The Gifted – eXodus
By: Maggie Stankiewicz
Three years ago Eclipse (Sean Teale) and Lorna (Emma Dumont) walk alone through their mutant-created community discussing the existential consequences of their “gifts.” Lorna reasons with her burdened lover, insisting that the gifts haven’t brought just misfortune upon the mutants. In a demonstration of her powers, Lorna is able to manipulate the metals in her boots and bracelets to levitate in the air, doing pirouettes from the sky. Eclipse is still hesitant, insisting that his powers are dumb – not meant to be showcased in such a way. But it doesn’t take much convincing. He is able to illuminate broken shards of glass, holding the power of the sun in his hands. Together, they are Eclipse and Lorna – but they are also Eclipse and Polaris. Embraced in the brilliance of their own aurora borealis, Eclaris (or as some like to call them, PolarEclipse) share a kiss.
We spot Lorna (who is looking more like Polaris these days) back in present day, still in prison while Agent Turner (Coby Bell) attempts to bargain with her. She can manipulate metals, but he can’t quite manipulate her.
In the mutant underground the Struckers and the core crew of mutant heroes attempt to come to some kind of an agreement on what to do not only with Blink (Jamie Chung), but with themselves in the face of new danger. Eclipse wants John (Blair Redford) to train Blink in the same way he trained the others, but her powers may be too difficult even for him to grasp. Kate (Amy Acker) is concerned about Reed (Stephen Moyer), naturally, and wants the group to consider speaking with the mutant-sympathetic members of Congress. As the mother two mutants, who is not one of them herself, she is still coming to terms with the battles mutants have been facing for their entire lives and the battles that her children will face from here on out.
Blink’s power reserves are still depleted, her hands able to produce no more than a spark when she calls upon them. John presses on, urging her to not give up on herself before making the rounds, boosting morale for his troops. His first stop? The Morlock – Dreamer (Elena Satine). Dreamer’s very demeanor suggests that while she and “Johnny” might be intimate, she has a mind of her own and her opinions on how to get Blink’s powers restored will overshadow any love she has for the indestructible man.
And speaking of defiance – Kate has decided to leave the underground to seek solace with family.
Reed is still in the custody of Sentinel Services, breaking hearts and stabbing backs as he provides Agent Turner with the details of his meeting with Eclipse. Sentinel Services plans on using Reed to exploit the underground, feigning an escape in order to execute a search and capture on the mutants they so badly want to incarcerate.
It’s time for another lesson in Mutant 101 with John and Blink. Blink reveals that her life’s greatest love story is one between her and warm jelly donut, but it’s still not enough to quell her fears. John knows this, but becomes too distracted by the footprints left in the tightly-packed dirt to dispel any additional wisdom. His enhanced tracking powers bestow him with visions of the Strucker family fleeing under the cover of the night. They venture back inside to inspect the Strucker’s living quarters, a sight that only confirms John’s visions. Eclipse seems most upset with Kate’s decision to leave and John argues that her convictions could have clouded her judgment. Her naivety will be the family’s and the mutants’ downfall if they don’t find the family in time. The Struckers are on the lam, penniless and unsure – but decide to break the law anyway when Andy uses his destructive powers.
Dreamer and Blink meet in the underground, with Dreamer phishing for information on Blink’s interests, loves and powers. While Dreamer clearly loves John and Lorna, Blink remains steadfast on her position as a loner.
Kate, Andy (Percy Hynes White) and Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind) miraculously make it to the gaudy home of Kate’s brother Danny (Jeffrey Nordling). Not only is he rich, but he has some clout with the government. Danny’s son is Andy’s age and seems incredibly interested in the mutant experience. Aggravated by the situation and the drop-in, Danny dismisses the children so he can scold Kate and complain about how her family’s traumatic experience has been inconveniencing him on the golf course…and they say the mutants are monsters. Insert eye roll here.
Reed and his Sentinel Services captors are in a mobile surveillance unit and preparing for Reed’s first expedition as a traitor. Reed’s face is painted with regret, but his family’s fate is looming over his head. Reed approaches a mutant from the bar he met Eclipse at but he is regarded with too much suspicion. It takes some pleading but Reed finally convinces the mustached mutant to let him inside where they discuss their next rendezvous with the mutant underground. Reed meets a woman (Erin Way) and her young child who are hoping to join the underground after Sentinel Services captured her husband. Still a family man, Reed cannot help but engage the little girl, sitting beside them on the lumpy couch. He winces from his injuries and the woman reaches out to him – remarkably removing his pain.
