This weeks installation begins with a trip down memory lane, involving the blonde trio – Esme, Phoebe and Sophie. We’re taken back eight years when the girls are children, and are very obviously being held captive against their will in an institution of some sort. They’re given “exercises” to do, even if they really don’t want to, they are not given an option. Even when they try to get out of it, telling the ominous man how scared the man is about them finding out where his family is (as they’re also mutants on the run) the man says to them “You know the rules, do you care about his family’s safety….. or yours?” Some dark manipulation being used against the girls, moulding them into the people they are now.
We then see a training exercise with Andy, Lorne and Rebecca, the challenges are entirely simulations using holograms, but they’re responsive to the powers that the three possess and can therefore accurately run through situations that they could be up against and attempt to conquer them. Dealing with heavy fire, and multiple possible scenarios they could encounter on their next mission.
We then see an interesting turn of events, or new layer that hadn’t been shown previously. Lauren and Andy enter their dream states together, and they talk briefly, Andy apologises for hurting her but makes it clear that he “warned her…” He then tells her that the Inner circle are the mutant’s best chance at making a change. That they can do things that Lauren and the mutant Underground wouldn’t believe. Lauren then sees bits of machinery and weapons, whilst its not immediately clear to the viewer what they are or what they represent, one pivotal thing occurs. Lauren reaches out a finger to touch the edge of a sharp chunk of some kind of metal, she cuts her finger, then wakes up in the real world and she’s bleeding in that exact spot. This is a push forward from when, in their dreams, they were only able to communicate, and nothing could injure them. Now it seems, they can, opening a new window of possibilities between the sibling’s powers.
Esme and her sisters convince Reeva to include Polaris (Lorna) in the plan of their next mission, warning that they may lose her if they don’t, Reeva reluctantly agrees. Something that adds intrigue and even more mystery in this episode, is Reeva’s secret conversation with someone over the phone, looking incredibly dubious and deceptive…
R: I’m on my way, is everything arranged on your end?
R: Good, because if anything goes wrong, suffice it to say, that the fallout for me will be nothing compared to the consequences for you.
Esme then covertly helps Lorna with her baby, by calming his thoughts and putting him to sleep with her powers, whilst we recognise this is a kind gesture… We’re not too sure how Lorna would take it. She then enters the room and tells Lorna what the plan is, giving her all the details she has, and even takes her to the locations so that she can observe/scout the place.
We hear some words of wisdom from an interaction between Reed Strucker and a new face to our screens: Shatter. Reed is having trouble controlling/ mastering his re-emerging powers. His behaviour towards fixing the problem is impressively juvenile for someone middle-aged who ahs two children… like an ostrich he just wants to bury his head in the sand and ignore it, delude himself that its not an issue. John attempts to tell him that the only way this will get better is to learn more about what sets him off, slowly be able to control and harness his power. Once inside the complex a man named Shatter starts up a conversation with Reed, giving him some solid advice to follow:
Shatter: “You know how I found out I was a mutant? I went to sleep one day, a normal kid. The I woke up looking like this, and everything I touched was turning to crystal. It was terrifying, when I looked in that mirror.. I saw a monster. So.. I tried to kill it. I didn’t put out the lights but, I cracked the windows a bit. I guess sometimes the more you reject the things you can’t face, the worse you make it.”
Marco and the group go to a safety centre where some of the mutants who escaped the mental institution (and others) are hiding. We witness some cunning work by the hands of Jace Turner and his hate group, they bomb a church that was holding mutants, but no one was hurt, so all of the refugee mutant shave to flee somewhere, they’re clever enough to trick them into exposing themselves and all being herded up in one convenient location, unfortunately they realize this too late and an ambush begins.
Esme and Lorna head out for the afternoon to scout the target of the next mission. Esme explains that it’s not just a bank, “They’ve got a mutant detection system, we can’t get close without setting off alarms. This place was built on mutant suffering. Creed Financials started funding mutant slavery in the 50s in South America, they pushed through anti-mutant legislation in the 70s for slum lords and mutant ghetto’s, and they spent the 90s creating the ‘Kick’ epidemic. They’ve got their hands in everything, even local purifier chapters. But this one, isn’t just a cause, it’s personal, for me.. and my sisters. Creed Financial funded the lab that created us. My sisters and i…. we’re clones. They made us do terrible things, for years it went on, until we couldn’t take it anymore. We were thirteen years old.” With her story about the abuse she and her ‘sisters’ were subjected to, she wins over Lorna.
But Esme makes a foolish mistake when she starts humming Lorna’s lullaby for her baby, which she only ever sings to Dawn when they’re alone. She immediately realises that Esme was in her daughters head earlier that day and threatens her.
Things reach a climax when the Purifiers attack the building, throwing in Sarin gas containers rendering a large number of the group unconscious. The time has arrived when they need Reed’s powers, whether he’s ready or not, and thankfully, he’s got some great inspiration/ motivation to summon them up.
Esme goes to Lorna’s room to apologise and explain more of her backstory, making a genuine plea for, if not forgiveness, then a little understanding. She tells her that “We didn’t start off as triplets. During our exercises, they kept two of us locked up.. as leverage. Celeste and Mindy had to stay behind. That day we decided to escape, we thought we could save everyone. We were wrong. Mindy and Celeste… we couldn’t get them out. I would do anything. Anything to protect your daughter from that. Her sincerity and honesty seem to work on Lorna’s empathy and thoughts towards her.
Lastly, and rather importantly… we witness Reed stuck in a state where his powers are continuously active, unable to turn them off. Crumbling anything that comes close to him, got some glorious metaphors and allusion from this shot alone.