MUTANT LIVES HANG IN THE BALANCE — The team develops a risky plan to help mutants who are in Sentinel Services' custody. Reed reveals details to Andy and Lauren about the Struckers' family history that could prove to be a game-changer.
One year ago, the Strucker family have a picnic at a local park. It had been a long time since their last family outing and Reed apologizes for that, but Caitlin understands that his work keeps him busy. He then inquires about the kids. Lauren has apparently been distant lately, but Caitlin writes it off as normal teenage behavior. After doing a couple tricks of his own, Andy convinces Lauren to let him teach her how to skate. When Lauren falls, Andy grabs her hand to keep her from falling, and when he does, their hands begin glowing in a similar fashion to their ancestors Andrea and Andreas Von Strucker, when their hands touch and they combine powers (see: threat of eXtinction). Andy and Lauren look at each other in shock, but when Reed asks if they're alright, they decide to keep it secret.
Present day at the station, Reed remembers going into his father's office when he was younger with his mother warning him against it. He also recalls being in the hospital as his mother and father argued just outside his hospital room. Ellen spoke to Otto over the phone and urged him to come to the hospital to see Reed, but he refused, for reasons that are now clear. Caitlin joins Reed as he sits thinking. Reed can't sleep nor can he stop thinking about his dad. He hadn't spoken to him in 20 years and didn't think that losing him would hurt so bad, but it does. Caitlin can relate all too well. Her mother used to constantly remind of every screw up of her teenage years as a reminder of how perfect Danny and Jenny (her brother and sister) were. When her mother got sick, they finally managed to get past all that. Caitlin imagines that it's worst when you're not close to someone who dies because you realize how much time you missed. Reed then tells Caitlin about his father's work and how he's the reason that Reed's powers never manifested. For those 2 years that Reed was sick, they thought he had Leukemia and it destroyed his family.
John, Clarice, Marcos, Lorna, Sonya, Sage and Esme gather around to discuss how best to infiltrate Trask Industries in order to recuse the apprehended mutants, which includes Esme's family. From what Esme was able to gather from Chloe Tan's mind, the mutants in Trask's lab are desperate. Esme describes being able to hear the screams, see the bodies, and feel the agony when they turned Chloe into a Hound. With Sage assembling a site map, Sonya wonders if Esme was able to gain any information on the lab's security while in Chloe's mind. Unfortunately, she wasn't. However, this matters little to Esme who is determined to break in and save her family. Marcos and Lorna are just as determined as Esme to infiltrate the lab, but going into the facility without a full understanding of the building would only result in their deaths, so they choose to hold off.
After the meeting, Sonya finds John in his office, contemplating their next move. He begins to think that Esme has a point in attacking the building head on, though Sonya begs to differ, stating that Esme is just a kid who has no idea what she is talking about. While this may be true, she is right about Pulse. John blames himself for leaving Pulse behind to be taken by Sentinel Services. However, Sonya argues that it wasn't his fault. This leads her to question how Esme knew of Pulse to begin with considering that she is new at the station. John deduces that she must've picked it up off of him given her telepathic nature. Regardless, none of that changes the fact that he left Pulse behind, which resulted in him being turned into a monster. John refuses to allow anyone else to suffer the same fate as Pulse. Unbeknownst to John and Sonya, Esme is eavesdropping from just outside the room.
That night, whilst everyone slept, Andy and Lauren lie awake with the startling revelation of their grandfather being a mutant. However, Andy had come to learn that it wasn't just their grandfather who was a mutant in their family. He found a book in the station's library that covered a portion of their family, more specially Andre and Andreas von Strucker. During the 1950s, they were known as Fenris. They supposedly wiped out an entire building full of people within seconds by holding hands and combining powers. They were also rumored to be part of a shadowy international organization known as the Hellfire Club. They disappeared fleeing from the X-Men. However, they were some of the most powerful mutants ever. Lauren is applauded at her family's history and decides to cut their history lesson short.
