A FAMILY IS FORCED TO GO ON THE RUN ON THE ALL-NEW SERIES PREMIERE OF "THE GIFTED" MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, ON FOX — Set in the "X-Men" universe, family adventure series THE GIFTED tells the emotional story of a suburban couple whose ordinary lives are rocked by the sudden discovery that their teenage children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family seeks help from an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive.
The episode unfolds with Atlanta police in pursuit of a mutant fugitive suspect, revealed to be Clarice Fong, on the run. She gets cornered, causing her to rely on her mutant ability to get her to safety, she creates a portal and transports herself to an abandoned workshop. However, the police aren't the only ones looking for her. Thunderbird, Eclipse, and Polaris search the town. Thunderbird, using his tracking abilities, concludes that Clarice must not be far from their position.
They enter the building, finding her inside as she's changing her clothes. Panicking, she throws whatever is in front of her, but Eclipse manages dodges them. They try to gain her trust by explaining that they are mutants just like her, Polaris demonstrates her control over magnetism by yanking the steel stapler out of Blink's hand. Eclipse and Polaris introduce themselves as Marcos and Lorna. Marcos tries to assure her that they have been in the same place as her, but if she goes with them, they will get her a place to stay. However, their introductory meeting is disrupted as the police have managed to track them down at the abandoned workshop they are hiding in. They all join Thunderbird at the main room.
After killing the lights, Polaris and Thunderbird take cover on the wall, observing the police as they pull up. Polaris steps out in front of the window and gestures her hands in a downward motion, which sends out a wave of energy so powerful that it takes out the police cruisers. That's when the police open fire. As she takes cover behind the wall, Polaris instructs Thunderbird to find them a way out while she holds off law enforcement. Polaris uses her abilities once more to disable the cops and halt the firing bullets. With the police applying pressure, Eclipse comes to her rescue, emitting a blinding light from his hands, which in return both stun the police and provides Polaris with the opportunity to escape.
As Polaris, Eclipse, Thunderbird, and Blink exit the building and make their way back to the getaway vehicle, despite their efforts to take down the police by using their mutant abilities, a cop appears behind them and shoots Eclipse in the hand. This sends Polaris into a fury of blind rage. She attacks the shooting officer with great force, using her abilities to slam him against a dumpster multiple times. Distracted by her rage, other police officers appear beside her and taser her. Eclipse tries to reach her but is held back by Thunderbird, knowing he is unable to do anything to prevent it. All of them, except Polaris, manage to escape in the vehicle.
At Belleview Acres High School, 14 hours later, Andy Strucker waits in the hallway as his parents sit in the principal's office, demanding that the school take action to prevent their son, Andy, from future bullying incidents, as it is affecting his academic performance as well as communication between him and his parents. Reed’s authoritative attitude seems to help get the point across, as the principal complies with the demands, however, Reed is called away to work and is revealed to be a prosecutor on the mutant task force at the local detention center, Garland Detention Center.
At the Strucker Home, in the North Atlantic Suburbs, Lauren Strucker face times with her boyfriend, Jack, as she asks his opinion on which outfit to pick for the school dance. After she's chosen her outfit, she joins her family at the dinner table. Caitlin asks Andy how his day was at school, to which he talks about a debate they had in social studies about the law they want to make to test people with the X-gene and monitor them. He mentions someone in the class who freaked out, Andy's guess is that his cousin is a "mutie", to which his sister, Lauren, mentions how racist that sounds, as "mutie" is a derogatory term for referring to mutants. They get into an argument, before their mother interjects, complaining about how they can never have a normal conversation.
In the mutant wing of the Garland Detention Center, Polaris is now in her cell, imprisoned within a smaller transparent and plastic box within the cell. Reed Strucker enters the cell to inform her that she is being charged with the attempted murder of two officers as well as the illegal use of her abilities. Reed offers her a reduced sentence in exchange for her cooperation, but Lorna claims to have nothing to offer. She was walking through the rain when an officer randomly fired at her, or so her story went. However, with documented information pertaining to Lorna, and her affiliation to the Mutant Underground, Reed knows better than to take Lorna for her word. She and her associates have aided and abetted hundreds if not thousands of mutant fugitives.
