Blood drips from Polaris’ nose after she successfully escapes her prison cell in The Gifted episode 3. She uses every ounce of energy she has to combat the inhibitor collar shackled to her neck in order to blast the door open, but quickly passes out in the hallway before she can flee. “Now that’s just sad,” the prison guard utters before calling for backup. This is one of many times we’ve seen Polaris go to the extreme to ensure her child has a chance at life.
The first testament to Polaris’ grit came in the pilot, when she is first apprehended. This was such an important, character-defining moment, actress Emma Dumont says there were two versions.
“The original one we shot was me in a vacuum-sealed bag,” Dumont told Player.One at New York Comic Con. “In that moment she was in a lot of pain and up in this big bag and it was different. The scene we have in the new pilot was way more intimate, and we have Reed Strucker, a father, trying to be like, ‘Hey dude, stop being crazy. Stop being erratic and nuts and trying to kill cops. You have a kid that you have to take care of.’ Polaris says ‘f*** you, I don't care what you have to say, I'm going to fight even harder now. It’s a momma bear moment.”
Others in Polaris’ position would stop resisting and grieve their fate. That’s not in Polaris’ DNA. She is determined to fight because she has nothing to lose. If she doesn’t resist, her mutant child could be executed by the Sentinels. If she does fight, her mutant child could still be in danger, but at least there is a glimmer of hope she’ll see Eclipse and the Mutant Underground once again.
“I don't know how long gestation is for mutants, but if it’s nine months, she has nine months to make the world a better place so her kid can be born in a safe environment. That's her timeline. One more day that my kid is going to be hunted down. One more day the Sentinel Services are killing babies and taking them away from their families. The stakes are so high for her every single day. Our first season is only 18 days or something.”
The Mutant Underground is already plotting a way to get Polaris out of jail, but Dumont teases she may have to work with a former adversary in the meantime. Reed Strucker, now in Sentinel Services custody for protecting his two mutant children, could be the key to the plan. Reed worked as a mutant prosecutor and knows the ins and outs of the Sentinels system. While the two will be forced into partnership, Dumont is adamant Polaris will never forgive Reed for his willingness to participate in mutant oppression.
“She hates his guts. She thinks he’s what's wrong with the world. He’s a bigot, he’s a bad person, he’s harming innocent people and he doesn't even realize he’s bad. She hates him. But for survival and for survival only, with the stakes so high with her mutant baby she has to worry about, she ends up having two work with Reed,” Dumont said. “There is a difference between putting things aside and forgiveness. I don't think Polaris ever ever forgave him. There are moments Reed admits he was wrong and realizes his faults. She basically says to him, ‘No, you definitely don’t get forgiveness from me.’ She’s stubborn, but rightfully so.”
Strucker and Polaris have yet to meet behind bars. It’s unclear in what capacity this partnership forms, but it will be interesting to see how two individuals with very different views of the world work together toward a common goal -- to protect their children.
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