Lorna dreams that she is at Trask Industries. In the cells are her friends, Marcos, John and Clarice, all of whom have been turned into Hounds. A baby can be heard crying as she proceeds further into the facility. It's her baby behind a locked door. Lorna attempts to rip the door open with her powers though in doing so she is inadvertently using her powers outside of her dream, waking Marcos up from his sleep as she destroys the nightstand. Lorna then wakes up, but still under the impression that their baby is at Trask. Marcos calms Lorna, telling her that it was only a dream. However, a bad dream is all it seems to take to convince Lorna to infiltrate Trask. And this seems to have been Esme's plan all along as she stands outside of Lorna and Marcos' room, seeming to have planted the dream.
Dr. Campbell lies in the hospital bed thriving in pain after his run-in with Otto Strucker in Chattanooga. He seems to have suffered horrendous burns all over his face. Aide, his mutant asset appears to be trying to heal him. Just outside the hospital room, Agent Weeks tells Agent Turner that Campbell will live. Turner suspects that the Mutant Underground will be looking to launch another attack, so they need to put a team together, however, it will be tough to sell an operation like that without specific intel as Washington is upset about losing two agents during the explosion. Unfortunately, Agent Turner was tasked with informing the families. To make matters worse, the Underground knows about the Hound program, meaning the lab is their next target.
Back at HQ, Sage has been doing surveillance of the Trask lab. It is located in the middle of nowhere. And while there is no information to be gathered on the location, there is a nearby bar that Sage determines is popular with Trask employees. Sonya volunteers to go into the bar and pull information from a guard or operations person. Marcos offers to join her in case the mission turns violent, however, Lorna reasons that they have better chances of obtaining the information they need if two girls went in, rather than a guy.
Reed finds Caitlin struggling with everything that has happened in recent weeks. While it isn't fair, Caitlin can't help but think how much different everything might be if Lauren had told them the truth about her being a mutant or if his father had just told everyone the truth. Reed doesn't want to think like that, but it's all Caitlin can do. Their whole lives could be different, from Reed's job to how they raised Andy and Lauren. Nonetheless, Reed explains that they did the best they could. He then looks to Caitlin and asks if she had known then what she knows now, would she have done anything differently between the two of them. Caitlin assures him that she wouldn't have. Hearing this, Reed shares one last thing with Caitlin, that Otto's father and Aunt, Andreas and Andrea, were terrorists and they had the same powers as Andy and Lauren. And when they combine those powers, they are massively destructive. Reed and Caitlin suspects that Andy and Lauren might be able to do the same thing and so they decide to test the theory.
Dreamer and Polaris enter the late night bar disguised as ordinary people. Inside, they find a Trask guard as predicted. The two ladies sit on either side of him, talking the guard up as they get him drunk, hoping that he will reveal the information they seek. The guard compares Trask to a fortress with guns and detectors. Dreamer asks if he ever grows concerned while working around mutants. The guard explains that Trask has a program in place which forces the mutants to behave accordingly. He goes onto mock the phrase "Homo superior", which is often how mutants refer to themselves. However, in doing this, he makes the mistake of angering Polaris, who uses her control over metal to bend a spoon around her hand to form a brass knuckle-like construct, which she then uses to knock the guard unconscious with a single blow. Fortunately, no one had seen the knockout blow. Dreamer takes advantage of this opportunity by exhaling pink smoke into the face of the unconscious guard to gather what she can. While inside his mind, she sees a guarded fence, high powered guns mounted to the rooftop, and the guard's login password. Before leaving the bar, Dreamer makes sure that he has no recollection of the attack, altering his memory so that all he can remember is hitting his head on the urinal.
After explaining the news to Lauren and Andy, Reed suggests that they test to see if the kids inherited the Fenris Force. They learned the hard way that discovering mutant abilities by accident isn't ideal so they decided to test it in a controlled environment. Reed, Caitlin, Lauren and Andy head to the vault, where Lauren and Andy conjoin hands. When nothing happens, Andy asks Lauren to try again. They join hands once more, and this time they begin to glow. The two begin to light up as their hair blows upward in a dramatic fashion. They proceed to build up their energy until Reed forcefully pulls their hands apart. Andy and Lauren explain that it was like they could feel everything around them and could've torn the entire building down with everyone in it. Reed and Caitlin are frightened.
