Awkward mutant reunions are awkward. Welcome back to The Gifted. Let’s return to Season Two with “eneMy of My eneMy.”
The episode begins a flashback to Atlanta, three years ago as John, Marcos, and Lorna have drinks and play pool at a bar. And Lorna uses her magnetic powers to her advantage because that’s how Polaris rolls. John asks if there’s something going on between the two, as he can hear their heartbeats. But yes, the two are an official item. Marcos apologizes for not saying anything sooner, but John is fine.
He reminds them that the work with the underground is dangerous. There’ll a day when they’ll have to fight, and they can’t keep secrets. Well, good luck with that.
In a dream, Andy heads to Westlake Apartments to pay Lauren a surprise visit to talk. He wants to put their last fight behind them and instead wants to talk about the dreams that they’ve shared.
Though Lauren is adamant that Andy made his choice. He did attack her, after all. Andy tells Lauren that the Inner Circle is building something, but Lauren still feels sadness in him. If Andy wants his family back, he just has to come home.
Okay, so there’s no more to talk about. Just as Andy uses his powers, Lauren is jolted from her dream. She tells Reed and Caitlin that Andy came to the apartment to talk, as he seems very sad inside. Caitlin thinks that maybe Andy is having second thoughts, but Lauren just believes that her brother feels lost. If the connection builds when the two have dreams, maybe this could be Andy’s path out of the darkness.
And then the three get a call from Marcos, who informs them that the Purifiers have captured John.
Back at base, the Struckers, along with Marcos and Clarice, go over their options. Marcos considers asking Fade to reach out to Lorna for help. Naturally, Lauren is against that, given that they sent Fade to the clinic in the first place. Reed agrees, saying that the Inner Circle can’t be trusted.
Caitlin, though, believes that the Inner Circle is their only solution right now. Marcos asks Clarice for her call. She doesn’t like depending on Lorna, but this might be John’s only chance.
Speaking of, we cut to the Inner Circle, where Andy and Lorna watch Benedict Ryan’s news coverage. Ryan condemns the mutants, though a fired-up Andy wants to use force to make humanity tell the truth. Then Lorna gets a call from Fade, and Marcos informs her that they need to talk. He sets up a spot for the two of them to meet alone.
Later, as John stuffs Fade into the trunk, Clarice offers to go with Marcos, blaming herself for John’s capture. The question, though, is whether they can trust Lorna. If they can’t trust her, then Marcos would be walking into a trap, thus meaning that Clarice is John’s only chance. With that said, Clarice backs down.
Lorna meets Marcos at the meeting spot, saying she had no idea about the attack. Marcos informs Lorna that John has been kidnapped by the Purifiers. Given that the Inner Circle, more specifically the Frost Sisters, tracked down Marcos in a diner, he just wants them to try. He reminds them of the promise that they would be there for one another when the day came. Now is that day.
Meanwhile, John is brought to the Purifiers headquarters and chained down so Jace Turner can have a chat with him. John questions if he’s about to die. Jace admits how long he’s been searching for the Mutant Underground. He knows all about John’s long history, specifically his wartime record. But there’s a new war and John is on the wrong side. Jace is offering John a chance to save his soul.
After all, people dying in the streets. This is ripping the country apart. John is adamant that he won’t talk about the Mutant Underground. Ted strikes John, but it seems to have no effect. Instead, John asks if Jace’s soul needs saving. He says that the underground had nothing to do with Creed Financial, but then Jace remembers John has super hearing. So he gives him a set of headphones with the volume cranked up loud.
So Jace and Ted go over their options, with Ted wanting to up the ante and use power tools. But Jace puts his foot down and refuses extreme action. For now, at least. In due time, they’ll get their results.
Clarice joins Lauren, knowing that they’re both upset about Marcos going to the Inner Circle. But Lauren wonders when this all stops. She fears she’ll never get Andy back, but she won’t sacrifice her principles. Clarice is confident that they’ll go back to fighting the Inner Circle, but they need to get John home first.
At the Inner Circle, Polaris informs Andy that Sage looked into Purifier activity and managed to locate a compound in Virginia that had no activity until an hour ago. That’s where John is located. The place is a practically impenetrable fortress, but Lorna won’t help since they’re not in the underground. Plus Reeva won’t like it.
But Andy says they should go for it. After all, they’re stopping people who hate mutants. John helped them in a pinch, and now they should be there for him.
So Andy and Lorna head to Westlake Apartments, with Andy remembering that he had a dream about this place. Lorna reminds Andy that today is just about saving John and nothing more, but Andy wants to show the others what they can do. Lorna understands, but the two sides will never agree on what they believe.
Upstairs, Andy meets his family again, with Caitlin and Reed overjoyed to see their son. Lauren finds it hard to believe that he’s here in real life. Lorna informs them that they’ve found John, and Reeva won’t play a part in this mission. The Purifiers are keeping John a few hours away. Andy offers to just give an address so he and Lorna can leave, but Lorna reminds a skeptical Clarice that they’ll need all the help they can get.
