“Let’s just say I’m Frankenstein’s monster.”
The episode begins with a flashback to just two months ago as John and Clarice lay in bed. Clarice tells John that she’s been running from everything in her entire life, and now she feels at peace with John. She wonders if she doesn’t deserve to be, given the bad decisions that she’s made in her life, but she puts that aside. When she got mixed up with the Brotherhood, she felt trapped and hated herself.
She would lay awake at night and wish she was somewhere else. John wants Clarice to show him, so she creates a portal that shows the stars. She used to think about making a portal to nowhere. This space is between everything, after all. John assures Clarice that no one in the underground is perfect. They all came together because they needed redemption. It’s why John believes there’s hope for Andy and Lorna.
While Clarice wonders if she should stay, John says that yes, she should always.
But in the present, the Struckers are trying to get off the road. Caitlin drives into a parking garage and orders the mutants out. They have to split up and stay off the main roads. More than that, don’t trust humans. The Morlocks aren’t in any condition to just run, but they don’t have a choice.
Either way, the police arrive as everyone splits up.
Back in the alley, John blames Blink’s apparent death on Erg. He’s made mistakes, but he didn’t lure her into the tunnels. Rather, Erg says that John drove her down there. He dares John to hit him, saying that it won’t change anything. At first, John doesn’t…until he does.
While Erg has energy that he could fire back at John, who is begging for it, he doesn’t. Instead, he merely apologizes to John and leaves with the young mutant.
Then, at the Inner Circle, Reeva tells the mutants that their moment has arrived. The next 24 hours will determine the course of human history. The uprising has been successful and now it’s clear to mutants and humans that two nations, divided, are the only solution. They have worked hard and one last push will take them to their goal. They must destroy the institutions that hate them.
Lorna expresses her concern, but the Frosts assure her that everything is covered. They mutants will receive their assignments tonight. Andy can’t believe that this is happening.
Reed and Marcos bring some of the mutants into the junkyard when Marcos gets a call from Lorna, who tells him that Reeva killed Sage. Lorna will do what she can, but Andy may be too far gone at the moment. Still, Reed wants Lorna to try, even if that means telling him the truth.
The Purifiers assemble above ground, with Ted telling Jace that they just wanted to help the officers. Ted wants to search the streets for stragglers, but Jace isn’t sure. He seems lost in his thoughts and says that he expected a terrorist camp, but instead there were also children, too. Ted says that if there were kids, they would grow up to be the same mutants who killed their friends. But how can Ted know that?
Ted suggests that Jace go back to his hotel room and clear his head.
At the Inner Circle, Andy pays Lorna a visit and wonders why she wants to go with him since he can handle himself. She just wants to see what they’re doing. Lorna then tells Andy that when they do this, it won’t be a game. They’re going to be killing real people. But like Andy says, they have to make sacrifices. Lorna taught him that, when she ripped that plane out of the sky. That’s the whole reason he joined the Inner Circle.
Damn it, Lorna. She admits that move wasn’t easy, but also that those scars stay with you. Well, Andy is fine with getting a few scars.
Marcos and Reed find John in the middle of taking out his anger on a wall. John just knows that Clarice fell through a portal and vanished. He saw her fall, but he can still feel her.
Reed finds himself confronted by Ted, who wonders why Reed was concerned about the others. Yet, Reed is checking out dumpsters? Reed wanted to head outside and make sure it was safe after he heard sirens. Ted is convinced, but before the ruse can end, Reed’s powers manifest and he destroys Ted’s gun.
Ted tells Reed that he won’t stop until mutants are wiped out, but then Reed’s powers flare up and he ends up disintegrating Ted.
He rushes over to Marcos and John, telling them that it’s time to leave with the Purifiers all over the streets. Marcos shines a light in John’s face and asks him what Clarice would want him to do. Right now, it’s time to fall back.
Caitlin and Lauren continue their escape, with Lauren wanting to go back for the Morlocks. Caitlin is just glad they’re safe at the moment. Lauren asks if Caitlin intentionally had them split up since the police would go for the Morlocks, but as far as Caitlin is concerned, staying together would slow them down. People are depending on them, so they have to get through this. With that, the two head inside a building to hide.
Reed, Marcos, and John regroup, with John having memories of Clarice. John can’t bring himself to track Lauren and Caitlin, since he keeps seeing Clarice. Then Reed’s powers flare up again.
So Lorna joins Andy and the Frost Sisters as they head to a train yard. Andy used to have a thing for trains, as he remembers a kid in his class who was also into trains. Andy would sit with him at lunch. Then the mutants arrive at their location. The tunnel system will give them access to the city. Though Andy wonders why they haven’t been here before…
Reeva explains to the mutants that Andy will lead them through a wall that leads into Sentinel Services, so they can neutralize the threat. Andy asks if they’ll be killing their target, though Reeva asks if that will be a problem. It won’t.
Lauren and Caitlin’s hiding spot may be exposed, as the police are closing in on their location. Unfortunately, Lauren can’t tap into her powers at the moment, so Caitlin wants to find something else to use as a weapon. If they surrender, everything they’ve done so far will have been for nothing. They’ve come too far to give up now.
