FOX's new Marvel series The Gifted is off to a hot start, thanks to a strong lead cast and an intriguingly realistic look at how modern society would confront the mutant population. While the show has mostly chosen to focus on the Strucker Family and the core members of the Mutant Underground thus far, the third episode of the season ("eXodus") saw Elena Satine's Sonia, aka Dreamer, rise to the forefront of the action, showing off her unique mutation for the first time while delving a bit into her character history.
With Thunderbird, Eclipse, and the Struckers on the run from an anti-mutant mob, our heroes were in desperate need of an escape route. Of course, the Underground's latest recruit Blink (who has the ability to create portals) would be well-suited for such a task, but since she was still dealing with confidence issues stemming from last week's misadventures, it was up to Dreamer to get Blink focused on the task at hand. Ignoring Thunderbird's wishes from earlier, Sonia exhales a puff of pink smoke and implants a false memory within Blink, one that leads the latter to believe that she and Thunderbird have a shared romantic history. With Blink now determined to rescue the man she believes to be her lover, she manages to teleport him and his companions to safety just in time -- though the ramifications of Dreamer's actions will certainly be felt going forward. But what exactly did Sonia do to Blink there, and why was Thunderbird so against such an action?
Known only as Beautiful Dreamer in the pages of Marvel Comics ('Sonia' appears to be a show-only moniker, and the 'Beautiful' part was dropped due to obvious awfulness), this mutant has the power to emit a special "dream smoke" which allows her to alter the memories of anyone who breathes it in. Dreamer is actually a member of a group of outcasts known as Morlocks in the comics, and she's powerful enough that she can even implant entire false personalities within people, leading them to believe that they're someone they're not. Her powers are ones that can be easily abused, and they're not to be taken lightly.
The comic book iteration of the character was capable of undoing these effects after she'd planted them, but judging by the super serious tone Thunderbird takes when he implores her not to use her abilities on Blink, TV Dreamer's powers may have longer lasting, possibly permanent, effects. After proposing that she breathe some pink Inception smoke into Blink in order to fast track the plot to spring Polaris from prison, Thunderbird sternly asks Sonia if she remembers what happened to (previously unmentioned) characters named "Walker" and "Eve". While our explorations into the darkest corners of Marvel's past have thus far wielded no likely candidates for just who he's referring to there, it's clearly a painful memory for them both.
So now that Dreamer was forced to ignore his wishes in order to save his life -- making Blink fall in love with him and potentially repeating a tragic mistake in the process -- how will this change things for the Mutant Underground going forward?
Of course, this certainly does depend largely on how permanent the effects of Dreamer's powers actually are. Frankly, it would be a bit of a copout for the series to simply have a bit of fun with the concept for an episode, only to reverse course and return things to normal shortly afterwards. (Smallville's weekly stunts with varying forms of mind-altering Kryptonite, none of which had any real long term consequences for the characters, comes to mind.) And again, Thunderbird wouldn't likely have been as upset as he was if this was a temporary thing.
So for now, it would appear that the Mutant Underground's leader has now unwittingly found himself in the love triangle that was teased when Elena Satine was first brought on as Dreamer back in August. Because the memory that was planted within Blink isn't just some random bit of romance, but rather a flashback to the romantic history that Thunderbird and Sonia once shared. Though that latter couple ultimately decided to call it quits in order to work together towards their goals of mutant liberation, this will definitely be a source of some serious tension going forward, and it raises a whole lot of questions.
Is Blink now head over heels based off of a single memory, or did Dreamer implant a bit more than we saw in that cloud of pink? Will the show dare to possibly dive into questions of consent, or will they bypass that and everything else by Smallville'ing it all away next week? Only time will tell.
The Gifted airs Mondays at 9PM on FOX.