WARNING: This article contains spoilers for The Gifted’s latest episode, “3 X 1.”
On Fox, The Gifted has been focused on telling a compelling stories with the characters it, frankly, has at its disposal. Thanks to the films, the available X-characters are somewhat imbed, so the X-Men drama hasn’t been shy about using classic elements from the comics, as either Easter eggs or actual plot points. From a mention of the indesctructible metal alloy Adamantium to the introduction of Dr. Campbell’s Hounds, there have been many nods to X-Men mythology.
Now, in the latest episode of the series, “3 X 1,” we got another namedrop — albeit one that is very significant to X-Men fans, and rife with storytelling potential.
In the eighth episode of The Gifted‘s first season, “threat of eXtinction,” viewers were introduced to a new mutant, a refugee who joined the Underground looking for help and protection. Immediately, longtime X-Men readers started wondering who this mysterious blonde telepath could be. Suspicions were heightened when she revealed her name: Esme. This seemed to be all the confirmation we needed to know that Esme was one of the Stepford Cuckoos. But would her sisters show up? Would The Gifted really go full Cuckoo?
We got our answer in the midseason finale of the series, “eXploited,” when Esme’s plan came to fruition and she was able to free her two sisters, Sophie and Phoebe, from Sentinel Services. The three were reunited, their powers combined and their hive mind on full display. But it was still unclear whether the three Stepford Cuckoos were friend or foe.
When the series returned from its midseason hiatus with its most recent episode, “3 X 1,” we learned a whole lot more about the three duplicitous sisters. The most noteworthy revelation is their last name. Although they currently use Cuckoo as their surname, their actual surname is Frost. As in, Emma Frost.
The namedrop is considerable because it confirms the existence of Emma Frost in The Gifted‘s X-universe. It also seemingly confirms that the Stepford Cuckoos’ comic book origins made the transition to the small screen. In the comics, the Cuckoos were clones of Emma, clones the powerful telepath eventually comes to treat as daughters. The sisters were both villainous and heroic, and they eventually found a real home among the X-Men. Like their mother, they have been both ally and enemy to the X-Men. – could this be what The Gifted has in store for the Cuckoos?
We have no idea if Emma Frost is still alive in The Gifted‘s reality, or if she has gone missing like the X-Men and the Brotherhood. But with her daughters on the series, the chances of seeing Emma have just increased a hundredfold. With Phoebe, Sophie and Esme now all working for a resurgent Hellfire Club, a villainous organization that Emma Frost has long been associated with, it seems entirely possible.
Whatever the series has planned for the Frost sisters, they appear to be the biggest comic book addition on The Gifted, and their arrival may signal even bigger things to come.
The Gifted concludes its first season on Fox Jan. 15 with a two-hour finale.
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