RECAP: Gifted Season 2 Episode 3: coMplications – Mutant Child Custody Battle
Check out the new happenings in the surprisingly good series putting together mutants never chosen for X-Men films.
REMINDER: For the sake of clarity, I’m using the characters’ hero (or villain) names, instead of switching between them based on context. It should make it easier to keep track of a sizable cast, and I hope using code names doesn’t prevent you from connecting with these very human characters.
Another episode begins with a flashback, this time showing Eclipse visit a church in Mexico and bribing a nun to see a Señor Sebastian, his father. He watches him convulsing in a bed, clearly near death, and heats up a bowl of soup with his powers. Sebastian looks up at Eclipse and tells him to leave and let him die in peace.
Eclipse shares that he’s made some calls and can get his father into a nicer place, a Cancer Center even. But his father responds, “You whore your demon powers to Cartel and come here trying to buy my love? Get out. You don’t belong in a house of God.
Eclipse reminds his father that his mother hid her powers and it drove her into an early grave. And no matter what the nuns think, he’s not reaching Heaven, instead, he’s heading in another direction.
Polaris’ baby is very sick with the worst case of Jaundice the doctor has ever seen. That’s actually a real disease, which causes yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. But when the doctor ells Polaris she needs the father (Eclipse) to channel his solar power to care from the baby, the series quickly destroys any illusion of scientific accuracy. Still, it’s an acceptable enough reason for the two mutant sides to interact, and for Eclipse to finally meet his daughter.
Thunderbird and Blink prepare to hunt for information about the Hellfire Club’s inner circle. Eclipse wants to go but they won’t let him because they can smell the booze on his breath and they’re angry about his “light show” seen at the end of the last episode. Blink refers to it as a drunk dial to his ex, which is one of those lines so good I’m jealous I didn’t think of it.
While sobering up in a diner Eclipse hears Polaris call out to him. He follows the voice and it leads to the Stepford Cuckoos, who tell him his baby needs help. Hesitant, he gets in a car and puts on a blindfold because it might let him finally see his child.
Reeva tells Andy she wants him by her side when Eclipse visits, a strange choice given they were close friends like six months ago. Reeva tells him, “Anyone can stand up to an enemy, it’s something else entirely to go against someone who fought and sacrificed for him.” Sounds like a bad bet to me, because I think every viewer can agree Andy is terrible.
Thunderbird and Blink follow a trail to the sewers. Thunderbird senses someone is trying to get them lost and finds a wall that is actually a hologram which they then pass through. But even past that they find themselves going in circles, something interfering with Thunderbird’s tracking. Also, there was a Goop reference! Blink uses her portal to get them on the right path. They encounter The Morlocks (!) who say them they’re coming with them.
Against the wishes of his wife, Jace visits the metropolitan police department to discuss information he has about mutant fugitives in the area and how it relates to the “light incident.” Sergeant gives Jace a peek at what the police department knows, which isn’t much.
As Reed is driving with Lauren, his powers manifest and he can’t hold it back. His hand glows red and heats up so much he burns most of the steering wheel to a crisp, causing them to crash. They abandon the car and escape through a fence. Lauren has all of ten seconds to confront him about hiding his powers before they have to go on the run again.
Reeva takes off Eclipse’s blindfold, told about the trouble with the baby, and orders him that he only discuss the child with Polaris. Andy tells him to be grateful he’s allowed at Hellfire Club at all, and now I’m half-convinced the writers of The Gifted are placing bets on how much the audience hates him by the end of the season.
Eclipse sees Polaris and, for the first time, his daughter. Polaris shuts him down when he tries to talk with her, telling him not to make this harder than it needs to be. Eclipse holds Dawn, overwhelmed. Her skin is noticeably yellow and she looks malnourished, but he makes his hand glow and nurtures her back to health in just seconds.
Thunderbird and Blink speak with Erg, who’s clearly the leader of the Morlocks. He asks Blink to follow him, likely more taken by her because most Morlocks are mutants who can’t hide in plain sight. He introduces her to the “real underground,” an area in the sewers where mutants can coexist with others.
Blink argues with Erg that the X-Men fought for all their freedom. Erg disagrees, saying they fought for tolerance, and you only tolerate things you hate. He offers her information in exchange for eyes on the world above. Essentially, he needs a spy, but we’re not sure what kind of information he’s looking for.
Blink returns to Thunderbird, telling him she learned the Stepford Cuckoos were in a utility tunnel with city workers, tapping into a data cable under the health department, which I’m sure we’ll learn more about in episodes to come
Eclipse doesn’t want to let go of his daughter. He gives Polaris the beautiful metal rattle he crafted and begs her to come with him. Polaris refuses, says they’re building something where they are. Eclipse is even ready to stay in the Hellfire Club headquarters, not wanting to abandon his child as his father did him, but everyone in the room knows it’s not where he belongs. I have to say, custody battles are a lot more exciting to watch when both parents have superpowers.
The Cuckoos lead him out of the building, but when told to put his blindfold back on something triggers in him. He envisions their past relationship, and shouts Polaris they’re lying to her. He fights through all three of the Cuckoo sisters, but Reeva knocks him out with a sonic scream.
Jace returns to the police station, saying he spotted an accident which he (correctly) thinks involved Reed and Lauren Strucker. But the Sergeant orders him to leave, telling Jace he learned he was thrown out of Sentinel Service and has already informed the department about him. He has no choice but to leave. His storyline was definitely more in the background this episode, but hopefully, we see more of him and his wife in the future.
Blink tells Thunderbird he’s acting differently. He opens up about what Evangeline Whedon said to him, that they’ll have to kill Andy and Polaris. He doesn’t know if he can do it. A second after he says that, Eclipse collapses into their apartment, saying he’ll do whatever it takes to get his daughter back.
Reed finally tells Amy that he had mutant powers which his father suppressed for him, but they’ve been emerging since Andy left and he can’t hold them back anymore. They hug, and it looks like whatever happens next they’ll face it together.
I’m continually impressed by this series that picked up the scraps, weaving together a story about the characters never added to the many X-Men films. They tap into the history of X-Men comics, especially this episode with the Morlocks, but they’re blazing their own trail and I’m really starting to enjoy the ride.
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