Polaris instructs the younger mutants as Eclipse stages another break-in
This was a big episode for the Strucker family, who finally had some real conversations after the whirlwind of the last few weeks. And even though the mutants have celebrated some big victories in recent weeks, some of the chess pieces moving in the background here suggest that there’s a lot worse to come.
Things certainly didn’t get off to a good start. Having determined that a certain federal building in Baton Rouge has information on how the Sentinels turned Pulse into their mindless drone, John Proudstar goes to ask Blink if she can portal them in. But Clarice is sick of being used as a tool. She’s still mad that Dreamer put a fake memory in her head without her consent, and she’s even more mad that John didn’t tell her about it immediately. But worst of all is the fact that, despite the deception, there might still be some real tension developing between these two. When Blink asks about that, John says that “it’s complicated,” prompting her to portal away completely.
So, a new solution is needed! That’s when Andy comes in, saying that with his telekinesis he can break them into the building through a back wall. Reed and Caitlin are extremely squeamish about letting their kids near danger, but as Andy points out, the kids and adults are equally at risk if the operation is discovered by Sentinel Services.
Andy and Lauren aren’t the only powerful kids around, either. With the Sentinel crackdown in full swing, more and more Mutant Underground bases are being raided, forcing a flood of refugees to the few that remain. So the main base of our crew is now way past capacity, with more coming in by the day. That includes a number of young people, like Wes, who can create powerful illusions, and a young woman who can manipulate water. Polaris decides to put these powers to use and train the kids in how to use them. Her blunt tactics (literally throwing hammers and saws at the kids, forcing them to use their powers to survive) don’t go over well with Caitlin, who’s trying to put together enough school supplies to create some kind of normalcy at the headquarters. But of course, Polaris is eventually proven right when those kids’ powers are needed to save everyone’s skins from the Sentinels.
But before we get to the episode’s final confrontation, we get some mythology building. As John puts up some concrete blocks to reinforce the headquarters’ defenses, he confesses his feelings of failure to Dreamer. He thinks he failed Blink, just like he failed Dreamer, and says the X-Men made a mistake choosing him to help lead the Underground. Dreamer reminds him that the X-Men said a war was coming before they vanished. But as John notes, they never said who would win that war. (Recap continues on page 2)
I mean, forget fighting a war. Just surviving this dystopian world is hard enough, as Marcos, Reed, and Andy learn once again while on their truck to Baton Rouge. The driver’s name is apparently on a Sentinel list, so a cop pulls them over and asks to inspect the back of the truck. Marcos puts his sun powers to new use, sucking all the light out of the room to make them invisible, but it obviously takes a huge toll on him. They can’t keep skating through by the skin of their teeth, can they?
Not if Jace Turner has anything to say about it. After having his brain broken by Dreamer last week (essentially forcing him to process the death of his young daughter TWICE), the erstwhile Sentinel agent is nonetheless determined to keep coming into work. When one of his coworkers tries to stop him, reminding him he shouldn’t be at work, Jace responds, “Where else would I go?” This is a great window into the minds of people like this. They’ll project their pain onto other people and spend all their waking hours determining ways to hurt and torture strangers, just so they don’t have to deal with the gaping void in their own soul.
We see this reach fruition when Jace calls on Dr. Roderick Campbell to help get him reinstated at Sentinel. We still know next to nothing about this creepy doctor, though the fact that he makes even Jace squeamish should be an indication of his evil. The fact that he’s so interested in the Strucker twins (information on them is his price for helping Jace) can’t possibly be good.
Thanks to Andy’s telekinesis, Reed and Marcos are able to break into the building and get the info they need without much incident. It’s the journey back that poses problems, as they’re headed straight for a giant police roadblock. That’s where Polaris and her little team of Secret Warriors come in. Standing on a nearby rooftop, Polaris helps block the cops’ bullets while Lauren uses her shields to help the truck ride over the roadblock. Then, after they break through, Wes hides the real truck and sends two illusion-trucks in different directions to confuse the pursuers.
Teamwork makes the dream work! But, of course, there are still prices to be paid, and the episode ends with Carmen calling in her favor from Marcos. Like I said, worse things are on their way…
Coolest power use: Marcos sucking all the light into himself — are you kidding me? I’m starting to think his sun powers might be the coolest ones on this entire show, which is doubly astounding since he’s an original character.
Dumbest Reed move: Acting so squeamish about his son’s powers definitely counts, but good on Reed for finally finding a way to communicate with his son by the end of the episode.
Most impossible choice: In a shocker, this superlative goes to none other than Jace this episode. He wants his job back so badly that he promises the Strucker children to the creepy Dr. Campbell, despite his obvious discomfort at doing so.