Stay on target ‘The Gifted’ S2 Finale Recap: Death, Destruction & Hope for Season 3’The Gifted’ Season 2, Ep 5 Recap: The Reunion We’ve Waited For We’re in the second week of the winter season, but last night’s episode of The Gifted felt much more like a premiere than last week’s return from the show’s short hiatus. That episode focused all its different characters around one goal: Thunderbird. The Purifiers had him, the Underground wanted him back, Lorna and Andy temporarily rejoined their old allies to make that happened. It wasn’t a bombastic return for the show, but it was a fairly strong episode on its own. This week provided pretty much everything we want when a show comes back from a break. It started to make good on everything the first half of the season set up, while sending the plot speeding towards its eventual conclusion.It’s also a rare episode where the opening flashback has an impact on the story. Usually, these just set the tone of the episode, or at most let us know what themes the episode will be dealing with. This time, we get a brief look back at Andreas von Strucker picking up his music box from an antiques dealer. He’s had it restored, and had a secret addition put in. One only he knows about, after he kills the dealer with a flaming sword. Really going for it with the biblical imagery here, aren’t we? In the present, Lauren has been studying her great grandparents and listening to that music box nonstop. At the same time, her powers have transformed from a bubble shield into a spinning circular blade that fires around the room when she has a bad dream. Safe!Amy Acker (Photo Credit: Annette Brown/FOX.)Lauren’s parents aren’t the only ones concerned with her sleep-blading. Their landlord’s been getting some noise complaints from the neighbors, and he’s starting to suspect there’s more going on than a few seizures. He also seems real keen to evict any mutants in his building. That mutant panic underscores every scene of this episode. As a result, every scene feels precarious. Like we’re just one wayward glance away from everything falling apart. The episode is fun to watch even when there aren’t any shiny special effects on screen. The landlord’s mutant panic comes back to bite him when the cops show up at the Strucker’s apartment (and no one else’s.) They have their guns drawn as soon as Reed opens the door, but Lauren hasn’t been studying and training for nothing. She hides in the back room, and breaks some things across the street. With the cops thrown off the trail, Lauren confronts the landlord herself. She slices his desk and TV in half as a warning that he should never try to rat them out again. I think he’s going to listen.By the way, I love Caitlin Strucker’s turn this season from constantly worried mom into freedom fighter and co-conspirator. Reed’s trying to keep some semblance of the American nuclear family together, and Caitlin’s done pretending that was ever what their lives were. Amy Acker’s really killing it with the material too. With more emotions to play than straight worry, she’s become one of the more enjoyable actors to watch on this show.Emma Dumont and Sean Teale (Photo Credit: Wilford Harewood/FOX.)Racist humans aren’t the only ones with mutant-based fears in this episode, either. Reeva brought in some new recruits, whom Polaris immediately recognizes. They’re especially violent criminals. Hitmen who destroyed a cruise ship full of families. That’s not what Polaris signed up for. And it’s enough to send her back to Eclipse. Maybe this new world Reeva promised won’t be as safe for her baby as claimed. Who would’a thunk? Honestly, this development works really well here. Lorna playing double agent makes her scenes feel so much more dangerous. The Inner Circle scenes are more engaging and tense automatically. And yes, I love that it brings Eclipse and Polaris back together. I’ll admit I’m a total sap, and after everything we’ve seen them go through this season, the kiss with the aurora borealis encircling them was a satisfying, beautiful moment.The only part of this story that didn’t work for me was the detour to the DC underground to visit the Morlocks. As much as I loved their introduction earlier this season, the show has done less and less with them in each subsequent appearance. We get one scene that does little more than remind us that they’re still here, and will probably be involved in the fight against the inner circle somehow. Then it’s back to our regularly scheduled threat of genocide. Disappointing as this is, at least it’s better than that Blink cheating drama we got the last time the Morlocks showed up. God, that was stupid.Sean Teale and Jamie Chung (Photo Credit: Annette Brown/FOX.)Elsewhere in the story, we might be seeing the beginnings of a change of heart for Jace