The Gifted finally gives us an episode that build some storytelling momentum … and now we have to wait three weeks for the first of the last three episodes of the season. The question is will there even be another season?
This week’s episode certainly set the stage for some big things to come, and that’s all thanks to the new arrival Esme, who we called out as a possible Trask Industries turncoat a couple of episodes back. She was acting all suspicious again this week, but no one else could see it. First she went to the Struckers and suggested that perhaps as humans, they could talk to someone with authority, like Agent Turner, and convince him that the mutants would be better off in prison instead of the Trask facility. And remember, she has family there that she wants to rescue. With Lauren and Andy, not to mention Blink and Dreamer, also being held now by the recovered but badly scarred Dr. Campbell, the Struckers think Esme may be on to something.
This, of course, comes after a group meeting where it was decided that no one should talk to anyone about rescuing the prisoners. So off Reed and Kate go while Esme reports to Marcos, Lorna and Johnny that the Struckers got some crazy idea in their head to talk to Agent Turner so they snuck out of the Mutant Underground headquarters. But Esme was able to cool everyone down by suggesting that if the Struckers could convince Turner to move the prisoners back to Sentinel Services, they could strike the transport and rescue everyone.
At Trask, Campbell is trying to test Lauren and Andy’s powers by putting them in a room made of adamantium — yes, the same indestructible alloy that is grafted to Wolverine’s bones. When they refuse, he brings Blink and Dreamer into the picture and threatens to kill them if the kids don’t comply. Again they refuse and BANG … Campbell shoots Dreamer. This is the first significant mutant death since the series started, but it wasn’t a surprise as actor Elena Satine has always been listed as a guest star in the opening credits. Watching one of their own die, Andy and Laurel give Campbell a demonstration and save Blink (of course, Jamie Chung is a series regular so she’s not going anywhere), but do significant damage to the indestructible room. But Campbell seems to get what he wants, a way to destroy the mutant population.
The Struckers do barge in on Turner and his wife, and he’s not too happy that Kate is pointing a gun at them. Well, she never really did point the gun at them, but Turner can be a little over-dramatic. Reed tries to reason with Turner, but that is one of his shortcomings. Bringing up the Turners’ dead daughter probably didn’t help matters, especially after Turner revealed to Dreamer that when she scrambled his brain, she also took away the last few days of his daughter’s life which was why he had to relive her death again. So the daughter was not the best ploy, and Kate saw that. She was able to step up and explain to them exactly what was happening at the Trask facility, the drugs, the torture and the way the mutants are turned to kill their own. And it worked. Turner’s wife Paula did play the dead daughter card after the Struckers left, asking her husband what exactly he was doing in their little girl’s name.
Turner and his team show up unannounced at Trask to reclaim all of the mutants, unhappy to learn that “the red head” was dead. But he gets everyone and prepares to transport them back to Sentinel Services. Back at the MU headquarters, the Struckers return and find out that Marcos and a team have gone to intercept the transport, even though they promised Turner there would be no sneak attack. Trader told them Marcos was not thrilled that Esme told them about what the Struckers had decided to do, and they told him that it was all Esme’s idea. Then light bulbs went off and they realized she was up to something. Unfortunately, all just a bit too late.
With the mutant team outside of Trask, Marcos and Esme got closer to the gate as Turner was attempting to get the guard to let them pass. Marcos didn’t think they were going to be able to carry out the mission, but Esme had other plans and tazed him, then started using her mind control powers on the Sentinel guards. First she had the van driver shoot the other guards and then himself, which gave the prisoners a chance to find the key and unlock their shock collars. Then she made Turner’s partner Agent Weeks shoot Turner and then kill himself. Another guard pulled the pin on a grenade and got in the car with another agent, the explosion knocking Turner unconscious.
As the prisoners disembarked the van, we’re presented with a real shocker: Esme’s family is actually two more Esmes! She’s either triplets or somehow has the ability to split herself. As the three now work to control the rest of the Sentinel guards, there’s no one left standing but the mutants. And the Esmes now have some work to do. And X-Men comics fans probably saw this one coming as the three represent the Stepford Cuckoos, clones of mutant Emma Frost (featured in “X-Men – Phoenix: Warsong”). The series isn’t following the comics exactly — Esme is the name of one of the clones who died — but they are certainly representing the hive mind of the trio. Now we just have to wait three weeks to see how this all plays out.
The Gifted returns Monday, January 1 at 9:00 PM on FOX.
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