Luckily, Andy and Lorna brought some firepower of their own. Even bulletproof vests to boot.
Back to interrogation. Jace and Ted try to pry anything that they can out of John, but he tells them that the underground has been trying to stop the mutants that attacked the bank. Jace figures that maybe after Atlanta, the walls are closing in on the underground. Maybe they started ending human lives. John finally coughs up the name of the Inner Circle as the ones involved with these attacks.
Few have heard of them, and anyone who does winds up dead. Jace remembers a kid with kinetic powers and a woman who can control metal. So this attack doesn’t involve the mutant underground? Jace believes that John is lying, and now it’s time to up the ante. So back to the headphones.
So the Mutant Underground and Inner Circle head for John’s location. In the first truck, containing Lorna, John, and Clarice, Lorna kills the music, but John prefers it over silence. The two bicker for a moment, but Clarice breaks it up. Just pretend to like each other until the mission is over.
Seems like a fair compromise.
In the other truck, Reed and Caitlin catch up with Andy, telling them that things have changed. Reed informs his son that his X-gene started to manifest, and Andy is surprised that Lauren didn’t inform him about this. Reed tells him about his abilities and that they’re out of control. The point is that Reed gets what Andy has been going through.
Caitlin wants the family back together again, but Andy won’t be having this conversation.
John continues to undergo the music torture when Jace enters to remove the headphones. He wants John to help him before Ted comes in with power tools. He also admits that John was right- the last few years have been rough, given all that he’s lost. But it’s all been for the cause. John didn’t trade anything for hate, but the underground is splintered and he’s trying to protect people that don’t want to be protected.
Again, John tells Jace about the Inner Circle, so Jace correctly guesses that Andy Strucker and Lorna Dane left the mutant underground. Guessing correctly, he continues. John admits that yes, Andy and Lorna joined the Inner Circle, turning their back on the dream of the X-Men. And that’s because John admits that he failed as a leader.
Speaking of, the others survey the heavily fortified Purifier fortress. They can attack one side as a distraction. Lauren and Andy will go with Clarice to find John. With the plan in motion, the sides all split up.
While Jace and Ted consider John’s words, Andy and Lauren talk, with Lauren saying that she knows he wanted to talk to her in the dream. Andy maintains that the Inner Circle is doing great things, but then Lauren brings up Rebecca’s actions at the bank. Andy is doing this so no other people like Rebecca have to die, but he doesn’t explain how she died. Clarice returns and gets the two ready to put the plan into action.
Lorna shows Marcos her new headpiece, which she’s made as a way to make peace with her fast. Marcos likes it, as it makes her look badass. With that, the two break through the gates and get the attention of the Purifiers. With the guards distracted and drawn in different directions, Marcos and Lorna blow up a take that causes a huge fire.
At the same time, Jace learns of the attack and sees both Lorna and Marcos working together. He informs John of this, but John is just as surprised as he is to see the two on the same side. Jace fires one shot from his shotgun at John, raging that the mutants took everything from him. He fires another shot just as Ted enters and reminds Jace that they need him alive. Still, as many times as Jace shoots, John is still alive.
Meanwhile, Clarice and the Struckers easily walk through the Purifiers, with Clarice even managing to portal a bullet through one and out of another to hit a Purifier. That’s just how Blink rolls, you know?
Jace, out of shotgun shells, leaves just as Clarice and the Struckers enter. Though Andy can’t stop eyeing a nearby hacksaw…
The four leave with John, but Andy attacks one of the Purifiers that manages to fire a shot at the escaping mutants. He begins contorting the Purifier’s body, but Lauren yells at her brother to stop. Though Andy isn’t exactly upset at his actions, his parents certainly are.
Back inside, Jace finds Ted with a gash in his head and learns that there are some dead and injured among the Purifiers. But Jace is already planning his counterattack.
Clarice patches up John and explains that it’s a long story as to why Andy and Lorna are here. Blink apologizes for not being there when he was captured, but as far as John is concerned, Clarice saved him. That’s all that matters.
Time for Strucker family talk. Andy saw how his parents looked at him. Caitlin and Reed still love him, but Andy won’t abandon all he believes in just to come back. He’s not leaving the Inner Circle. The Purifiers want to do terrible things to mutants. As far as Andy is concerned, humans like the Purifiers need to be wiped out. Lauren doesn’t think that Andy really believes that, but he does.
It’s at this point that the Struckers realize that the only way to bring Andy back is to destroy the Inner Circle.
As Marcos and Lorna prepare to part ways, she does give him one parting kiss, but tells him that this doesn’t change a thing.
That evening, Caitlin looks over a gun she’s apparently hiding from the others. And it looks very similar to the same gun we saw when Andy unloaded the Inner Circle’s gear.
And the next day, at their respective locations, Andy and Lauren train to perfect their powers.
