A freshman season of a superhero tv show that isn’t horrible? That could never happen, right? Wrong. The Gifted made its way in for 13 episodes of really compelling story telling. This is tied in to the already existing X-Men movies, but does a great job of distancing itself.
I do have to clarify the timeline a little. This story takes place as Blink and Thunderbird first meet, but in the new timeline established at the end of Days of Future Past. Confused yet? I’m not done. If you recall, Blink and Warbird (Thunderbird’s brother) were characters in DOFP, so this is a really great way to connect the films to the show. Let’s add in that it seems to take place before Logan, but after the (SPOILER ALERT) X-Men and Brotherhood are apparently killed off by Xavier’s out of control powers referenced in the Logan movie.
So the show plays out with an underground network of mutants trying to survive in a world that hates them. They don’t know what happened to the X-Men or Brotherhood, but it no longer matters. Sentinel Services is on their backs. The organization is tied to Trask industries, but they have acknowledged that the giant robot sentinels were an issue in the past (Days of Future Past), and have moved to smaller robotic drones and hound mutants (brainwashed mutants) to help them.
Comic characters Pulse, Dreamer, Trader, Fenris, and Evangeline Whedon play small roles, while a brand new character Eclipse takes center stage as one of the co-leaders of the mutant underground.
The season plays out a little slow at times, but builds as it goes, and doesn’t make the mistake of harboring on one story line or cliffhangers for too long. It does have a theme throughout the season, which seems to be resolved at the end. (More Spoilers) Polaris seems to be following in her father’s footsteps (Magneto) and joining the Hellfire Club with the Stepford Cuckoos. The remaining mutants are homeless with nowhere to go. Presumably they will take refuge in the sewers and become the Morlocks of comic fame, but that is something for season 2 to tackle. And I’m hoping Dr. Campbell is not dead (He’s Ahab in the comics, so I’m sure he’ll be back in some form.)
What we have is a great X-Men B-list of mutants and humans who are surrounded by decent story telling. The great part of the show, however, is the Strucker family. Not only is their back story very deeply rooted in the source material, but they are characters you care about. All four of them really steal the show along with Agent Turner of the Sentinel Services. They are believable (at least their situations) and solid all around. The comic book connections are just icing on an already good cake.
I can’t wait to see what season 2 brings, as it looks to be more related to the comic books, but until then this was a good breath of fresh air for the superhero genre on TV. I give The Gifted first season, 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. What did you think? Where do you think it will go from here? Chime in with your comments below.