Can you have a mutant massacre without a Gambit or Mister Sinister? Let’s see. This is “calaMity.”
The episode begins with a flashback to four years ago as Benedict Ryan hosts a radio show in a crappy setup compared to his future studio. Management hasn’t fixed the leak in his office, but more importantly, he has a meeting with Reeva Payge, who offers a partnership. Without saying her name, Reeva knows all about Benedict’s political past. She calls him a failure and opportunist trying to capitalize on the mutant hate from 7/15.
Luckily, Reeva is here to help, as she’s been looking for someone with his raw ambition. Plus, his face is wasted on the radio. She wants to make him the most important man in America, and she can make that happen. How? Reeva has abilities, gifts, if you will. Benedict won’t work with a mutant, but Reeva tells him that he’s a salesman, not a patriot. She has something for him to sell.
In the present, Benedict meets Reeva outside the Lincoln Memorial, as she appreciates the symbolism. She has a job for the Purifiers and it needs to happen quickly and quietly, even though it’s a tall order. Anyone who goes on this mission could die. Well, there’s always the ambitious Jace Turner, even though he’s a broken man. This is an essential part of the plan, so Benedict needs to get this done.
Over at the apartments, Lauren has flashbacks to her power incidents as her temperature flares. With Marcos shot and Clarice gone, Reed and Caitlin are short on options, and suppressing her powers doesn’t help. The medicine is all they have, but they don’t even have enough for Reed. When Lauren starts speaking in German, Reed mentions that Caitlin found the message from his grandparents.
At the Inner Circle, Reeva tells Esme that the efforts with Lauren will have to wait. The other mutants assemble and learn that Max has not returned. The mutants argue as Esme tells everyone that, for the moment, security has increased.
John checks on a recovering Marcos, who has not heard back from Lorna yet. John remembers how angry Marcos was when Lorna first left. Marcos tells John that Lorna still cares, but then why did she leave? Lorna left for a mutant home world dream and Clarice joined the Purifiers. Still, at least Clarice wants to help people.
Speaking of, we head underground as Blink talks with Erg and Mason about bringing in more mutants. She know the Morlocks did this in the past, but that was a long time ago. The Morlocks didn’t try to arrest them before they shot Glow- who is now with Morlocks in Pittsburgh. Erg won’t open the doors, plus resources are low. Blink wants to know what kind of community they are if they only look out for themselves.
Benedict presents information on the Morlocks to Jace without revealing his source. Ryan wants Jace to take down a team and clear them out, though a Morlock has never even been put in custody. Benedict calls the Morlocks the worst of the worst. It’s a lot to ask, but Benedict brings up his first encounter with Jace.
Turner wants justice, right? Ryan calls Jace a good man, saying that when this is over, he can transform Sentinel Services into whatever he wants, since he’ll run it.
Back at the Inner Circle, Lorna returns to her quarters to make a call, but there’s no service. Seems that Reeva has kept her promise about increased security, as Sage informs Andy that the elevator has been cut off. Reeva is just being careful, but hey, this wasn’t Sage’s decision.
Hm. Sage sure seems to be getting a lot of dialogue and screen time this week…
Meanwhile, Ted and Jace assemble a group of Purifiers and go through their plans to take down the Morlocks. This will be dangerous. Jace admits that he’s afraid, but he’s doing this for his daughter. The others explain their various reasons, but you get the gist: they’re in for the mission. Ted wants to go with Jace, but after what happened at the youth center, Jace isn’t sure.
Still, Ted admits that he screwed up. He’s not in jail because of Jace. Right now, Ted just wants to have Jace’s back, just as Jace did for him.
Caitlin checks on Lauren’s condition and admits that she knows about Lauren’s dreams with Andy. She’s glad that John and Reed found them, and then she brings up the music box and speaking in German. However, Lauren is surprised by the German bit. Researching the family history made her stronger and Lauren liked it. Plus, Caitlin did say that she wanted Lauren to get stronger. She didn’t have a choice.
Either way, the dosages are still running low. Reed tells Caitlin that the music box didn’t just affect Lauren. His powers manifested again, but brought something that he thought had been long buried, and it’s very powerful and overwhelming. It’s why he gave Lauren the serum. Caitlin knows that the serum will control the darkness.