After going through with Marcos the memory she got from the guard, they regroup with the others to inform them that the lab is hardened against mutant attack. They have motion and infrared sensors connected to heavy-caliber guns that are mounted all over the building. Lorna states that she can handle guns. Unfortunately, there are too many for her to handle them at the range they need her to. Forcing them to look to Clarice as an alternative to getting past Trask's defenses. However, she won't be of much use either given that the distance they need to travel was far too great. Not to mention that she is unfamiliar with the building, meaning she could blink them into the middle of a concrete wall. Luckily, Sage managed to find one vulnerability. There is a power substation a few miles away. If they take it out, they can gain access to the lab before Trask's systems get back online. However, they don't have enough combat ready mutants to hit the station and the lab at the same time. So, they are checking with other stations to presumably see who would join them.
Andy and Lauren explain that when they combined their powers, everything around them more so disappeared. They weren't two people anyone, but a conjoined force, almost as if they were seeing out of the same eyes. Reed recalls them saying that they could've destroyed the building. He questions how they knew that. Lauren replies that she could feel it. Andy pushes things apart while she does the opposite by pulling them together. Combined, it was like they could do anything. They were looking at the wall in front of them and they could've vaporized it. Andy wants to practice to hone this newly discovered ability, but Lauren agrees with their parents in it being too dangerous. Andy storms off when Reed points out that he can barely control his own powers let alone his and Lauren's. So Lauren chases after him.
Lauren calls out to Andy to explain that their parents only want to protect him. But Andy sees it as everyone else viewing him as a freak because he doesn't hate his powers. Lauren corrects him when she reveals that she doesn't hate her powers either, in fact, she never felt more powerful than when they joined abilities. It scared her because it felt good. They both recall the first time it happened at the park a year ago, which was before Andy even knew he was a mutant. He started messing up in school around this point because he couldn't get that out of his mind. All Andy wants to do is try combining their power again, which forces him to question if this means they're going to turn out like the von Struckers
Lorna finds Marcos in the monitoring cell looking at the substation that Sage managed to get into using the guard's system access. Lorna wants to take the substation down herself, but as Marcos informs her, they only have a maximum of 3 minutes before the generators kick back on. They'd never get back to the lab in time. Marcos wants to talk about Lorna's nightmare from the other night, but she isn't too concerned about it. But she is worried about the baby as she isn't sure the station is going to make it. No matter what, Marcos promises that he will protect her and the kid, but Lorna doesn't think that this is a promise he can keep. Esme interrupts their conversation with an idea to knock out the power station. She wants to use Andy and Lauren.
Jace calls Paula to tell her that it's going to be another late night at the office. Not that she is surprised. Jace is certain that they're closing in, but Paula doesn't like that he's going back to work so soon. Jace tells her that it isn't just about him. He wants justice for all of them. They say that they love each other before hanging up. Agent Weeks enters his office to inform that he pulled together a team to look into the lab. But they're risking it all for this. If they failed an unauthorized investigation into a covert facility they would soon be talking to the FBI in handcuffs.
Marcos, John, Sonya, Clarice, Lorna, Esme, and Sage call down the Struckers to ask if Reed and Caitlin are willing to allow Andy and Lauren to disengage the substation transformers, similar to how they stopped the prison convoy. While it is admittedly a lot to ask, they feel as if they have no other choice as everyone else with combat powers will be assaulting the lab. Hopefully, they can take down the power substation without putting Andy and Lauren in danger. Sage hacked the security cameras and the station only has a handful of guards. Clarice will portal everyone in, and from there, Sonya will guide them. They'd been through every option. Unfortunately, the plan with Andy and Lauren is the only one that can work. Having said that, both Andy and Lauren are willing to help in whatever way they can. Reed and Caitlin agree to allow the kids to take out the transformers, but only if they can monitor security. With a plan set in motion, they'll be moving out within the hour.
