'The Gifted': Skyler Samuels Cast In Recurring Role

Actress Skyler Samuels is going from scream queen to mutant.Samuels has been cast in a “key [...]

Actress Skyler Samuels is going from scream queen to mutant.

Samuels has been cast in a "key recurring role' on The Gifted, according to Deadline. The report describes Samuels' character as "a refugee mutant with telepathic abilities and a mysterious past."

Given The Gifted's use of the Hounds and how the show seems to, overall, be on the path to the dystopian future of "Days of Future Past," one may think that Samuels could be playing Rachel Summers. However, the synopsis for the show's next episode, "threat of eXtinction," has her listed as a character named "Esme."

The name Esme combined with the telepathic mutant abilities seems to suggest that Samuels is playing Esme Cuckoo, one of the telepathic "children" of Emma Frost, one of the most powerful mutant telepaths in the Marvel Universe.

When Esme was first introduced during Grant Morrison's New X-Men run in the early 2000s, she was one of five identical, telepathic mutants referred to as the Stepford Cuckoos. The Cuckoos shared a telepathic hive mind and were closely watched and tutored by Emma Frost.

Later on in the series, Esme was seduce by Magneto, who was teaching at the Xavier Institute in the disguise of the peaceful mutant Xorn, into joining his new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (it would later be retconned that this was actually Xorn pretending to be Magneto pretending to be Xorn, but that's an entirely separate continuity quagmire). Esme later turned on Xorn/Magneto when he spurned her affections, and the villain killed Esme by burrowing her metal earrings into her brain.

Later, Esme was resurrected as part of the X-Men: Phoenix Warsong series, which revealed the true history of the Cuckoos. It turned out that they were all clones of Emma Frost created to be Weapon XIV, another superweapon created by the Weapon Plus program, which is the same program that produced Captain America (Weapon I) and Wolverine (Weapon X). By the story's conclusion, Esme was dead once again, killed by one of her sisters who wielded the Phoenix Force.

Any part of this comic book history could serve as Esme's "mysterious past" on The Gifted. Was she a former student at Xavier's? Was she forced to leave because she joined the Brotherhood? Is she actually just a clone who was only recently released into the world?

Either way, Esme's connection to Emma Frost provides one more tie between the X-Men and the Mutant Underground.

The Gifted airs Mondays at 9 p.m. Et on Fox.