Reed, Marcos, and John get nothing from the police scanners so far as they await news. Reed tells Marcos that he’s stopped taking the medicine and is trying to control his powers. He asks Marcos if he knew what his powers were first for when they manifested. He had to have thought about it, right? Marcos’ father apparently said that the devil gave him his powers. Part of Marcos agreed, but he was in a dark place.
Before Reed can say what happened, the three receive word of two suspects found by officers. John wants to join Marcos and Reed, but they assure him that they have this.
Esme, Lorna, and Andy return to the Inner Circle, though Lorna asks what Esme will be doing for the mission. The secret will be out tomorrow anyway. Esme reveals that when the situation gets bad enough, the Frosts will help people that a mutant homeland is the only answer. The Sisters are willing to do what’s necessary, but Lorna asks if Esme can mind control them to a mutant homeland.
Esme believes that they can. After all, they won over Lorna. There may be hope for the world.
The police converge on Lauren and Caitlin’s location, with Caitlin opening fire on the officers. They return fire in kind, and Caitlin only has three bullets. Caitlin offers to create a distraction so Lauren can escape. Caitlin assures her daughter that she can change the course of Strucker history, and luckily, that’s when Lauren’s powers finally come back. Now the two of them can do this. Together.
At his hotel room, Jace watches a video of a very familiar individual discussing the Morlocks and a rising mutant epidemic. He pauses the video on a young mother and her daughter as he feels disturbed yet again.
That individual, by the way, was none other than the man himself, Mr. Chris Claremont. Well done, The Gifted. Well done.
Reed and Marcos also arrive at Lauren and Caitlin’s location. Reed asks if Marcos can absorb the light energy, while Reed can get them inside by making a new entrance. Marcos doubts that Reed can do this, but they don’t have much of a choice right now. So indeed, Marcos begins turning off the lights.
Lorna, meanwhile, is packing up and getting ready to escape the Inner Circle when she finds Andy wide awake and awaiting the mission. Lorna informs him that Reeva was meeting with Benedict Ryan, and he finds that hard to believe and accept. Reeva needs people angry, and she’s using the Purifiers to take out the competition.
Lorna reminds Andy that Reeva wouldn’t talk about the tunnels, but it’s because the Purifiers wiped out the mutants living there. So Rebecca died for a lie? Lorna didn’t want to believe it either, and she wants a mutant homeland as much as Andy, but not like this. Together, they can stop Reeva, but only if Andy comes with her. But Andy refuses to leave. He can’t go back to his family after everything that’s happened.
Lorna tells Andy that he can’t stay at the Inner Circle, but with all the things that he’s done, maybe he belongs here. Lorna reminds Andy about the story he told about the trains, but Andy isn’t that person anymore.
With Marcos draining the light, Reed tries to use his powers on the wall. As the officers fire a smoke grenade, Lauren creates a barrier that bounces it back. Marcos tries to encourage Reed, saying that he’s letting his family down. After a bit, the powers finally do manifest again, so Reed is able to start burning through the wall. He successfully takes it down and the four reunite. But they quickly fall back.
On the drive back, Marcos explains that the helicopters still think that they’re in the building. As for Clarice, Reed explains that she stayed behind to help the rest of the Morlocks. Reed then gets a call from Lorna and Andy, who wants to talk with his father. Reed tells Andy that he needs to come home and everything that Lorna said is true.
Andy apologizes to his father and says that he’s not sure that he can return. He remembers attacking the Purifier that attacked Lauren, and how afraid his parents looked. Andy admits that he did want to kill that man, so perhaps he really is a monster. But Reed does understand more than Andy knows. He confesses that he killed a man who threatened him. Reed just got so angry that he lost control, so he killed him.
Not because he had to, but because he wanted to do it. So if Andy is a monster, then so is Reed. With that, Andy ends the call. As for whether Andy is coming home, Reed doesn’t know just yet
Marcos and the Struckers arrive home and go over the food that they can share with the Morlocks. Caitlin tells Reed that he had no choice in what he did. If he walked away after destroying the gun, the man would’ve called for backup. Caitlin knows that Reed is a good man, and the important thing is that Reed told Andy the truth, even if Reed doesn’t believe that Andy will be home.
Maybe Reed had to join Andy in his darkness, but all Reed can do is show Andy the path. He can’t make him take it.
John arrives and apologizes to Marcos for not being there. He’s still not in a good place, as he still misses Clarice. Everyone that he loves dies. Marcos tells John that he can’t hate himself. Every Morlock who is alive is only standing because of Clarice- she didn’t die in vain. Even if John can’t track, the storm coming their way won’t be hard to find. The question is whether John can still fight.
Jace pays a visit to Benedict Ryan to talk about what happened in the tunnels. He did what Benedict said, but there were children and families, not a terrorist camp. However, Ryan knows that there will be a mutant attack on their soil that could be as big as 7/15. Does Jace want to help make America safe?