The mutant revolution had finally kicked off last time we were with The Gifted. We don’t see the long term ramifications of that yet, and that’s okay because we’re dealing with a smaller scale adventure this week. There’s no Reeva Payge and no Frost Sisters. It’s just the mutant underground going up against the humans. I’m fine with that. We can come back small and kick things into high gear as the season continues.
Plus, this episode was a pretty big deal for our merry band of mutants. We’ve seen all season that part of Andy and Lorna will always have a connection to the mutant underground. In the end, yes, they’re committed to the Inner Circle, but as this episode showed, they won’t turn a blind eye to helping their former comrades.
In addition, it ties into the episode’s title. Both the mutant underground and Inner Circle have a common enemy in the Purifiers. While the two mutant groups may be at war with another, they can both agree that the mutants hate and fear them. There’s no arguing that. Combined with John’s capture, this was the ideal opportunity for the two mutant factions to put their differences aside and fight to save a friend.
Of course, it’s helped that, again, the likes of Reeva and the Frost Sisters are nowhere to be seen. They would’ve no doubt stood in the way of Andy and Lorna helping the underground. Though I do wish Sage had been included and not just limited to doing offscreen research.
Andy being the one to ultimately motivate Lorna into helping the underground was a nice moment for his character, I feel. Even though we see his true colors by episode’s end, John is still a friend of his. His reminder that John has helped them before shows that Andy hasn’t completely forgotten or overlooked how the mutant underground has helped him in the past.
Not to mention how heartwarming it was to see him reunite with his parents. This is something that Caitlin and Reed have wanted since the end of last season. To see them embrace their son, express surprise at him learning how to drive, and Andy learning that his father has powers- it was great. This was probably the happiest that Caitlin and Reed in particular have been all season.
For once, the Strucker family was back together again. And it made the reunion all the more bittersweet because you knew that Andy was going to leave. I didn’t expect him to rage the way that he did, but this served as a turning point for the Struckers. For one, they realize that Andy’s hatred for humanity is almost no different than how people hate mutants. He’s really got a little bit of Magneto in him.
But more than that, they’ve seen just how much he’s improved his powers and what he can do when provoked. All that joy seen when the family reunited went right out the window when Andy went on the warpath. Though, to be fair, he was doing it to defend Lauren. Andy might be too far gone, but one thing’s for sure: he cares for his sister.
If anything, though, this has emboldened the Struckers to destroy the Inner Circle if it means that they have a shot at bringing back their son.
Having said that, it was great to see Andy and Lorna working with the mutant underground again. It felt like old times and, for my money, this attack on the Purifiers felt more coordinated than anything that the underground had done on its own. They’ve had small wins, yes, but here, there were no fatalities on their end. John took a few shots, but at the end of the day, he was still saved.
I think this could’ve been the most successful mission that the underground had. Could they have accomplished this without Andy and Lorna and just relied on their intel? Maybe. But there’s no denying that the two provided extra firepower that the mutant underground sorely lacks at the moment.
It showcased how well they work as a team and brought things full circle from the opening flashback. John, Lorna, and Marcos all pledged to be there for one another, and even though they parted ways by episode’s end, they put their differences aside for the greater good of saving John. Plus, Marcos and Lorna always had Clarice to be the den mother and tell them to knock off the bickering.
By the way, I’m glad the show doesn’t dwell too long on Clarice blaming herself. For one, what happened to John wasn’t her fault, and the show wisely doesn’t have her fall into despair or pity. She’s part of the reason that John is alive right now, so that’s what matters at the end of the day.
In addition, we don’t spend a ton of time on John blaming himself for what’s happened. There have been losses, yes, but he’s not wallowing around in pity. In a war, there are going to be losses. Both John and Jace understand this.
Speaking of, Jace’s character takes an interesting turn this week. Even though he hates the mutants, he hadn’t gone as far as the Purifiers. In fact, he was trying to get information out of John before Ted upped the ante. Perhaps it’s because of his past connection with the underground, but Jace wanted this done as cleanly as possible.
He was almost there, too. Had he taken John at his word, he could’ve shifted his focus to the Inner Circle. After all, they were the ones causing all the damage. At that point, the mutant underground would be a non-issue. But after seeing Lorna and Marcos working together, his anger got the better of him, he called John a liar, and he attacked him. Any mutant who didn’t have John’s abilities probably would’ve died.
Had Jace gone any further, he could’ve killed John. But the fact that he shot John as many times as he did showed his character taking a darker turn. It doesn’t matter now that John named the Inner Circle. To Jace, the groups may as well be one in the same after what happened today.
So John has been rescued, Jace Turner is headed on the warpath, and the Struckers realize what must be done to save Andy. This was a strong return for The Gifted as it gave us a smaller scale story with broader implications for the mutant underground, Inner Circle, and Purifiers. It was great to see the mutant underground united against a common enemy, but now they’re split up again.
Will the mutants ever truly be reunited? We’ll see. For now, the mutants are back in town. See you next week for another installment of The Gifted.