Finally, Caitlin admits that she and Lauren had to fight off Sentinel Services, and that she encouraged Lauren to become stronger. She apologizes for blaming Reed for what happened. If they’re going to give Lauren more medicine, it has to be soon. If they don’t put out the light, they might lose Lauren forever.
Blink barges in on Erg as he’s changing- she apologizes for what she said. She’s seen so many underground stations being destroyed. But if their way of life changes, what do they stand for? If there’s any way the Morlocks can help without compromise, Erg is willing to listen. Luckily, that’s all Blink wanted. Then the two learn from Mason that someone is in the tunnels.
Erg reminds the mutants that they’ve had intruders before. One mutant tracks them and Blink recognizes Jace Turner. Iris is putting up false walls, but they won’t have to evacuate. If it comes to it, they can flood the tunnels. Still, a team will go to confront them. Meanwhile, the children, sick, and elderly will be helped by Blink.
Jace leads the Purifiers through the tunnels, realizing that their position doesn’t match the intel. He realizes that this has to be something else. When it comes to mutants, he doesn’t rust what he sees. With that, he taps on the walls until he eventually finds he can walk through one of them. He leads the team onward through the wall.
Blink calls Marcos to let him know that Purifiers, led by Jace Turner, are in the tunnels. There are people down there who can’t fight. John and Marcos will meet her at their location. Oh, and John sounds a bit hurt that Clarice called Marcos instead of him.
Back at the Inner Circle, Reeva reports to the mutants that Max is dead. All they know for sure is that he died in a car fire. No word on whether he actually did die or was killed yet. As the mutants bicker yet again, Reeva reminds them that they cannot fight amongst themselves. Not when they’re so close to achieving their goal.
Esme and Reeva head upstairs, with Sophie and Phoebe searching the liquor store. They’re trying, but Reeva wants them to try harder. After all, someone had to know where Max was headed.
As Reed learns about the Purifiers hitting the Morlocks, he tells Caitlin that John and Marcos will need them. They can be put in the scrapyard for a few days. Caitlin offers to stay with Lauren, but no. Lauren will go. The X-gene will start expressing herself and the pull towards the Inner Circle could come back. Nonetheless, Lauren doesn’t want another dose. Situations like this call for her to help.
The serum can’t be used as a crutch- she has to face this head-on. Alright then, time to lock and load.
The Purifiers advance through the tunnels, though they hear noises coming from all around them. Jace believes the noises in the dark are a distraction, but then one by one the Purifiers are swept up in the air through some sort of smoke.
Meanwhile, Blink tells the remaining mutants to gather what they can. Some mutants are afraid due to some exit being blocked, also some mutants haven’t been on the surface in years. Blink tells the worried mutants to trust her. They’ll be fine. She’s spent enough time on the surface to know that.
As John and Marcos arrive at the location, Blink arrives with some mutants, but there are more coming. The Struckers will be on their way. John hopes that when this is over, they can talk about how they ended things. Also, next time, John wants Clarice to call him, since he’ll always come.
Ted brings the bodies of the Purifiers from the next tunnel- yes, they’re dead. Some of the Purifiers are ready to retreat. After all, they’re on the mutants’ territory. Jace reminds them that they need to decide together: move forward or retreat.
We’ll find out later. We return to the Inner Circle, as Lorna asks Reeva how long this will last. How can they fight a war if Reeva won’t trust them? While Reeva believes Lorna would want to know of a betrayal, the Frost Sisters arrive. They checked the security log and have found a spy.
So Reeva and the Frost Sisters confront their supposed spy: Sage. They bring up how someone accessed security footage from her terminal. The security was impenetrable, right? Sage maintains her innocence, but Reeva feels betrayed. Sage wants to prove that she’s innocent, but since she can’t and because the Frost Sisters can’t read her computer brain, Reeva uses her powers on Sage.
Andy pays Lorna a visit and tells her that Sage was the spy, saying there’s proof about her checking the security terminal when Max left the building. Lorna asks what Reeva will do, but it’s already done. Yeah, Sage is dead. Andy sees this as justice: after all, Max is dead because of Sage. Lorna, though, knows different.
Alright, I’m mad. But I’ll get to that later.
On the road, Lauren reiterates that she’s not running from the cure, but Reed accepts that and says that he also will stop taking the cure. One way or another, it comes to this. He’s been fighting the X-gene and he realizes how much the lies and denial have cost them. Listening to Lauren today showed Reed that the X-gene is part of who he is, for better or worse.