Reed opens the door to the smaller cell and walks toward her, he stands face-to-face with Lorna. Taking into consideration the severity of her charges, Reed claims that he is merely trying to help her. He reiterates her charges of attempted murder. With her ability to control magnetism, Lorna lightly pulls on the screws embedded in Reed's knee after an old sports injury. If she wants to, she could tear out the screws, and show him what attempted murder truly looks like. All this to prove a point; that if she wanted those officers dead, they would be. There is a factor that Lorna is not aware of though. Reed pulls her medical exam from a folder. What Lorna reads shakes her to her core. She had a big decision to make. What first stuns her, quickly escalates into a rage, Lorna lashes out, and in a great display of power, shatters the lights, breaks a window, and cracks her cell.
Lauren, prepared for the school dance, goes to the garage and gets inside the car to find Andy sitting on the passenger seat beside her. She refuses to take him with her because he has neglected to tell his parents about attending the party and has chosen, instead, to sneak out. Andy reassures her that his disappearance won't trace back to her as he could make an excuse that he just went to Ian's. Despite being bullied at school, he still wants to attend the school dance because he feels like he's being raised like a veal, cooped up in the house. After a lot of effort on his part, Lauren reluctantly decides to take him with her.
They arrive at the school dance and they separate as Lauren goes off with Jack, while Andy sits in the bleachers as he observes everyone dancing. After a while, Andy notices a girl standing not so far from him. He starts advancing toward her, asking her for a dance, but his voice is drowned out by her friends who, she's been waiting for this whole time, greet her. Andy is disappointed by this, however, there are more pressing matters—Andy's bullies have just arrived at the dance and they waste no time dragging him into the locker rooms ready to resume their torments on Andy. They proceeded to mock Andy for telling his parents about them as he's restrained by the bullies under scalding hot water from the showers. Andy’s physical and emotional pain explodes into something that’s out of his control, manifesting powers of his own. Tiles start to crack, pipes burst, and soon the walls of the gymnasium are collapsing, prompting students at the dance to run out of the school.
Lauren refuses to evacuate, going the opposite direction as the moving crowd, in an attempt to find her brother. Earlier while she was dancing, she saw her brother being dragged into the locker room, so she moves in that direction. When she’s almost hit by a piece of the ceiling, she instinctively creates force fields that serve as a protective shield in the air, revealing herself to have mutant abilities in the public eye as well. When she finally reaches inside the locker, she rushes toward Andy, who is caught in a cycle of uncontrolled screaming. Lauren breaks him out of it, then they make their way out of the school.
At the Mutant Underground Headquarters, Clarice settles in as she talks with Sage. Sage asks her if she should contact anyone, perhaps family, to which Clarice says it is complicated. Sage then informs her that she would stay with them at the headquarters until they figure out where they will relocate her. Meanwhile, John patches up Marcos’ arm, then they argue about whether or not to try to rescue Lorna. Marcos wants nothing more than to get a team together, but John is not convinced they could take on hundreds of cops when they were nearly subdued by merely a dozen of them at the abandoned workshop. They can't take that risk, not right now. When Sage comes in to alert them of a news story, where the news anchor reports that two mutants, Andy and Lauren Strucker, have committed an act of terrorism at the local high school, Marcos his plans of rescuing Lorna will have to wait.
Back at the Strucker house, Andy tries to explain to his mother and sister how he was able to destroy the gym. Caitlin can't believe that he is a mutant. She wonders why he didn't get any warning, to which Lauren explains that that's how the powers first appear, in moments of stress and danger. Confused at her daughter's expertness about mutants, Caitlin asks how she possesses such knowledge, apart from their father talking of mutants because of his job as a mutant prosecutor. Turns out, Lauren has a secret of her own, Lauren manifests powers of her own, powers that she's been hiding for three years. It all started when they were coming back from the concert at church that night, and the truck almost hit them, she managed to create transparent force fields that pushed the car away. Upon realizing that her daughter has had this for three years, she feels sad that Lauren didn't confide in her all these years. Caitlin shows her naivité by failing to understand why Lauren would keep her powers a secret from the father who imprisons mutants for a living.
