5. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE X-MEN?
The X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants definitely exist in The Gifted's universe, but what happened to them is a big mystery fans hope to get some answers to. The X-Men are specifically name dropped in the pilot, with Eclipse pointedly stating "The X-Men and the Brotherhood are gone." Was the fate that befell the X-Men and their evil Magneto-led counterparts similar to the "Westchester Incident" in Logan? Or did something else happen to the most famous team of mutants in the world? One clue was offered when Reed and Caitlin hiding in their motel briefly discussed what life was like "before": that mutants were constantly fighting each other and people demanded something be done. Did the government intervene and somehow get rid of the X-Men and the Brotherhood? Are they dead or hiding somewhere? Anything is possible and fans hope to learn more.
In place of the X-Men, the Mutant Underground has risen up nationwide as a network to find and protect fellow mutants. The Mutant Underground in Atlanta is led by Polaris, Eclipse, and Thunderbird, but other mutants can be seen taking refuge there, like Shatter (Jermaine Rivers).
4. LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGHTER
The Gifted's strongest tie to the X-Men movies is Lorna Dane, a.k.a. Polaris. Lorna is a mutant master of magnetism, not unlike her father Erik Lehnsherr, a.k.a. Magneto. Polaris' parentage was confirmed by the series' creator Matt Nix, who sprinkled obvious clues and references in the pilot. Magneto has fathered lots of different people in the course of the X-Men movies, including Quicksilver (Evan Peters). Lorna is the latest addition to Magneto's sprawling family tree.
At the start of The Gifted, when Polaris, Eclipse, Thunderbird, and Blink are trapped in a building by police, the scene echos the famous scene at the train station in the first X-Men movie where Magneto used his powers to lift the police cars in the air and uttered, "You homo sapiens and your guns!" Polaris, perhaps less powerful at this point than her father, only uses her powers to disarm the police and later, in a fit of rage before being captured, to slam an officer into a wall repeatedly.
3. PLASTIC PRISON
It seems Mutant Detention Centers are well-equipped to handle mutants with magnetic powers. When Reed Strucker visits Polaris in her cell, we see she is being held inside a plastic prison. Plastic prisons are common sights in X-Men movies; Magneto (Ian McKellan) was held in one and escaped in X2: X-Men United, and in Days of Future Past, Michael Fassbender's younger Magneto was incarcerated in a a plastic prison deep beneath the Pentagon when he was believed to be the person who assassinated John F. Kennedy. Curiously, Polaris' scene was more bizarre in the trailers for The Gifted but is more conventional and familiar in the actual episode. Perhaps worse measures will be taken for Polaris further into the series.
2. A FAMILIAR RINGTONE
The Gifted doesn't contain a lot of humor, but the biggest laugh comes via the familiar sound of Eclipse's cell phone ring tone. When having a conversation with Blink about how to free Polaris from Mutant Detention, Eclipse receives a call from Reed Strucker, and the ring tone is the famous theme from the 1992 X-Men animated series. Along with the reveal in Logan that X-Men comic books exist, The Gifted continues this new tradition of highlighting ways the X-Men are permeating pop culture in their universes. Plus it was just one of the best callbacks for old school fans yet in any X-Men movie or TV show.
1. STAN THE MAN
The Marvel Age of Stan Lee cameos began in the first X-Men movie when he was briefly sighted as a hot dog vendor on the beach, and it's only fitting it continues in The Gifted. When Reed Strucker goes to a seedy bar called Tex's to meet with Eclipse, he bumps into Stan Lee himself as Lee is leaving the bar. In addition, the Tex's sign in the window is clearly shown to only have the X in "Tex" lit up, letting there be no doubt that X indeed marks the spot. It always makes a Marvel project more legit when it's blessed by the presence of Stan "The Man" Lee himself.
Did you spot even more X-Men Easter eggs in The Gifted? Let us know in the comments!
The Gifted airs Mondays at 9pm ET on FOX.