Thunderbird, Eclipse, Polaris and Esme pull up in SUVs onto a dirt road not too far off from Trask. Thunderbird and Eclipse look ahead to see what awaits them while Polaris and Esme gather the equipment. When Esme almost drops a detonator, Polaris catches it before it can hit the ground and explode. Esme is a bit jumpy, leading Polaris to wonder if she's ever done anything like this before. "Not exactly", Esme replies. So before they go in there, Polaris warns Esme that when the shooting starts, everything changes. Esme insists that she is ready and that her hand just slipped off the detonator. Polaris suspects that Esme may be along because she thinks infiltrating the lab will be an adventure, but that would be a mistake. Esme looks through Polaris' thoughts. She sees Marcos getting shot while they were rescuing Clarice and Polaris fending off the police officers. With this information, Esme asks Polaris if she's ever been so angry about someone she loves getting hurt that she would do anything to stop the pain. That's why she came along. Her family is still in the lab and she can't leave them.
Eclipse and Thunderbird proceed towards the fence separating them from Trask Industries. The entire building is guarded with armed officials and high powered guns mounted to the rooftop. Thunderbird remarks that the mission would be a whole lot easier if they had Pulse to take out every automated gun at the facility. Of course they would then be subjected to hear tales of his awesomeness for months. Both Thunderbird and Eclipse are going to miss him, and Thunderbird continues to blame himself. So Eclipse reminds him that he wasn't the only one that left Pulse behind that night at the relocation center. But today they get to make it up to him. Thunderbird calls Reed to inform him that they're in place.
As Blink drives Dreamer and the Struckers to the power station, Reed informs Thunderbird that they are in route. Caitlin then tells Andy and Lauren that what they're doing is a parents' worst nightmare. But they're doing it because they trust Andy and Lauren. They arrive at the power station soon thereafter. Reed then calls Sage to inform her of their arrival. Sage bypasses the fire wall, allowing Reed and Caitlin to view the security footage from the truck. She looped the feed so that security wouldn't see their team but they would notice eventually. Blink then rips open a portal for Dreamer, Andy, Lauren and herself to go through, leading them into the building.
As Agent Turner enters the conference room, Agent Weeks informs him that they checked into everything, but there are no irregularities with the lab. As for lab employees, everything seemed fine. One was out of town for a funeral while another claims he's sick (the same guard that Dreamer and Polaris met in the bar). Turner inquires about the sick security guard, who called in last night. He realizes that something isn't right and requests Trask's employee network to pull the guard's file. However, Agent Weeks argues that it's a dead end. The guy passed out in a bar, bumped his head and was probably sleeping off a hangover. On the guard's file, Agent Turner finds the access information to the power station. He believes that their plan is to hit the power station, thus providing the mutants with a way in. So he orders a tactical team.
With Reed and Caitlin in her ear, Dreamer, Blink, Lauren, and Andy progress forward into the power station. After waiting for a couple employees to pass, Dreamer guides the team throughout the building. However, she isn't entirely sure she knows where she is going because the guard that she borrowed the memory from had only been in the substation a few times, thus the memory is a bit hazy. When Andy wonders why Blink didn't just portal them to the middle of the building where the transformer are, she replies by asking if he can make a portal through a hundred walls into a room they've never seen before and land safely next to a high-voltage transformer. After the team passes the conference room, Reed warns them of an incoming guard. Sonya slowly approaches the guard with a friendly demeanor until getting close enough where she can blow smoke into his face, resulting in the guard dispatching of his gun and radio before walking pass them.
Thunderbird reminds Eclipse, Polaris and Esme that once the Struckers take down the substation transformer, they'll only have 3 minutes to get the charges up to the automated guns and get inside Trask. But if they're off by a few seconds, they'll be slaughtered. And they don't even know where they're going once they're in there. But that's what Esme is for. First they free the prisoners, then they destroy the mainframe and all of Trask's research. Eclipse wonders how Esme knows the prisoners will help. She merely states that she's sure they will.
