Athens, Georgia: Two Years Ago
Clarice and her boyfriend Nate leave a theater and go to his car. She figures that he's trying to get her to stay at his place, just as Purifiers surround them. Their leader says that they have no business out with innocent humans, and ask Nate if he's a mutant. Nate denies it, and Clarice wonders how Nate or any of the other spectators can be okay with the Purifiers terrorizing her. Clarice runs off, a portal forming in her hands.
Esme and her sisters meet with their superior William and say that the Underground took the Struckers and took off on their own. They admit that the Underground felt used, and William points out that the business at the Trask lab was messy. He says that he was recruited to rebuild the Hellfire Club and their "indiscretions" make it difficult. William informs the sisters that Sentinel Services is still functioning, and that their associates have said that they need to make it concerned. The sisters figure that they can get additional firepower from the Underground. Some of them will be grateful that they saved mutant lives, and they'll "convince" the rest. William puts a diamond on the table for their expenses and tells them not to let the Club down.
Jace speaks the eulogy at Ed's funeral.
Lorna and the other mutants hold a funeral for Dreamer, noting that she could have passed herself off as human but choose to live with mutants.
Jace talks about how Lucifer rebelled and was cast out of Heaven. He says that the mutants have also followed their pride into darkness, and he is done tolerating evil.
Marcos says that they're up against people who don't think of them as humans. He says that they love and die like humans do, and promises that they will find justice for Dreamer.
Jace promises that they'll bring the mutants responsible for Ed's death to justice.
John is the last one to leave flowers on Dreamer's casket. He returns to the HQ and cries, and Clarice approaches him. John says that he's all right, and Clarice tells him that Dreamer really loved him. When she offers to do whatever she can, John says that no one can agree if what Esme and her sisters did is a disaster or a miracle. He figures that they need to take down the Hound program, and they can't lose any more friends.
Reed and Caitlin ask if Lauren and Andy want to talk about it. Lauren doesn't, and Reed says that they should move on. Andy says that the worst is already over, but their parents figure that they can't get caught in the tension in the HQ. Lauren and Andy figure that they can make a difference there rather than Mexico where Reed wants to go, and Reed says that they'll have to agree to disagree.
Shatter tells everyone that the triplets got in through the perimeter guards. They come in and say that they need the Underground's help. Esme says that the Hound problem is expanding and wants the mutants to help them stop it. She points out that she helped save Andy and Lauren, and explains that SS knows what they look like so they can't take them on. Esme warns that the humans will come after all of them, and they have information about Roderick's plans. Caitlin wonders if they're considering it, and John tells the triplets to leave while they discuss it.
Jae goes to his daughter's grave, and Director Wolcott comes up and offers his condolences. He says that he appreciates Jace taking the captive mutants out of Trask, and that he didn't support Roderick's efforts. He understands that Jace was trying to be merciful, but says that the time for mercy is over. Wolcott explains that Trak's research is entering a new phase and he wants Jace's support.
Lauren finds Andy and says that he's supposed to be in school. Andy doesn't see the point, and Lauren figures that it's best if they leave. She warns her brother that the others know that something happened with their powers, and it's best if they're not there. Andy figures that it's for the best that they do know and leaves.
Sage tells the others that there are three sisters: Esme, Sophie, and Phoebe Frost. The police file says that they're a hive mind capable of limited telepathic control. One of them infiltrated Senator Montez's campaign a year ago, and Clarice points out that Montez is a major Purifier. John warns that if they form an alliance with the Frosts then it will tear the Underground apart. John asks Clarice what she thinks of the Frosts, and she says that she' isn't sure but she's not going to hide.
Lorna wants to join forces with the Frosts, but Marcos disagrees. She clutches at her stomach for a moment and then says that she's fine, and points out that the Frosts got the job done. With that, Lorna walks out. Marcos goes after her and sees the Struckers packing. Caitlin tells him that they're leaving, and Marcos insists that they have to stick together. Reed points out that Esme played them against each other the last time, and Caitlin notes that Esme turned some of the mutants against them because they talked to Jace. Marcos says that he wants them there and Reed thanks him for the sentiment but continues packing.
As the Struckers load their car, Marcos comes out and thanks them. Reed thanks him for his help, and notices that Lauren isn't in the car. Andy says that she's inside and that maybe she didn't want to leave.
Clarice approaches Lauren and warns that leaving won't solve any of their problems. She tells Lauren that at some point she'll have to take a stand, and Lauren points out that the last time she did it, Dreamer was killed Clarice says that if Lauren runs then hate wins. After a moment, Lauren walks away.
Roderick shows Jace around and explains that they've learned how to combine the Hounds' abilities. Jace warns that they're already hanging by a thread politically, and Roderick insists that they have to take bold steps to end the war against the mutants. He shows Jace two Hounds, one with the ability to manipulate inertia and another can manipulate gravity. Roderick wants to demonstrate the program in the field, and figures that they can each meet their goals. After a moment, Jace says that he has a couple of leads. Roderick then holds a vial of the drug up to the cell containing the gravity mutant.
