‘The Gifted’ S2 Finale Recap: Death, Destruction & Hope for Season 3’The Gifted’ Season 2, Ep 5 Recap: The Reunion We’ve Waited For Stay on target The Gifted doesn’t have a midseason finale like a lot of other broadcast TV series do. Much like Fox’s other new genre addition The Orville, it was given a short first season. There are only three episodes left in the season, and it feels like it. The show goes on hiatus for the next two weeks, and then we’re in it for the last three episodes of the season. This episode was all about setting up for the big fight to come. As formulaic as The Gifted can get, it’s done a lot of work over the last two episodes to change itself up. It still hasn’t broken from its formula completely, but there is finally a sense that things are moving forward again. The end of the last two episodes each brought a pretty significant change. It feels like the world will be different when the show returns.New addition to the Mutant Underground Esme is the one who really drives the episode forward. It even opens with a flashback focusing on her, though it doesn’t reveal too much. She was working on the campaign of an anti-mutant politician who, after giving a speech, complained about the size of his crowd. I have to admit that’s much funnier than all the “Make *blank* *blank* Again” jokes we got last year. But before we can learn anything about what she’s doing there or what her larger plans are, she hears a warning. The politician gets a call from Sentinel Services, and she suddenly hears a voice warning her that they’re onto her. I like my shows to keep a little mystery, but I wish we’d found out a little more about her with this flashback. It was fun to wonder exactly whose side she was on this episode, but by the end of it, we still don’t know much about her end game. She wants to reunite with her sisters, but beyond that? I guess we’ll have to wait.Coby Bell, guest star Frances Turner, Amy Acker and Stephen Moyer (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)At the Mutant Underground, she’s causing all the trouble. As shady and duplicitous as she is, it turns out to be a good thing for the show. It puts an end to the latest version of the same argument we’ve seen play out on this show from the very beginning. There’s nothing wrong with building the series around a central conflict, but The Gifted needs to find a more interesting way to do that than having the characters whisper intensely at each other. This time, the whispering centers around what to do now that Trask has the Strucker kids, Dreamer and Blink. One small evolution of the argument I do appreciate is that everyone seems to recognize that the Struckers aren’t separate anymore. They even come out and say they’re all “our people” now. Of course even with that, the age-old X-Men conflict is still being argued. Do we go in mutant powers blazing, possibly killing people, or do we look for a more diplomatic solution? Esme puts an end to it by going behind everyone’s back and doing both. She encourages the Struckers to go talk to Agent Turner without telling Eclipse and Polaris. She then tells Eclipse and Polaris that the Struckers just went off to talk to Agent Turner on their own.We spend most of the episode wondering exactly what kind of game she’s playing. Is she a Sentinel sleeper agent? Is she some sort of mutant purist, trying to drive a wedge between mutants and non-mutants? It’s actually pretty fun trying to figure out where she’s going as she manipulates everyone on the show. The Struckers have a long, tense conversation about family and children with Turner and his wife. Amy Acker does look seriously threatening as a worried mother holding a gun. She’s always been the one arguing for nonviolence, but in this moment, when her kids are in danger and she’s staring at the man who put them there, you totally believe she’s capable of some violence. It never gets that far, and the conversation actually works. They don’t appeal to Turner’s better nature, but to his wife’s. Seeing what her husband’s work is doing to another person’s family, she demands to know what he’s been up to.Guest star Garret Dillahunt, Jamie Chung and guest star Elena Satine (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)The scenes of the Strucker kids being experimented on at Trask Industries is nice and tense too. The frighteningly scarred Dr. Campbell locks them in a test chamber and tries to force them to display their Fenris abilities. He also lines the walls with adamantium spikes, which he specifically calls out as being found in Canada. That’s probably just there to wink at dedicated fans, reminding us that Wolverine exists. But hey, wouldn’t it be cool if he showed up in some capacity on this show? The kids refuse at first, enduring Campbell’s shocks. Then, he brings Dreamer and Blink into the room. He forces the kids to use their powers by killing Dreamer, which is a genuine shock. There was never a guarantee of safety for any of the characters, but Dreamer is one that we knew decently well. She was never anyone’s favorite character on the show, but it’s still sad to see her go. To save Blink, the Strucker kids join hands and tear apart the building, something Campbell says should have been impossible. As fun as it was to see the shock on his face as the wall comes down, Lauren realizes that they gave him exactly what he wanted. We don’t know what he intends to do with that data, but it’s clear they helped out an evil person.The episode ends with another big shock as Esme’s plans are revealed. Esme is a combination of two mutants from the X-Men comics: Emma Frost and her artificially created daughters, the Cuckoo Quintuplets. Only here, they’re just triplets. In addition to hearing people’s thoughts, she can force them to do whatever she wants. After the Struckers convince Turner to remove the prisoners from Trask and bring them back to prison, she gets the rest of the Mutant underground to launch a rescue operation. Then, just as Eclipse is about to enact his elaborate plan, she tasers him and takes matters into her own hands. So… what was the point of bringing the rest of the Mutant Underground if she was just going to act alone anyway? That’s never explained, and it makes most of her manipulations this episode seem pointless. All she needed to do was convince the Struckers to talk to Turner. Why tell Eclipse about it and pretend they went off on their own? The only reason seems to be so the Underground can figure out that she’s up to something just a moment too late. Her actions only serve to set up a twist, as far as I can tell. It’s annoying, but at least it leads to a cool, villainous display of powers. She uses her powers to force the security guard to deactivate all the mutants collars. Then, she has all the guards turn their weapons on each other and themselves. It’s an effectively shot, legitimately scary scene. I’d like to see The Gifted go even further in this direction.Percy Hynes White and Natalie Alyn Lind (Cr: Eliza Morse/FOX)Though it was held back by the same problems that have plagued The Gifted since episode one, it got out of them much quicker than normal. It helped that we got to watch a real mutant antagonist emerge. She complicates the story nicely, and I’m looking forward to see where the show takes her. There’s also the sense that there is no going back to normal after this episode. All the mutants are out of custody, but Dreamer is gone. That’s going probably going to push Thunderbird far more towards Polaris’s destructive arguments. Also, Turner is going to be even more of a threat now. He gave the Struckers the benefit of the doubt and had to watch his entire squad shoot themselves. They had nothing to do with that, but he doesn’t know that. Nor is he going to listen. So now the Underground will have to deal with an even more aggressive Sentinel Services as well as homicidal triplets. That’s an exciting place to be when the show comes back in 2018. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.