WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Gifted’s two-part season finale, which debuted tonight on Fox.
Lorna Dane’s embrace of a more militant philosophy shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s watched the first season of Fox’s The Gifted, as she’s long displayed a willingness to use her powers against anyone who threatens her, her friends in the Mutant Underground, or her unborn child. But even as her mutant abilities have increased, so has the influence of the manipulative telepaths the Stepford Cuckoos, who in tonight’s two-hour finale gave Polaris the push she needed to take drastic action against Dr. Roderick Campbell, head of the Hound Program, and his ally in the U.S. Senate. The ramifications promise to be far-ranging.
The Gifted creator Matt Nix has long teased that Polaris would become aware that, just like in the comic books, Magneto is her father. Esme Cuckoo (Skyler Samuels) begins to connect those dots for viewers, even as Lorna dismisses the talk of her father’s identity — and his role as a king of the original Hellfire Club — as little more than gossip. But in the opening flashback of the season’s final hour, we’re introduced to Lorna (Emma Dumont) four years ago, during her incarceration at a mental hospital, where she uses her magnetism-manipulating powers to play with a magenta medallion that looks strikingly similar to Magneto’s emblem. Asked about it by a nurse, Lorna dismisses it as, “Just a gift I got a long time ago, from someone my mom knew.” The similarity to Pietro Maximoff’s line in X-Men: Days of Future Past — “You know, my mom once knew a guy who could do that” — is difficult to miss.
As so much of importance on The Gifted is introduced first in flashbacks — the Hellfire Club, the Purifiers, Sen. Montez — we could be all but certain that, by the end of the episode, Polaris would embrace her heritage. It was only a matter of how, and perhaps why. The latter is provided by the botched attempt by the Mutant Underground and the Cuckoos to kidnap Dr. Campbell from an anti-mutant conference.
Using the “terrorist attack” to his advantage, Campbell leaves with the like-minded Sen. Montez, intent on flying to Washington, D.C., to secure the necessary support to expand the Hound Program nationwide. The Cuckoos are determined to stop that from happening, and they reach out to Lorna as an ally. “Campbell has to be eliminated,” probably-Esme tells Polaris as one of the Hellfire Club’s swanky safe houses. “One way or the other, someone has to make some hard choices here. […] Whether you like it or not, you’re like your father.”
Although Lorna again shrugs off talk of her father as little more than rumors, Esme calls her bluff: “Lorna, I’m a telepath. I know that he gave you that medallion for your 13th birthday. All he ever wanted was for you to be proud of who you are. You know what has to be done here, don’t you?”
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