The Gifted: Days of Future-oh, wait, that’s already been taken.
The episode begins with a flashback to Atlanta, Georgia, five years ago on the July 15th incident. Caitlin is watching the carnage unfold with a younger Andy and Lauren when Reed arrives to greet his family. He got home as fast as he could, as did his other coworkers. It feels like a bad dream to everyone, but Reed and Caitlin make sure to console their frightened children.
Later on, Caitlin tells Reed that it’s time to stop keeping up to date on the news. She wants to keep the kids safe and assure them that this could never happen to them, but she finds it hard to make that promise. Reed talked about transferring to the mutant crimes division and he feels that this is telling them something. This is the fight of their time and he can’t sit on the sidelines. This is how he’ll keep the kids safe.
Caitlin isn’t excited about him jumping into the battle, but if he has to, she understands.
In the present, Lorna tells the others that Reeva will take out Sentinel Services and the government. The Inner Circle could be taken down by Andy and Lorna, but Reed and Caitlin want another way that doesn’t involve the two of them bringing down an entire building. But John says that this has to happen. They can’t avoid to wait. Andy is confident that they can do this. As does Lauren.
They can finally stop Reeva. They have this power- they may as well use it for something good, right?
At the Inner Circle, the Frost Sisters tell Reeva that Andy and Lorna have returned to the mutant underground. Reeva tells them that the plan will continue accordingly. They can still use explosives. As for Sentinel Services, that part of the plan will change since Andy isn’t around. Meanwhile, Reeva goes off to make some arrangements.
She makes a phone call to Benedict Ryan, telling him that it’s time to get to work. She has a job for the Purifiers.
Back at the apartments, the mutant underground gets ready, while Andy checks in on his father. Reed tells his son that he stopped taking the medicine because he has to face this head-on. He’s been trying to make sense of everything. As has Andy. He tells his father that he wanted to come home so many times, but he thought that he was in too deep with the Inner Circle.
After what Reed said last night, Andy felt like he was part of the family again. With that, father and son hug. Reed tells Andy that it felt like part of him had been torn away when Andy left. Andy will always be Reed’s son and nothing will ever change that.
Marcos, John, and Lorna go over the remaining files, with Lorna blaming herself for everything that’s happened. She was fighting for a dream and bought into Reeva’s dream, and Clarice died because of it. John then tells Lorna that he can still feel Clarice, even though it’s entirely possible that she’s gone for good. John just wants Lorna to promise that she will fight, and that much she can do.
With that, all of the files are burned. Then John senses a lot of trucks coming down the street. Indeed, the Purifiers have assembled outside, and Jace Turner is among them. He’s in contact with Ryan, who asks if Jace will let the mutant underground escape. The police are upset about Ted Wilson’s death, so they will look the other way. If Jace wants justice, this is his chance.
However, the roads are completely blocked. This isn’t just the Purifiers blowing smoke. They’re well-armed, and John realizes that Reeva isn’t the only one taking this personally. Outside, Jace knows that the mutants can’t stay inside forever. They’ll have to make a move. If they do this right, the mutant underground ends today.
The mutants realize that the Purifiers can and will wait them out. Luckily, Caitlin has a cache of guns downstairs. Indeed, she shows Reed her guns just as his headaches come back. He wants to do something with his ability to help his children, but Caitlin assures him that they will get through this.
We flash back to three years ago as Caitlin finds Reed working on some briefs. She suggests that he take a break for some drinks. This particular hour-long break could help, in fact. But then Reed gets a phone call from Lauren, who is frantically asking for her father to pick her up from Emma’s party. Something happened and there was a mutant attack, but she’s not hurt. Reed will be on the way.
In the present, Andy tells Lauren that they may have to use Fenris to take out the Purifiers, but Lauren doesn’t want to just kill them. Andy knows that Lauren thinks he likes to kill. Andy did what he did with the Inner Circle because he wanted to help people.
Then Lauren sees the door open, even though Caitlin closed it. From invisibility, Fade appears with the Frost Sisters, who use their telepathy on the siblings.
All the while, Caitlin and Reed come back upstairs and reminisce on old times when they find the room torn upside down. Oh, and the kids are missing.
With the Struckers under their control, Fade and the Frost Sisters bring them to the tunnels. Reeva just wants results next time Esme calls her. At the same time, Reeva watches a broadcast from Benedict Ryan, who is predicting a mutant attack and whether America is ready.
Back at base, John is trying to track Andy and Lauren, but instead he’s getting glimpses of Clarice everywhere. Eventually, he sees the Frost Sisters leading the Struckers out.
