This week is an exciting week for The Gifted, as we get a big mythology dump, including the answer to the question of how Lauren and Andy turned out to be mutants when there didn’t appear to be any other mutants in their family. The answers are game changing for the Struckers, the Underground, and Sentinel Services. Sentinel Services also tries its own game changing plays, with less success. Issues of trust and loyalty continue to be important.
The cold open takes place in London in 1952. We see newspaper reports of mutant siblings terrorizing countries around the world. The mutant brother, Andreas, is sitting at a desk, writing a note to tell someone that he and his sister are still in hiding. The phone rings, but no one except “the organization” should have their number. His sister, Andrea, runs into the room. We hear multiple vehicles speeding up to the building. They realize that they’ve been found. A large group of armed men break through the door. The siblings hold hands, and energy glows from their hands. The camera cuts away to the opening sequence as we hear screaming.
We jump to the Atlanta Underground way station and the present day. Reed is informing the rest of the family that the company his father worked at for 30 years, Trask Industries, seems to be the defense contractor that’s turning mutants into weapons that hurt other mutants.
Reed has always had a difficult relationship with his father. When Reed was very ill as a child and almost died, his father didn’t even visit him in the hospital. He hasn’t even seen his father since before the kids were born. He decides to visit his father now to find out what his father knows about the current research at Trask. Mr Strucker only lives a couple of hours away in Chattanooga.
Lorna and Marcos are still fighting over Marcos’ decision to work with Carmen again. Lorna plays with a knife. She’s tossing it and letting it drop toward her pregnant belly. Marcos is understandably bothered by this. Lorna also plans to sleep on the couch.
Marcos tries to explain, again, that he felt that he had to get information from the Cartel and accept Carmen’s terms. Lorna tells him that she saw him while he was working the job with Carmen. He didn’t have to enjoy it so much, or let Carmen kiss him.
The one thing that Lorna thought she had to hold onto in this world was her relationship with Marcos. Now he’s shaken her faith that he’ll always choose her and the baby. She’s depressed and in danger of spiraling further. She asks him how they’ll raise a baby with the world falling apart around them, when they can’t even take care of themselves. What she really means is, how will she raise a baby, potentially on her own, and on the run, if she can’t trust him?
He answers that they’ll raise the baby together and they’ll make it work, but it rings hollow to Lorna after she saw him let Carmen kiss him and rub up against him while he was excited from fire starting. She knows his life could be so much easier if he went back to the Cartel and enjoyed their wealth and protection. It’s not irrational for Lorna to worry that Carmen will be able to lure Marcos back in, now that she’s seeing him regularly.
Marcos is going to have to earn her trust back, like any other lying partner with a wandering eye. He should start by telling the pregnant woman to take the bed, that he’ll take the couch, but he fails again.
The way station in Perry has fallen to Sentinel Services, so a team has to go pick up refugees. Marcos tells Johnny that Lorna isn’t going, but lies about why, even after Johnny presses him. The guy just can’t stop lying.
Dreamer approaches Clarice to try to make peace between them, but Clarice tells her that they don’t need to have more of a relationship than fighting on the same side.
The refugees are hiding at a church. As the team is loading them into SUVs, a telepath (Esme) pulls Johnny aside to tell him that she’s getting some weird readings from one of the others. She points to an Asian woman (Chloe) who’s acting strangely. The woman fights when they try to talk to her, then tries to escape. Johnny uses a tracker’s version of a Vulcan neck pinch to make her pass out.
Off camera, the team discovers a beacon in Chloe’s shoulder that would have activated once she’d gotten to the way station and led Sentinel Services straight there. They were able to get the beacon out, but the mutant still acts feral.
Johnny and Reed leave to go visit Reed’s father. Johnny leaves Marcos and Lorna in charge, with a look at them, telling them to get over themselves.
Clarice notices one of the new refugees, a little girl who can’t pass as human either. She brings the girl a warm blanket.
