WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the first season of Fox’s The Gifted.
Fox’s X-Men drama The Gifted, has slowly revealed itself to be about something greater than what viewers may have initially believed. What began simply enough as the Strucker family seeking to protect their mutant children from the government agents who pursued them has gradually transformed into a supervillain origin story for Lorna Dane, aka Polaris. In Monday night’s Season 1 finale, she finally embraced the legacy of her father Magneto and joined with the rekindled Hellfire Club, effectively filling the void left by his mysterious disappearance. With one side of TV show’s philosophical debate now with its own Magneto, that means the other side — the Mutant Underground — needs a Professor Xavier.
But rather than Caitlin Strucker (Amy Acker), who ensured the Mutant Underground provides a school for the children and opposed Lorna’s more militant leanings, that role has been filled by none other than Polaris’ boyfriend Marcos Diaz, aka Eclipse (Sean Teale). A character created for The Gifted, Marcos has been part of the group’s leadership — alongside Emma Dumont’s Lorna and Blair Redford’s John Proudstar — since the first episode. Possessing the mutant ability to absorb photons and project light from his fingertips, Eclipse has been compared by creator Matt Nix to Wolverine, as far as his attitude goes. But while that’s true in some aspects, Marcos better represents the X-Men’s founder rather than its wild card.
There are numerous differences between Xavier and Marcos, with the latter resorting to work for a Mexican cartel after being rejected by his family as a child, the most important element they share is that they’re devoted to ensuring peace between humans and mutants. It’s Eclipse who brings the Struckers into the Mutant Underground, and who must repeatedly defend their presence there. But while he initially helped them in hopes of freeing Lorna from Sentinel Services, it’s easy to infer that Marcos sees in the loving family something he was denied, yet could still have.
With Lorna serving as The Gifted‘s Magneto analog, Marcos becoming its Professor X continues the tradition of tragic lovers on both sides of the mutant/human divide. Thanks to Fox’s X-Men movie prequels, it’s difficult not to see Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr as star-crossed. The same is true for Marcos and Lorna.
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