The Gifted definitely delivered a winter finale with a spectacular cliffhanger. One key question was answered, for the most part, while introducing something which could redefine the series entirely.
So let’s talk about Esme (Skyler Samuels) as she appears to represent a third faction in the struggle between mutants and humans. Or, at the very least, she and her sisters have their own agenda. It’s possible they are the Hellfire Club’s current roster — as we know that organization exists — or they could be the Mutant Liberation Front. We also know Agent Turner (Coby Bell) was investigating various mutant groups and only began his narrow focus on the Mutant Underground after the Strucker incident. So far, these other groups have been silent, but perhaps Esme had an objective to learn about the Strucker children while freeing her sisters from Trask.
But that’s a big assumption to make. Given what we see on screen, Esme’s only concern was reunited with her siblings. And she’s been willing to play everyone against everyone else to accomplish that goal. Nonetheless, it’s difficult to say whether her concern was merely familial or the need to be connected to their combined power once again. Considering the results, it may be the latter.
Meanwhile, let’s say a fond farewell to Dreamer (Elena Satine). For so long, it was easy to assume she was some sort of mole or third faction as her power allowed her to rewrite memory, but it seems she had a good heart in the end. Which only made it more of a shame that Campbell shot straight through it in his attempt to goad Lauren and Andy into becoming Fenris. Blink (Jaime Chung) even managed to forgive her before the end, in her own way. Hopefully, the team will get a moment to honor her before the next crisis blindsides them.
That said, there’s one crisis I’m just about done with on this show: Lorna (Emma Dumont) and Marcos (Sean Teale). They started so strong, but so much of their conflict feels like familiar TV melodrama. They’re always at odds and they always use the baby as a wedge. I suppose it’s meant to set up Lorna leaving the group for whatever third faction Esme and the Cuckoos represent, but it’s still a grating off-note. Which is a shame as we know both actors are capable of good performances on this show. But reuniting them so quickly has left them without a worthwhile narrative. And should Lorna leave the group, it will feel like a repeat of her imprisonment.
Then again, repeating bad ideas is a theme of the show. Example: Caitlin and Reed’s (Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker) appeal to Agent Turner. It was so circular that Caitlin even had to comment on the time her role in the scene was revered with Turner. It also brings the Struckers back to a conventional way of thinking. I suppose that’s truthful as we’re all creatures of habit. And considering where it led, it was a successful use of the system for once. Or at least as successful as it could be with Esme’s interference. And it leads us into our linger questions for the winter break:
- Now that his team has been decimated, will Turner become an even more fervent reactionary or switch sides? We were told repeatedly this week that he’s a good man. Will it lead to him helping the Underground?
- Which faction does Esme represent? As said up top, the Hellfire Club is a good guess considering the Cuckoos’ connection to Emma Frost. But in the comics, she was aligned with the Brotherhood. Could it turn out that they’re still around?
- How did Lauren and Andy’s demonstration provide Campbell with the missing key he need to solve “our mutant problem forever?”
- While we’re on the topic, how did these sibling bonds come about?
- Considering Trask had the adamantium room, what else did they find in the abandoned Weapon X facility?
The Gifted returns January 1st on FOX.