Turner. Well, maybe that’s too optimistic. He’s at least more conflicted than we’ve seen him in the past. For all his hemming and hawing over whether or not to join a militant hate group, he sure dedicated himself to the cause quick. On that note, as ham-handed as having a kid call him out on it was, it’s about time someone said something like that to him. “My granddaddy didn’t need a reason to run from the Klan, and neither did yours.” Damn, kid. You can tell that hurt too. Turner’s “no problem with mutants as long as they’re following the law” line sounds especially hollow after that. So Turner’s conflicted, but he’s not ready to leave the Purifiers just yet. When his buddy shoots a kid, Turner repeats the story of the kid charging him to the investigator. Even though he knows the story doesn’t add up. Because racists stick together, and cops stick together and racist cops especially stick together. At the very least he feels bad about it. Bad enough that he doesn’t even take comfort in the fact that his wife’s talking to him again. He forced his way into a homeless youth shelter, and an innocent kid is dead. He knows he messed up.So much of this episode worked, I almost wonder why this wasn’t the midseason premiere. It got the ball rolling on the rest of the season’s storylines so effectively. As someone who was definitely growing skeptical of this series over the last few episodes, this one got me back in all the way. The alliances established at the season’s outset have been upended once again, and I’m excited to see where this all goes. Even the ending cliffhanger left us on a decent mystery. Polaris and Eclipse discover that Reeva and the anti-mutant Sean Hannity-type are sharing information. Do they have a common goal? Or is the unrest both of their actions sow mutually beneficial? If Lorna wasn’t back on board with the Mutant Underground already, she is now. And thankfully, so am I.The Gifted airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.Previously on The Gifted:The Gifted Season 2, Episode 10 RecapThe Gifted Season 2, Episode 9 RecapThe Gifted Season 2, Episode 8 Recap
Batman: The Enemy Within even manages to look and run way better than a typical Telltale game. The company gets a lot of flack for relying on increasingly old and broken and technology. The breakneck episodic release schedule makes it tough to re-examine something as fundamental as the underlying engine. But at least on PC where I played it, Enemy Within features significant visual upgrades compared to its predecessor released just a year previously.I’m still not entirely sure about the future of Telltale. After rapid expansion, late last year the developer laid off a significant amount of staff. Next up on the release calendar is the final season of The Walking Dead and sophomore seasons of Game of Thrones and The Wolf Among Us. But these two seasons of Batman, and teases for more (Justice League???), have reignited my interest in both this developer as well as this style of story-driven adventure game. Batman really is one of the World’s Finest.Purchase Batman: Telltale Series Season 1Purchase Batman: The Enemy WithinLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
Watch this kangaroo rat kick a rattlesnake in the face By Elizabeth PennisiMar. 29, 2019 , 9:00 AM The desert kangaroo rat is a black belt among rodents. In addition to living in the hottest, driest deserts of North America, this tiny mammal fights off rattlesnakes with the speed and agility of the best kung fu fighters, making good use of its extralong, muscular hind legs. Now, biologists have captured just how it uses those legs: by kicking its would-be killer in the face.Researchers caught 13 radio-tagged sidewinder rattlesnakes (Crotalus cerastes) on film as they lunged for kangaroo rats (Dipodomys deserti) during their evening hunts. The rattlesnakes’ aim was good about 80% of the time, but they landed a bite less than 50% of the time. That’s due, in large part, to the kangaroo rats’ agility: The aptly named rodent can leap almost eight times its body length while kicking, twisting, turning, and even flipping over to avoid capture. And when it’s nabbed, it uses its hind legs to kick the snake off, sometimes propelling the attacker a meter away.Those gyrations ensured that only one in five rats wound up as a rattlesnake’s dinner, the team reported yesterday in Functional Ecology. An analysis of the rats’ behavior shows that as they maneuver, they are very aware of the direction they want to be headed—away from the snake, the same group reported yesterday in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. By evolving long, strong back legs and a tendency to walk on just those two limbs, the kangaroo rat has learned how to foil one of its deadliest predators. Top that, Bruce Lee.