The latest happenings in the series using leftover X-Men to surprisingly good effect (except in this episode.)
The episode starts with another flashback. Guess that’s going to be a regular thing this season. We go back 16 years to Reed and Caitlin Strucker in a doctor’s office, learning it will be extremely dangerous to carry Caitlin’s pregnancy to term. Caitlin refuses to terminate the pregnancy, convinced she and the child will survive and her son will become someone special. They both lived but, unfortunately, she ended up with Andy.
Reed, Caitlin, and Lauren discuss Andy and how he and Lauren together can unleash a lot of power. Lauren says her dreams are telling her she needs to bring Andy home.
Eclipse tells the Struckers that after his time with the Hellfire Club last episode he’s convinced Andy is a believer in their cause. The Mutant Underground agrees to try to learn more about the group with the help of Wire, that guy with the genetic mutation to manipulate data on the internet.
Before the group leaves to find Wire, Reed tells Thunderbird about his powers and his difficulty controlling them. Thunderbird says he needs training because his abilities are linked to his “deepest emotions” and anything Reed does to suppress them will fail.
It seems like the same powers pass down through the Strucker family. So does Reed have Lauren’s abilities, Andy’s, or both? We’ll find out at some point, I’m sure.
As Eclipse, Thunderbird, and Blink walk up to the place they previously found Wire, someone inside fires a shotgun. Thunderbird takes three shotgun shells to the chest but they don’t seem to faze him. It turns out this is Wire’s brother named… Scrap. The Frost triplets visited their shop and forced Wire to shoot himself in the head because of their connection to the Mutant Underground, so it doesn’t seem like Scrap’s excited by the idea of helping them out. The trio knocks him out and takes him back to their home base.
Jace is sitting on the edge of his motel bed, looking at the half a dozen text messages his wife ignored because of his obsession with finding “justice” for the daughter they lost. He starts a web search for a marriage counselor but is interrupted by a phone call. A cop who heard what he said to the sergeant about mutant attacks wants to speak to him one-on-one. They agree to meet at a diner.
Scrap is being held captive, and he tells Eclipse and Reed and Caitlin that the Frost triplets visited their shop and forced Wire to shoot himself in the head because of their connection to the Mutant Underground. He also has the completely plausible genetic ability to hack into computer networks but refuses to help after what happened to his brother.
Reed and Caitlin plead with him, saying they want to save their son, but Scrap tells them that for all he cares Reeva can eat him, which I didn’t realize was on the table. Eclipse, angry, grabs him and threatens to melt his skull. When threats don’t get them anywhere, Caitlin thinks to use his addiction to the mutant drug Kick against him. He grabs a serum that will counteract the drug and cause immediate, painful withdrawal.
Scrap is clearly in torture and is ordered to look at a hospital network to find what the Hellfire Club is planning. He finds a backdoor system that went into emergency mode 12 minutes ago, revealing that the Hellfire Club plan is already in action. Eclipse, Thunderbird, Blink, and Lauren drive off to stop them.
Jace finally gets in touch with his wife Paula, only for her to tell him she’s leaving him because he won’t let go of his vendetta. A pretty depressing scene all in all.
Scrap can barely function, so Kaitlin offers him an undiluted version of Kick of he helps. Reed is horrified that she’s willing to addict him to the drug again after forcing instant detox, but Scrap accepts the deal. He’s given a dose that makes him more powerful than ever, helping him access security cameras showing the hospital is on lockdown and that Polaris and the Frosts are there.
Reed radios that the Hellfire Club took down the guards and are rounding up staff. Eclipse and Lauren stand guard at the hospital’s entrance, while Blink and Thunderbird teleport inside. They end up in something akin to a mental ward, with mutant patients locked in their rooms and heavily sedated.
Lauren insists to Eclipse that she can get through to Andy, but he tells her that when Reeva attacked Andy just stood there, watching. Lauren insists that he was probably scared and that she can get through to him
Jade meets up with the cop, who shows his tattoo signaling he’s in a hate group called the Purifiers. The cop says they’re just, “Regular folk who love their species, country, families.” Jace doesn’t want to be involved in that kind of thing, but still takes the cop’s contact info.
Everything inside and outside the hospital start rumbling, and Lauren knows Andy’s there. Reed informs Thunderbird and Blink he and the others are in the maximum security area. To maintain access to the hospital Caitlin injects Scrap with even more Kick.
Thunderbird sees Polaris and calls out to her. She turns around, but only to use her magnetic powers to unlock the doors of all the crazed mutants, forcing Thunderbird and Blink to keep them safe while members of the Hellfire Club escape with a patient.
TB sees Lorna, calls out to her. She comes back, TB tries to reach out, but Lorna just uses magnetic powers to let crazy mutants out of their rooms and leaves. They’re killing each other,
Scrap starts convulsing, he’s dying of an overdose.
Eclipse and Lauren see the car with Andy and Polaris in it. Lauren stops it in its place with her force field, leading Andy to get out and look at her angrily. He overpowers her shield and knocks Lauren and Eclipse back. For a moment he hesitates, showing some actual empathy for the sister he knocked out, before getting back in the vehicle so his team can drive up.
Scrap starts convulsing, dying of an overdose. Caitlin jumpstarts his heart with defibrillators and confirms he’ll be okay. Reed is horrified by what she did, and what Lauren is trying to bring Andy home to. They watch on a TV handcuffed doctors clearly forced to give a statement about performing unlawful experiments and committing “war crimes.” Jace sees the same news from his motel room and calls the hate group because of course he does
Things get worse when Thunderbird informs Reed and Caitlin that Lauren is unconscious. Upon learning that Reed feels his powers breaking through again. He swallows a handful of pills to hold them back but it’s only a matter of time before that won’t be an option anymore.
So the question now is who is that mysterious patient the Hellfire Club captured, and where do they go from here? FOX informs viewers that The Gifted will returns in two weeks, after the World Series, which reminds me how much I want an episode of mutants playing baseball like the X-Men in the Claremont run.
This is easily my least favorite episode of the season, focused on the confrontation between the two sides at the Hospital and sacrificing character moments. Jace’s relationship with his wife, and their storyline that showed genuine depth ended with a whimper. Hopefully, future episodes slow things down and remind us why we like the characters instead of simply show things happening to them. We’ll see if they do in a couple weeks.