|“||I can see your father's power in you. You know, some people think pregnant women are fragile. But there is nothing stronger than a woman with something to fight for.||”|
|— Esme to Polaris[src]|
Esme Frost is a recurring character during the first season of The Gifted. She was promoted to series regular for the second season. She, along with her identical sisters Sophie and Phoebe, are telepathic mutants who share a hive mind-like connection.
She joined the Mutant Underground as a refugee, and secretly manipulated them into helping her free her sisters from Sentinel Services' custody. After reuniting with her sisters, Esme sought to continue their goal of rebuilding the Hellfire Club, and so they went on to recruit Polaris, Andy Strucker, Sage, Fade and Mark.
Early Life Edit
Two months prior to Exploited, Esme, using the fake name Stacy, went undercover as a staff member for Senator Montez during one of his rallies. She asked him if she could attend some of the meetings along with him, and he agreed. After he went back talking to his campaign manager, Esme was interrupted by a telepathic warning from her sisters, Sophie and Phoebe, who told her to get out of there, as Sentinel Services had arrived at the rally looking for them. Esme ran outside and into the crowd, trying to escape as her sisters continued to yell at her telepathically in unison.
Esme managed to escape successfully however her sisters weren't so lucky in that regard, sending out a telepathic message for her to find them. Esme knew she couldn't do that on her own, so she devised a plan to fool the Mutant Underground into unknowingly helping her, while also using unsuspecting parents, Reed and Caitlin Strucker as her pawns, knowing they would do anything for their imprisoned children.
Throughout the SeriesEdit
In "threat of eXtinction", Esme is with a group of refugees that hid in a shed at Eternal Grace Church, where they waited to be escorted to the Underground Network. Upon the Underground's arrival, she informs Thunderbird that she is a telepath, and that while in the shed, she got weird vibes from another refugee, later to be identified as Chloe Tan. However, Thunderbird is attacked while questioning the suspicious refugee, as was Esme, who was punched in the stomach at super speed and thrown over the hood of a truck, knocking over a young boy, and injuring him in the process. Fortunately, Thunderbird, Blink and Eclipse eventually manag to subdue the attacker.
Having sustained a nasty cut during her altercation with the woman, Esme is treated for her injuries by the Underground's resident nurse, Caitlin Strucker. Despite Esme saying it is nothing, Caitlin determines that she will need stitches. Caitlin had heard of her heroic actions back at the Church, concluding that Esme is a psychic. Sort of, Esme replies. She can feel the thoughts of those within close proximity. Hearing this, Caitlin asks if Esme can read her thoughts. Esme agrees to do so. Her eyes glow bright blue while using her ability. Esme can tell that Caitlin is concerned about the war between mutants and humans, and she didn't want her and her husband to end up on opposite sides of their kids. Esme then apologizes for prying, as she can tell that Caitlin is growing uncomfortable. Caitlin brushes it off, joking that Esme shouldn't look into her college experimentation days. After giving her name, Esme tells Caitlin that she is valued at the Underground.
Esme later agrees to read Chloe's thoughts after Caitlin, Marcos, and Lorna had brought her in for questioning, but determined that she couldn't speak. Whether this is physical or mental remains unknown. Lorna asks if she is capable of reading Chloe's thoughts as Caitlin had said she could. Esme replies maybe, which doesn't exude confidence in her ability, which concerns Lorna, so she feels it necessary to remind Esme what they are fighting for. However, Esme needs no reminder. Sentinel Services has her family, meaning she is more than willing to fight. Just as before, Esme eyes glows while reading Chloe's thoughts. She senses need and pain. A deeper dig reveals that Trask Industries, which is North of the Underground, had killed her husband and took her daughter. Unfortunately, Chloe dies on the table soon thereafter.
