This week on The Gifted, characters are faced with decisions that force them to cross lines they don’t want to cross, and work with people they don’t want to work with, in order to successfully rescue Lorna and Reed. Some are faced with the negative consequences in this episode, others will face continuing consequences down the road. Jace is just plain old screwed, and even more determined to screw everyone else in the future.
We begin with a flashback to a rescue op two years ago, at a mutant relocation facility, somewhere in Georgia. John and another mutant, Pulse, wait outside a security fence for the mutants who are inside.
Pulse is impatient. He wanted to go in and use his powers to shut down the power and other systems in the facility. John tells him that the guards would have known what was going on if he did that. They’re trying for more of a stealth operation, so they’ll wait for the signal.
Just then, gunfire breaks out, and they hear shouting. Marcos and another mutant run through a hole in the fence. Two others are dead. Pulse volunteers to shut down the automatic weapons while the others run ahead. John protests, but Pulse says he’ll be right behind them.
He’s shot instead, and apparently killed. John yells to him and wants to go back, but Marcos drags him away.
In the present day, Lorna is moved to a temporary holding cell in preparation for her move to the detention center. She’s in the cell right next to Reed. She asks if the same jerk who tried to use her unborn child against her, to get her to turn against her friends, is in the next cell because it’s her birthday? This is why I like Polaris. She never pulls her punches.
Reed tries to win her over as soon as they have a quiet moment. She’s not so easy.
At the underground HQ, the mutants are meeting to discuss the rescue operation. As we just saw in the flashback, Sentinel Services facilities are high security and heavily guarded. Sage, a math mutant, says there’s an 86.5% chance of failure.
Marcos makes an impassioned speech, one of his mutant powers, about how much Lorna needs them and how much she’s helped every person in the room. The usual suspects and a few others volunteer to help.
Everyone takes a moment to lament over the small size of the rescue crew. Caitlin, optimistic mom to the world, won’t let anyone give up. As usual, the mutants try to convince Caitlin that she’s useless because she’s not a mutant, and Caitlin rules her kids out because they’re kids.
Caitlin overcomes her disability by being the only strategist in the group, suggesting that they rescue Lorna and Reed while they’re being transported, like any sensible rescue mission would. Everyone seizes on the idea immediately, quickly completing the basic plans.
Marcos will need to find out the route and time for the transport from the Colombian drug cartel that he worked for before he joined the underground. He’ll get in touch with those contacts.
It turns out that his cartel boss has retired, and the boss’s daughter, Carmen, who is coincidentally Marcos’ old girlfriend, is now in charge of the local franchise. Oh, and Marcos dropped her for Lorna. Oops. It probably goes without saying that she makes Marcos work for her help with the “magnet girl”.
Carmen only does favors for her friends. He needs to prove that he’s her friend again by torturing some information out of a drug thief, which he reluctantly does. Carmen says she’ll continue to call him, and he’ll continue to help her, and their friendship will work out just fine. She does give him the promised information.
Meanwhile, Johnny gives Dreamer a hard time for not confessing to Clarice about the inserted memories. Dreamer feels the memories will fade in time, so she doesn’t have to confess. Clarice is dreaming about the memories every night, and confused about whether they’re real or not, since she can’t place them in her own timeline.
Now that Marcos is getting the specific information on how Reed and Lorna will be moved, the mutants need a way to quickly and quietly stop the transport bus so that Clarice can open a portal for Reed and Lorna’s escape. Lauren seeks out Andy, and they develop a way to combine their powers, so that he blows out a bus wheel, and she contains the damage.
Caitlin doesn’t like the idea of bringing the kids into danger, but Reed’s their dad too. They should be allowed to help. They all agree that Lauren and Andy will stop the bus, then get out.
Reed tries again with Lorna. He explains that he always did his job, followed the law, and assumed that the people who broke the law were guilty, knew what they were doing, and deserved their punishment. Then his kids turned out to be mutants, and destroyed a school. They’ll get 10 years with mandatory minimums, even though the whole thing was accidental.
His kids didn’t mean to hurt anyone. They were just defending themselves. But a few days ago, he would have been the one sending them to prison, without a second thought. He didn’t understand. He’s sorry.
Lorna doesn’t give an inch:
“Congratulations on figuring out you’re one of the bad guys. So what? If you would have thought about it a little longer, you wouldn’t have destroyed so many lives, huh? You want forgiveness? Ask the little boy who I stuffed into a bus, begging to join his mommy in prison, where you sent her. Ask the hundreds and hundreds of lives you and your friends ruined. Don’t ask me.”
She’s seen the evil his willful ignorance has done. “I didn’t understand what I was doing” isn’t a good enough excuse, not when the mutants were in front of him, telling him and showing him. But it’s an easy excuse, and one I’ve heard a lot, now that sexual harassment is a constant topic of conversation. Just like “I knew about it, but it wasn’t my problem, and I didn’t want to disrupt my life,” isn’t a good enough excuse when it comes to significant issues.
Marcos is still shaken up when he gets back to the compound, and it triggers a montage. Must be another one of his powers. He tells Johnny that he doesn’t want to talk about it, then prays in his room. Clarice continues to have borderline pornographic dreams about John. Dreamer hovers over John while he goes over the mission plans again. Lorna and Reed are taken to the transport bus.
John shows Clarice the transport route, and where she should be able to open a portal. She needs to be able to see into the bus through a window to open a portal. She’s still thinking about her dreams, and asks if they went outside alone together the night they met. He tells her they didn’t.