It is only then that Reed truly understands the magnitude of his decision to sellout the underground. Every mutant he had met up until this point was struggling to survive, but they still held onto every ounce of empathy life had to offer. That empathy was gone in others, like Agent Turner – and even himself until now. Other families deserve sanctuary just as badly as his own.
Lauren is scrolling through Instagram and taking advantage of being back on the grid until she discovers that their former home has been vandalized. Andy catches a glimpse and lets his emotions (and powers) get the best of him, sending objects in his cousin’s room flying. Something tells us that this little slip up will have consequences, too.
Does anyone else feel like this episode has a particular…overarching theme? Perhaps relating to the things that happen as a result of our choices? No? Maybe it’s just me.
Reed is still working as Sentinel Service’s lap dog while being transported to the drop-off location for Mother Mutant and her daughter. As he watches them, vulnerable and fully trusting of him – he swallows his pride. It’s time to come clean. He orders the van to stop, and notifies the driver that Sentinel Services is tracking them. The driver won’t stop the van – but Reed can jump to save their lives so he does. The van quickly becomes cloaked by the driver’s powers – and Reed is left to face the, you guessed it, consequences.
Lorna is alone in her cell, only surrounded by metal – the ultimate tease. Inspired by her boredom and desperation, she stands up with the will to use her powers. The collar around her neck vibrates with painful shocks, but she manages to open her cell door before collapsing.
The dynamic duo that is John and Eclipse have tracked Kate down with the intention of protecting her, the kids and themselves. Whether they like it or not, they’re all entwined in this mutant coil. Danny interrupts their extended family meeting, demonstrating that he is not gifted with powers of understanding, and possesses only unfounded prejudice for the men who saved his sister on multiple occasions. Before the family argument can escalate any further, it becomes clear that danger is approaching. Several armed men are surrounding the home. Danny’s son told his friend about Andy’s powers and the villagers came – torches raised.
Danny goes outside to diffuse the tension and gets himself a black eye in the process, proving that maybe it’s never too late to try and do the right thing. With the first line of defense down, the mutants need to engage. The men outside lock and load as Andy threatens to erupt into battle. John grabs the young boy and Eclipse steps in, using his thermal powers to peacefully disarm the men. They get into a vehicle with the crew of human supremacists trailing close behind. John knows the situation will go south without intervention so he calls Dreamer for reinforcements.
Dreamer knows what she has to do. She approaches Blink and demands she open a portal to get the car off the road and away from their assailants – but Blink refuses. Her fear, and lack of attachment, lack of love, are preventing her from being able to incite enough willpower to perform the task. Dreamer takes hold of Blink, passing along a false memory of her and John together, hoping that the implanted feelings will be enough to catalyze the anxious mutant. Dreamer has possibly saved the Struckers and her friends, but has also descended into Martyrdom, putting herself into a love triangle of her own creation.
When the deed is done, Blink is unaware of what transpired just a few seconds before – her memory reset just enough for Dreamer to make the plea for Johnny’s life. Blink springs into action and conjures a portal big enough to transport Johnny, Dreamer and herself to safety. Everyone is intact. Kate recognizes the flaws in her logic and apologizes to Eclipse. He admits that he would have done the same. Outside, Johnny is left to deal with Dreamer and Blink, who is now acting strange affectionate towards him. He instantly knows the cause and sends Blink inside to question Dreamer. Dreamer admits that she planted her own memory of her and John into Blink’s mind, putting them all at risk for another tragic love story.
Agent Turner is not having a good day, but a call from Dr. Roderick Campbell (Garret Dillahunt) might be enough to turn his day around. The doctor informs him of his interest in the Strucker children. In exchange for access to the children, the doctor offers to help Sentinel Services capture the young mutants. Agent Turner refuses and hangs up the phone, both knowing that this won’t be their last conversation.
Danny meets up with Kate, shocked to see that John and Eclipse have joined her. Danny, feeling remorseful, offers his secluded cabin to Kate and notifies her that Reed is alive, but untouchable. Kate puts on her resolve face, hugs her brother – now more determined than ever to find Reed.
With John and Eclipse flanking her, we’re convinced that she’s right about that.