Caitlin reminds Reed that he could die if he stops taking the serum, but the serum will eventually stop anyway. He’s been given these powers for a reason, and now it’s time to put them to good use.
Back underground, it looks like the Purifiers are retreating, but still, the mutants will hit them hard. They find two “bodies” and prepare to search them, but then one trips a smoke grenade. Mason tells Erg that a gas grenade got some of the mutants.
Mason tries to crawl to escape, but he manages to tell Erg that they’re coming. He apologizes to Erg before he meets his maker. Erg may be able to flood the tunnel, but Blink tells him that it’s time to evacuate. They must keep as many mutants alive. Still, they have to barricade the entrance to the city.
The Struckers finally meet up with John and Marcos as more mutants arrive. Blink wants to head back down to help the others still underground, but John insists that he’ll go with her. Still, Clarice heads down on her own.
She heads back underground as the Morlocks seal off the exits. The Purifiers have arrived at the junction. Blink wants Erg to join her, but he will buy her more time. While Blink leads the mutants to safety, the Purifiers blow their way into the main chamber where the Morlocks are waiting.
A shootout ensues with the Purifiers and Morlocks exchanging fire. While Erg absorbs gunfire and fires it back at the Purifiers, Blink continues leading the mutants. John refuses to leave without Clarice, so everyone leaves in their now full carloads of mutant escapees just as the police head for the scene. However, the Struckers soon find themselves surrounded by the police.
They order everyone out, as Lauren is unable to use her powers. Caitlin sees that the cops won’t negotiate, so she opens fire on the officers and smashes her way through the barricade. Well damn, Mama Strucker. You kick ass!
While Jace tells the Purifiers to stop opening fire on Erg, they train their fire on the other mutants. One by one, they all fall. Blink has to be the last one out, with Blink noticing that one of the mutants is still here. Erg manages to rescue her and Blink makes as portal for them to escape, but then Jace fires several shot at Blink, effectively cutting her off from John.
As Jace picks up a teddy bear from one of the children, he then realizes the true horror of what he’s done.
Back outside, though, John has Blink’s blood on his hands as the episode and the mutant massacre on The Gifted come to a close.
Where to begin? As always, a return for The Gifted means we’re going to get hit hard. And hard did we get hit.
I made a joke earlier in this season that even though we’re dealing with the Morlocks, we wouldn’t have any sort of Mutant Massacre event because, after all, there are no Marauders, there’s no Mister Sinister, and there’s no Gambit. For some backstory, the Mutant Massacre was a major event in X-Men history. The Marauders, led by Gambit, who in turn was employed by Sinister, lay waste to the Morlocks.
So we have a covert mission for the explicit purpose of extinguishing an underground society of mutants. I didn’t fully expect The Gifted to give us its own take on the Mutant Massacre, but it paid off in a hellish way. Erg and his Morlocks have paid a price already by getting involved- as illustrated by Glow’s injury and her subsequent transfer to Pittsburgh.
He’d prefer that the mutants stay out of the battle above ground. But he’s already involved, and even though he wasn’t looking for a fight, the fight found him. How Reeva knew about the location of the Morlocks is anyone’s guess, but her colluding with Benedict Ryan was enough of a catalyst to convince the Purifiers to take action. But it also shows how far both sides will go and where they may draw the line.
For example, Benedict tells Reeva that she’s asking him to send people to die with this mission. Even Jace realizes the risks involved. But it’s about more than the risks- it’s about sending a message. More than that, it’s about fighting for the future. Still, though, it’s an endeavour that created losses on both sides.
Jace especially, who has been wavering in his humanity, seems to have an epiphany by episode’s end. He goes in, gung-ho, leading the Purifiers on the mission and manages to figure out the mutants’ abilities before anyone else. Though victorious, the realization that he went after children stuns him. These kids could’ve been no older than his daughter.
We’ve already seen Ted kill a child. Now Jace himself is responsible for the murder of mutants who had nothing to do with him or any reason to bring him harm. It makes me wonder if this would be what brings him back from the brink. Until now, he’s remained resolute and led the Purifiers, despite his objections, but I can’t imagine that this massacre will sit well with him.
Not to mention the fact that he’s already walked from Sentinel Services. Even though Paula may be seeing things from his point of view, these extreme actions are eating away at Jace. Hopefully this could send him down a path towards redemption. But then again, he did shoot Blink. Hard to forgive that.
