Spoilers for episode seven of The Gifted, “eXtreme measures,” follow.
Tonight’s episode picked up a plot thread from last week’s episode, when Reed Strucker, Andy Strucker, and Eclipse raided the federal building in Baton Rouge to get their hands on the files of a judge who is a go-between for the department Reed used to work for, the Sentinel Services, and Dr. Roderick Campbell’s organization.
Throughout the episode, Reed and Sage – the mutant with a computer-like brain – made an effort to break through the encryption on two hard drives taken from the judge’s computer in hopes of finding out more about the Hounds program that Pulse, a former member of the Mutant Underground who was believed to have died on a mission, is now a part of.
It takes the better part of the episode, but Sage is finally able to get through the encryption. Once she cracks the drive, she discovers new information about Pulse and the Hounds and the most surprising revelation is that the Hound program is not a government initiative but a private military contract awarded to Trask Industries.
The name “Trask” is a big deal for fans of X-Men comics and movies. In the comics, Bolivar Trask is the scientist who invented the mutant-hunting robots called Sentinels, the namesakes of Sentinel Services. The government turning to Sentinels to protect humans from mutants is part of what leads to the dystopian future of the “Days of Future Past” timeline, Earth-811, the same timeline where Roderick Campbell leads the Hounds as the cyborg called Ahab.
In the X-Men movies, Bolivar Trask first appeared, played by Bill Duke, in X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006. In that film, Trask was the head of the Department of Homeland Security. The year 2006 is the same year that Reed Strucker says Trask Industries ceased to exist in the world of The Gifted, which seems like it could be more than just a coincidence.
Trask also appeared in the film X-Men: Days of Future Past, played by Peter Dinklage, in 2014. In that film, Wolverine is sent back in time to 1973 from the dystopian, Sentinel-infested future to stop Trask before he can mass produce the Sentinels.
What’s perhaps even more shocking is that Reed reveals his father worked for Trask Industries for 35 years. If Trask Industries publicly ceased to exist in 2006, that means Reed’s father would have been working for Trask as far back as 1971, suggesting he could have been around during the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past.
There have already been some signals that The Gifted takes place in the dark Days of Future Past timeline during the years between the events of X-Men: The Last Stand and the future portions of X-Men: Days of Future Past, including the fact that the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants have gone missing. Perhaps the involvement of Trask Industries is just one more hint.
The Gifted airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.