The Gifted recap: Meet the Morlocks
There’s a lot of things happening in this episode, but the focal point is the reunion between Marcos and Lorna — which is also Marcos’ first meeting with baby Dawn. Before we get there, though, things kick off with a look at why this family estrangement affects Marcos so deeply. Six years ago, back when Marcos was still working for the cartel, he visited his dying father in a Catholic hospital. Daddy Diaz was clearly no fan of mutants and berated Marcos for using his powers for the cartel. But Marcos had a bigger complaint — namely that his father abandoned him when he needed him the most.
In the present day, it’s Marcos’ turn to be on the other side of the equation. As last week’s cliffhanger ending made clear, baby Dawn is sick. Apparently, she has jaundice, but the typically-prescribed light therapy isn’t making her any better. This leads the Inner Circle doctors to conclude that Marcos’ powers might be the only thing capable of saving his daughter. The Cuckoos really aren’t in favor of bringing a Mutant Underground member to their home base, but Reeva at least understands that Dawn’s well-being is the only thing keeping Lorna in line. She dispatches the telepathic triplets to collect Marcos and bring him in.
Marcos and Lorna aren’t the only ones having relationship drama this week. Two of the show’s other couples (Reed-Caitlin and Blink-Thunderbird) are also having trouble telling each other the truth. Despite Blink’s insistence, John still hasn’t opened up to her about the stress he’s under or the worries that inspire him to get out of bed in the middle of the night and go punch a wall until his hands bleed. But who knows, maybe an underground excursion to meet the Morlocks will help with that!
Reed, meanwhile, still hasn’t told his family about his resurgent mutant powers; he’d much rather just lie to Caitlin and say he had to move the filing cabinet rather than admit he destroyed it with a single touch. But once he heads out on a medical supply run with Lauren, he can’t deny it anymore. While driving, Reed’s red-energy powers suddenly manifest and destroy the steering wheel, causing their car to crash. Luckily there are no fatalities, but a line has been crossed — and now two Struckers are alone in the wilderness without a getaway car.
NEXT: Family reunion
When Thunderbird and Blink finally locate the Morlock leader Erg, he asks to speak to Blink alone. His reason for this soon becomes obvious: Unlike her boyfriend, Blink is a “visible mutant.” Her mutant power manifests not just in her portal-making power, but in her green eyes and purple hair and elfin ears. She’s been lucky to find friends; others, like one woman Erg points to whose echolocation powers inspired fanatical Purifiers to literally cut out her vocal chords, have not fared so well amongst humans. This, then, is a different kind of “mutant underground.” These Morlocks are not just referring to a figurative “underground railroad” to spirit refugees to safety. No, they literally only feel safe in muck-filled sewage tunnels.
Erg has information the Mutant Underground wants about the Hellfire Club, but he requires something in return: Blink must be his eyes and ears in the surface world. Thus begins a bit of role reversal; after a few weeks of John keeping secrets from her, it’s now Blink’s turn to keep a secret from him.
Meanwhile, Reed and Lauren’s crash attracts the attention of our old friend Jace Turner, who is not ready to retire to a quiet life as the good husband. After happening on the crash site, Jace sees Reed and Lauren fleeing. But when he tries to inform local police of these mutant fugitives, he gets laughed out of the building. Everyone still believes that his incompetence killed all those people in Atlanta. It’ll be funny to watch this guy squirm for a while, but I also fear his wrath whenever he gets back in action.
As I said up top, the crux of this episode is the Lorna-Marcos reunion — and beyond the reunion, Marcos’ first meeting with his daughter! The scene of him cradling the baby and healing her with his sunlight is incredibly beautiful…which makes it unsurprising when Marcos resists being torn away from her. He literally overpowers the Cuckoos’ telepathy and burns them when they try to force him out. Only Reeva’s power, with its ability to unsettle mutants’ bodies, is enough to defeat Marcos…for now, anyway. When he finally stumbles back to John and Blink’s apartment, Marcos has only one thing on his mind: Revenge.
Now it’s time for the return of episode superlatives!
Coolest use of superpowers: Marcos using his sunlight to heal his baby. Marcos and Lorna dominated this category last season, and they’ve still got it.
Dumbest Reed move: Denying the existence of his mutant powers to his daughter even after melting the steering wheel in front of her eyes. Luckily he comes clean to Caitlin and Lauren by the end of the episode, but it sure took him a while!
Most impossible choice: I’m giving this to Lorna for maintaining her family separation. As much as she clearly loves Marcos, she is still staving off their permanent reunion in favor of the mutant utopia she believes the Hellfire Club is building. But if Marcos is right that the Cuckoos are manipulating her, maybe she’ll make a different choice before all is said and done…