Like the Purifiers, we have growing division among the Morlocks. While some would rather stay and fight, others are searching for an opportunity to flee. At least that way, they live to fight another day. Credit where it’s due, the Morlocks put up a good fight until the very end. They had the home field advantage, and were it not for Jace realizing Erg’s abilities, they might have won altogether.
Erg doesn’t want to compromise, but the human world isn’t waiting for him to make up his mind. Their actions will force a decision out of him. At this point, I could see him stepping up and helping the mutant underground, if just to avenge his fallen Morlocks. Though not before John blames Clarice’s death on him, though, so expect the two to come to blows again. Well, John will try before he gets blasted again.
I appreciate that we get a moment with John and Marcos regrouping, and that Marcos isn’t automatically back on his feet after getting shot. Both are worried about Clarice and Lorna, but have to trust that they’re both going to come through in the end. It’s not a lengthy conversation, but I appreciate them talking about this.
Sticking with the underground, hell yes to the Strucker family! Whether it’s Reed saying he’ll stop taking the cure, Lauren throwing herself into battle, or Caitlin opening fire on police officers to force her way through the barricade, the Struckers were on fire this week. It’s a massive turnaround from where Reed and Caitlin were last week and I hope they continue this arc moving forward.
Sure, Caitlin may not have powers and Reed may have trouble controlling his, but this episode proved that they can be handy in the right circumstances. Good for them. Though hopefully Caitlin shooting at police officers doesn’t come back to bite her in the ass.
Alright, now for the Inner Circle. Lorna deserves credit for being proactive and looking into Max’s schedule so Marcos could kill him. But there’s no way she could’ve predicted the consequences that action would have on everyone else. At the same time, Reeva has every reason to upset at the possibility of a mole within her ranks. With everything she’s working to create, a divide within the Inner Circle could destroy her vision.
Hell, we already see the division with the mutants arguing amongst themselves and pointing the finger at one another for Max’s death. It’s enough to sow seeds of mistrust and have Reeva second guessing who she can trust.
But Sage, though! This one hurt. Sage- and by extension, Hayley Lovitt- has been a very underutilized character, but there was a potential for greatness. As a mutant whose brain is essentially a supercomputer, there was a lot The Gifted could do with her outside of being the Inner Circle’s tech and computer expert.
It hurt to see Reeva and the Frost Sisters accuse Sage of being the traitor because we as an audience know that Lorna is responsible. At the same time, what was Sage supposed to do? I don’t believe there was any surveillance footage, and Lorna was able to hack into the computer with Sage’s credentials. As far as Reeva is concerned, it’s an open-and-shut case.
If just for the sake of keeping Sage alive, I do wish that either Reeva or the Frosts at least questioned why Sage would do this. After all, Max was a new recruit. Sage wouldn’t have a reason to go after him. But the Frosts and Sage know that Lorna has been asking questions that she shouldn’t be asking. Therefore, wouldn’t it be easier to just question Sage’s motivation?
This death goes against expectations because we might have expected Reeva to catch onto Lorna, or at least suspect her. It also puts Lorna in the uncomfortable position of being responsible for Sage’s death. What does Lorna do now? She can’t just come clean because then she becomes a target. Damn it, though, this one bums me out. Sage didn’t have to die. Her death was hard to watch.
It would be one thing if she’d had a more prominent role, but since the start, Sage hasn’t been utilized that much, if at all. Hell, I think she may have had more to do at the mutant underground. But alas, farewell to another of the mutants.
Side-note, Reeva tells Sage that she vouched for her. To whom? Those other mutants that were killed early on in the season premiere? Sage left the mutant underground of her own volition, just like Lorna and Andy did. So who did Reeva have to convince that Sage as of use? Alright, moving on.
As for Blink, yes, it’s tragic that she was shot and that will definitely impact John, but I’m less worried about her fate. Admittedly, I could’ve said the same thing about Dreamer last season, but given Blink’s ability to portal away, I’m not completely sold that she’s also a goner. Hopefully I’m not proven wrong.
So The Gifted returns and we get not just a Morlock mutant massacre, but the death of Sage and, as far as John is concerned, a possible loss of Blink. Sheesh, I haven’t been this bummed out watching an X-Men property since Logan died in…well, Logan. Where in the hell do the mutants possibly go from here? Will Reeva up the ante as we approach the end of the season? Who knows. Let’s regroup and meet up next time.
See you then.