WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Gifted's two-part season finale, which debuted tonight on Fox.
The Gifted's Season 1 finale completely upends the status quo of Fox's X-Men drama as Polaris destroys the plane carrying Dr. Roderick Campbell and anti-mutant Sen. Montez, and the Strucker children obliterate the Mutant Underground's Atlanta headquarters in a showdown with Sentinel Services and the Hounds. As the network regroups in Nashville, and grapples with what to do next, Polaris and one of the Stepford Cuckoos arrive to recruit Sage, Fade and Andy Strucker to the Hellfire Club, in hopes of creating a better world for mutants.
The philosophical split echoes the one between Charles Xavier and Magneto -- fitting, considering the X-Men established the Mutant Underground, and the Brotherhood this new version of the Hellfire Club -- and draws what The Gifted creator Matt Nix describes as "the battle lines" for Season 2.
"The most important thing for me are the battle lines are between two sets of people who deeply care about each other, and who deeply care about the same things," Nix said in an interview with CBR. "The battle for their future is going to be incredibly complicated because of that factor. Even Fade, when he gets up and goes to the Cuckoos, that comes right on the heels of him acknowledging that Caitlin and Reed really stepped up to the plate and saved everybody."
Even Esme Frost (Skyler Samuels), who has manipulated the members of the Mutant Underground -- first to rescue her sisters from Trask Industries, and then to further the goals of the Hellfire Club -- has displayed moments of genuine altruism, according to Nix.
"When you look at all of those characters, they’ve all had their moments of heroism," he said. "It was the Frost sisters who rescued the Struckers' children. They may not like the way they did it, but, at the end of the day, they would still be in Campbell’s hands if not for the Frost sisters. All of them were acting selflessly. You see that group that’s walking away from the Mutant Underground – And when Andy talks to his parents and says, 'I love you, but don’t try to stop me, this is something I have to do,' that’s really important. When I think about next season, a battle is coming, and a war is brewing, but it’s a war between two sides that are ultimately trying to save each other. That’s really interesting to me. How do you fight that war when the people you most want to save are on the other side of the battle lines?"
The Gifted stars Stephen Moyer as Reed Strucker, Amy Acker as Caitlin Strucker, Sean Teale as Eclipse/Marcos Diaz, Jamie Chung as Blink/Clarice Fong, Coby Bell as Jace Turner, Emma Dumont as Polaris/Lorna Dane, Blair Redford as Thunderbird/John Proudstar, Natalie Alyn Lind as Lauren Strucker, and Percy Hynes White as Andy Strucker.