Episode 5 of FOX's The Gifted will look at the story from the perspective of Sentinel Services, diving deeper into the government agency and giving backstory to Coby Bell's Agent Jace Turner. Sentinel Services are very clearly the bad guys of the show and have been since the series' inception. From their marketing to declaring Lauren and Andy Strucker fugitives via social media after the pilot premiered, Sentinel Services is clearly guilty of the oppression of mutants and their rights. Even Reed Strucker declares that they have to leave the country the moment they learn that Lauren and Andy are a target of the government agency. However, here might be more to the story then meets the eye.
From the beginning of The Gifted pilot, Coby Bell's Jace Turner is presented as an impassive government figure with very little history. He orders the sentinels after Lauren and Andy and might be teaming up with Rodrick Campbell, who was a villain in the X-Men comics. Just what drove Jace Turner to this role where he would willingly turn on children, however, was not revealed during The Gifted's premiere episode. According to Bell, the show will indeed be shedding more light on Turner's backstory sooner rather than later.
While speaking with Screen Rant at New York Comic Con, Bell confirmed that fans won't have long to wait to learn more about Turner's history, saying that the fifth episode of the show will get into the story. The actor hasn't shied away from calling his character a villain but respects the reasoning behind it:
We get into [my character’s backstory] in episode 5 - we get into that deep and I wasn’t expecting them to get into my character that soon, but we did. The audience will see where he’s coming from and why he does what he does. … Both being that guy and the reason why he became that guy, it was some heavy stuff to have to play.
Given the focus on family, both blood family and found family, it's important to recognize that no one has discussed what losing family can do to people yet on The Gifted. It seems like Turner may have a personal stake that also involves the family in the Strucker clan's saga. Stephen Moyer, who plays Reed Strucker, praised the decision to flip the camera around to the opposite side of the conflict:
We do something in episode 5, which is really interesting where we take the story in a slightly different direction and look at it from the other side for a minute - which, without going into too much detail, I think is a really good idea.
While Sentinel Services has a long history of villainy, a deft touch as to what created villains like Jace Turner could serve as a timely lesson for both the characters and audiences. Getting to see a different perspective is a part of excellent storytelling and exploring the roots behind what makes Jace Turner tick should make for a compelling story. Every good villain sees themselves as a hero, and it's a mark of a good storyteller that the writers behind The Gifted aren't afraid of telling Turner's story. Whether it successfully makes people question his actions remains to be seen, but it sounds like the 5th episode of The Gifted will be one to watch.
The Gifted continues tonight with ‘rX’ on FOX.