Annette Brown/FOX
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November 06, 2018 at 09:00 PM EST

As an X-Men fan, one thing I really love about The Gifted is how it weaves in all these threads from X-Men comic history that I never in a million years expected to see on TV, while still making sure the nerdy callbacks don’t distract from the main story. This episode, in particular, reveals some important, comic-accurate backstory for my favorite characters on this whole dang show: The Frost sisters, a.k.a the Cuckoos.

As we’ve been doing a lot this season, this episode opens with a flashback. We see Esme and her sisters collared, ordered by some sadistic human doctor to read the minds of their fellow mutant prisoners. We won’t get the full impact of this scene until later in the episode, but in general, it’s a good reminder that many of the mutants involved in the Hellfire Club have already experienced the worst that humans can offer, so maybe their violent attitudes aren’t totally unfounded.

In the present, we get a look at the Cuckoos’ room, with their three beds arranged ingeniously in the center like the spokes of a wheel. Esme’s sisters are berating her for making them wear “last season’s look” again in order to cover the burn scar she got from Marcos, but soon there are more pressing matters at hand. While Andy and Rebecca are hitting it off and developing a cute relationship, Lorna is growing increasingly frustrated at Reeva’s secrecy. The Inner Circle’s mutants are being put through repeated Danger Room simulations, testing their abilities against holographic SWAT teams and the like, without Reeva ever explaining why such preparation might be necessary. Why, for that matter, is Rebecca necessary to this mission? Lorna is used to being a leader of the Mutant Underground, not being left in the dark.

Reeva stays tight-lipped, but Esme eventually sees Lorna’s point and takes her to see their target: A bank. Now, see, here’s another reason I love The Gifted: It connects its characters and their struggles to real-life history. At this point, it might be second only to Black Lightning in that regard. Esme connects this bank with mutant-flavored versions of ‘70s Latin American military dictatorships and ‘90s drug epidemics. Everything seems to be going fine until Esme and Lorna get back to base, and the Cuckoo starts humming a tune Lorna recognizes as the lullaby she sings to her baby. Taking this as evidence that the Frost’s have been inside Dawn’s head, Lorna starts choking Esme with her own necklace, stopping only once Reeva breaks in and activates her power. Lorna is, obviously, extremely pissed off. So what do Reeva and the other two Frosts want to do about it? Why, control her telepathically, of course! I’m sure that will go great. If there’s one thing magnetic-powered mutants love, it’s being affected by another mutant’s telepathy.

NEXT: Something shatters

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