The Gifted season 2, episode 7 review: no Mercy

Bank robbery and bickering are highlighted in this week’s episode of The Gifted.

When we last saw the characters of Fox’s ensemble action drama The Gifted in “iMprint,” Reeva Payge (Grace Byers) was getting ready for a dinner date and Esme Frost (Skyler Samuels) was explaining to Lorna Dane/Polaris (Emma Dumont) that the Inner Circle was plotting to rob Creed Financial, agreeing to take care of Dawn should anything bad happen to Lorna.

Meanwhile, Jace Turner (Coby Bell) was becoming more and more enmeshed with the Purifiers, and not exactly comfortable with that realization.

Also, Reed Strucker’s (Stephen Moyer) powers wouldn’t stop after he managed to will them on for once while the Atlanta Mutant Underground remnants escaped a Purifier attack.

In “no Mercy,” there…well, there wasn’t much, which is a little unusual for this show.

This is a stick-up, mutant style

Most of the episode dealt with the Inner Circle’s heist of Creed Financial, which began with Reeva kidnapping her date, a widowed banker named Quinton. Rebecca Hoover/Twist (Anjelica Bette Fellini) expresses her doubts about accomplishing her role in the heist, and Andy Strucker (Percy Hynes White) comforts her, much to Polaris’ disgust.

At the last second, Polaris recruits Esme to babysit Dawn, with help from Sage (Hayley Lovitt).

Sophie and Phoebe Frost (also Samuels) use their manipulations to force a confession from the bank president while everyone else does the actual thieving of this robbery. Surprise, surprise – it goes successfully, and the company will soon be ruined, as Reeva had planned the comeuppance for their long history of past crimes against mutantkind.

Turner meets a VIP

Turner’s masterminding of the raid on the Baltimore Underground station has caught the attention of a major behind-the-scenes player within the Purifiers, an extremely well-connected TV personality named Benedict Ryan (Peter Gallagher), who cannot officially reveal his Purifier standing due to his political clout, which includes a direct line to the President.

Ryan wants Turner to appear on his show and tear into his former employers Sentinel Services for their failure to shut down the Underground in Atlanta, which he doesn’t exactly care for. But he’s reluctantly coaxed into it by Kyle the police officer.

Turner is still doggedly trying to contact his estranged wife Paula, whose lawyer tells him to stop calling.

Has the Underground reached its breaking point?

Reed’s powers have incinerated most of the furniture in the Strucker apartment, and would have done more damage if Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind) wasn’t actively defusing her father’s out-of-control genetics. After a strategy session at the kitchen table, Caitlin (Amy Acker), John Proudstar/Thunderbird (Blair Redford), Clarice Fong/Blink (Jamie Chung) and Marcos Diaz (Sean Teale) decide that the best course of action is to take him to the clinic.

Eclipse and Thunderbird weld together an armored ambulance in a scrapyard to transport Reed in, and Marcos questions Blink’s recently affinity for the Morlocks, an isolationist society of outcast mutants living in the sewers who we first met in “coMplications.”

Lauren vows to protect her dad, which only adds to his agony, as he thinks it’s his job as a parent to protect his daughter.

Thunderbird and Blink argue about her dealings with Erg and the Morlocks, as she argues that at least they’re doing something to help mutants, even if she doesn’t approve of their methods. He can’t bring himself to admit the fact that the Underground’s fight hasn’t exactly been going that well.

Where things currently stand

After the successful heist, all the bank employees are gathered in a meeting room to await the police’s arrival, until Twist calls an audible at the last second and murders all of them, which horrifies her teammates, even Reeva.

Turner meets Ryan at his studio to agree to appear on TV when they hear about the robbery/mass murder.

Meanwhile, Caitlin and Lauren think that they might have found a geneticist in Charlotte who can help Reed with his powers, as she may have worked with his dad Otto.

For a show that delves into the gray areas of problems, this episode felt a little over the top in how committed various characters are for wiping out all traces of their enemies. But maybe everyone is so committed to their various ideologies at this point that they can’t see any gray areas?

Either way, it felt uncomfortably close to parroting real-life political speeches instead of holding a critical mirror to get a glimpse of how different viewpoints think, providing viewers a chance to thoughtfully understand how others may view the world in a different way than they do.

Airing a day after Stan Lee’s death, it was a little disappointing, considering how the X-Men have been used throughout their existence to explore diversity in a wide range of issues.

Mutant miscellany

  • This episode’s flashback was set eight years ago in Chicago, where a close friend of Reeva was fatally stabbed by anti-mutant thugs. Despite telling Andy in “unMoored” that this happened when she was a preteen, it sure looked more like she was college-aged when this happened.
  • “I know I always seem to be the awkward-question-asker, but….what do we do now?” Blink never fails to have great quotes.
  • Talking about her family, Lauren asks her mom “….Are we cursed?” Seems like it, Struckers.
  • Esme’s babysitting was hilarious, particularly the apologetic “Auntie Esme isn’t allowed to get in your mind any more” and the ecstatic “It’s your first bank robbery, Dawn!” on hearing of the completed mission (before Twist lost it, which Esme doesn’t know yet).
  • Bank robbery is obviously very bad, but man, did the Inner Circle ever make it look awesome during that montage. Also, the entire heist took about three minutes, which is really impressive. Guess all that training paid off.
  • What happens to Quinton’s kids now that they’re orphans?
Next: Is "The Gifted" adapting the House of M storyline?

Episode eight, titled “the dreaM,” will air in two weeks because of Thanksgiving specials next week. It will air Tuesday, Nov. 27 on Fox at 8 p.m. ET. Going by the trailer that played over tonight’s credits, Lorna finally breaks away from the Inner Circle because of Twist’s actions, reunites Dawn with Eclipse and follows in her father’s footsteps as Polaris dons a visor/headband of her own.