The Gifted Midseason Premiere “eneMy of My eneMy” Review

The Gifted is one of my favorite shows. To be exact, my favorite exploration of the X-Men/Mutant world. However, this season has left things a bit questionable for me. Especially when the midseason finale had its ups and downs that you could only stew on during that break until its return. The Inner Circle story is great, things with the Purifiers consistently intensify, but the other half involving the Mutant Underground is on a limp. They are running around in circles, and the Struckers face one too many problems of their own making. As I said before, this next half of the season turns has to be where things turn around.

Even if I didn’t agree with the execution of the situation that the Mutant Underground got themselves into, this was without a doubt the best time to get them to take this matter seriously. Losing their own was that wake-up call for them to remember who they are fighting against, and who they probably need to start seeing as their allies. The pacing did pick up and the discussion about recruiting the Inner Circle to assist them was straight to the point. They have their arguments, but this wasn’t one of those times to stir up drama when actions needed to be taken. Considering the title of this episode, it was a given that all of this was going to lead to them deciding that the Inner Circle’s help would be required. The only question left after that was how. Their plan was bold for where things could have gone wrong, yet the right statement to make that they had their heads in the game once more.

The build-up to the rescue had an atmosphere that you could almost choke on. The tension was suffocating when working together didn’t mean that everyone was in agreement on everything else that has happened up to this point. Probably not the best time for any one of them to get caught up in drama, but this was a different circumstance for all. The actual break-in and rescue was thrilling because there was nothing in front of them but the jobs they had to do. I would say that the execution of this scene is second to the bank heist for the second season. I would only say that the bank heist is better because there was more enthusiasm from the mutants, better music, and larger feats of strength pulled off. Where this rescue stood out was better combinations of powers, and more risked involved for anyone who could get lost in the crossfires, including John. I still struggle with the nerf that they have given this version of him, but something is still better than nothing.

With the Inner Circle, the transition from their big move as steady, but crucial for their reaction to the world’s response. What we as X-Men fans tend to be used to is that every victory only masks more obstacles. That was exactly what was captured when perception of events can be contrasting just from the point of view of the media. Particularly those who create an audience from feeding into mutant hate. Lorna and Andy’s response was fitting since it was them who got their hands dirty to set all those mutants free.

For the Strucker family, Andy and Lauren’s growing connection through their dreams was a solid step forward. Even if they aren’t getting anywhere considering his past choices, that is something in contrast to the problems they create for themselves. On one hand we are seeing the frustration that Lauren feels from being betrayed by her own brother, then we have Andy who is looking for a hand and not fully willing to take the proper step forward to receive it. With that said, it was heartbreaking to see how the parents embraced Andy’s return in comparison to Lauren. It was a little predictable to see where they were going with that, but nonetheless something that everyone needed to see for themselves inevitably. It was one thing for Lauren to combat everyone about Andy being lost, but they had to be able to see things with their own eyes. Like me, if you wanted a turning point for this family, then you got it from their experience.

Before now, I can’t say that I have been all too impressed by Jace. So desperate to win this fight of his that he was willing to sacrifice his marriage and self-respect by aligning himself with a hate group. Where he does have the potential to be redeemed is that he still has his own way of working towards a solution. He has a line he won’t cross unless he has to, and that is at least something to acknowledge even if he is on the wrong side of this war. With that said, his interrogation of John was suspenseful. When you also are so familiar with Jace, then you know how difficult will be getting through to him whether telling him your version of the truth or anything that he doesn’t want to hear. Normally in these situations I would cringe because the person interrogated doesn’t try hard enough to explain things, but this wasn’t one of those cases where you wanted to be too open.

The Gifted midseason premiere “eneMy of My eneMy” was a strong return for this series. Where once I questioned the direction this story was taking, now there is more confidence in place of that after the events of this episode. The set-up for a specific war is something for all of us to anticipate since powerplayers will be forced to step up in a way that they haven’t before.

Jideobi Odunze Author

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