The Gifted's Polaris (Emma Dumont) has taken a major step to become like her father Magneto - but can Lorna Dane be a better mutant leader than he was?
"the dreaM", the eighth episode of The Gifted season 2, revealed Polaris' origin and her lifelong resentment at being abandoned by her father Magneto. (Although The Gifted avoids saying the name "Magneto", there's no mistaking who the series is alluding to.) A bipolar mutant girl with green hair, Lorna was raised by her Aunt Dane (Kathryn Erbe) in Smithfield, Missouri; at first, she believed her father was Dane's brother, a pilot who died in a plane crash when Lorna was one. Lorna eventually realized that her true birth father was the "mutant extremist" who was always on the news. She saw that the world hated him, but she also hated him for leaving her. When Lorna turned 13, she received a gift from her birth father: a red metal disk shaped like Magneto's M helmet and a note that said, "You are my North Star". Knowing that Magneto is watching out for her but deliberately keeping his distance only made Lorna resent him more as she grew up.
Polaris has largely taken a passive role in The Gifted season 2, which began with her giving birth to Dawn, her daughter with Marcos Diaz/Eclipse (Sean Teale). Baby Dawn's safety has been Lorna's main concern, even as the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club mounted Reeva Payge's (Grace Byers) plans to forge a mutant homeland. Polaris returned to action with an assault on a hospital where the Inner Circle liberated Rebecca/Twist (Anjelica Fellini), a mutant who was needed for the next stage of Reeva's plan, a bank heist of the vault in the Creed Financial building. Though the heist was successful, Twist grew enraged at the anti-mutant insults heaped on her by their human hostages and she murdered them all. This set off a powderkeg of anti-mutant violence across Washington, D.C. and made Twist an enemy in Polaris' eyes.
Fearing for Dawn's safety, Lorna let Marcos see their baby one last time before she brought Dawn to Missouri and left her in the care of her Aunt Dane. When she returned to Washington, Lorna used her powers to reshape the red disk her father left her into a green headpiece. The implication is that Polaris will now do what needs to be done to create a future where mutants like Dawn will be safe. This could mean assuming a leadership role in the Inner Circle and possibly even wresting control of the Hellfire Club from Reeva. In short, Polaris has become more like Magneto.
How Polaris Could Be Better Than Magneto
Magneto is believed to be dead along with the rest of the Brotherhood and the X-Men after the 7/15 incident, but his legend looms large over The Gifted and he also cared for Lorna from afar. "the dreaM" revealed that there were incidents where Lorna got into trouble and was jailed by police but Magneto would interfere in a clandestine way so that she would be released. Though The Gifted hasn't offered specifics about him, the series' version of Magneto was a mutant extremist, a King of the Hellfire Club, and every bit the villain fans know from the X-Men films.
While Polaris shares her father's mutant power over magnetism, she is a very different person. Unlike Magneto, who valued mutant lives above humans', Lorna cares for both equally. She was furious at Twist for committing mass murder at Creed Financial (something Magneto would have enjoyed). Polaris does believe in and wants Reeva's mutant homeland, especially as a sanctuary for Dawn, but she has bristled at the cruelty Reeva has displayed. The Gifted seems to be building to a showdown between them for control of the Inner Circle.
In The Gifted's cruel and violent anti-mutant universe, Polaris could become the leader mutants sorely need. It remains to be seen whether she will ultimately succumb to Magneto's darker instincts but for now, Polaris still has the heart of a hero, and that could be the difference-maker that will keep her from truly becoming like Magneto.
The Gifted airs Tuesdays @ 8 PM on FOX.