Well, here we are at the end of season 2.
Every episode this season has started with flashbacks, and this one is no different. The finale starts by showing us the Strucker family’s reactions to the infamous events of 7/15. We still don’t see what exactly happened on that fateful day, but we do see Reed and Caitlin watching news coverage of it at home alongside a very young Andy and Lauren. In fact, we learn that the day’s events are what inspired Reed to join the ranks of corporate mutant hunters in the first place. But we also get other flashbacks over the rest of the episode, showing the Strucker family at other moments of their lives. We revisit that time Reed “rescued” Lauren from a party after her powers activated for the first time, and how his paranoid anti-mutant rhetoric made her afraid to ever come out to her parents.
In the present day, the Struckers have other problems. For one thing, the Mutant Underground’s hideout is besieged by Purifiers. Andy and Lauren think they might be able to break out by using their Fenris powers, but this episode makes the interesting choice to mostly sideline the Strucker siblings. Before they can even finish having a debate about whether it’s ethical or not to use their devastating powers against Purifiers, they’re kidnapped by the Inner Circle! The Cuckoos take control of them telepathically to force them to use Fenris for Reeva’s plan, and they’re able to sneak in using Fade’s invisibility. Remember that guy? The invisible bartender who acts like a dick in every scene he’s in? When Marcos learns what happened, he has a hilariously understandable response: “God, I hate that guy.”
Reed, Caitlin, Marcos, and Lorna need to find the Struckers, but they need to get past the Purifiers first. That’s where John comes in. Knowing that Jace Turner has a maniacal obsession with him by this point, John figures he’ll be able to draw the Purifiers’ attention and fire while his friends escape. He’s right about that, but he does a little preparation beforehand. We finally get to see him go Full Thunderbird, putting black paint under his eyes and grabbing a hellishly sharp hatchet. We cut between him and Jace for a few seconds as they each prepare for the confrontation in a very Pocahontas-like way. And then, after a long season of the Purifiers constantly winning every confrontation, John proceeds to wipe the street clean with their bodies. They all come at him, and they all get thrown over cars, hit with a mailbox, punched unconscious, or strangled with their own chain weapons. His friends have no problem rushing through the blockade after that.
Eventually, Jace takes a few blows and has to go into hiding. Luckily, he’s not the only one who’s been hurt by the Purifiers. Erg shows up, and the two put aside their differences long enough to absolutely wreck these fascists. The Purifiers already know not to attack Erg directly, so John does it for them. A few punches charge up Erg’s eye enough to blast all of Jace Turner’s minions into unconsciousness. That leaves the two J’s, and one handgun isn’t enough to slow down John at this point. He jumps off a wall, tackles Jace to the ground, and just starts pummeling his face. I’ve waited a long time for this catharsis, but of course, a bloody Jace has to ruin it by begging John to kill him. That’s what he’s wanted all along, you see — to see his daughter again. This show is so good at pulling the rug out from under you and making it hard to cheer for revenge, violence, or easy answers. Jace has done so many horrible things to so many horrible people, but you can’t even have the satisfaction of killing him for it because that’s all he’s wanted all along.
Thunderbird doesn’t give him the satisfaction.
NEXT: You want to know my secret, Reeva? I was never in control