Picture this: you find out your children have mutant abilities which the government doesn’t approve of, exactly. What do you do? Well, you take them on the run, finding other like-abled kids in the process. That’s what happened in Season 1 of Fox’s The Gifted, and in Season 2, the drama isn’t stopping, and neither is the influx of fresh, mutant, faces. So who is Reeva on The Gifted? Grace Byers’ character will look familiar to fans of the network.
In Season 2, Grace Byers, who just ended her tenure playing Anika Calhoun on Empire, joins the cast of The Gifted as Reeva, who, according to Deadline, is a “a smart, charming, authoritative, elegant, beautiful woman who is ruthless in her efforts to fight for her people.” Of course. In a statement, Fox continued to describe the show’s new character as a woman that “leads an elite band of followers and has a soft spot for her new recruits, but is still capable of extreme violence in defense of her vision.” Hmm… basically, she sounds like someone that the rest of the gang on the show needs to look out for, because, though she’s beautiful, her bite is definitely as bad as her bark. It’s always the quiet ones you have to look out for.
Byers is free to play Reeva now that her time on Empire is over. Anika wormed her way through the ranks over four seasons of the show. In the Season 4 finale, Anika was on fire, finally the CEO of Empire Entertainment. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to last long, because Andre (played by Trai Byers, Grace’s real-life husband) drugged her champagne, causing Anika to take a tumble over a balcony and land on a glass table. That one is going to leave a mark.
Reasoning why Empire would kill off a main character like Anika, Empire showrunner Brett Mahoney told TVLine:
“I feel like Anika’s storyline had reached its [conclusion]. She achieved what she wanted to over the course of the series, from first wanting Lucious and then just wanting Empire. She got everything she wished for, but it came at a great price. Karma finally caught up with her. She ascended to the throne but then she had to pay for everything she had done in the past.”
It is true that Anika’s hubris had finally grown too big to fail, and that was the moment where she had to meet her maker. Mahoney said that it’s worth noting that Andre didn’t intentionally kill Anika — “He wanted to embarrass her. He could not have predicted she was going to die,” he said. It is what it is. Anika “Boo Boo Kitty” Calhoun is dead. Long live Anika “Boo Boo Kitty” Calhoun.
It’s really for the best, because Byers plays such a great villain. She can be warm, but she can also be cold and calculating. Judging by The Gifted’s description of its new character, Reeva, she’ll be hard to read and dangerous to read incorrectly. Let’s just hope that Reeva’s mistakes don’t catch up to her the way that Anika’s did.