Caitlin tries to prove to Erg that humans aren't all bad, while Polaris races to stop a mutant terrorist attack
All through season 2 so far, The Gifted has been trying to demonstrate that the dividing lines between humans and mutants is not nearly as hard and fast as some characters think. This episode definitely does the best job of that, thanks to a focus on the Morlock leader Erg.
Our opening flashback for this week elaborates on the betrayal Erg mentioned to the mutants in the last episode. Back in the early days of the Mutant Underground, he and Evangeline were betrayed by a human ally, resulting in a mutant massacre that inspired Erg to split off and form the mutant-only community of Morlocks. One thing Erg didn’t mention to John and the others, though, is that this human betrayer was Erg’s lover. As we see here, she was caught by Sentinel Services and forced to act as an informant, which she did thinking that sacrificing some mutants to the authorities would allow her and Erg to live in peace. The only problem is this proposal revolts Erg; we see him retreat into the tunnels, refusing to ever have anything to do with humans.
In the present day, we see how hard that vow is to keep. Erg has finally convinced Blink to join the Morlocks after seeking to recruit her all season; her colorful eyes and hair are exactly the kind of visible mutant characteristics that he prizes in Morlocks. However, Blink has spent so much time with human friends and allies that it was only a matter of time until her presence disturbed the Morlocks’ “No Humans Allowed” clubhouse rules. Sure enough, on Blink’s very first supply raid, the mutant Glow gets shot by police. Remember her? She was one of the mutants freed from the mental institute; thanks to her light-based powers, she and Marcos have gotten along pretty well, and almost kissed one time until Marcos remembered just how in love he is with Polaris. Anyway, she’s been shot now, and a desperate Blink turns to the only person she knows who can help: Caitlin Strucker.
Once she’s been Blinked into the Morlock tunnels, Caitlin soon realizes that she needs the same kind of platelet medicine she used to help Marcos’ injury way back at the beginning of the show. In other words, she needs to return to the clinic. Erg, already furious at Caitlin’s presence in the Morlock tunnels, doesn’t want her to come on the raid, thinking she’ll just drag him and Blink down. But Caitlin has been fighting alongside mutants long enough to handle herself, and besides, she’s the only one with the right pharmacist knowledge. So the three of them head out.
While Caitlin is gone, Reed and Lauren discuss the Struckers’ music box. Reed tells his daughter that he too was drawn to it in his youth, and that she should be careful with it. But Lauren, tempted by Andy’s Frost-powered calls to her and alienated by Benedict Ryan’s anti-mutant broadcasts, decides to run away from home. It’s a classic “Parents Just Don’t Understand” situation. From what Lauren can tell, her parents just don’t understand what it’s like to have a genetic connection with your brother that can give you both the power to flatten cities.
NEXT: Things blow up
The thing is, Reed does understand. Or at least, he understands the temptation of the music box and the difficulty of struggling with the massive mutant power that is the Struckers’ birthright. Since Reed is an only child, I’m really interested in how his powers compare to Fenris. Did he just inherit his father’s nuclear-like powers? I’m fascinated by the Fenris mythology and am a little bummed to see Reed curtail Lauren’s research into the subject, but it’s clearly best for her. She’s able to resist Andy’s temptation, leaving her brother and the Cuckoos standing on a roof without her.
Naturally, Caitlin’s clinic raid hits some bumps in the road, because nothing is ever easy on this show. A few Purifiers show up to shoot them, but Erg blasts most of them with this eye laser. Even Caitlin manages to shoot one guy down, proving that her tough talk wasn’t just for show. Soon, they get what they need and head back.
While they’ve been gone, Marcos has been keeping Glow alive with blood transfusions, since they both have blood that glows with light. Glow clearly still has a crush on Marcos, and it’s been amplified by the fact that he’s literally keeping her alive. But when she tries to make the conversation romantic or personal, he gets a call from Polaris, and it’s clear where his heart really lies. It seems Polaris’ spying has aroused the suspicion of Max, the figurehead of the explosive ex-con trio. She’s able to ward him off with a badass speech about being Magneto’s daughter, but she’s not sure how to stop him and his team from blowing up the important U.S. government buildings that they are clearly training to attack.
Caitlin and them make it back in one piece, and Erg rewards her for saving Glow’s life by making her an honorary Morlock. No, really: He paints an ‘M’ on her face instead of branding it. It’s cute.
Once Glow is taken care of, Marcos goes out to save his real love. We see Max drive his car for a solo alcohol run, but when he gets back in the car, Marcos is in the backseat, holding a burning hand to the other mutant’s face. He tells Max to take them for a drive, but instead Max pulls a gun. We pull to the outside of the car, where we see the edges of some mutant battle going on inside; there are sounds of bullets being fired, and the clear sight of Marcos’ sun blasts radiating around. I was really worried for a second there that Marcos might be dead, and he certainly isn’t in good shape when he staggers out of the car holding his wounded side. But it’s an extremely “you should see the other guy” situation, because then the car blows up with Max still inside. So on the one hand, it looks like Marcos has stopped any potential terrorist attacks against the U.S. government. On the other hand, I hope he doesn’t die!