Since Reeva has Andy, she may still be able to destroy Sentinel Services. Lorna can’t stop every single bullet from every angle. John can make a way through. Jace Turner wants the underground, but after the compound attack, John knows that Jace will throw everything at him. Still, John isn’t bulletproof. Even so, he just needs to last long enough for the others to get away.
The others have to get to Lauren and Andy, as well as stop Reeva. Jace already took Clarice. He can’t do anything worse to John, as far as he’s concerned.
So John gets himself ready for battle. With his tomahawks and war paint at the ready, Thunderbird exits the apartments and charges forwards as the Purifiers open fire on him from all angles. Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, John manages to hold his own against the army of Purifiers.
All the while, the Struckers and mutants manage to burst out of hiding and drive away from the Purifiers while John also manages to escape.
While the Struckers and mutants are on the road, Lorna tells Caitlin which direction to go in order to intercept the Inner Circle. At the same time, Reed’s powers continue to act up.
In a flashback, Reed talks with Lauren about the 7/15 incident. Something clicked for him that day. He knew that he had to be a part of it to make a difference. When terrible things like that happen, like what happened with Lauren tonight, they have to figure out what it means and how it can make them better. A tearful Lauren tries to tell her father something, but he embraces her, saying that he will always protect her.
Underground, the Struckers try to resist the influence of the Frost Sisters, who just need help destroying a building. Phoebe and Sophie can always do this the hard way, but Esme doesn’t seem to want that. Lauren asks if this is indeed mutant freedom, but some people need a little help seeing the light. Esme warns the sisters that pushing them too hard and breaking hard could be no good.
But Sophie and Phoebe don’t care- they just want the damn mission done. With that, they continue through the tunnels.
Meanwhile, up above, an injured and bullet-ridden John hides from the Purifiers when he’s met by Erg of all people. Right now, for Clarice’s sake, Erg will help John. While John would rather fight, Erg tells him that the man who murdered Blink is out there. John owes it to her to stay alive. The more energy that Erg absorbs, the more he can fire back. With that, Erg helps John up so he can strike him hard.
John strikes Erg over and over again just as Jace and the Purifiers arrive. As Jace introduces himself as Thunderbird, Erg fires while John charges at Jace. He gets him on the ground and punches him over and over again. He’s ready to kill him, and Jace is ready to die.
The Frosts continue leading Andy and Lauren towards their target. Lauren and Andy continue to resist, so Phoebe and Sophie up the ante on Lauren. However, it takes Esme a moment to join in. She does join her sisters as the Struckers finally join hands. Now it’s time to relax and let go.
With their powers combined, the power of Fenris manifests again as Lauren and Andy rain down hell upon their target. With that, the building is now in smithereens.
The Frosts and Strucker kids are intercepted by Marcos, Lorna, Caitlin, and Reed, who try to get through and tell Andy and Lauren to stop. Lorna goes to Esme and remembers the story of what the humans did to her when she was young. Esme begins to resist while Sophie and Phoebe tell her to continue.
When Esme breaks free, Marcos manages to put Sophie and Phoebe down for the moment. Esme tells the others to head to the tunnels while she remains with her sisters.
In the tunnels, Lorna explains the power of the Frost Sisters to Lauren and Andy. Marcos remembers being under control when he was ripped from Dawn. Lauren and Andy apologize for destroying the building, but their parents tell them that it wasn’t their fault. They could’ve killed their parents, but now they can still take down the Inner Circle. Reed is proud of his kids for fighting.
The fight must be continue. Reed knows that the kids won’t be safe while Reeva is out there. If they don’t take her down now, they may not get a chance later.
That evening, they arrive outside the Inner Circle’s location. Lorna can get them inside, but the underground is outnumbered. Reed asks if this will end if they stop Reeva, and indeed, if they take her down, this falls apart.
Speaking of, the Inner Circle mutants lock and load their weaponry when they hear a noise. Lorna, Marcos, and the Struckers break in while the Inner Circle mutants go on the attack. Bulk, Fade, Tico, and Heather keep the mutants and Struckers at bay, but just when Reed is attacked by Fade from invisibility, Caitlin shoots him down.
Reed wants to go up alone, telling Caitlin that he already can’t control his powers. He has to use this against Reeva. The episodes have been more severe and frequent. The energy will eventually tear him apart. If Reeva attacked him and that power was released, he can still stop her. Reed tells Caitlin to take care of the family, and he gives his wife one last kiss as he heads on for the elevator.