Reed and Caitlin inform the team that the next few hallways are clear. Reed assures Caitlin that they're going to be alright but Caitlin can't help but worry. Caitlin wonders how Reed used to deal with the nerves whenever he went on busts. Reed tells her the first few times he threw up, which he never told her because they were still dating and he was trying to impress her. Reed found that if he focuses just on his plan, it gets better. Now their plan is to watch over the kids to keep them safe.
Meanwhile, Agent Turner sets up his tactical team. But Agent Weeks still isn't convinced that the mutants are planning to hit the power station since he thought they were going after Campbell's lab. Turner explains that the lab is still priority, but it's not a coincidence that the guard who called in sick has access to the power station. Turner is convinced that the mutants are trying to disable the lab's security before they go in. Agent Weeks informs Turner that he's making a lot of leaps. They're done if the remote units don't find anything. Unfortunately for Agent Turner, Zones 1-3 are clear. But just as it starts to seem that they were wrong, remote units have targeted, meaning they've found the mutants. So the team heads in. Wees is concerned that the Sentinel will be destroyed just like the last time, but Agent Turner informs him that they've been improved.
As Dreamer, Blink, Lauren and Andy proceed throughout the building, Caitlin and Reed alert them of a quickly approaching Sentinel robot and armed team. As the alarm begins to sound, the team begins looking for an exit. Dreamer has decided that it is time to abort the mission, looking to Blink for a way out. Unfortunately, Blink is unfamiliar with the building's structure. So she has no idea which direction to portal them in. As the Sentinel turns the corner, Andy attempts to rip it apart as he did before at the warehouse, but to no avail. With Blink unable to portal them out and Andy unable to stop the Sentinel, the four of them start to run in the opposite direction. However, they don't make it far. Blink is the first to be apprehended, as the Sentinel jumps onto her back and pins her to the ground.
Reed and Caitlin watches this unfold from the surveillance van. Caitlin wants to go in and help, but Reed convinces her to stay back as they can't help the kids if they get captured too.
Back at Trask labs, their alarms begin to sound as well. Eclipse suspects that they've been spotted, but Thunderbird hones in on his hearing and hears the guards say that the power station is under attack, meaning, Dreamer, Blink, and the Struckers have been discovered. With their cover blown, Thunderbird calls off the entire operation, but Esme refuses to go without her family. She pleads with Thunderbird to move forward with the mission, but they can't, forcing him to pick Esme up over his shoulders and carry her out the area.
With Sentinel Services seconds behind them, Dreamer, Lauren and Andy make their way to the basement of the building while the building is under lockdown. Using the code that Sage gave her, Dreamer unlocks the basement door for Andy and Lauren to pass through. However, she shut the door behind them, sacrificing herself to Sentinel Services in order to provide them a chance to escape.
The two siblings enter a vacant lot panicked and scared, realizing there is no way out. Lauren convinces Andy to combine their powers to get out as they did before. She wants to take the building down. Andy agrees and they conjoin hands. However, Andy comes to a realization and pulls away from Lauren. Andy explains that they're in the basement of the building. If they use their conjoined power, the whole building will come down, killing everyone inside, leaving them with no other option but to surrender as Agent Turner, Agent Weeks, and their team enter the lot with their weapons drawn. Agent Turner tells them it's over as they get on their knees and ability suppressing collars are placed around their neck. All the while Caitlin and Reed watch helplessly from the van as this unfolds.
Special Guest Star Edit
Guest Starring Edit
- During Andy and Lauren's research into Fenris, it's said that they were "rumored to be part of a shadowy international organization known as the Hellfire Club". Originally in the comics, it was only the Hellfire Club's small governing Inner Circle (comprised of a few mutants) that did any super-villany, facing off against the X-Men. The club itself was publicly well known, and was more of an exclusive "members only" organization for the rich & powerful.
Episode Guide Edit