In "eXploited", two months ago, Senator Montez holds a re-election rally during which time he gives an anti-mutant speech. He speaks of mutant crime being at an all-time high and about how he created laws to punish mutants who use their powers to do harm. He also promises to continue fighting against mutants if he is re-elected. After his rally, Montez questions who put the event together as he feels there should've been double in attendance. He wants to reach beyond his base with a more muscular strategy. Esme, undercover as one of the Senator's assistants, informs him that his car has arrived to take him to his meeting with Trask Industries. Esme, known then as Stacy, asks if she can sit in on the meeting with him, and he agrees. Montez then receives a phone call from Sentinel Services notifying him that they have apprehended a number of mutants who have infiltrated the rally. Simultaneously, Esme receives telepathic warnings from her family to get away while she still can. Esme follows their advise and abruptly exits the rally.
Esme is present at a meeting on how to get Sonya, Clarice, Lauren, and Andy back from Sentinel Services though she doesn't say much. She merely sits back and watches as Reed, Caitlin, Marcos and Lorna argue with one another. She listens with great interest as Reed and Caitlin argue that they want to use the system to get their children back. However, Lorna wants to launch an attack. Fed up, John smashes a table and tells them how they are all in it together. Marcos and John decided to set up scouts at Sentinel services and Trask.
Esme eavesdrops on Reed and Caitlin's discussion in retrieving Andy and Lauren while also looking through Reed's thoughts. She sees Reed's encounter with Sentinel Services. Esme then enters the room to tell them that they are right about not attacking Sentinel Services as they both have family inside and another attack will only get them killed. She explains that it is a human problem that requires a human solution, and Reed and Caitlin are the only ones who understood that. She suggests going to Agent Turner and trying to appeal to him. Reed and Caitlin are skeptical due to their past with Turner, but Esme tells them that they can try to convince Agent Turner to take the mutants out of Trask labs and to do the right thing. Better them sitting in jail then being inject with drugs and turned into Hounds. Andy and Lauren's powers in the wrong hands can change everything.
After the Struckers take her advice to save Andy and Lauren from being turned into Hounds at Trask, Esme approaches Lorna and Marcos. She claims that she read the Struckers' mind unintentionally and suspects that they went to talk to Agent Turner. As Marcos and Lorna rush off, Esme smiles as her plan seems to be falling together.
Esme, Marcos and Lorna report to John that the Struckers have left to speak with Agent Turner. Esme says that they had some idea about convincing Agent Turner to get everyone out of Trask lab. As if a life time spent behind bars is better, Esme remarks. She now claims that the Struckers just don't understand because they're human. It is clear that Esme is playing both sides, with an end game in mind no doubt. Even if Reed and Caitlin succeed in convincing Agent Turner, then he moves them to a detention center and they're gone forever. Even if there's a small chance that Agent Turner will move the prisoners tonight, John and Lorna think that they might be able to recuse everyone. However, Marcos argues that it's still a big risk. Last time they hit Sentinel Services, they were hit back hard. Given that Reed was a lawyer, Esme informs John that it's possible they may get through to Turner. Regardless, they need a plan. Marcos recalls that Shatter is still scouting Trask. So he needs to know that Sentinel Service might be coming.
The Underground soon gets word from Shatter that Sentinel Services is at Trask with a large transport vehicle, meaning the prisoners are being moved. They can't believe that the Struckers actually managed to pull it off. Unfortunately, the Underground doesn't have a lot of time to make their move. They're going to storm Sentinel Services on the road, free the prisoners and make their escape off the interstate. They're going to have a maximum of 1-2 minutes. The guards coming from the lab are going to be coming at them fast and they might have Hounds. Esme volunteers to go in to scout security, read one of the guards to see what she can find out.
When they arrive at Trask, she and Marcos go in to see what they can get off the guard at the booth. Eclipse and Esme move along the fence quietly, slowly approaching so that Esme can get a read off the guard. Agent Turner and Agent Weeks approach the booth and hand the guard authorization papers for a transfer. They're taking out all the prisoners. Esme then tazes Eclipse, leaving him on the ground, throbbing in pain as she explains that she has her own plans. Back at the booth, the guard questions who authorized the prisoner transfer. Agent Turner tells him Sentinel Services.
