Happy Halloween! It took a few tricks last week, but our mutant militia got a big treat and got Reed and Lorna to safety. One obstacle down, but there’s no such thing as downtime in Mutant Land. Will our heroes find the Great Pumpkin in this week’s episode or a couple of rocks in their trick or treat bags?
(Warning: spoilers within.)
1. Warm and Fuzzy Family Moments Part 1: Cory Booker’s Not-So-Evil Twin
This week, it’s some back story about our favorite U.S. Senate doppelgänger/Sentinel Services agent, Jace Turner. Prior to federal service, he was a Dallas cop and a doting dad, until those dang mutants messed with Texas and his young daughter Grace. It certainly explains his career choices and his desire for revenge against the mutants that took his daughter’s life, but seeing the compassion and love he has for his family makes me wonder if there’s still some love in that heart. Dreamer’s actions during the shakedown of Jace to find out Sentinel’s plans with the mutants have the unintended effect of reliving the loss of Grace, will this change his attitude towards mutants for the near future, and if so, for how long?
(For what it’s worth, I could write an entire post, if not an entire scholarly paper, on the ethical implications of Dreamer’s powers. Any college students looking for a philosophy midterm project, here you go.)
2. Reed’s Trick or Treat bag: “I got a rock.”
Papa Strucker’s may have mutant kids but he’s on par with poor Charlie Brown getting rocks when trick or treating. Johnny’s attitude makes it clear that he was just the free gift with purchase from rescuing Polaris, and he gets a welcome in the form of a punch to the stomach from a mutant that had the Hogwarts honors course in apparition. Like last week, Reed is going to have to work very hard to regain trust, even with the impassioned pleas of the kids. It’s good to see the journey to being what we would call “woke” not tied up in an episode or two. It is a journey that takes time, has missteps, and won’t win everyone over on the first try — no matter how much government intel Reed can feed to the mutants.
3. Warm and Fuzzy Family Moments Part 2: You Are the Father!
Marcos had known he was going to be a dad, but knowing that his baby and her mother are safe gives the family-to-be a few moments of peace and happiness. Notice I said “few.” Cory Booker’s evil twin was in hot pursuit of the mutants with a bun in the oven, leading to a showdown that brings out Polaris’s mama bear instincts and Jace Turner in the grips of his former prisoner to find out just how Pulse turned against his own kind. Here we have two characters with the same goal — love for, and protection of, family — on very opposite sides. Is there room for common ground?
4. They Didn’t Cover This in Health Class
Lauren and Andy thought high school health would be the occasional CPR lesson and maybe some mildly weird but strangely provocative lesson about childbirth. They certainly didn’t expect to be removing bullets and finding serious makeshift surgical complications, but handle both with compassion and calm (more than I ever could)…and more so than their mom. Their mutant powers continue to force them to grow up in new and unusual ways, and convince me that Caitlin Strucker is becoming more and more dispensable by the day.
Reed figures the best way to earn mutant respect is to manipulate the network of cameras to deliberately lead the police to him – in other words, box himself in. (Side note: wouldn’t it have been cool and very effective to have these entire scenes shot in one take, a la the film Birdman?) Just like last week’s plan, it looks good on paper but has some kinks in execution, like a partner who isn’t fully convinced Reed is on the mutants’ side. Meanwhile, Dreamer, Polaris and a whole host of other mutants use their bag of tricks to get Jace to talk about Sentinel plans…and their plans get interrupted by a lot of tear gas. But when pushed agains the wall, both Reed and the mutants deliver the intel they need to each other, and in the case of Reed, gain some of that vitally needed respect.