The Struckers go to the abandoned Fairburn Vocational Institute where another mutant cell hides. Wes drops the illusion, revealing the cell, and explains that he handles security. Lauren hugs him and explains that they're going to Mexico. Wes says that they're still arranging a ride and takes them to get dinner. Lauren goes with him and Reed tells Caitlin that it's good to see Lauren smile again.
That night, a Frost triplet finds Andy staring out the window. She knows that the Struckers left Atlanta, and figures that Andy's parents don't understand that Andy can protect himself. The triplet says that Andy has to talk to them as Andrew Von Strucker so they'll take him seriously. As Andy goes, Esme says that he's not a child and they might need him most of all.
Another of the triplets sends Lorna a telepathic message to meet her outside. The triplet asks if John is going to accept their offer, and knows that Lorna likes the idea of teaming up. Lorna points out that there are rumors that the triplets are members of the Hellfire Club is, and the triplet says that Lorna's real father was a king of the Club. She tells Lorna that Lorna's powers are changing and if she wants to protect her child, she needs to join them. The triplet tells Lorna to ask herself what matters most, and leaves.
At the vacation, Wes and Lauren are unloading MREs and Lauren says that it feels better when she's doing something. Wes knows what happens at Trask, and says that she can't take back what happened but she can let it make her stronger. He explains that a lot of bad stuff happened to him but it led him there. Lauren warns that her family might not be there again, and Wes says that's fine as long as he got to see her again. With that, they kiss.
Lorna is sitting inside looking at her glowing hand. She closes the bank vault door and tells Marcos that her powers are growing. Lorna figures that it's because of the baby, and assures Marcos that it's not one of her bipolar episodes. She says that everything is changing, and Marcos agrees.
John and the others gather to discuss the Frosts. Marcos points out that they murdered a dozen people and pulled us into war with SS. Clarice and Lorna figure they need all the allies that they can get, but Marcos reminds them that the X-Men chose them because they aren't killers. He agrees that they have to take out the Hound program, but do it their way. Sage comes in and says that she's heard over the radio that something big is about to go down.
Reed tells his family that there's a trucking company that might be able to help them. Lauren is happy to stay longer, and Andy wants to go back to Atlanta. As they argue, SS arrives outside and the inertia and gravity mutants--manacled together--use their combined powers to pull out one well. Jace and Roderick are watching from a surveillance van, and Roderick says that they can flush the mutants out safely without risking Jace's men.
As Andy prepares to fight, the Hounds blast him unconscious. Lauren sees the manacle and realizes the two Hounds are responsible. Meanwhile, Wes generates an illusion of invisibility to conceal them. John, Marcos, Clarice, and Lorna are heading there and call, and Reed tells them the situation. John says that they'll portal in and get them out.
Jace tells Roderick that they got a tip off from the truck driver. Roderick explains that the manacle mingles the two mutants' bloodstreams and lets them combine their powers. Jace orders his men to move in and surround the building.
John and the others arrive and John hears the soldiers setting up. Clarice creates a portal so they can get in.
Andy wakes up while the Hounds tear the building apart. John and the others portal in and run through the building as it explodes around them. Wes passes out from the strain and the soldiers spot them. Lauren generates a shield to protect her and her family from the bullets, and John's team arrives and gets them out. Lorna is blasted backward and John manages to catch her. He tells Clarice to get them out of there.
Jace receives word that his men have lost contact with the mutants. Out in the forest, John uses his powers to confirm that soldiers have found their car. Andy says that "they" said it was safe and leads the group through the woods. On the road, the triplets are telepathically controlling the waiting soldiers and tell the group to get in. Together they drive off.
Later, Jace tells Wolcott that he's seen the Hound program and it's more effective than the Sentinel drones. Roderick insists that the program has unlimited potential, and Jace says that things have gone too far to be politically correct. Wolcott finally agrees and Roderick says that with the proper support they can make it an international effort.
Back at the HQ, Reed sits with an unconscious Andy. Caitlin is tending to Wes, whose body is exhausted from his effort. Clarice congratulates Lauren on holding out as long as she could, and tells her that she's glad that she's there. Andy wakes up and says that the triplets saved them. The sisters are talking with John and the others, and Reed agrees with Andy that they can't leave for now.
The triplets tell John that their sources said where they could find them. They warn that things will get worse and need their help, and they can get them to Roderick. The triplets ask what it's going to be.
Later, the Frosts meet with William. He says that the Inner Circle are unhappy with what they did, but the triplets ask if the Circle has a better plan. William points out that they almost lost the Struckers, and the Frosts say that the Underground is in.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 2, 2018