Esme proceeds with her plan. Her eyes glow blue as she takes control of Agent Weeks and makes him turn off the collars on the mutant prisoners. Inside the transport vehicle, while under telepathic mind control, one agent kills two of his fellow agents before killing himself. Still under Esme's control, Agent Weeks, shoots the guard in the booth as well as Agent Turner, before turning the gun on himself and pulling the trigger. Another agent is instructed to take his grenade off his belt, pull the pin and then get in his car. A couple seconds later, the car explodes with the agent and his partner inside. Esme approaches the transport vehicle where she reunite with her two identical sisters, Phoebe and Sophie. As more Sentinel Services agent approach, Esme, Sophie and Phoebe's eyes glow blue though Esme's seems to glow brighter than before. They instruct the leading officer to fire on his fellow agents, killing them all.
As Andy, Lauren, Clarice and the other mutant prisoners exit the transport vehicle, Esme, Sophie and Phoebe speak in unison. "Time to go boys and girls. The fun's just starting."
In "3 X 1", Esme, Sophie and Phoebe recount the Trask escape with William, an associate of theirs. The alarms were going off. People were coming. They went one way while the Mutant Underground went another. They took the Struckers without so much as a thank you, the girls add. And in the 2 days since that, they've had no interaction with the Underground, who felt used. So Esme, Phoebe and Sophie wanted to give them some space since their parting moment was heated, to say the least. William is displeased with the mess they left at the Trask lab. But as Esme points out, they barely got out of their alive. William explains that he was recruited to rebuild the Hellfire Club with them. So activities like his, such as taking down a hedge fund are essential, while their transgressions will only make things more difficult, like their killing of a dozen Sentinel Services agents. They made a lot of noise, yet the Hound program is stronger than ever. So they need to act quickly and they'll need the Underground's help.
Esme, Sophie and Phoebe arrive at the station unannounced. They've come peacefully as they only desire to talk about the Hound program, which is expanding, and they want the Underground's help in taking it down. However, Marcos and Reed are still upset that Esme used and lied to them. Admittedly, Esme mislead them, but she also saved their children and her family. The ends justify the means as far as she is concerned. As for why they need the Underground's help despite their own powers being so great, Sentinel Services knows what they look like. So they can't take them on by themselves. They have information about Dr. Campbell's plans and resources to share. Meanwhile, the Underground has the muscle. While Caitlin and Marcos refuse to even consider an alliance of any kind, John seems more willing though he does kick them out after hearing what they have to offer.
One of the Frost Sisters visits Andy at the Fairburn station after the Struckers left the Underground. When Andy asks which sister he is talking to, she replies that it doesn't matter much as they're essentially Three-in-One. She heard about the Struckers running off from Atlanta. Andy explains that his parents wanted to protect him and his sister. However, Andy is hardly someone who needs protecting. She tells him to speak to his parents as "Andrew Von Strucker" if he wants to be taken seriously. He's surprised that she knows about his family's history. She claims that she knows all about the Strucker family and who Andy is meant to be. She tells Andy that he's not a child anymore and that they need him most of all.
Esme meet Lorna outside HQ. Time is running out. The Frost Sisters need to know if the alliance is going to happen. Deep down, Esme knows that Lorna likes the idea of teaming up. However, Esme has pissed a lot of people off. They don't like being puppets. There's also a rumor about Esme and her sisters being members of a terrorist organization known as the Hellfire Club. This is the same organization that Andreas and Andrea Von Strucker were members to. Esme then realizes that Lorna has no idea about her biological father, not her adoptive father who was a pilot that died in a plane crash. Esme informs Lorna that her father was more than just a member of the Hellfire club. He was a king, which makes Lorna royalty. Esme then turns her attentions to Lorna's pregnancy. It's changing her. If she wants to protect the child then Esme advises her to join them. Lorna has to ask herself what matters most as Esme isn't out to win a popularity contest.
Esme, Sophie and Phoebe rescue the Underground as they are under attack by Sentinel Services and their Hounds at the Fairburn station. The Hounds in question are wearing a manacle that allows them to combine abilities, making them even more dangerous and powerful. As Thunderbird, Eclipse, Polaris, Blink, Lauren, Wes, Andy, Reed and Caitlin quietly move throughout the woods, the Sister telepathically speak to Andy and guide them out the woods. The Underground makes it out to the road where they find Esme, Sophie and Phoebe waiting with escape vehicles.
