Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s show Rick and Morty is unfortunately gone for who knows how long, and in the meantime, although it cannot be replaced, there is a new show worth checking out. 20th Century Fox premiered the pilot of its new television series, The Gifted, which is directed by none other than Bryan Singer. Here is our review.
Warning: Possible spoilers ahead!
According to the Fox website: “Set in an alternate timeline where the X-Men have disappeared, a suburban couple is forced to flee from a hostile government after their teenage children begin to show they possess certain powers.”
After the success of FX’s Legion, comic book fans are glad to see yet another show with X-Men properties. This pilot of the series tackles themes such as terrorism, miracles, and diversity.
Terrorism can occur anywhere and can be caused by anyone. You do not need to have powers to be considered dangerous, but the most dangerous persons are seen as those with power.
Daughter Lauren Strucker claims that miracles don’t exist. Not necessarily. When you become one of the “gifted,” you are granted a responsibility, and sometimes people will want to take that away from you. One of the things a person must understand when they get their powers is that having them comes at a cost, and we have to protect and save both ourselves and our loved ones to ensure survival and security from harm’s way.
The theme of family is explored throughout the episode. As father Reed Strucker says, “There is nothing more important to me than my family.” The revelation about Polaris becomes a concern for Marcos Diaz as he learns that he may be accountable for her “medical situation.”
As X-Men related shows, films, and comics teach time after time, diversity is also a vital theme. Mutants are humans, too. The only difference is that they are born when the X-gene, one that grants such persons with superhuman abilities. With the diversity and misunderstanding comes discrimination, and those against such a race of beings want nothing except for these so-called freaks to be wiped off the face of the earth.
Easter Eggs and Trivia Facts:
- The term “mutie” (short for mutant) is brought up during a conversation at the Strucker house in the former half of the episode. Lauren considers this a racial slur. Ironically, the two children are revealed to be mutants. In the comics, the phrase is tossed around and is used as such.
- Sentinel Services – True Marvel fans would understand this reference to the antagonistic mutant-hunting robots. In the show, the Sentinel Services serves as an organization of some sort that tracks down and endangers superpowered individuals.
- The actor who plays Reed Strucker, Stephen Moyer, is married to Anna Paquin, who played Rogue in the X-Men film series.
- Jamie Chung, who plays Clarice Fong/ Blink in the show, was previously in a live-action Fox comic book television series, Gotham. It’s splendid knowing she remained with Fox and only switched from DC to Marvel.
- Tex’s Lounge:
- Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance as a bar patron walking out of Tex’s Lounge.
- The neon sign on its window shows no brightness except for the “X” in “Tex’s”, which flashes a glowing red.
- In Tex’s Lounge, Marcos Diaz/ Eclipse sits in front of a painting of an animal, although this is not just any animal. With proper knowledge and understanding, a true comic book fan will realize that the portrait is that of a wolverine, and we all know what that is a reference to.
- We eventually learn that Tex’s is a bar for mutants, so one must wonder if the legendary Lee is one of them as well.
- When Reed Strucker calls for help with his family situation, the X-Men: The Animated Series (1992-1997) theme song is heard as Eclipse’s ringtone.
Written by: John Tangalin