This week’s episode of The Gifted gave us some interesting information and sent the mutants on a mission that, to any sensible person, seemed like a fool’s errand. But before we get to that, let’s give a mention to that perhaps vital information that the Strucker kids learned this week. While dad was busy confessing to mom about his mutant family history (and of course filling Lauren and Andy in), the kids were doing their own research on their von Strucker relatives, finding a nice book about the history of mutants and learning that the pair were really, really bad people who brought down an entire building which killed many people, and were part of an organization called The Hellfire Club. That is a big name in X-Men mythology, a villainous group that has been a key player in the comics. We also learned that Andrea and Andreas “disappeared” which doesn’t mean they’re dead.
The Hellfire Club was a cool name drop, especially since Fox had been working on a TV series by the name of Hellfire prior to The Gifted, but dropped it when it began to feel more like a feature film than a TV series that would explore character development. And that’s where The Gifted came in. With some of the recent lackluster storytelling, one has to wonder if the Fox bigwigs made the right decision.
But Andy and Lauren also learn that their ancestors had the same powers as they do plus … if they held hands they could combine their powers to bring down a building. Reed and Caitlyn decide to let the kids give it a try in the vault of the headquarters, but nothing seems to happen as they half-heartedly hold hands. As Lauren mentions, it’s a little weird. But Andy urges her to try again, hold tighter and concentrate … and they do. I have to give credit to the director and effects people for this scene as the kids’ hair blows around and the image brightens and they see deep into the building. It was nicely shot and transported the viewer into the minds of the kids. But Reed sensed something was about to happen and got them to separate before they brought down the entire Mutant Underground. The moment also triggered a memory from a year earlier when Andy was trying to teach Lauren how to skateboard and as she fell he grabbed her hand and they both felt that power surge but neither of them knew of their own powers at that point.
While the kids are busy learning their history and dealing with all of this new information, the empath that recently came to the Underground, Esme, has been rather hysterically urging Johnny and Marcos to attack Trask Industries to help the mutants being held and experimented on there, as well as saving her own family. And she was rather insistent that they take on this mission, so much so that it raised a lot of red flags in my mind. It seemed quite obvious that she was setting them up because it had to happen now, but everyone tried to get her to cool her jets until they got more information about the facility.
Dreamer and Sonia went undercover to a bar where the employees hung out and extracted security information from a guard … and finding that the place is heavily guarded by automatic weapons and surveillance cameras all over the place. The only way to get past that security is to take out a power substation nearby and the only two mutants in the group who can do it? Andy and Lauren, of course. But this time their parents didn’t do the usual “why my kids” thing and pretty easily allowed them to go … as long as they could be the ones running security for them. With Dreamer as their guide and Blink their way in through a portal, the mission seems to be going well, even though they have a long way to go to the power core.
They evade a few guards and other employees but what they don’t know is Sentinel Services’ Agent Turner has had a feeling there would be an attack on Trask after the previous mission targeting Reed’s father went awry and Dr. Campbell was seriously injured. Turner’s partner Weeks thinks Jace is reaching a bit too much but agrees to go along with him. Turner has even figured out that the mutants would hit the power source before the facility so he stations his team at the substation hoping for some signs of mutants. Bingo!
Knowing they’ve been made, the four try to escape the facility but they are so far in and disoriented as to where they are that Blink can’t create a portal to get out. With the Sentinels on their tails, she urges the other three to run as she is captured. Running up against a locked door, Dreamer is able to finally get it open but only in time for Lauren and Andy to get through, sacrificing herself to the Sentinels for their safety. Lauren and Andy have no idea how to get out … except one. And they take hands and rev up their powers, but where Andy said earlier that he wanted something to happen when they were in the vault, this time it was he who let go because he didn’t want to be responsible for killing everyone in the building like his ancestors had. Which led to them being captured and fitted with power-dampening collars as their parents watched from the surveillance van.
Over at Trask Industries, all hell breaks loose and the mutants know they need to leave even as Esme insists they continue with the mission and save her family. Had Johnny not been carrying so much guilt about leaving Pulse behind which led to his turning by the Sentinels, he probably would have (and should have) left Esme there because she’s obviously one of those turned mutants working for Sentinel Services. Right? Did anyone bother to check her for the tattoo? Do they not have some kind of vetting process before letting anyone in who claims to be a mutant? And how long before someone realizes Esme isn’t exactly on their team? And will Polaris realize that Esme is most likely responsible for the nightmares she has about Marcos and their baby being held prisoner by the Sentinels?
The Gifted airs Mondays at 9:00 PM on FOX.
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