When Marcos questions how they even found them in Fairburn, the Sisters claim that they have sources. The Hounds that attacked them is what the Sisters tried to warn the Underground about. But it was only the start. It's going to get worse, which is why they need the Underground's help to take down Campbell and Trask.
The Frost Sisters reconvene with William, who is irate. He has been taking calls for hours. The inner circle is angry with their stunt. The sisters wonder if the inner circle had a better idea. Because if they did, they could've shared it instead of hiding behind their screens and chessboard. Esme, Sophie and Phoebe risked a lot of lives as they were responsible for tipping off Sentinel Services to the Fairburn station. The Frost sisters defend their actions by reasoning that someone times you have to sacrifice a few pawns if you want to win. The Underground needed to understand what they are all up against. It would seem that their stunt went exactly as planned as the Underground has agreed to the alliance.
In "eXtraction", the Frost Sisters discuss a plan to stop the Hound program with the Mutant Underground. However, before starting, Marcos makes one thing clear, that their being there, doesn't make them friends. Esme, Sophie and Phoebe know this, and then go onto explain that they're dealing with a secret program that must be stopped as soon as possible as their sources have informed them that Dr. Campbell is working his political connection to take the program International. Their best chance to stop him will be at the Humanity Today Summit in Charlotte tomorrow, where major anti mutant politicians, business heads and Purifiers will be present. The Frost Sisters want to kidnap Campbell to stop the program. When Clarice opposes the idea, the Sisters claim that they know all about her criminal past and "old friends", something she had not shared with the Underground.
Esme, Sophie, Phoebe, John, Lorna, Marcos and Clarice arrive at a very large and expensive looking safe house in Charlotte. Clarice notes that it looks "boujee", so the Sisters sarcastically offer to accommodate by bringing in mold and smashing holes in the floor. Esme then sees them inside, during which time she informs them that the safe house comes with a full security system, and they're set up for a variety of interrogation methods. Although, Esme should be able to extract any information they need. The X-Men started the Underground before they vanished, but didn't leave them with much. While the Hellfire Club's founders, the Brotherhood, left them with a lot more. In half an hour, their ticket to the summit will be driving down a road near the safe house, so they get ready.
Esme shows Lorna to her room and asks to talk. She is glad that Lorna came a long as it sometimes seems like she's the only one that knows what needs to done. Just because Marcos is concerned, doesn't mean he knows what's best, Esme explains. Though, Lorna doesn't wish to talk about Marcos with her. When Esme continues, Lorna becomes angry and unintentionally slides the bed across the room while also damaging it's frame. Esme is impressed. She concludes that Lorna's been getting stronger. She can see Lorna's father's power in her. Some people think that pregnant woman are fragile, though Esme would be to differ as there is nothing more powerful than a woman with something to fight for.
The mutants plan to kidnap Franklin Bennett, a big fundraiser for anti-mutant causes. He attends the Humanity Today Summit every year. If they're with him, they get past the gate. Esme sits inside the SUV with Blink. They're looking for a silver sedan that should be coming through shortly as he has an appointment with a very reclusive billionaire. Unfortunately, that billionaire is a mutant and a friend of theirs. Esme wonders if Clarice is still angry about her bringing up her past with the Brotherhood, which she is. As for how she knew, the Hellfire Club has quite the Network and everyone talks. As the silver sedan approaches, Blink and Esme pull out into the road to block its path, thus forcing Bennett to a stop. Polaris throws several knives into the man's car, flattening his tires. Thunderbird then rips his door off and Eclipse tells him to get out.
The team brings Bennett back to the safe house for interrogation. The Frost Sisters handcuff him to a chair and force him to make a phone call to the Humanity Today Summit. Their eyes glow blue as they take over Bennett's mind and force him to make changes to his security detail. He then tells the Frost Sisters that they will be tracked down and exterminated. They don't even deserve to breathe the same air as human beings as far as he is concerned. Since he doesn't want to breathe the same air as them, the Frost Sisters make him hold his breathe. They can see inside his mind. They see the twisted videos he watches of mutants being tortured. They can feel the hate that he harbors. Clarice enters the den with the others just behind her. She brings a stop to their torture of Bennett.
