Reed is still having problems with his powers since he stopped taking the medication they stole. He and Andy have a heart to heart about Andy returning and why it took him so long. John and Marcos review the files on the Mutant Underground and John directs him to burn it all, because there’s nothing left. Lorna blames herself for leaving to fight for the dream. John tells her about Clarice’s fate, and extracts a promise from her to fight. Whatever else they were planning gets interrupted as John’s enhanced senses warn him exactly where Reeva sent the Purifiers.
There’s a bit of milling around in the next few scenes, as Turner directs his troops to settle in for a siege, and the remains of the Mutant Underground try and work out what they’re going to do. Caitlin surprises Reed with her newest collection, and Reed fights through another twinge from his powers.
After a flashback that touches on an important party we’ve seen discussed in the past, Andy wonders about having to unleash the power of Fenris on the assembled Purifiers to get them out. Lauren is appalled, and Andy clarifies his moral stance with her. Their debate gets put on hold when they notice the previously shut door is now open. Fade has smuggled the Frosts in through the blockade, and the telepathic trio overwhelm the Strucker siblings. The Frosts report back to Reeva, who is indifferent to their troubles, and smugly certain no one is ready for her next step.
John tries to work out what happened in the apartment, but is still getting images of Clarice all over the place. Finally, he manages a glimpse of what happened, and Marcos remarks on his fondness for Fade. After some debate, John volunteers for a virtual suicide run to distract the Purifiers and let the others escape. John symbolically prepares for combat while Turner checks his weapons.
I was a bit disappointed by this fight scene. After such big build-up, John hurls his tomahawk at Turner… and misses. The Purifiers shoot him, and he seems to have upgraded his durability. John captures their attention, the others escape, and John manages to slip away after some random hand to hand combat. I’m wondering how that works. “Hey, we shot him a lot and just kind of annoyed him. Let’s try and hit him with tire irons and chains.” I’m also not clear on how John managed to lurch away, but that’s what happened. The others escape, Caitlin reassures Reed, and there’s another flashback of Reed promising to always protect Lauren.
The Frosts force the Strucker kids to follow along through the tunnels. Esme seems to be having some doubts about this, but the other two are perfectly fine with possibly burning out the siblings’ minds. John continues his stealthy escape by staggering along in the middle of the street, until Erg finds him. How Erg knew where to look is a question John himself asks, and is kind of evaded. Erg offers to help John, and get some payback on the Purifiers. John powers up Erg in a way that has to be a bit satisfying, Erg levels the nameless horde, and John beats Turner down, pulling a huge knife as Turner urges the mutant to kill him, and the scene changes.
In a bold story choice, the Frosts succeed in forcing Fenris to destroy the Sentinel Services building. It’s an impressive display of power. The Mutant Underground finally arrives, and the Frosts try and turn the kids on their friends and family. There’s some resistance that surprises the telepaths, and the good guys manage to get away. On the run, the heroes debate what to do, since the Fenris siblings are clearly in no shape to take out the Inner Circle. Reed asks if they get rid of Reeva, things finally end, and Lorna assures him that’s the case.
In the loading dock at the base of the building, the Mutant Underground surprise Fade and various other Inner Circle troops loading up and preparing for a massive attack. General chaos ensues, and neither side seems to be fighting very effectively. It’s more like they were letting each other take turns shoot. Reed finally tells Caitlin his desperate plan, and she’s horror-struck. He doesn’t really give her much time to object as he goes up in the elevator, but Caitlin does get to vent some frustration on Fade.
After another flashback about Reed pondering if things happen for a reason, he gets to Reeva’s penthouse headquarters. She’s smug and dismissive, and about to get a major surprise. As Reed pointed out earlier, “She makes it so people can’t control their powers. I already can’t control mine.” In a dramatic sacrifice, Reed unleashes his power fully, apparently destroying the top several floors of the building, killing himself, Reeva, and anyone else who was still up there, I guess.
The remaining Struckers say a tearful goodbye, eulogizing their fallen loved one. We see that Turner somehow survived, although he’s not looking good in his hospital bed. Some bad press has come out about hate-monger Benedict Ryan, and he says more than he intended to the press with a little help. Erg brings some news about other groups looking for help to the remains of the Underground. The show ends as John senses something odd, leads everyone out to the parking lot, and Blink returns, saying something happened and she needs to show them something. She seems older and much more in control of her powers. And that’s the last we see.
What I liked: I’m glad I was right about Blink coming back, although I’m sad we might not ever hear what happened there. Reed made a very courageous choice, and it was fantastic seeing Reeva put in her place. Ryan got his just desserts as well. I’m glad the core group, mostly, was back together at the end, and things ended on what I’d call a hopeful note. The heroes finally won, and even one of their losses got rid of a major enemy. I won’t miss Sentinel Services.
What I didn’t: The big fight with John and the Purifiers was disappointing and didn’t make a lot of sense. John was either pulling his strikes on purpose, or generally incompetent. I don’t agree with his apparent decision to let Turner live. Yes, Turner had tragedy in his background, but he eagerly embraced hate and helped get a lot of people killed, and cover up other deaths.
I’ll give the episode a 3 out of 5, and the series as a whole a 3.5. I hope they come back in some way. Given the apparent coming merger of the Marvel Cinematic and Fox Universes, there are a lot of ways this could happen.
Hopefully, the X-Men’s dream will be carried on.