Caitlin stitches up the telepath, Esme’s, left arm, which has a deep gash right where the Trask logo tattoo would be. She could have carved it out of her skin, and gotten rid of the beacon herself. The Perry way station was compromised by a mutant from Trask. Campbell and Jace just planted Chloe, so it was likely a different mutant that compromised Perry. Could Esme have been able to overcome the Trask conditioning and addiction because of her particular powers, then get rid of her beacon and tattoo? Or is she an especially deep and secret plant of Campbell’s? I wouldn’t put it past Campbell to be lying to Jace, and have Esme be the real plant. He might want someone to observe Lauren and Andy for a while before SS moves in to capture them.
Chloe is being held in a cell and won’t talk. She races around, smashing into the bars. Dreamer can’t get anything from her. Marcos stops Lorna from trying a bit of light torture. Lorna reminds Marcos that he used to be the Gand Inquisitor for the Cartel. They go back to their fight about Carmen, then Chloe smashes into the cell bars again.
Marcos takes a good look at Chloe. He realizes that she’s acting like someone going through drug withdrawal. They bring Caitlin in. She suspects that Campbell has purposely addicted Chloe to the mutant drug Kick.
Lauren and Andy combine their powers to subdue Chloe while Caitlin sedates her. While she’s out cold, Lorna and Marcos mold metal restraints to hold her on a gurney. Caitlin finds that Chloe is dying from her drug addiction. They hope that she’ll be motivated to speak against the people who did this to her. Caitlin has a medication that will help in the short term.
Sage finds Chloe’s records. Her daughter got sick and the pediatrician refused to treat a mutant child. Chloe trashed the doctor’s office, then was arrested by Sentinel Services. Chloe wakes up, but the Trask conditioning stops her from talking. Caitlin gets Esme to try to read her thoughts.
Esme is happy to join the fight. Chloe shows her the Trask Industries lab. Esme thinks she’ll be able to find it. Chloe shows Esme that Sentinel Services killed her husband and took her daughter.
Johnny and Reed find Otto Strucker at the antique store he bought when he retired from Trask. He’s not happy to see Reed. He refuses to reveal the classified work he did at Trask. Johnny and Reed tell him that Trask has reopened and is experimenting on mutants, including Johnny’s best friend. Now Sentinel Services is hunting Andy and Lauren.
Otto brings Reed and Johnny up to his apartment. He asks to see a picture of the kids. He still refuses to tell Reed about his work, other than to say it was peaceful. Reed begs him, saying that he knows that he himself doesn’t matter to his father, but his own kids mean everything to him.
Otto gets upset and insists that Reed means everything to him. Everything he did was for Reed. He has Reed explain the kids’ powers. When he finds out what their abilities are, he’s upset.
Campbell is told that Chloe’s beacon has stopped transmitting, and she’s been lost. He orders a new mission. Road trip.
Otto takes out a keepsake box filled with photos and articles. He explains the family history to Reed. Otto’s father and aunt were named Andreas and Andrea von Strucker. They were mutants with the same powers as Andy and Lauren. They were also terrorists who committed horrible, destructive crimes all over the world. When they held hands and acted together, they became immensely powerful, and were known as Fenris, the wolf.
Otto is also a mutant who’s hidden his powers from everyone, for his entire life. His parents tried to raise him to be like them, but he ran away from home. Their family is more powerful than other mutants and needed to be stopped. He spent his career at Trask trying develop a serum to eliminate the X gene that would work on all mutants. He never found one, but he was able to make a version that worked on Reed. When Reed was sick and almost died, it was because of the serum. Otto hated himself for doing it, and afterward, he could never look Reed in the eye. The serum ultimately failed, because Andy and Lauren still inherited the gene and developed powers.
Meanwhile, Andy uses a small show of powers to intimidate a huge adult mutant male who was giving Lauren a hard time, showing that he and Lauren are very loyal to each other, and are indeed very dangerous. The weird part is that the mutant was so worried that a dying woman (Chloe) would be a huge threat to the compound if she got loose. Bad use of a plot device, there.
Reed feels his father had no right to keep all of this from him. Otto feels he was protecting his family. Otto wants to know more about the kids and the use of their powers, especially if they’ve held hands while using their powers.
