Happy New Year X-Fans! I apologize that this is a little late; I was away helping my mom recover from knee replacement surgery. While I was away, we did receive the very exciting news that this little show has been renewed for a second season! Obviously this is excellent news, especially on the heels of our 2017 finale and the big reveal that Esme’s family in Dr. Campbell’s lab were, in fact, the Stepford Cuckoos. We now have more time to explore our mutant world.
But before we can start planning our wishlist for The Gifted Season 2 (less overprotective parents and more badass Lauren Strucker, perhaps? Or some further digging into the Strucker family tree?), let’s dig into our first episode of 2018, “3 X 1”
(Warning: contains spoilers.)
1. Funerals for a Friend
It’s a clever juxtaposition of the funerals of Agent Weeks (the agent that committed suicide under the influence of the Cuckoos) and Dreamer. Here are two people that took very different paths in life, one who embraced her mutant makeup, the other who wanted to exterminate mutants. Yet, the similarities in eulogies for the fallen, given by Jace Turner and Polaris respectively, could not be more similar, with themes of truth to oneself and the desire to fight evil. Two very different folk are, in the end, very much alike.
2. Triple Threat
Of course the Underground is rather skeptical of the Cuckoos’ offer for collaboration to continue to take down Dr. Campbell’s program: Cuckoo #1 (Esme) mutinied against the main plan to take down Sentinel Services, controlled minds, and caused more death and destruction than everyone was comfortable with in the first place. And who is to say that the Cuckoo Trio wouldn’t turn again on their allies? You can’t deny that the triplets have money (thanks to their mysterious benefactor who wants them to rebuild the Hellfire Club), powers far beyond even the combined work of the Strucker twins, and political connections (one of them infiltrated an anti-mutant politician’s campaign). As Clarice says, half the camp thinks they’re the savior for the mutants, the other half thinks they’re the scariest threat to the mutant cause.
3. Movin’ Out (The Struckers’ Song)
Perhaps the biggest fallout from the introduction of the Cuckoos is the decision by the Strucker parents to leave the camp, Reed and Caitlin are, in Lauren’s words, “freaked out” with Esme pitting Underground members against the family for just even talking to Sentinel Services. While Andy grumpily goes along with his parents’ wishes, Lauren’s aware of what Clarice learned very early on in her mutant life, as we see in the opening flashback: running away from your problems doesn’t always solve them. Lauren, you’re pretty close to 18. Just emancipate yourself. That smile on your face when you have one last night out Wes (her mutant crush from a few episodes back) is proof you are where you need to be.
4. The Changes of Motherhood
Now this is something I would love to see explored in the second season: body changes and their effect on mutant powers. Polaris is seeing changes in her own powers as her pregnancy progresses, she’s finding strong powers with less effort. And she’s still early in her pregnancy; what happens when she hits that second or third trimester? Lauren’s pretty much out of puberty at this point, but Andy still looks to be in the thick of it. How will his powers change as he matures?
5. Overtaken and Under Siege
Dr. Campbell may have lost his hold on the Strucker kids, but that didn’t stop him from developing some new toys – – mutants that can plan a silent siege against the Underground with even more powerful counterattacks when their bloodstreams are intertwined via a capsule that links them, just like the Strucker kids when they hold hands. Remember when Dr. Campbell said he “got what he needed” from the Strucker kids? This was the result. The powers are too strong for the Underground to take on . . . but guess who comes in to save the day? If you’re thinking a blond hive mind, you’re very much right. The gesture is enough to bring the Mutant Underground around to assist the Cuckoos in taking down the Hounds, and while their benefactor isn’t thrilled with how his ladies got there, the ends justified the means.