Last Monday, we were given the series premiere of "The Gifted." In a world without the Brotherhood of Mutants or the X-Men (although both organizations existed before) mutants are treated with fear and hatred, and many of them are imprisoned. After the mutant powers of her brother, Andy Strucker (Percy White) appear, Lauren Strucker (Natalie Lind) and her family are forced to go on the run to evade capture from the Sentinel Services, a government agency dedicated to hunting down mutants. This brings them into contact with an organization of underground mutants led by Marcos (Sean Teale) who are intent on rescuing Lorna (Emma Dumont) who was arrested.

A world of persecution

In this world, there is little hope for mutants. The show opens with a young mutant, Blink (Jamie Chung), using her ability to open portals to escape to a place where she meets Marcos, Lorna and another mutant named John (Blair Redford). When the police show up, they help her escape but the police arrest, Lorna. This is the reality for most mutants.

The show jumps to the Struckers. They seem like a normal family, with Lauren planning what she's going to wear to the school dance and their parents, Reed (Stephen Moyer) and Kate (Amy Acker) are meeting with the principal over concerns that Andy is getting bullied. At the dance that night, those fears are realized when a group of boys ambush Andy and drag him into the locker room where they force him into the showers and turn on the hot and cold water.

The stress forces his telekinetic powers to manifest, with enough force to bring down the entire school.

They manage to escape safely thanks to Lauren's ability to push air together to form shields that deflect debris. They and their parents are forced into hiding when the damage dealt with the school is dubbed a terrorist attack and Sentinel Services comes knocking on the Struckers' door.

This entire sequence shows a powerful family bond between the Struckers. Lauren is the only person who can calm Andy down, and their mother unflinchingly supports them despite just learning her children are mutants responsible for destroying a school. Likewise, Reed, a persecutor for imprisons mutants, doesn't hesitate before leaving his job. These bonds are clearly going to be an important part of the show.

A glimmer of hope

After rescuing Blink, Marcos turns his attention to rescuing Lorna, but John talks him out of it as it would jeopardize the entire mutant underground they've built - a place where people like them can be safe. The two characters are opposites. Where Marcos nearly lets his emotions run out of control and dictate his actions to break Lorna out, John keeps his head and uses logic to assess the situation. It's clear that these three have formed their own family, as it's implied the three of them built the safe haven and that Marcos and Lorna are in love.

Marcos finds a glimmer of hope when he's contacted by Reed, who had been composing a case against Marcos and his friends but is willing to help him get Lorna out of jail in exchange for smuggling his family to Mexico.

This brings hope for both parties; Marcos can get Lorna out without storming the police department and the Struckers can escape to a place where they can live safely, as a family. But when Sentinel Services catch up to them, everything is thrown away.

A promising start

"The Gifted" brought a great pilot to our screens. It introduced us to a world different than the one we're used to with the X-Men - a world without superheroes, where the mutants have to fend for themselves in an unforgiving world. There's always hope, however, as the mutants find support in either their birth family or the family they've made for themselves. "Exposed" introduces us to a cast of stellar characters who we want to follow as they try to make a life for themselves and keep their family safe in a world without X-Men.

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