WARNING: This article contains minor spoilers for this week’s episode of The Gifted, “got your siX,” which premiered Monday, Nov. 6, on Fox.
Much like Professor Xavier trained a new generation of X-Men in Marvel Comics’ The New Mutants, Polaris has assembled her own group of students on Fox’s The Gifted — although not without some controversy.
With raids by Sentinel Services forcing more mutants off the streets and out of safe houses, the Mutant Underground’s once-spacious headquarters is flooded with refugees, many of them teenagers with little understanding of their emerging abilities. In this week’s episode, “got your siX,” Lorna Dane (aka Polaris, played by Emma Dumont) aims to change at least part of that.
Questioned by an incredulous Caitlin Stucker (Amy Acker) about what exactly she intends to train these young mutants for, Polaris replies, “Combat. […] Yeah, they’re being hunted. Seems more relevant than knitting.”
And so she assembles her first four pupils on the ground floor of the former bank: Lauren Strucker (Natalie Alyn Lind), who creates force fields; newcomer Wes (Danny Ramirez), who casts elaborate illusions; homeless teen Skyler, who appears to be able to repel objects; and an unnamed girl with telekinesis or hydrokinesis.
Polaris’ training area isn’t exactly the X-Men’s Danger Room, however; she uses the materials at had. “Just remember,” she instructs her students, “in the real world you’d be playing for keeps, which means we play for keeps in here.”
Standing on the staircase landing, with a box of tools at her feet, she hurls a hammer at Skyler, who easily deflects it. When it’s Wes’ turn, he jokingly casts an illusion that turns the box into a flower pot. “You think this is a joke?” Polaris snaps in response. “You’re going to need to depend on each other just to survive. If you want to make it out there, you’re going to have to work hard in here!”
But when Polaris levitates a saw blade in preparation for Lauren’s lesson, class is interrupted by Caitlin, who refuses to allow her daughter to participate. “What, do you want her to get a learner’s permit?” Polaris asks. “She’s got powers! She needs to learn how to use them.”
And she does, later in the episode, when it’s discovered the semi-trailer truck transporting Eclipse (Sean Teale), Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer) and Andy Strucker (Percy Hynes White) back from a raid of a federal courthouse is headed into a trap set by Sentinel Services. With no other apparent options, Polaris takes her two AP students, Lauren and Wes, on a dangerous field trip that turns out to be the episode’s big action set piece.
Demonstrating the power of teamwork, Polaris uses her magnetism-manipulating abilities stop the hail of bullets, Lauren creates a force-field ramp to propel the speeding semi over the roadblock, and Wes casts a complex illusion to obscure its escape.
With their first field test a success, Andy safely back at Mutant Underground headquarters, and more refugees pouring in each day, it’s likely that Lorna Dane’s School for Gifted Youngsters will be holding regular classes.
Airing Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox, The Gifted stars Stephen Moyer as Reed Strucker, Amy Acker as Caitlin Strucker, Sean Teale as Marcos Diaz/Eclipse, Coby Bell as Jace Turner, Emma Dumont cast as Lorna Dane/Polaris, Jamie Chung as Blink/Clarice Fong and Blair Redford as John Proudstar/Thunderbird, Natalie Alyn Lind as Lauren Strucker and Percy Hynes White as Andy Strucker.
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