In a flashback, Caitlin asks Reed if he believed what he told Lauren. He just wanted her to see that something good could come of this, but Caitlin thinks that it’s deeper than that. Their tragedies occur for a reason. Reed thinks that he has a role to play in this mutant situation and keeping the family safe, but he wishes that he knew what it was.
In the present, Reed’s powers continue to flare up as he finally arrives upstairs. Reeva is disappointed that she’s being confronted by someone less formidable, but she’s been keeping tabs on Reed. She believes that he’s confused, but he isn’t anymore. She won’t stop now since the revolution has just begun and it’s still moving forward. Humans and mutants cannot live together.
Reed’s grandparents knew what a mutant home world would be like, and maybe Reed’s family name could’ve lived on forever, but now that won’t happen. With that, Reeva lets out her yell at Reed, but his powers only continue to flare up as he falls to the ground in pain. At the same time back downstairs, Lorna, Caitlin, and Marcos continue their attack on the Inner Circle mutants.
Reeva is surprised that her powers have no effect, but Reed tells her that if she wants the power of the von Struckers, it’s all hers. With that, he lets out a powerful blast that rocks the entire building.
Later on, as everyone regroups, Caitlin returns alone to her children. Lauren and Andy realize that their father died so they could come together.
Meanwhile, underground, Erg takes care of John while Jace Turner recovers in a hospital.
Elsewhere, Lorna and Marcos finally get a chance to see Dawn.
Oh, as for Benedict Ryan, he’s now bombarded with reports that he was involved with the mutant attack. But Esme, from a distance, controls Ryan to have him confess to his crimes.
The Struckers bid farewell to their father, as Lauren and Andy promise to continue fighting.
Erg meets with the mutants, Esme included, telling them that he’s had contact with mutants in other cities. The mutant uprising sparked by Reeva cannot be stopped. Mutants are gathering, but people have heard of the mutant underground and what happened with the Purifiers. They need help and leadership. Marcos reminds Erg that the underground is gone, but Caitlin pledges that they can make a new one.
John then senses something outside. Everyone heads outside as a portal begins to flicker. At last, Clarice emerges from the portal with a fancy new, futuristic look. With a new look, in fact. She tells them that there’s something that they need to see. She creates a portal and implores for them to follow her as the second season of The Gifted comes to a close.
So here we are at the end of the sophomore season of The Gifted and the series certainly saved the best for last. While it’s up in the air at the time of writing this whether the X-Men series will return for a third season, let’s talk about what we have right here. The battle against Reeva Payge and the Inner Circle is over. But the mutant war is far from over. Hell, it’s only just begun.
While The Gifted has used opening flashbacks as a staple for so long, starting with the 7/15 incident definitely set a bad, to use the word, oMen for things to come. This changed life for humans and mutants alike, with the Struckers smack dab in the middle of it not just because of Reed’s work, but also the revelation that both he and his children are mutants.
That’s a lot to take in when the world around you already hates and fears mutants. The Gifted has done a good job at showcasing that part of the human/mutant conflict, but with the Struckers, there’s an added element of both tragedy and triumph here.
The biggest tragedy out of them all is Reed, who has had one hell of an arc this season. He started off trying to repress his mutant powers and encouraged Lauren to do the same. He had no interest in embracing his mutation, but just wanted to be somewhere in the middle, just like his career. But as the season progressed and as he’s seen the impact powers have had on Andy and Lauren, he changed.
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t telegraphed that something bad would happen to Reed, but I couldn’t be happier to see him making a sacrificial play. Stephen Moyer was excellent here at showing how much Reed is bearing on his shoulder as he weighs protecting his family at the expense of his own life. He embraces the von Strucker name and willingly jumps into battle.
Like with his career, he acknowledges that it’s hard to promise that his wife and kids will be safe. But between everything the Struckers have endured, coupled with Reed coming to terms with his abilities, he can most definitely assure that they will still be alive, even if he himself is not.
Again, while it was obvious that he was in trouble, Reed still managed to have some nice, quiet moments with both Caitlin and Andy. Not as many with Lauren, but he’s had tons of those since, after all, Andy has been with the Inner Circle all this time. So it was great to see them have father-son bonding before the battle started.
When it was all said and done, Reed was able to fight back against Reeva when so many other mutants could not. It truly was a ‘mutant and proud’ moment for him when he gave Reeva the power that she wanted. Judging by her expression, even she couldn’t have anticipated that a Strucker like Reed would be able to combat her. This was his destiny and choice. If he’s truly gone, then Reed went out as a hero.
