‘Glass’ explained: What was the superpower of Elijah Price?
(Credit: Netflix)

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'Glass' explained: What was the superpower of Elijah Price?

M. Night Shyamalan’s filmography is synonymous with sensational twists you never saw coming, which might ruin the experience for some who have accidentally stumbled upon spoilers. So, if you have not watched his unconventional superhero trilogy, which culminated with Glass, then turn away from this article right away. The rest of you can read on.

The Eastrail 177 trilogy, aka Unbreakable trilogy, comprises three films: Unbreakable (2000), Split (2016), and Glass (2019). While Shyamalan didn’t start the series with the intention of turning it into a trilogy, they are intricately connected. While Unbreakable follows Bruce Willis’ David Dunn / The Overseer, a superhuman vigilante with superstrength and durability, Split tells the story of James McAvoy’s Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man with multiple personalities with the ability to change body chemistry with each personality. Unbreakable earned Bruce Willis one of his many Razzie nods.

In Glass, the final instalment of the trilogy, Shyamalan reunites David Dunn and Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) from Unbreakable, along with Kevin Wendell Crumb from Split. The film resolves the story arcs of these characters while also leaving the ending ambiguous enough for a possible franchise expansion. While it is explicitly mentioned what powers and weaknesses David and Kevin have, Elijah’s powers are more subtle. On the surface, Elijah is a comic book nerd with Type I osteogenesis imperfecta, who also happens to be a pitiless mass murderer.

So, what was Elijah Price’s superpower in Glass?

Glass introduces a covert anti-superhuman league determined to keep the existence of individuals with extraordinary abilities a secret. Jackson’s Elijah Price, also known as the titular Mr Glass, devises an elaborate plan to expose this organisation to the world. This plan sets the stage for a climactic showdown between David Dunn, Kevin Wendell Crumb, and Elijah Price as they try to escape the asylum they are being held in.

While David Dunn and Kevin Wendell Crumb’s super abilities are evident, Elijah possesses a more subtle yet equally potent power: his intellect and capacity for evil. Elijah not only manages to manipulate everyone around him but also stays several steps ahead of his enemies.

Throughout the trilogy, Elijah demonstrates his ability to plan decades in advance, waiting patiently for the opportune moment to execute his ultimate plan. In Unbreakable, he engineers the Eastrail 177 train crash to both identify individuals with superhuman abilities and to find his opposite in David Dunn, a man with superhuman strength and durability.

In Glass, the wheelchair-bound Elijah outwits everyone, from the staff of the psychiatric hospital where he is confined to the covert anti-super organisation. Despite his physical limitations, he leverages his knowledge of the hospital’s layout and security systems to orchestrate his escape and expose the truth about superhumans to the world.

Elijah Price is literally the supervillain manifestation of the mantra sapiosexuals have hailed on dating apps for years, much to everyone else’s annoyance: the brain will always triumph over brawn.

You can watch the Unbreakable trilogy on Netflix or just skip directly to Glass and check out the trailer here: