This article contains SPOILERS for Episode 4 of The Gifted: “eXit strategy”
Four shows in, and The Gifted doesn’t feel quite right without a flashback. This episode of The Gifted – eXit Strategy begins two years ago, on site at a Mutant Relocation Facility where a rescue operation is being staged. John Proudstar (Blair Redford) and another mutant known as “Pulse,” are awaiting others before escaping through a nearby fence. Pulse is played by Zach Roerig (The Originals, Friday Night Lights) and can short out nearby electrical systems with his power. To buy more time for the others he wants to use his ability, but doesn’t, since John thinks it’ll give away their position. More mutants arrive, but there’s a siren going off in the background as soldiers in the distance give chase. A literal minute after John said not to, Pulse uses his ability, and gets himself shot and killed.
Fast forward to present, and Lorna’s (Emma Dumont) being transported to her new facility by Jace Turner (Coby Bell) and Sentinel Services. Throughout the episode she insists people call her “Polaris,” which gets a bit annoying later. The actress did say that they’d look into Lorna Dane’s mental illness, but I’d rather The Gifted focused more time here, before she insisted on a dual identity. Either way, Polaris is surprised to find that her old Prosecutor Reed Strucker locked in a cell next to hers. Reed (Stephen Moyer) tries to explain to Polaris that he’s there because he was working with the Mutant Underground and they should work together, but she’s not having it. Polaris calls for the guard but is quickly shut down by the guard, who tells her to shut up. I don’t think this makes sense in context for the character – hadn’t she been looking for friendship and escape opportunities since she’d first arrived?
Back at the Mutant Underground, John and Marcos (Sean Teale) are planning to attack Sentinel Services, but are having difficulties gathering a team. Many in the group remember the incident 2 years ago where they lost six people. It doesn’t help that Sage, played by Hayley Lovitt (Ant-Man, Powers) estimates an almost 90% mission failure rate. Of those who did volunteer, including a powerless Kate Strucker (Amy Acker) the rescue team stands at exactly six members. Kate suggests hitting the transport convoy in transit to the new center, but no one knows the shipping route. Marcos decides to re-visit his ties in the Mexican drug cartel since “they have people everywhere.” John advises against it, since that’s sort of just what he does. This is The Gifted though, so expect Marcos to do his own thing.
Not quite happy at how the previous rescue attempt went, John speaks to Dreamer (Elena Satine) about her part. In the previous episode, Dreamer used her powers, creating an emotional link between Clarice (Jamie Chung) and John. The emotional connection enabled Clarice to focus her ability, but would come with consequences that John insisted Dreamer explain to Clarice. Dreamer rebuts the idea, stating that they’re at war and she wasn’t going to leave him and the others to die, not to mention that Clarice “seems fine.” John insists that Dreamer tell Clarice, or he’d tell himself. If you’ve noticed a theme, John’s advice is ignored constantly, so expect him to chat with Clarice later. #NobodyEverListensToThunderbird
Marcos goes to a nearby club and the bouncer looks none too pleased to see him. As Marcos approaches, the bouncer pulls a gun and asks him to ball his hands into fists, then hold them behind his head before escorting him inside. Marcos is surprised to be greeted by Carmen, an ex-girlfriend who recalls seeing Marcos last just before he snuck out of bed, presumably to join the Mutant Underground. She’s being played by Michelle Veintimilla (Seven Seconds, Gotham) and tells Marcos that she’s in charge of operations since her father retired. Carmen has the information Marcos needs, but she needs a favor involving the “talented hands” of her old friend Eclipse. To add exposition, Carmen’s only a little bitter that Marcos is asking her to help the woman he left her for.
John’s gathering ideas for the rescue mission, but the best plan anyone can come up with is having Marcos blow out the convoy’s tires. Kate feels that the lack of subtlety would hamper the mission once Sentinel Services retaliates. Listening in the background however, is Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind) who goes to Andy (Percy Hynes White) with the bright idea to… destroy the convoy’s tires with their powers instead! If this plan was the subtle option, they should have just used Eclipse, since at least he has control of his powers. The Strucker kids do at least figure a way to use their powers in tandem, with Lauren using her force fields to center Andy’s destructive bursts. She’s interlocked her power with others’ as well, just a few weeks ago when Blink’s portals were out of control.
Back in Detention, Reed is still pleading with Lorna in help escaping. Reed maintains the case that as Federal Prosecutor he was only upholding the law, and his job taught him that anyone he represented was guilty by default. Things changed however when he realized his own children were Mutants. Reed apologizes for his past deeds, but Lorna remains unmoved. Polaris tells Reed to seek forgiveness from the hundreds of lives he’s ruined and that his remorse doesn’t absolve his actions. Lauren and Andy want to show off their new trick to John and the others, so they can join the assault team. Kate refuses to let her kids be used as child soldiers however. Lauren makes her case, mentioning that some risks are worth taking and ultimately Kate concedes.
The time comes for Marcos to prove his loyalty when Carmen presents him with a man tied to a chair. Eclipse tries to reason with Carmen, forcing her to recall the days before she became so callous, but it backfires. Carmen spells out the terms of the deal to Marcos, which is basically he does what she wants when she wants him to do it. Marcos reluctantly uses his powers to get the man to reveal the location of some stolen drugs. Pleased with a job well done, Carmen dismisses Marcos, promising to be in touch.
As a part of a rare music montage, Clarice closes her eyes and immediately gets overwhelmed with lurid thoughts of herself and John, while Reed and Polaris get shackled into van as part of the prison convoy. Dreamer’s impressions are later longer than she’d anticipated. Clarice asks John if they had gone anywhere together the night she’d first arrived, recalling the daydream. John says they hadn’t and Clarice goes along, saying she’d definitely remember if they did. Looks like John isn’t as ready to have that discussion as he implied earlier…