Esme, Polaris and Eclipse discuss the plan. The second the speech is over, Polaris will knock out the frequencies for phones and walkies. Eclipse and the others are going to need to hurry because once communication goes down, the area is going to be crawling with security. Some time later, Sophie and Phoebe dump Bennett while Polaris and Esme sit in the SUV. The speech is over as many in attendance step out the front door. Polaris notes how happy they look. Nothing brings people together like hate, Esme comments. Polaris then knocks out the frequencies for phones and walkies as planned.
In "X-roads", Esme and Polaris stand outside the Summit by the SUV waiting for the others to return as security arrives. At that moment, Thunderbird, Eclipse and Blink portal back to the drop off location. Esme is irate that they didn't return with Dr. Campbell, but as Eclipse explains, it wasn't their fault as Campbell shielded himself with a bunch of kids. Not that Esme cares as a lot of people will die if the Hound program continues. So she refuses to leave without him. But with security moving in, they have no choice but to flee the scene. Which leads to a car chase as law enforcement is right behind them, though not for long. Polaris yanks down a utility pole to obstruct law enforcement's path, allowing the team to get away.
Esme's sisters return to the safe house with Polaris while Esme and the others aren't far behind. Upon returning to the safe house, Esme questions how they could let Campbell escape. Marcos asks what more could they have done other than attack a bunch of kids, which he is against. Esme advises him to worry about his own kid. Because they let Campbell getaway, he is now on his way to D.C. with the Senator, and after the attack at the Summit, they just gave them even more reason to expand the Hound program. What they need to figure out now is where Campbell is so they can finish what they started.
Esme finds Lorna on the back porch organizing her knives. She knows what Lorna is thinking, that her friends aren't seeing the situation for what it is. Campbell has to be eliminated, one way or the other. Someone has to make the hard choices. Lorna questions why Esme's so sure that it's her to make the hard choices. Because whether Lorna likes it or not, she's like her father, Esme claims. Lorna denounces the guy Esme thinks is her father as well as the Brotherhood. Being able to read Lorna's mind, Esme knows that Lorna's biological father gave her that red medallion for her birthday. All he ever wanted was for her to be proud of who she is.
Esme is confronted by John, Marcos and Clarice after they relaize that Lorna has left the safe house with Phoebe and Sophie. Esme reveals that Lorna and her sisters are doing what the rest of them couldn't. Campbell and Montez filed a flight plan. They fly out of Morrison Air Center in 20 minutes. The most important thing is to make sure he doesn't get to D.C. They realize that this has now gone from a kidnapping to an assassination. While John has as much of a reason to hate Campbell as anyone, assassinating him goes against everything they stand for. If they start killing, it's going to make life worse for mutants everywhere. Esme argues that life is already worse for mutants everywhere. Marcos loses his patients and demands that Esme shut up. They're going to get Lorna, and if he even sees Esme's eyes turn blue, he'll blind her permanently.
Later that night, at the Mutant Way Station in Nashville, Marcos hopes to encourage the Underground to keep fighting after the revelation that Andy and Lauren destroyed the station to protect everyone. He tells the Underground the X-Men didn't do this because they thought it would be easy. They knew it would be a struggle and take sacrifice. Lorna and Esme interrupt, and tell Marcos that there's nothing noble about struggle. And sacrifice is just a pretty name for losing. The Mutant Underground is dying, but that world that they've always talked about where they don't have to hide and live in fear, Lorna wants to build that for them. Marcos tells Lorna that while he will do anything for her, he can't help her do what she asking of him. Esme informs Marcos that they aren't there to ask for his help. The people they've come for know who they are, which includes Fade, Mark and Sage and Andy. However, Reed, Caitlin and Lauren refuse to let Andy leave, so when Reed grabs Andy's arm and forcefully tries to stop him from leaving, Andy pushes him off and causes the station to shake. He apologizes for that before joining Polaris, Esme, Sage, Fade and Mark.
