FOX’s new Marvel mutant series, The Gifted, premiered and it has received quite the surprising welcome. With our theatres and television screens graced by a multitude of superheroes, there are many who have grown tired of the genre. However, the new series has hit the ground running with a well-rounded opening to what could be right on the top of the list of superhero television series (and way, way beyond ABC’s Inhumans).
Meet The Mutants
We’re immediately introduced to Blink (also known as Clarice and played by Jamie Chung) who is on the run from the police after escaping from a mutant detention centre. Our first glimpse of mutant abilities is her dimension-warping portal that she uses to escape through. Next we meet Thunderbird (also known as John and played by Blair Redford) and he possesses heightened senses so he feels that Blink has transported herself near them. To make up the main team, there’s Polaris (or Lorna, played by Emma Dumont) and Eclipse (or Marcos, played by Sean Teale). The two appear to be in a relationship as Marcos warms Lorna with his ability to manipulate energy.
Clarice doesn’t appear to know the trio, but Lorna reveals they are all mutants just before a swarm of police show up. Lorna, as the daughter of the infamous Magneto, uses her magnetic manipulation to blow out all the cars whilst Marcos blinds them with his light. Just as they escape, Marcos is shot causing Lorna to aggressively hurt the officer, however, she is soon taken down by a group of them and taken away with the others escaping.
Your Not-So Typical American Family
Caitlin (Amy Acker) and Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer) meet with the school principal to discuss the bullying of their son, Andy (Percy Hynes White). The typical words are said until Reed threatens to sue if something isn’t done, and after the principal leaves to see what he can do, his wife says he used “the perfect amount of glaring”. Their relationship seems sweet despite Reed’s position as a prosecutor against those with mutant abilities, which constantly pulls him away from his family. His latest case turns out to be Lorna who apparently works with an organisation that aids mutant fugitives and he’s willing to make a bargain over it. She doesn’t agree so he shows her a document that causes her to become incredibly emotional.
Meanwhile, Andy sneaks out to join his sister, Lauren Strucker (Natalie Alyn Lind), at the school dance. Sitting on the bleachers, Andy tries and fails at asking a girl to dance, but his dance card just got filled when his “fan club” waltzes in. The bullies drag him into the locker room and stick him under a burning hot shower, but as he struggles, the walls begin to shake and the destruction continues into the gymnasium. With his bullies knocked out, his sister runs to find him revealing she too possesses powers in the form of a force field.
Lauren explains to her mother about what happened along with telling her about their abilities, just as Sentinel Services comes knocking after the two kids. The three escape and Caitlin calls Reed explaining the situation, but with Sentinel Services after them, he knows it’s a big issue.
What kind of series would it be if the young grasshopper didn’t get a quick lesson in how to use his powers? Lauren gives Andy a quick run down so they try using their powers to get food out of a vending machine. Unfortunately Andy loses control and shatters the machine, but still pinches some snacks for the road.
Help At Any Cost
Back at ‘Mutant Underground Headquarters’, Clarice meets the rest of the rebels who explain they banded together to help other mutants as they don’t know if the X-Men or The Brotherhood exist anymore to help them. HQ sees the news about the attack at the school, so they know they’re in for some trouble. Marcos asks Clarice how she escaped from prison and if she can use her powers to break in, but according to her, it’s dangerous if she tries to go somewhere she hasn’t been.
Sentinel Services turns up at Reed’s workplace to obtain information when his colleague Carla overhears. Next thing we know, Reed is calling her asking her to get information about the Mutant HQ from their investigation so he can help his children. Reed then somehow manages to call Marcos (whose ringtone is the theme song from the 1990’s X-Men series) and at first he is hesitant to provide help, but Reed reveals Lorna is pregnant.
It wouldn’t be a Marvel adaption without a quick cameo of Stan Lee as Marcos enters a dingy bar with a flickering neon sign that should say “Tex’s Lounge”, but instead reads “X’S LOUNGE” to meet with Reed. Marcos eventually offers to help, but only if Reed sticks around until he can get Lorna back.
Testing Those Mutant Skills
The Strucker family meets with Marcos in an empty industrial, but just as they are about to head off to Mexico, a swarm of police and Sentinel Services cars surround them. Luckily Clarice told John about the phone call Marcos received as they turn up to provide them a way out. SS deploys their sentinels, which come in the form of robotic spiders and one attacks John. Marcos burns it until it let’s go, but it appears they can readjust or regenerate themselves.
The sentinels band together as the group is cornered in with no escape. Lauren is forced to build a shield to hold them off whilst Clarice hesitantly creates a portal to transport them back to HQ. They begin to go through, but Andy takes this as the perfect opportunity to test out his abilities, and luckily for him, he destroys the sentinels. Andy races through the portal with his father after him, but Reed is shot and Clarice is forced to close the portal.
The series premiere took me by surprise. I expected the series to feel quite cheesy at first with the whole family dynamic as well as trying to introduce all four of the mutants, but the pace of the episode did well to maintain a good flow and provide the essentials to understand the world of The Gifted. In the space of 44 minutes, the series did well to build the Strucker family and give us a glimpse as to how they work as a whole and who they are individually. Not only this, but we got an insight to each of the mutants, with plenty of room to expand upon their characters.
Now with any pilot episode, or the start of any new series, there are budget restrictions but the graphics weren’t all that bad and did well to convey their abilities in a way that doesn’t make you cringe.
Other than that, I don’t have much else to say other than that I am very intrigued to see where this series goes!
What did you think of the premiere? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments below!