The men killed in the tunnels had families too, and then Ryan explains to Jace that Ted Wilson is dead. Jace was with Ted the night before, but right now, they must honor Ted’s memory and continue this fight. The Purifiers need Jace now more than ever.
Then the mutant underground receives an unexpected visit in the form of Andy, followed later by Lorna, who just lets herself in because that’s just how Polaris rolls. The two embrace as Aurora Borealis returns yet again.
Outside on the roof, John cleans his tomahawk as he has memories of Clarice. However, as lightning strikes, he suddenly hears Clarice call out to him. The full Strucker family, as well as Lorna, join him outside. Lorna offers her hand as John embraces his old friend. The mutants are back in town.
While over at the Inner Circle, the Frosts and Reeva believe that Andy and Lauren are gone. Andy was with them until today, but Lorna’s uncertainty never came up this much. The chance to build a homeland on the back of two legendary mutant families would’ve been glorious for Reeva. But now, Andy and Lauren must die.
Big talk. We’re heading into the season finale with an aptly named episode in “Monsters.” Beyond the fact that humans hate and fear mutants and see them as monsters, we have the mutants themselves acknowledging that they can step into a dark place. In effect, they at times become the very thing that society hates about them.
Now I’m not talking about Erik referring to himself as Frankenstein’s monster like in X-Men: First Class, even though like Andy and Reed, he too committed murder and had the intention to kill in order to protect himself.
The same is true here with Reed and Andy. While one could argue that Reed is trying to get Andy on his side by saying he understands, it does sound more believable when you consider Reed’s arc this season. For so long, he wanted to stamp out and repress his powers instead of put them to good use. But after watching Lauren’s growth, as well as his own decisions, he’s decided to put his powers to good use.
Admittedly, it’s debatable whether it was good for him to use his powers to kill Ted Wilson, especially since Reed doesn’t know what Ted had done prior to this. But we as an audience do, so in a way, this death leans more towards justice than outright vengeance. More than that, it illustrated how Reed probably could’ve held back, but like Andy, he got a sudden thrill of using his powers.
Now let me be clear. Andy and Reed are not on the same wavelength at all. Reed shows genuine remorse for what he did, but Andy seems to thrive on committing wanton acts of violence. At least, at first. But when he struggles to grasp the full scope of Reeva’s plans, he grapples within himself. He considered Lorna his inspiration for joining the Inner Circle, but now he doesn’t know what to believe.
It’s a nice way to show us his inner turmoil, not helped by the fact that, as he said, Rebecca essentially died for nothing. I think part of this can be attributed to Andy making himself out to be someone that he’s not. Yes, we saw how he got a thrill out of using his powers to fulfill Reeva’s mission, but as far back as his first battle with Lorna, he later shows guilt for what he does.
Looking deeper into it, I wonder how much of Andy’s motivation and feelings here could be spurred by the Frosts. I mean, they do have the ability to manipulate. Who is to say they weren’t goading Andy on, the same way that they tried to use him as a way to bring Lauren into the fold? Either way, the fact that Esme shows a bit of humanity compared to Sophie and Phoebe hints at further friction between the Frosts.
Either way, I enjoyed the moments with Andy and Reed, if just for them to both acknowledge how they have been recently shaped and molded by their powers. Hopefully the Struckers being reunited will lead to them all using their powers for the right reason as we head into the finale.
That includes you, Caitlin. For a moment, I really thought that Caitlin was going to make the sacrificial play in order to save Lauren. Hell, we saw her open fire on police officers again in this episode. I see it as a combination of her stepping up, but also the mounting desperation of their situation. Many of the Morlocks are dead and others are still on the run.
At this point, certainly after the Morlock massacre, the Purifiers and other humans aren’t going to play by the rules. So why should the mutants and their allies? May as well double down and go on the offensive. Still, though, after Blink vanishing and Sage’s death, it did appear that Caitlin might be next. Luckily, that didn’t happen, but again, I like how she’s become a much stronger and active character compared to last season.
Having played both sides for so long, Lorna has returned to her mutant underground roots. Between Sage’s death and learning that she’s responsible for setting Andy down his dark path, she sees what a monster she herself has been. Plus, she’s still asking plenty of questions, so I’m surprised that neither Reeva nor the Frosts figured out that she was about to flip on the Inner Circle.
The question now is what does this mean for Andy and Lorna’s characters? The first season ended with them splitting off from the mutant underground, and the second season may end with them returning. It this a regression or them merely making a change?
I know who is making a change: Jace Turner. He’s clearly disturbed by what he’s done and, like last season, I could see him walking away from all of this. However, I wonder what Jace’s ultimate purpose would be going forward. He hates mutants, but he doesn’t want to go as far as the Purifiers. By using extreme violence, he becomes everything that he feels the mutants represent.
Again, it’s nice to see how the guilt has affected him, but at the same time, I want his character to do more than just go in circles.
But now that Reeva is aware of Andy and Lorna defecting, how will this impact her plans? How will the mutant underground combat Reeva and the Inner Circle? And is there still the possibility that Blink is still out there? We’ll hopefully find out this and more in the season finale. See you next week.