Good thing we had a X-Break last week. Lordy, there was a lot to digest. Andreas and Andrea von Strucker are related to Reed! Oh, and Reed’s dad has mutant powers! And so did Reed until Dad gave him some experimental drug to make them go away! The question now facing our dramatis personae and all us viewers: with all this new information, where does The Family Strucker and The Mutant Underground go from here? Plus there’s going to be some other mutants in peril too, most likely. Let’s see if everyone can out-fox their troubles in “outfoX.”
(Warning: contains spoilers)
1. The Sins of the Father Do Not Pass to the Son
From the flashbacks in the cold open, one senses the Strucker marriage had its fair share of tension due to Reed working long hours. To see them bond over having absent parents and the missed time they had with them (Caitlin and her mother didn’t have the greatest of relationships until mother fell ill) reaffirms their bond, and a vow not to be that same kind of parent to their own kids: no more secrets. Meanwhile, Andy and Lauren find out about their own Strucker ancestors and the extent of their powers, and it certainly spooks Lauren. They (inadvertently) discovered a year ago something happens when they clasp hands, and no doubt that moment is in the back of her mind with this discovery. She does not want to repeat history, even though being a combined force with her brother never made her feel so alive.
2. “Best Girls’ Night Ever”
It’s Mutant Underground Ladies’ Night at the Trask Industries Bar! Polaris and Dreamer go on a little recon mission to find out more about Trask, chatting up a security guard in the process. From the look on Dreamer’s face, they’re mixing work and play and loving it. Even when they get in a bit of a pickle when Polaris’s power rears its head thanks to some choice comments from the guard, they recover quickly and just convince Agent Turner that the massive headache the next day was one too many vodka sodas and his head meeting the urinal. Polaris was right: “best girls’ night ever.”
3. The Telepath Who Knew Too Much
No doubt Polaris needed that night out after a very violent nightmare about Marcos and her unborn child trapped at Trask Industries that also leaves their bedroom looking like a 5.2 on the Richter Scale. The moment convinces her that the team needs to get into Trask, but Esme, the new telepath to the Underground we met two weeks ago when the Underground rescued her refugee group, was lurking outside their room. Does Esme’s telepath power allow her to read minds and leave a little souvenir (a la Dreamer) or just eavesdropping? My guess is the latter, but it would be interesting to explore the possibility of a mutant having more than one special power. It’s important to note that in the comics, Esme was one of the Stepford Cuckoos, and the one that broke with the rest of the pack to get what she wanted. Not surprising that she’s trying to bend the rest of the Underground to her will, then.
4. “We’re Doing This Because We Trust You”
It took nine episodes, but I think we can safely say that Caitlin Strucker has finally gotten over that lingering case of Helicopter Parent Flu she’s had since day one. Maybe it was the realization that the X Gene did not find the family randomly, which left her asking the age-old question of “if I knew then what I know now . . . what would I have done differently?” Maybe it was seeing the combined force of her children’s powers and their description of what that felt like for them that scared her straight. Maybe it was a little of both. We’ll probably never know, but it’s refreshing to see her recognize how much the mutant experience has matured Andy and Lauren, and giving them the freedom to, oh, take down a large building with the force of their hands, even thought it’s her worst nightmare.
5. If You Can’t Take Sitting at the Adult Table…Go Back to the Kids’ TableContinued below
Being treated like an adult not just means freedom, but consequences. With the other members of the team incapacitated, and Andy’s decision to not combine powers to escape, the kids meet their reckoning with Sentinel Services when the mission to blow up the Trask Industries transformer and break out the remaining mutants goes very wrong. There’s nothing that any of the adults can do to turn this around (that means you too Caitlin). The kids have met their fate for the moment. It’s heartbreaking to see younger Struckers collared and handcuffed; I was hoping they would make it out okay. But you want to run with the adults, you have to accept any and all consequences.