Like Reed, Caitlin also made a big turnaround this season, as I’ve said before. She’s a protective mother to the end, but now she’s a protective mother who also wants to now kick some ass. Caitlin has become more and more proactive this season, and her having a cache of guns was just icing on the cake. While she’s not all-out Frank Castle, her having those weapons shows that she’s more than ready for a fight.
Admittedly, I would want to know where she got all of those weapons and when she got the time to train to become a marksman. I dunno, maybe in this timeline she got secret training from Agent Zero.
Once again, since we’ve spent so much time with Lauren, it was nice to see Andy back among his family and getting back into the swing of things with the underground. While he’s trying to adjust to life with family again, part of him just can’t resist the ultimate power of Fenris. Him suggesting using the power to take out the Purifiers shows he still has a penchant for destruction, even if he has pulled away from Reeva’s influence.
At the end of the day, though, Andy and Lauren did end up bringing down a building. That’s not on purpose, but I would be curious to see if there will be long-lasting ramifications for their actions.
But by the same token, now that Esme isn’t just going along with her sisters, perhaps she can just use Benedict Ryan to spill the entire truth. First off, her doing that towards the end of the episode gave me a flashback to when Mystique was masquerading as Senator Kelly at the end of the first X-Men film. Whether intentional or by accident, I enjoyed the nod.
It was also good to see Esme stand up to Phoebe and Sophie. Of the three Frost sisters, it’s been no accident that we’ve spent the most time with Esme. Unlike her sisters, she has some semblance of a heart and, if the episode’s ending is any indication, willing to fight alongside the mutant underground to undo Reeva’s wrongs.
Ultimately, though, I don’t have a ton to say about Reeva Payge. While Grace Byers brought a lot of screen presence and though I did like seeing her backstory early on, she didn’t leave the sort of long-lasting impression that someone like an Amahl Farouk would. I use the Shadow King from Legion as my comparison since it wouldn’t be entirely fair to compare the villains from the X-Men shows to what we’ve seen on film.
Plus, the idea of creating a mutant homeworld is something we’ve seen before, and will see again with Magneto when Dark Phoenix hits theaters. To the show’s credit, there was an added layer to Reeva when it was revealed that she was working with Benedict Ryan. It showed the level of influence she had and how she could use the Purifiers to further her goal.
Speaking of the Purifiers, they seem to be all but done at this point. What’s left for Jace Turner, I wonder. Ryan already sensed that he had one foot out the door. Perhaps Jace could just return to a life of normalcy and lay aside the anti-mutant crusade. Right now, it’s a losing battle for him. As far as he’s concerned, he should consider himself lucky that John didn’t finish him off.
I’m sorry, did I say John? I meant to say Thunderbird because damn did he show up in force! Where has this John Proudstar been all this time? Thunderbird decided to stop with the precautions, the series embraced his comic book roots, and he came out swinging. While, like Reed, he could’ve easily died as well, John was willing to do that if it meant the others would survive.
At this point, damn the consequences. His fight with the Purifiers was a spectacular action sequence that I’m sure many who have wanted more action from The Gifted enjoyed. More than that, he survived! It would’ve been easy for Thunderbird to go down fighting, but he lived to make it to the finale. Good on the series for keeping him around. This is why the X-Men chose him as the leader: he’s got that badass inside of him.
I’m glad we don’t have to dwell on what Lorna’s return means for the underground. To be blunt, she fucked up, but she admitted her wrongdoings. On several occasions, she and Marcos have battled on how her vision has blown up in her face. It sucks, but with Reeva set to execute her plan, we don’t need to spend an entire episode or even half of it with everyone pointing fingers at Lorna.
That would just be a waste of time and just add to when people say that The Gifted is just a melodrama. Rather than spending time on Lorna’s sins, we just get right to business with the mutant underground taking on both the Purifiers and the Inner Circle. For a finale, that’s how it should be, especially since we have everyone regrouping at the end with Erg needing the underground for another mission.
Then we’ve got Blink. It was inevitable that Clarice would return, but wow did she come back in fashion. It looks like she stepped out of a Days of Future Past sort of scenario. Would definitely be a good place to take the series should it come back for a third season. But right now, everyone should come with Blink if they want to live.
The second season of The Gifted might not be a ratings juggernaut, but it upped the ante with its character development in the mutant underground cast, built out its lore through the introduction of the Morlocks, and set up a hell of a cliffhanger for next time. We’ll have to wait and see what awaits the show’s fate, but for right now, I had a great time and hope that you did too.
Until then, fingers crossed that we get to reunite again for The Gifted Season Three.