“Gen V” introduces us to several young Supes with impressive abilities. Jordan can literally gender swap and one-punch between the transitions, Marie can bend blood to both attack and heal, while Andre has Magneto-like powers that have come in handy many times. Cate, however, harbored abilities that were left untapped for years, suppressed with medication to the point that she was unaware of the extent of her mind-influencing powers.
When Marie and the others are trapped inside Cate’s mind, they get a glimpse of her painful past, and the reasons why she was Dean Shetty’s (Shelly Conn) pawn in keeping The Woods under wraps. There are layers of accumulating guilt in her mind, as she was the one responsible for wiping Luke’s memory time and again, which contributed to his breakdown, and his decision to end his own life. While Cate vows to do right by her friends after she is found out, she ends up oscillating to an extreme: she kills Shetty in cold blood and takes up a violent stance against all non-Supes for the crimes of a few. Sam agrees with her, as he perceives a totalitarian, all-Supe world as a “just” one after being subjugated and limited in The Woods for years.
The ease with which Cate is able to convince Sam even when he experiences inner turmoil is terrifying, as she is able to combine her abilities with skilled emotional manipulation. This pattern of behavior tragically mirrors that of Shetty’s, who also put on an empathetic, morally righteous mask to control powerful Supes and take advantage of their emotional vulnerabilities. While Cate might believe that she’s being heroic by championing a freer world for Supes, her actions are rooted in hypocritical insincerity, which makes her more dangerous.