There is a knock at their door. Caitlin opens the door to find Agent Jace Turner and Agent Weeks of the Sentinel Services. They are there to take Andy and Lauren into custody, informing Caitlin if she isn't already aware of the recent incident that occurred at school which has left the gymnasium destroyed. Knowing that her children are in trouble, Caitlin is reluctant to allow them into her home. She informs them that her husband is a prosecutor, which they already are aware of. Under the amended Patriot Act, it is Sentinel Services' duty to secure the safety of the community. He attempts to reason with Caitlin as he too is a parent, but this is as much for Andy and Lauren's protection as it was for everyone else's. Agent Turner and Agent Weeks bypass Caitlin, knocking her down in the process, which angers Andy, causing the entire house to shake. Jace Turner urges Andy to calm down, and to come with him for questioning but as Andy grows angrier, the shaking intensifies, forcing the Agents to draw their weapons. However, Lauren obstructs their path with her force fields, which in return gives Caitlin, Andy, and Lauren enough time to escape in the family's van.
After their daring escape, Caitlin stops at a payphone to inform Reed of recent developments. She tells him that while the kids are safe, they weren't attacked by mutants, they are the mutants. In the city outskirts of Atlanta, Reed meets his family in a diner and begins his professional evaluation of the situation. Caitlin reminds him that it isn't a deposition and that a legal understanding of the matter will do little to help against Sentinel Services. When she mentions the Sentinel Services' part in all of this, he finally understands the life and death reality of the situation. Sentinel Services is a federal agency with little oversight that has "disappeared" mutant suspects in the past and he won't allow that to happen to his children. The only reason they got away is that Sentinel Services didn't have enough time to put a full team together. Soon, the pressure will pick up its pace, and they need to find someplace safe, not, as Caitlin suggests, that they stay with her sister, Jenny in Phoenix, but Reed is thinking more along the lines of someplace with less strict mutant laws, like Mexico. Reed promises to figure something out, as Lauren leans on him for comfort, Andy pulling his mother in for comfort.
The next day, Agent Turner arrives at the Central Courthouse Building, and requests access to Mr. Strucker's office, as well as his computer and emails. Mr. Strucker's boss informs him that there may be confidential information regarding cases. A court order is being processed should they encounter any resistance. They pass by Carla, Reed's associate, as she looks concerned to hear of this recent development. Mr Strucker's boss also appears surprised to learn that Reed would run after being a part of the office for fifteen years, and the mutant task force for five years. In Agent Turner's experience, perspectives changes when it's your own kid. Outside the building, Carla receives a call from Reed, who, unbeknownst to her has a visual on her as he is hiding around the corner of a building across from her. He asks her to get him a copy of the case file for the Mutant Network investigation. He reasons that can use that to contact them to find a way to get his family out of the country. Carla is afraid that this will trace back to her, as she could possibly get disbarred, or arrested even. Reed begs her to help him because these are his children that are in trouble. Carla is defeated by this, choosing to help him.
At the Caravan Motel, Andy and Lauren discuss their powers and Andy's frustration with his inability to control them. Lauren tells Andy that with time he will learn to control them and demonstrates her ability by knocking popcorn loose from a vending machine and encouraging Andy to do the same. When he attempts this, initially having some control, his powers escalate when his emotions from the incident at the dance take over, resulting in the machine being destroyed.
Meanwhile, at the Mutant Underground Headquarters, Marcos tries to find a way to rescue Lorna, when Clarice enters the room. She wants to thank him for rescuing her, knowing he lost Lorna in the process. Marcos shrugs it off, however, he is interested in her mutant abilities, he thinks Blink’s ability to create portals could help with rescuing Lorna. All he needs is for her to get him inside the prison, but it is beyond Blink's abilities as she explains that in order to teleport someone, she would've had to have been in the place before. Marcos doesn't understand, so Blink illustrates it by using a toy to teleport it through the roof, a place she hasn't seen before. When it comes out of the roof, it is cut in half.
Their conversation is interrupted when Marcos receives a call from Reed Strucker. Reed proposes a deal to Marcos: He explains that he is the prosecutor with the city, involved in building a case against Marcos and his mutant associates for the district's attorney office, so if he helps his family across the border, he would be able to sort out Lorna's release. Reed has more shocking news, Lorna is pregnant. If Marcos wasn't inclined to helping him before, he certainly is now.
