The Gifted: S1E1: “eXposed”

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8.2 Overall Score

One of the most beautiful things about Logan is that while it kept to it’s own singular story, there were slight nods to the overall X-Men universe. Ambiguity can create intrigue. The first episode of The Gifted does this very thing. The X-Men and the Brotherhood have disappeared, only mentioned in reference to an anti-mutant registration act that is back with a vengeance. Many of the mutants are on the run and confined to living in an underground hideaway. Marcos Diaz (Sean Teale), Lorna Dane/Polaris (Emma Dumont), and John Proudstar/Thunderbird (Blair Redford) are the first mutants that we come in contact with as they are rescuing Clarice Fong/Blink (Jamie Chung). We are pushed into a world that is already in motion, so it doesn’t feel like a reboot of ones we have seen.

If you go by the comics, Polaris is Magento’s daughter. However, there’s another tell that hearkens back to the movies in personality. The confrontation between Polaris and Strucker in the prison is much like the ones that happen both in X-Men 1 & 2. Polaris has much of her dad’s defiant and strong nature to her character. Bryan Singer directed the pilot, so it’s not an accident to see much of what you are familiar with in the X-Men movies in the episode.

Much of the X-Men story is still very apparent. How do you feel when your gifts make you a target? What do you do when you cannot control the circumstances of who gets them? The Strucker family is a prime example. Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer) is a district attorney who helps prosecute mutants. He’s met with the conundrum of both his children, Lauren and Andy (Natalie Alyn Lind, Percy Hynes White) both have mutant abilities. A Sentinel
Service hired hand turns into a concerned father on the run. The bond between brother and sister gets it’s moment at the hotel. Lauren takes the “Professor-X” role and tries to help Andy concentrate and control his powers. While their parents are still trying to understand them, there’s something to relating to somebody who is in the same position.

“eXposed” does a good job at balancing the display of each mutant’s power, but not relying on it. Being on the small screen, you are confined to exhibit more story telling due to budget constraints. Many X-Men fans might already be familiar with this story in particular. However, the overall discussion of mutants and the metaphor that they stand for continues to transition through mediums. Whatever “incident” happened that caused the X-Men to suddenly disappear will no doubt be explored throughout the series. This notion of the government cracking down on a particular sect of people definitely hits close to home without giving away to satire.

With the success of FX’s Legion, going for more psychedelic elements, it was important for The Gifted to set it’s own, unique precedent. It’s a story that we love and is interesting enough to keep us coming back.

Main Photo Credit: Fox Networks

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Author: Murjani Rawls View all posts by
Writer | Photographer | Beast

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