Title: The Gifted: “eXploited”
Air Date: December 11, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction, Action, Thriller, Adventure
The Gifted returns this week with a punch, and it better have. The show will be taking a three week hiatus for the holidays, so, like the kind of mid-season finale you saw from The Walking Dead on Sunday, “eXploited” is filled to the brim with revelations, shocking deaths, and a twist you could pretty much see coming. Through all of the crazy stuff that happens in this week’s episode, there hasn’t been enough development put into the mutant villain to make me worry about her as much as I should.
Esme, the mutant that I mentioned in my review for “outfoX”, makes an impression this week as the mutant villain. Much like Magneto does in the X-Men films, you can expect Esme to start an uprising against humanity and any mutant that stands in her way. I think that the show runner’s hearts are in the right place, but there just hasn’t been enough going into Esme’s character for the twist at the end of this week’s episode of The Gifted to make the impact that they were aiming for when they planned it out. You are given some details of her past in a flashback, but all of it seems unorganized, with no way of knowing exactly what happens after Esme discovers she has “sisters.” It’s confusing and doesn’t help you understand her now launched campaign against the humans any better.
The Mutant Underground takes a hit this week with the (spoiler) death of Dreamer, a character that has been involved with some of the more major moments of this season thus far. Obviously, it’s sad to see an important character leave the show, but I think that it’s a necessary departure. Her death leaves the relationship between Blink and Thunderbird open to be explored in the future; shows the extent of Dr. Campbell’s madness and hatred towards the mutants; and shows that The Gifted isn’t to be taken lightly. Important characters will die; Dreamer just so happens to be the first to go.
You see an important transformation in “eXploited”, one that makes sense when you think about it. I’ve even mentioned in past reviews that Jace Turner has shown the qualities necessary to be a good guy. You can tell that he doesn’t possess those traits that make Dr. Campbell as evil as he is. Jace has a good heart strengthened by the love he has for his wife and late daughter; he just got a little confused about who he was. I think that, as the show has progressed, you could see this internal conflict unraveling in front of you. It’s a transformation that makes sense, while the one you see in Esme is so rushed that you can barely discern what makes her want to cause this violent uprising. The Gifted needs to present more information on her past in upcoming episodes, as it’s essential to help remedy this issue.
The highlight of “eXploited”, though, isn’t the shocking death of Dreamer, Jace Turner’s transformation, or Esme’s violent uprising… It’s Andy and Lauren. They finally combine their abilities together, almost destroying a room claimed to be indestructible because it’s built out of adamantium. You get to see the true power residing in these two young mutants’ fingertips, and how they, when put into the wrong hands, could cause unimaginable destruction. Enter Esme. With the Strucker siblings in the hands of Esme and her “sisters”, what will come of their combined ability? Will they be able to remain in control of it? Or, will Esme force their power out of them? If I have to choose one thing I like about the Esme ending, it’s that it presents these questions for you to ponder on for three weeks until the next episode on January 1, 2018.
Verdict: “eXploited” is an excitement-filled episode. Shocking deaths and important transformations will maintain your interest, even if the weakly formulated plot twist revolving around the mutant villain, Esme, doesn’t make sense at the moment. Her motives are confusing, mainly because you don’t know much about her past; she was only introduced to The Gifted three episodes ago. More detail on why she wants to start a violent uprising against the humans and any mutants who disagree with her needs to be presented in upcoming episodes.
- Jace's transformation
- Lauren and Andy using their combined power
- Death of Dreamer :(
- Esme's rate of development