Campbell interrupts them. He has Pulse with him. Campbell gives Pulse a shot of the addictive drug before sending him out to perform. Campbell and his men knock on the antique shop door. Otto goes to answer it. Johnny warns him about Pulse, but Otto says their family is different.
Campbell introduces himself, and tells Otto that he used Otto’s research on suppressing the X gene in his own research on enhancing it. He points to Pulse. He explains that they need to search the building to make sure that Reed and his family aren’t there. It’s just science- he’s needs empirical evidence as proof.
Otto turns on his powers, which involve flaming hands and destructive sound waves, similar to the Fenris powers in the comics. Campbell has his men shoot Otto, but Pulse and Campbell are already injured. Campbell retreats. Otto is dead by the time Reed finds him. Johnny finds Pulse left behind in the street, dying. Pulse says, “I’m sorry, brother.” Johnny promises to make Campbell and Jace pay for what they’ve done.
Johnny and Reed bury Otto and Pulse, then go back to Headquarters.
Clarice finds the little girl, Nora, playing with the Underground’s dog. She uses that as a way to get Nora talking, and discovers that Nora was living at Clarice’s old foster home when Sentinel Services attacked. Nora saw their foster mother’s murder. Now it’s giving her nightmares every night.
Clarice approaches Dreamer, and explains the situation. They agree to have Dreamer take away Nora’s traumatic memories, hopefully with Nora’s consent.
Lorna and Marcos cling to each other during the brief montage. Chloe’s story hit very close to home for them.
Reed returns to his family and is overcome with emotion, and the enormity of what he’s learned. Caitlin holds him, while Andy and Lauren grab each other’s hands.
We didn’t see Reed collect his father’s box of information about the Fenris. Hopefully he didn’t leave it behind.
Otto never said that his father and aunt were dead, and he never said who his mother is, or if she’s dead. There’s a strong chance that Andrea is Otto’s mother, since the Fenris were twincestual in the comics. Any or all could show up. Otto could also have regenerative powers and dig his way out of his shallow grave, but that’s more of a long shot. The Fenris came back to life several times in the comics, but generally because of cloning or mysterious actions taken by their father, Baron von Strucker, rather than their own healing abilities.
In one version of the comics the Fenris are wealthy investors behind Trask and the Sentinels. Could they be funding Campbell without his knowledge? Enhancing powers and controlling other mutants might appeal to supervillain white supremacist mutants. Having the Struckers even more torn between the two sides than they were this season would liven up the story. Marcos’ story with the Cartel is a taste of that.
What are the chances that Reed’s powers can be unsuppressed? The search will be on. If Campbell’s serum is based on Otto’s, and enhances powers/the X gene, it may well work like an antidote to Otto’s serum in Reed.
What a terrible thing for Otto to do to his own kid. It’s kept Reed from being persecuted, but that’s not why Otto did it. He was working on a genocide serum. Now Reed is left wondering what could have been, while also feeling somewhat guilty and grateful that he hasn’t been persecuted, but also guilty that he can’t protect his family like he could if he had his powers.
Finding out that his grandparents were global terrorists and his father was working toward the genocide of mutants must be such a come down for Reed, who’s been so judgmental about the relatively minor crimes of others. Let’s not forget that when we met him he was using Lorna’s pregnancy to try to convince her to turn on her lover and friends while she was in jail for saving Clarice. And just last week he drove Wes to another shelter for nonviolently taking part in the robbery of a jewelry store while he was a homeless kid with no home to go back to. Now he’s someone he wouldn’t let his children within 100 yards of.
Reed gives us an explanation of Lauren’s bubble wrap powers. He tells Otto that it’s like compressing air together.
We’ve seen the negative affects Dreamer’s powers can have, and we’ve heard characters talk about the use of her powers backfiring in the past. Was it really a good idea to use them on a child? It’s likely that now she’ll just be haunted by the knowledge that something terrible happened, but she’ll go crazy because she can never remember what it was.
They killed Pulse. 😢 How many times will Johnny think he’s watched
Kenny Pulse die?