Marcos is waiting for the op to start with Dreamer and Harry/Trader. He tells them to leave and save themselves if things go sideways. He’s not leaving without Lorna, even if it turns the rescue into a suicide mission.
Andy chokes when it’s time for him to stop the bus. Lauren thinks quick, again, and baits Andy into anger, so that he can activate his powers. He blows the tire and axle, and Lauren contains the explosion, just like they practiced, but the bus is now in the wrong place for Clarice to see to open a portal. Jace quickly realizes it’s mutants.
Reed convinces Lorna to take any opportunity to escape, and to trust him to help. John runs Clarice through the building to find a sight line to the bus, including busting through walls. When they find a spot, something interferes with their powers.
Harry has used his camouflage powers to do reconnaissance, but he’s seen and shot when his powers are disrupted. John looks around and sees Pulse, alive and being forced to work for Sentinel Services. He’s using his powers to disrupt the mutants’ powers.
Marcos’ powers are also suppressed, so he pulls out a gun. He hides behind a car to provide cover fire while Dreamer helps Harry.
Caitlin gets the kids to their getaway car, but an agent has gotten there first. Caitlin pulls a syringe full of a sedative out of her med bag, sneaks up behind the soldier, and drugs him. She sends the kids off in the car. Human ingenuity for the win.
Lorna and Reed finally have their chance. Their two guards try to move them to a working vehicle, but both Lorna and Reed fight them. One guard is knocked unconscious, but the other subdues the two prisoners.
Johnny watches for his chance, then runs out, takes out one of the soldiers, then tries to get through to Pulse. Pulse doesn’t seem to even know him. Johnny knocks him unconscious and everyone gets their powers back.
Eclipse uses his powers to explode a car, just ’cause he can, and it feels good to get a bit of revenge. Dreamer and Harry are able to escape through Clarice’s portal as the soldiers who’d been pinning them down scatter.
Lorna’s powers return, but there’s no metal on the bus for her to use. Reed tells her to use the metal screw in his leg. She rips it on out and takes out the guard.
Jace orders his men to shoot to kill. They’ve obviously forgotten what Lorna’s power is. She’s stops the bullets and turns them back on Sentinel Services. Marcos and Johnny meet Reed and Lorna in the street, then Caitlin pulls up driving the getaway car. She and Reed have a brief reunion, and they race away.
Jace stomps around, screaming for everyone to chase the mutants, but his second in command says they’ll catch up to them later. Jace says he doesn’t just want those mutants. He orders them to shut down every safe house, every sympathizer, and everyone that’s ever helped a mutant. He wants them all.
Jace is going full on Javert, to Reed’s Jean Valjean.
But who will be Marius???
Pulse can disrupt all kinds of systems. He and John were in the Marines together. The Underground rescued Pulse out of the relocation facility shown in the opening. He’s clearly had experiments done on him, likely by Dr Campbell. Creepy. Are they reversible?
Pulse has a significant tattoo/brand on his wrist. I’m betting it’s the logo for Dr Campbell’s lab. Pulse is now a trademarked product of the lab.
There are no bug repellent mutants.
Clarice’s lizard green contacts look much better this week. Did she get an upgrade?
Marcos wasn’t just a street kid who eventually ran into Lorna after he left home. He was muscle for a drug cartel, dating the boss’s daughter and heir apparent. The boss approved of him and was grooming him to run the business with Carmen eventually. Daddy was very sad when Marcos left.
Carmen is definitely going to try to lure Marcos back in, as boyfriend and business partner. He’s a powerful asset in the business, and she’s not happy about losing what was hers to another woman. Lorna should have some interesting things to say about that.
Carmen: “Moving drugs from Mexico, moving mutants to Mexico, which one is more illegal?” Doesn’t take much of a change in wording to make it fit real life. It’s pretty clear which one the real life federal government wants to make more illegal. Hint: It’s the same as on the show.
The cartel connection may come in handy when they get to the point of moving people across the border again. This explains why Marcos is in charge of border crossings.
Ooh, let’s play a little Les Mis character association, just for fun:
The student rebellion is the main, ongoing storyline in this version of Les Mis. Reed’s employment as a prosecutor and the Struckers’ oblivious upper middle class lifestyle were equivalent to Jean Valjean’s time as the mayor and factory owner, when he was trying to run away from his past and ignore the problems of the poor and lower classes.
Cosette and Fantine His kids and Lorna have opened Jean/Reed/Caitlin’s eyes to the reality of life for the poor/mutants. Jean Valjean couldn’t ignore the suffering of children, once he became aware of it, even if it meant risking his life and safety, just as the Struckers can’t ignore the suffering of mutants anymore.
Jean Valjean- Reed, alternating with Caitlin (Yes! to gender parity in our heroes.)
Bishop- Danny (He’s a reluctant version of the character, but he’s still the influential benefactor who drives the angry mob away from the hero.)
Fantine- Lorna (This Fantine had better live to raise her child.)
Tenardiers- Carmen and drug cartel
Enjolras- Marcos (The hot head who makes impassioned speeches.)
Grantaire- John (The more level-headed best friend. We’re going to ignore the gay subtext in the novel.)
Students- mutant underground
I’m not seeing a conflicted young Marius yet. Eventually a flawed mutant love interest will show up for Lauren, and/or, they’ll continue to play out the Cosette/Marius/Éponine love triangle with Dreamer/Johnny/Clarice. They’re also setting up another Cosette/Marius/Éponine triangle with Lorna/Marcos/Carmen.