The Gifted is only in its second episode, and already the show is digging deep and confirming the existence of another major mutant villain group within its universe.
Mild SPOILERS for The Gifted’s second episode, “rX,” follow.
The moment occurs when Sentinel Services Agent Jace Turner (Coby Bell) is interrogating Reed Strucker (Stephen Moyer), who was captured at the end of the pilot episode. Turner wants information on the Mutant Underground. Reed is resisting, claiming that the Mutant Underground hasn’t done anything illegal.
Turner tries to intimidate Reed by telling him that they’re considering labeling the Mutant Underground as a terrorist organization, just like the Brotherhood of Mutants and the Mutant Liberation Front. Reed insists that the Underground is nothing like those other groups.
The pilot episode of The Gifted, “eXposed,” already confirmed that the Brotherhood of Mutants, as well as the X-Men, existed in the show’s universe. However, this is the first time that the Mutant Liberation Front has been mentioned.
The Mutant Liberation Front, or MLF, is a villainous mutant terrorist organization created by Louise Simonson and Rob Liefeld that first appeared in The New Mutants #86 in 1990. The group went on to primarily be enemies of X-Force, with the rivalry between them being similar to what existed between the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants.
The Mutant Liberation Front was originally led by Stryfe, the mysterious time traveler who was later revealed to be a clone of Cable that was raised by Apocalypse. When Stryfe died, the group reformed under a new leader, Reignfire.
For now, this reference to the Mutant Liberation Front is just a nice Easter egg for fans, but that doesn’t mean it won't become something more significant later on. The Gifted star Coby Bell told ComicBook.com that the show’s writers are planting a lot of seeds that won’t bear fruit until much later on in the series.
"They're doing a lot of cool stuff that I think the audience won't even realize until season two or season three if we can get that far that they're planting right now," Bell said. "They’re deep into that. They really want to give the fans what they want, and they respect where the fans are coming from and how loyal the fans are, so they don’t want to let them down. We’re working really hard not to let them down."
The Gifted airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.