At the Caravan Motel, Reed and Caitlin stand by the window as the kids sleep, or at least one of them sleeps. Caitlin jokes that he may be a mutant as well, nut with a snoring ability. Later in the evening, Reed will be meeting with Eclipse. Caitlin wonders how great their chances are in making it out. They don't have many options, Reed replies. Caitlin is aware that he is doing the best he could. She'd take one option over none. She then asks Reed if he knows how rough it is on the mutant fugitives who are constantly on the run from Sentinel Services. Reed knows it isn't easy, but they both remember how it is with the mutants fighting amongst each other, and innocent people getting hurt in the crossfire. Before long, it is time to move again as Reed spots a Sentinel Services drone circling the area. While it can't see them from inside the room, it knows the license plate of their vehicle, and it won't be long before Sentinel Services agents are at their door if they don't leave now. With that in mind, they wake the kids, and exit the motel, stealing a truck as Lauren creates force fields to protect them from the car owner so they have enough time to steal it and drive away.
As planned, Marcos meets up with Reed at a local bar for mutants called Tex's Lounge. When Reed arrives at the bar, Marcos asks about how Lorna and the baby are doing. When he asks Reed which detention center is being kept at, Reed isn't inclined to tell him, but after he uses his power to scare him, Reed spills which center it is. Reed offers to help Lorna in exchange for assisting his family. Marcos agrees because Lorna’s big secret is that she is pregnant, but he says that Reed will have to stay behind to make sure the other man holds up his end of their bargain. He gives Reed an address, where he and his family are supposed to meet him to plan their escape to Mexico.
Meanwhile, back at the headquarters, Clarice informs John about how she overheard Marcos' conversation on the phone earlier, and how he was meeting up with a man about helping his family, alone. John wonders why she didn't tell him this before, to which she reasons that Marcos told her not to, but after an hour has passed and he hasn't yet returned, trusting her judgment to do right by Lorna, she decides to tell him. John then tells her that they have to go find him. Clarice says that they won't be able to find him because they don't know where he went, to which John reassures her that if he could find her, he can also track Marcos down.
With everything going as planned, the Struckers meet up with Eclipse in an abandoned warehouse facility. From there, Eclipse would get them food, water, and blankets before heading down to the border, though Caitlin refuses to go any further until she knows all of what he has planned for her family. Eclipse explains that he knows people down by the border with a specific set of skills, that'll allow them to get people under, over, or even through the wall. Once that is done, they'll get them new IDs. There are also churches of people who will help them. Unfortunately, their plans never initiate as doesn't take long before they are surrounded by Sentinel Services, and ordered to the ground.
Fortunately for them, Blink and Thunderbird have successfully tracked them all down, Eclipse and the Struckers take their cue from Thunderbird to run in the direction Blink and Thunderbird came through. The seven of them sprint through the warehouse, as Sentinel Services unleash their mutant-hunting robots, the Sentinels, which Thunderbird sees coming ahead of time due to his foresight. When they are cornered, Eclipse and Lauren are able to keep them behind using their mutant abilities while Blink creates a portal for them all to retreat through that leads to the Mutant Underground Headquarters. Everyone, except Andy and Reed, goes through the portal. With Andy hyper-focused on destroying the sentinels, he telepathically forces them to explode before joining the others through the portal. Blink can't hold the portal open for much longer, but while Reed is waiting for his son to enter the portal, he gets shot before he gets the chance to enter the portal after Andy, as Blink has to shut the portal because it is too for much her to bear. Reed is left for capture on the other side.
- Eclipse's cellphone ring tone is set to the X-Men animated series theme song.
- Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance.
- Polaris is revealed to be pregnant.
- A portrait of a wolverine can be seen in the bar where Eclipse and Reed meet; 'Wolverine' is the alias of James Howlett, a member of the X-Men in most of their incarnations.
- When Andy is first introduced at school, he is sketching a wolf in a notebook. In the comics, Andreas and Andrea Von Strucker are collectively known by the code name Fenris (sometimes Fenris twins). This name is taken from the Fenrir wolf from Norse mythology, who is also a separate character in the Marvel Universe and appears in Thor: Ragnarok.
- Emma Dumont revealed during 2018's Heroes & Villains fan fest panel that Polaris was initially going to be killed off in the pilot.
Behind the Scenes