'The Gifted' Season 2 Will Have Less Strucker Family, More Deep Dive Episodes [Interview]

Fans of Fox's X-Men series The Gifted have waited longer than most TV series for their second season. Season 1 wrapped in January since it was only 13 episodes. So it's been eight months since Polaris (Emma Dumont) crashed a plane and the Mutant Underground, as well as the Strucker family, split up.

The Gifted spent the summer buttering up those fans with information about the second season. The show announced Reeva Payge (Grace Byers), Erg (Michael Luwoye) and the Morlocks at Comic-Con, and revealed footage of a very pregnant Polaris  and Andy Strucker (Percy Hynes White). Tonight we finally see how the second season begins.

But before that, at the Fox party for the Television Critics Association in August, show runner Matt Nix spoke with /Film for the second time after our first interview, this time with a special focus on the series premiere. Nix discussed the show's refined focus and announced some more new mutants for us. 

If Polaris is ready to give birth, is there a time jump for season 2?

Yeah, basically we're calling it a six month time jump.

What else has elapsed in those six months?

Well, the Inner Circle has been making their plans, which have been on hold for the birth of Polaris's baby. That's one thing. The Mutant Underground has been trying to find Andy and Polaris. They sort of tracked them over the country without much success, but have traced them to the Washington, D.C. area at which point the trail has basically gone cold. Meanwhile, in the wake of Polaris bringing down a plane with a U.S. senator in it, sh*t's gotten real for mutants.

Was bringing the plane down a point of no return for Polaris?

That's one of the questions we're exploring, but I guess it certainly was a moment where she embraced her heritage and just kind of was like, "This is who I am." I think she sees herself as someone who is strong enough to do the bad things to make the future that everyone needs to have. So I think she accepted that about herself. One of the things we're exploring with the Inner Circle and Hellfire Club this year is just the idea that that's how they see themselves. They don't see themselves as the bad guys. They're not the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. They see themselves as the hardcore good guys who aren't dicking around and pretending that everybody's going to love everybody.

Magneto never saw himself as the bad guy either.

Yeah, exactly. I think we're definitely following the ethos of Magneto on his best days.

With everyone split up, is the Strucker family still the focus of the show?

I'd say they are definitely a focus of the show. It's maybe a little more democratic this year in the sense of it's sort of two families, the family of the Mutant Underground trying to get to Polaris, the Strucker family trying to get to Andy. And then you're also following the Inner Circle as well. You wouldn't say, "It is the story of the Strucker family" but they're not sidelined. It's just they're part of the big ensemble.

Is that something you discovered in the first season?

I think what we discovered is we have this really fun cast of characters. When we looked at our first season, we went, "What are the episodes that we like best? What are the episodes that the fans like best? What do we want to explore more?" A lot of it was really we really liked doing the deep dives into characters and their stories. So last year, uncovering Reed's history and his father, learning that he had powers once was a big deal and really fun. But we did that with Reed. We're definitely going to do more with Reed this year, but this year we're doing these deep dives with all of the characters and really focusing on the emotional lives of all of the characters. So being able to get into where did the Frosts come from? What are their lives like? Where did Thunderbird come from? All of those things. This year, I'd say we're more democratic in the sense that we explore more characters and less democratic in the sense that we found our strongest episodes last year were the episodes where we really focused on a handful of characters and really telling emotionally connected stories about those characters, and then going to other characters for the next episode. That's really what we've been doing this year.

Is that Andy with the white hair now?

Yes, Andy has a new look. Six months, he's decided to change how he roles. I'm really excited about his character this year. He does some really interesting things.

Will we see how and why he made that change?

Absolutely. Not for a while but yes. He's one of the deep dive characters.

Is it related to his powers?

You'll have to watch the show.

Will we meet any new mutants this season?

Definitely. This year we're going to get into the Morlocks who are a group of mutants that live in the tunnels under Washington, D.C. Their leader is a guy from the comics named Erg. That's played by a terrific actor named Michael Luwoye who was in Hamilton. He's this super charismatic guy. The Morlocks are a whole other perspective on the mutant question, how they should live, what they should do. So we're following him, Reeva Payge is the new head of the Hellfire Club that spins off into the Inner Circle. Reeva is also from the comics, a very powerful mutant who has a power that gives her power over mutants and humans in a way that serves her agenda.

Have you invented any new characters not from the comics?

Absolutely. There's a really fun character, I can't say a whole lot about her, but there's a fun character called Twist who comes out and plays a big role in the season.

How soon will we see Twist?

Twist will appear in four or five.

You have agents working for Trask Industries. Would we ever see Boliver Trask in the show and would it be a different Boliver Trask than the movies?

Not Boliver Trask. We did Trask last year. This year we're doing another sort of comic related organization so basically what we try to do is we break our stories. Then we figure out okay, what does this resonate with in the comics? So there's a really interesting back and forth for us and the comics of like oh okay, now we need this. Then we'll go to the comics and go, "If we pull this from the comics, what is it?" Then that influences the story. It's always a back and forth. This year it's not Bolivar Trask but it's another company.

The Gifted returns tonight at 8 p.m. on Fox.