Esme is a crafty but sneaky individual who easily uses her powers to manipulate those around her. She uses her power to plant fearful images into Polaris as to incite action from the Underground to attack Trask as to free her sisters. She is also quite impatient as she consistently spoke against waiting and planning for caution. She is also quite underhanded as she had manipulated the Struckers into trying for their peaceful negotiation tactic but went around and told the mutants about it, making it sound like they were going around their back to have their fellow mutants be behind bars instead of a lab. Esme has proven herself to be somewhat bloodthirsty as she used her powers to make all the Sentinel Services officers shoot one another with a calm smile on her face. It is clear that her sisters share in that nature as well.
Esme and her sisters have a tendency to speak in unison, allowing each other to take over with the conversation randomly as they talk together. They are also strategic and cold-blooded given that they risked the lives of the Mutant Underground in order to persuade them into agreeing to an alliance after seeing how advanced their enemy was becoming.
According to Skyler Samuels in a interview Esme is the peacekeeper between Sophie and Phoebe.
Physical Appearance Edit
Esme is a young Caucasian woman with light skin, dirty blonde hair and blue eyes. When she uses her telepathic abilities, her eyes glow with a bright blue hue, and glow even more when acting under the hive mind. She and her sisters are completely identical to each other, including the tendency to have matching hairstyles and outfits, even down to the accessories.
Abilities and Skills Edit
- Telepathic Hive Mind: Esme and her sisters share a linked hive mind, which allows them to share thoughts, communicate and maintain a continuous telepathic connection over great distances. The link is strongest when they are in close physical proximity, and their collective mind also allows for increased telepathic power and shared intellect. When the girls use their telepathy, their eyes glow bright blue, and they glow even more when acting under the hive mind.
- Telepathy: Esme and her sisters possess the ability to read minds and project their thoughts to others. They are able to analyze people's memories and influence minds, as seen when Esme implanted a vivid nightmare into Polaris' mind while she slept. Though they individually possess their own telepathy, their telepathic abilities are greater when the girls join together.
- Empathy: Esme and her sisters possess limited emphatic abilities, as Esme could read Chloe Tans' emotions, sensing a lot of need and pain.
- Mind Control: Esme and her sisters have shown the ability to control multiple people’s minds at the same time, as demonstrated when they forced several Sentinel Services agents to kill both their fellow agents and themselves.
- Pain Inducement: Esme and her sisters can induce mental pain inside people’s minds, as shown when they rendered two Sentinel Service agents writhing on the ground, clutching at their heads in pain.
- Psychosomatic Symptoms Inducement: Esme and her sisters have the ability to influence the minds of others to produce a series of illusory psychosomatic actions, that cause the body to react as if it were actually physically experiencing it; for example, they have shown to be able to induce an interruption of the respiratory tract by telling their victim to "stop breathing".
- In the comics, Esme Cuckoo is one of the Stepford Cuckoos, a set of telepathic quintuplets and one of the clones of Emma Frost. The clones were created by the Weapon Plus program (the same program that grafted adamantium to Wolverine's skeletal structure and gave Captain America his superhuman abilities). The project was code-named Weapon XIV, and the goal was to create thousands of telepathic clones of Emma Frost (one of the most powerful telepaths on the planet), that when combining their telepathic powers into a hive-mind, they would be capable of killing every mutant on the planet. Five of the clones were sent to infiltrate the Xavier Institute, to both gain the X-Men's trust and hone their telepathic abilities, and there, those five clones (Esme, Celeste, Phoebe, Irma and Sophie) took on the code-name the Five-In-One, or as they were more commonly referred to as - The Stepford Cuckoos.
- Coincidentally, the mutant drug Kick was mentioned in the episode Esme was introduced in. In the comics, Esme Cuckoo had ingested the drug to boost her telepathic abilities, and that was ultimately one of the contributing factors to her eventual death at the hands of Xorn. Esme had also influenced her sister, Sophie, to partake in the drug and that eventually led to her death due to overdose. After those events, with only three sisters remaining, the Five-In-One became known as the Three-In-One.
- Skyler Samuels revealed through an Instagram livestream that the names of Esme’s sisters are Sophie and Phoebe and that their last name is Frost.