Those who escaped the Sentinels at the close of The Gifted‘s series premiere wound up worse off than the one hero who got left behind.
Episode 2 of the Fox drama led with a flashback to a year ago, where a Strucker family bowling outing (and Lauren’s deft flick-of-the-wrist cheating) got interrupted by the outburst of a young mutant girl. Reed introduced himself to the girl’s dad, only to urge the two of them to slip quietly away, lest the girl get brought up on charges for damaging property with her powers.
We then pick up right where last week left off, with Caitlin, Lauren, Andy, John, Marcos and Clarice landing in the mutant underground’s Atlanta HQ after jumping into the portal Clarice created. The longer-distance leap, though, put some real wear and tear on Clarice, who at first collapses and then goes into shock. And when she convulses, her powers become unpredictable, repeatedly opening a portal to a random (?) stretch of road where, at first, half of a truck gets sliced off and comes careening into HQ.
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The next time the same portal opens, some good ol’ boys toting guys have arrived to witness the crash scene. And after that, an armed SWAT team arrives to investigate. Each time, Lauren uses her own ability each time to juuuuust barely force closed the stubborn portal, with John pitching in some muscle for good measure. To stop Clarice’s convulsions and nurse her back to health, Caitlin at the very least needs to get her hands on some prescription medications. So she and Marcos go undercover as a couple at a nearby ER, ostensibly to get his recent bullet wound stitched up. Caitlin then at one point snatches some scrubs to sneak into a supply room and grab what she needs — though sure enough, she and Marcos get made and need to hot foot it outta there.
As they drive back to HQ, we lay witness to another mutant’s power, to instill great fear (as a sort of “security measure” to fend off lookie-loos). The building it utter mayhem at this point, perforated all over by portals great and small, plus some airborne ones to boot. Marcos offers race the meds inside, but Caitlin insists that her trained hand is needed, so she braves the insane sitch, races inside and darts through a portal to where John has Clarice. After Caitlin stabilizes Clarice’s potassium levels, things calm down. Clarice later apologies profusely to John for making a mess of the place and nearly killing some brethren in the process. John’s only question is what was special about the location she kept opening a portal to, but decides it’s a topic for another time.
* Thrown behind bars, Lorna/Polaris’ powers are restrained by a “flea collar” attached to “mutie” inmates. She tries to make nice with a fellow mutant, only to be waved off. When a non-mutant bully gives the new girl the lay of the land, Lorna makes clear that if they were on the “outside,” there’d be no fair fight. Lorna tries to walk off with a verbal win only to get yanked back, thrown down and beaten by some inmates. Pregnant Lorna toughs out the “flea collar” shock enough to uproot and launch a metal picnic table at the prison tough. Still, beaten and bloodied, she gets tossed into solitary.
* After Reed recovered from being shot with a stun ordinance, Sentinel Services agent Jace Turner leaned on him to cooperate with their investigation/hunt — or else other parties, such as Grandma Strucker (played by Sharon Gless #BurnNoticeReunion), will get hauled in for questioning/possible terrorism charges. Having spent a lot of time on that other side of the table, Reed calls Turner’s bluff and declares that yes, they will make a deal — and on his terms, starting with the promise that Caitlin, Lauren and Andy won’t be charged, nor will extended kin get harassed. And Turner agrees — as long as he gets to take down the entire mutant underground.
* In the final scene, we meet Dr. Roderick Campbell (played by Garrett Dillahunt), a mutant researcher contracted by the Sentinel Services. He tasks a wonk with calling up a newspaper clipping about mutant siblings — a brother/sister team, if you zoom in on the screen — who were active in Rio in 1962.
What did you think of Episode 2 of The Gifted?