RECAP: Gifted Season 2 Episode 8: dreaM – Great Characters and Strong Chemistry Make It the Season’s Best

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Man, they aren’t even trying with the titles anymore, are they? But the episode is the best of the season, which matters a whole lot more.

NOTE: For the sake of clarity, I’m using the characters’ hero (or villain) names, instead of switching between them based on context. It should make it easier to keep track of a sizable cast, and I hope using their code names doesn’t prevent you from connecting with these very human characters.

The episode starts with Eclipse and Polaris, the couple still together and Polaris still pregnant. Eclipse asks about her dad and Polaris says all she knows is her stepfather died in a plane crash when she was one. Eclipse clarifies that he means her birth father, presumably Magneto as in the comics.

Polaris, Andy, and Rebecca are driving away from where Rebecca turned dozens of people inside out, chased by the police. After being chastised for killing 37 people, Rebecca flees from the car.

Eclipse and Thunderbird want to track the inner circle. Blink tries to be the voice of reason to prevent their testosterone-filled decision, but when they won’t change their minds she goes with them, because “the only thing worse than doing something stupid and dangerous is doing it alone.” I really love this scene thanks to the chemistry between the three leads and some clever pieces of dialogue. Also, Blink had a real sense of presence I haven’t felt before, I’m hoping we get more of it soon.

Reed, Caitlin, and Laura enter a hospital to speak with a Doctor Madeline, who treated him and his father. Madeline sees Reed and runs over, telling him she thought she’d never see him again. Reed shows her his barely contained mutant energy, which looks like it’s going to erupt out of his bicep.

The director meets with the Strucker family in her office and tells him all her research started by treating Reed. She shows them several young mutants she’s (humanely) researching. She describes the X-gene as a blessing to some and a curse to others. She wants to stabilize Reed and use Lauren’s biology to keep him stable since Lauren has the same abilities and is in full control of them.

We go to 12 years ago (a second flashback!) where we see Polaris using her magnetic powers to “throw” nails into a tree. When her mother comes up Polaris describes how everyone ignored her 13th birthday because they hate the mutant with the green hair, bipolar disorder, and dead birth parents. She sees she received a package in the mail. It includes a note reading “I love my north star” and some kind of metal disc. She tears up the note, angry.

We’re back in the bedroom with Polaris and Eclipse, where Polaris shows Eclipse the metal disc her birth father gave her as proof to how little he cares. She discusses watching the news where they called him a monster. The world hated him but she hated him even more for abandoning her.

Esme Frost and Polaris discuss how the city is mayhem after the deaths at the bank. Esme promises they’ll protect Polaris’ daughter Dawn, but Polaris isn’t convinced. Esme tells her she can send Dawn to a school for gifted children in Switzerland, where it’s safe.

Doctor Madeline injects Reed with the medication she gave him when he was a kid to treat his powers. It holds them back long enough so they use Lauren to find a more permanent solution.

Thunderbird uses his tracking powers to find a new victim of Rebecca’s, turned kind of inside out into something grotesque. He and Blink find Rebecca, who tells them what she knows about what the Mutant Underground acquired at the bank.

We flash back to a bro at a bar calling out Polaris, a few years older now, as the daughter of “that mutant.” He demands she does a trick for him, so she decides to levitate his car 10 feet and let gravity bring it back down. Her mother picks Polaris up after she’s been arrested for destroying the car, telling Polaris she’s concerned. Polaris asks how she got let out of her cell, with an apology from the police officer no less, already knowing it has to be related to her father, but her mother won’t say anything about it.

Reed talks to Madeline about his father and how he never wanted a mutant for a son. Madeline explains that Reed’s father didn’t want him to suffer the curse of the Strucker family and tried to sever their connection to two of the evilest mutants in history, whose symbiotic powers sound a lot like what Lauren and Andy share. She pulls out a music box, the only reminder of the Strucker family Reed’s father kept. Expect to see that again soon.

Polaris visits Eclipse, her baby in toe, and very quickly demands how he will keep Dawn safe. Eclipse says he’ll do anything, figure it out because he has to. They fight, probably inevitable given they fought on opposing sides of a mutant war. After holding her for a minute Eclipse hands Dawn back to Polaris, and when the three of them are touching we see a beautiful light radiating from them, probably as a result of each of their powers. It makes Polaris’ departure even more tragic, but she’s convinced she needs to send the baby away to keep her safe. As soon as Polaris leaves the room they both break down like you’d expect from parents who have to part from their child.

Polaris visits her adopted mother, asking her to watch Dawn, which seems much better than shipping the baby off to Switzerland. Polaris explains she knows now that her mother wasn’t hiding her from her father but for him, and asks her adopted mother to do the same for her. She agrees and it seems like baby Dawn will be safe for a while, as much as it’s destroying Polaris and Eclipse to give her away.

The episode ends with two giant revelations. First, Doctor Madison’s lab assistant slips to Lauren that Madison’s overall goal is to wipe out the X-Gene, which based on the preview for the next episode will have big implications.

Next, Polaris plays around with the metal disc and finally realizes that it’s meant to be reshaped. The show cuts to Polaris in her classic green tiara from the comic books, which I’m guessing is more than just headdress.

This is probably my favorite episode of the whole series. The writers nailed Polaris’ backstory, the last big mystery of the series, but every storyline was captivating. The actors also brought their A-game, using the great script to do some of their best work. After weeks of leaving an episode lukewarm, I’m fired up and really excited for what comes next!