Or Nah? is a feature where we watch and review the first episode of a new TV show. We’ll let you know if it’s worth checking out. As always, these reviews are the opinion of the reviewer, but we’ll try to adequately explain why you should or shouldn’t give the show a chance and provide shows for comparison.
What’s It About
The show takes place in a universe where the X-Men exist, but have disappeared. The mutants who are left are hunted by a government organization known as the Sentinel Services. There is an underground mutant resistance network and the group we meet are led by John (Redford). Along with Marcos (Teale) and Lorna (Dumont) they open the series attempting to save Clarice, better known as Blink (Chung), a mutant being chased by the Sentinel Squad. During the rescue attempt, Clarice is saved but Lorna is captured and detained.
While in a detention center, Lorna meets Reed Strucker (Moyer) a prosecutor who specializes in cases involving mutants. He offers Lorna a deal to get her charges of attempted murder of police officers reduced in exchange for information on the mutant resistance group. Lorna’s no snitch and isn’t budging, but when Reed shows her test results that she’s pregnant, Lorna becomes enraged. Reed leaves her cell and tells her to think about the offer he’s giving her.
Reed and his wife are oblivious to the fact that both of their children are mutants. When their son Andy (White) goes to a dance with his sister Lauren (Lind), Andy is confronted by a few bullies. When the bullies take Andy to the locker room and haze him, Andy’s mutant powers are unleashed and he begins to bring down the school gymnasium with his thoughts. Even though this is Andy’s first experience with his powers, his sister Lauren is proficient with hers and she helps get Andy out and back home. This has already been labeled a terrorist attack and the Sentinel Services come knocking on their door. Even though their mom, Caitlin (Acker), tries to stop them from coming in, the Sentinel Services don’t have to worry about little things like warrants and they push their way in, knocking Caitlin down. Andy musters up enough of his powers to give the Sentinel Services officers pause as the family makes their escape.
Once the entire Strucker family reunites, Reed reaches out to Marcos to ask for assistance in protecting his family. For an exchange of information on Lorna, Marcos agrees but they are cornered by the Sentinel Services. As they are chased by Sentinel robotic spiders — nothing induces fear like spiders — Marcos uses his powers to destroy a few of them while Blink creates a portal to get most of them away to safety, but Reed is shot. Even though he’s alive Reed is left behind and captured by the Sentinel Services.
With the bitter taste the X-Men films have left with fans of the comic, The Gifted has the chance to be the absolute best live-action depiction of mutants on the big or small screen. There are so many ways they can take this season. Right away, the most interesting developments: Reed being in prison with Lorna and how they will interact with each other and the other prisoners; what’s next for the Strucker family and the resistance; what steps they will take, if any, to rescue Reed and Lorna? And there’s the added bit with officer Jace Turner (Bell) and how his story will unfold as an officer of the SS.
What Needs Work
Even though this premise of people with abilities is a bit different from the superheroes in tights schtick, the government organization hunting people with special powers has been done a few times before. Recently it’s been done extremely well in the last third of season 4 of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. With a ten-episode season I want them to expand on the idea and put their own spin on it without it looking like something we’ve seen before.
Even though the superhero TV show genre has quickly gotten crowded, this show has enough promise to stand out from the crowd. With a strong pilot and so many interesting ways the show can move forward, I can assure you The Gifted will be on my watchlist this season.
Watch This If You Like: Agents of SHIELD, Heroes (The 2006 pre-writer’s strike version, not anything after the writer’s strike or the “Nah” worthy Heroes Reborn 2015 series) the ’90s X-Men and X-Factor comic book series. The letter X in general. There are tons of little X Easter eggs to find throughout the episode. Trust me you won’t be able to un-see them now.
Don’t Watch If You: Are looking for a groundbreaking take in the superhero genre or Sci-Fi.