The Gifted, ‘rx’ – A Predictable Episode Bolstered by Great Effort

The Gifted, Episode 2
Photo Credit: Eliza Morse/FOX

The Gifted, ‘rx’ Plot Summary:

Polaris (Emma Dumont) must to try to survive prison, while Reed (Stephen Moyer) engages in a legal chess battle with Sentinel Services agent Jace Turner (Coby Bell). Blink (Jamie Chung) is being ravaged by her powers, and threatens to destroy the Underground’s HQ. So it’s up to Eclipse (Sean Teale), and Caitlin (Amy Acker) to find a way to cure her issues.

One of the marks of a good television show is the ability to overcome the obvious.

In the second episode of The Gifted, titled ‘rx,’ things could not be more obvious, and painfully predictable.

For example, Blink’s in medical trouble so the very cautious, and untrusting nurse Caitlin, must team with the equally untrusting Eclipse to find a way to cure her. The set-up is so obvious that you could nearly recite both character’s lines. You know Caitlin is going to ignorantly defend her position to Eclipse, and he will passionately put her in her place, and by episode’s end, Caitlin will be “woke.”

We see Polaris in jail — so you know where this is going. She’s going to be beaten up by non-mutants, and left high and dry by her fellow mutant inmates.

And obviously, attorney Reed Stecker is going to use all of his legal tactics to avoid being prosecuted by, and imprisoned by Sentinel Services. But, “big surprise” Sentinel Services doesn’t play by the laws of the land.

These three storylines are so painfully obvious, utterly expected, and so predictable that this episode should absolutely stunk. However, the performances by the immensely talented cast elevated ‘rx’ from the bowels of predictability, and made for an entertaining episode.

Like they did in the premiere, Stephen Moyer, and Amy Acker absolutely carry the episode. They are such believable, and sympathetic characters, you cannot help but be totally invested in them.

The rest of the cast are no slouches either. Coby Bell is making so much of his limited screen time as the lead Sentinel Service agent on the Stecker case. He’s such a fascinating character — mostly because there seems to be so much hidden behind his eyes. Does he hate mutants because of the death of his daughter? Is he actually a self-hating mutant? Does he also have family who are mutants? The man is way too diplomatic — so there’s something else here. The Mutant underground contingent also continues to deliver strong performances in their limited time — with Blair Redford’s Thunderbird standing out the most.

The second episode of The Gifted isn’t perfect, but it proved that this show has the tools to elevate itself above pedestrian writing. I hope this remains the case for the rest of the season.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites

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