ELA: ‘Supergirl’ returns & ‘The Gifted’ steadily improves

Monday evening my full TV schedule aired as The CW’s Supergirl began its third season. We also were delivered the second entry in Fox’s solid The Gifted. Both comic series – one from DC, the other Marvel.

Season three of CW’s only heroine series finds Kara hating her human alter ego. Still hurt from Mon-El leaving Earth, she’s determined to only be the Kryptonian. Her cold shoulder affects her relationships at work, where she quits. And it pushes her relationship with Maggie to the brink.

Amidst Kara’s stewing a new villain has surfaced in Adrian Pasdar’s Morgan Edge. Some corporate tycoon who goes toe-to-toe with Lena Luthor. His military outfit known as Bloodsport causes trouble all episode. First with the theft of weapons, then with the hijacking of a superior cloaking device. Ultimately they plan a massive attack at a Supergirl statue unveiling.

Here we get the biggest surprise of the episode. During the chaos at the unveiling ceremony, a mother lifts scaffolding off of her daughter, discovering super strength. Is she an alien being from Krypton, or another planet. It seems we will soon find out. A solid premiere episode. Hopefully this season rebounds from some of the flaws of season two. More James Olsen and less Mon-El.

Now to Marvel’s The Gifted. We left off with Reed Strucker being captured by Sentinel Services as his family escaped through Blink’s. The strenuous use of her powers has left Blink in shock and weak. This renders her mutant ability uncontrollable, with portals opening randomly exposing the safehouse. Lauren is able to close the early portals, but not for long. Marcos and Caitlyn team up to retrieve medicine from a hospital to heal Blink’s condition.

Miles away from the safehouse, Polaris is getting acquainted with prison life and the hierarchy. Mutants are restrained from using their abilities giving humans the upper hand. She’s horribly beaten – even kicked in her stomach. When she retaliates she’s tossed into solitary confinement.

Marcos and Caitlyn pose as a couple to acquire medicine for Blink. Medical staff question Caitlyn’s safety, alluding to domestic violence because she’s “dating” a mutant. She assures them that isn’t the case, but it doesn’t stop the police from chasing them down. Marcos and Caitlyn return safely only to find the safehouse being evacuated. Blink’s illness has rendered their hideout vulnerable to attack. Luckily they get the meds to Blink.

Meanwhile Jace Turner interrogates Reed. Reed denies any involvement, requesting a lawyer instead. Jace doesn’t budge using Reed’s mother as bait to pull a confession. They finally come to an agreement: Reed is taken prisoner as long as his family is set free. Jace has no choice but to agree.

Apart from the great action in this show, the writing captures the very experience many marginalized communities have in America. Each conversation and experience strips this family of their privilege, placing them in the shoes of the oppressed. Marcos’ explanation of Blink’s backstory described the inhuman treatment mutants receive, even from their own family. And Caitlyn Strucker can no longer be a silent bystander in the fight for justice.

I’m loving this show and the message it is declaring loud and clear. Unfortunately, times have not changed since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the X-Men.

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