Genesis: THE GIFTED 'eXposed' Bigotry Under the Guise of Mutants

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At a time where the world is in a state of unrest due to things that make us different from one another, THE GIFTED brings these subjects to the forefront.

Some shows try to inject personal politics into the plot, but the X-Men has, and always will be, about equality. This isn't a political statement, this is a story about how being different comes with a social price tag.

Being a mutant is synonymous with being gay, transgender, muslim, black, or any other group that has ever felt oppressed because...they're different. But different from what?

Everything else.

It's probably not a coincidence that a suburban white family is used to be the gateway for viewers into the world of bigotry.

THE GIFTED has a stirring moment where, after Andy discovers he's a mutant, his mother is speaking to him as though he just admitted he was gay. She doesn't understand. She wants to know how it happened. Then Lauren admits to being a mutant also. Suddenly the mom wonders why she was never told.

But Lauren tried. As it is with many child/parent relationships these are the hard conversations to have because the parents have always shyed away from discussing it. Their father, Reed, prosecutes mutant criminals. So when the children discover they're 'different' it becomes difficult to talk about it. They're afraid of being judged, like their parents have done with others.

Reed now wants nothing more than to keep his family safe from the same organizations that he's worked alongside with as a prosecutor.

We also get to see several mutants who have been living with their abilities for quite some time. They're much more seasoned, but also on the run. With their abilities heightened they've become targets of the mutant hunting organzation: Sentinal Services. They are the ones that Reed speaks to in order to get his family out of the United States and away from the jurisdiction of Sentinal Services.

Using his connections and knowledge of captured mutant, Lorna Dane's (Polaris) 'medical situation', he convinces Marco Diaz (Eclipse) to meet with him in hopes of getting help for his family. The episode culminates in a final chase scene that intensifies as the sentinal 'spiders' chase down the Strucker family and the other mutants Blink and Warpath.

The pilot episode for THE GIFTED delivers solid commentary on today's society. Just because you're different doesn't mean your bad, but it doesn't excuse you from being suspected either. As with any race, sexual orientation, or creed, there lies within both good, bad, and neutral parties. You must consider the individual, not the group they are linked to because of their genetic disposition.

The X-Men were created in 1963 and it opened up the dialogue on racism in America among comic book readers. Over 50 years later and the topic of conversation is still relevant. And important. And in today's society where everyone is on high alert simply because of a persons genetic differences, something that you have no control over, THE GIFTED comes at a very important time.

FOX has does a wonderful job balancing a good X-Men story with the correct themes suited for Marvel's mutants. There are plenty of moments that will make comic book fans happy. The special affects aren't over the top but their enough to portray each mutants ability.

The cast feels like a perfect fit and they feel like they belong in this new world FOX is developing for television. Not connected to any of the other Marvel properties on television, this show will be self-contained. As it should be. The mutants have always been in their own corner of the Marvel Universe, poetically segregated from the other characters and teams.

THE GIFTED should appeal to comic book fans and general audiences alike as it mixes a highly known property with social commentary and realistic drama. For some viewers, though, it may hit a little too close to home.

THE GIFTED airs on FOX Monday nights at 9 pm EST.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0