Unfortunately, That Wasn't An Alpha Flight Reference On The Gifted

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for this week's episode of The Gifted, "boXed in," which premiered Monday on Fox.

The ears of Marvel Comics readers undoubtedly perked up during this week's episode of The Gifted at the mention of Aurora as a potential name for the unborn child of Polaris and Eclipse. Could that be a sly nod by the Fox drama to Canada's premier team of heroes, Alpha Flight, and one of its fast-flying twins? Alas, the answer is no.

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Instead, it's a touching callback to the early days of the relationship between Polaris and Eclipse, two mutants who have been separated for much of the series.

The moment came in "boXed in," as Lorna Dane (aka Polaris, played by Emma Dumont), now free from Sentinel Services custody, flees with her boyfriend Marcos Diaz (aka Eclipse, played by Sean Teale) in hopes of drawing their pursuers away from their fellow members of the Mutant Underground and the fugitive Strucker family. Although dodging police, and a Sentinel Services drone, leaves no time for a proper reunion, one matter looms large in their speeding car: the revelation of Lorna's pregnancy.

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"We're gonna have a weird kid," Marcos says as the two hold hands in Lorna's lap, triggering a light effect. "If it's a girl we should call her Aurora," Lorna replies before shooting down Marcos' suggestion that the child be named "Rory" if it's a boy. "Rory? Rory?" she says with a chuckle. "We're not naming our son Rory."

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The name and the visual combine to form a nod to the flashback in The Gifted's third episode, "eXodus," in which Lorna tries to convince Marcos that the X-gene isn't a curse. Standing outside the Mutant Underground headquarters at night, she urges him to remember the first time he used his power "just for the joy of it." When Marcos is reluctant, she gleefully demonstrates why she began wearing steel-toed boots and metal bracelets: So she could make herself fly. Relenting, he breaks a bottle and uses the glass to create a kaleidoscope of sorts with his light powers. Then, when the two grasp hands, it creates a light show, reminiscent of the northern lights.

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"I think it's the aurora borealis," Lorna marvels. "It happens in the arctic, when solar energy hits the magnetosphere. They say it's the most beautiful thing on Earth." Looking at Polaris, Marcos replies, "Not even close," undoubtedly eliciting a chorus of "awwww," from the audience.

So, yes, it's that memory -- and that aurora -- Polaris turns to for the name of her unborn child, and not Jeanne-Marie Beaubier, the Alpha Flight member better known as Aurora. However, aside from the mention of "magnetosphere" in the flashback (Magneto is Polaris' father), it's worth noting that Alpha Flight's Aurora and her twin brother Northstar originally could emit a burst of bright light whenever they made physical contact, usually by holding hands. It wasn't exactly the colorful light show created by Polaris and Eclipse, however, as it was so intense it temporarily blinded anyone nearby.

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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