Season I, Episode IV:

"Mutant Crush"

Writer: Katherine Laurence

Director: Frank Paur

Original Air Date: November 25, 2000

Introducing: Blob and Terran

Synopsis/Review: This episode begins at a Texas rodeo. Jean and Wolverine are there, watching the show (although Jean doesn't really seem the type to go to rodeos, but it mentions a woman named "Shirley Grey" as she leaves the rodeo in her monster truck, so perhaps it's one of her relatives). The announcer introduces Fred "the Blob" Dukes, "the World's Strongest Teenager". Fred then proceeds to use his enormous strength to hold two "Bigfoot" trucks in place via chainlinks attached to their rear bumpers, even with the trucks' engines on full throttle. The audience hoots and hollers as we see Miss Darkholme showing particular interest in Fred. Meanwhile, Blob, using all his strength, manages to pull both trucks back into each other, jumping up in the process to get out of the way. The audience cheers, and Fred bows- accidentally falling off the truck as he does so. Obviously, the audience starts cracking up, and Fred grows red with anger as he lifts himself up out of the mud.
    Cut to Fred's dressing room, where we see him throwing lockers into walls and punching stuff. Miss Darkholme comes in, asking what's wrong. Fred says that he's had it with getting laughed at, and is getting out of the whole rodeo business for good. Miss Darkholme makes him an offer to join Bayville High (obviously interested in his Mutant powers), closing the dressing room door right in front of the approaching forms of Jean and Wolverine as she does so....
    The next scene is at Bayville High. Fred admits to Miss Darkholme that he doesn't know if can go through with school again- he really didn't fit in at any previous one he attended. Darkholme assures Fred that he won't have that problem here, as she's the principal, and she'll make certain others get along with him. (Heh, yeah right.) So, Fred walks out of the Principal's office, looking at his class schedule, which is obviously confusing. He grabs a passing guy by the shirt collar (Duncan, coincidentally) and asks him where his next class is. Duncan makes a stupid joke about how fat Freddy is, and of course, the guy gets mad. He throws Duncan several feet down the hallway and easily rips a locker off the wall to throw at the stupid jock. (And Duncan doesn't notice that this is practically superhuman?!) Jean comes down the hallway during all this, and calmly gets Fred to put the locker back down by distracting him with introductions (while Duncan runs off). Fred, obviously entranced by her, exchanges greetings and names with Jean, who looks at his schedule and tells him where his first class is. (Right on the other side of the hall. Heh, what an idiot.) Then she leaves and tells Fred that she'll see him later, leaving the big guy behind, still distracted by her appearance.
    Meanwhile, in a literature class at the school, a teacher hands out assignments- parts of plays that different teams of two in the class are assigned to act out. Cyclops and Rogue gets stuck together, of course- and, of all things, it's a love scene. Rogue reluctantly agrees to meet with Scott after school to rehearse the play, after telling him "I'm not afraid of you" and pretty much telling him to stay away from her as much as possible.
    Later, in the lunch room hall, Blob goes up to the lunch room counter and orders a TON of food, whilst Jean tells the other X-Men at the table who he is. Blob goes over to sit at a table by himself- only to break the chair because he's so heavy. He falls to the floor, tipping the table (and therefore his food) up suddenly. This launches the food across the room, which, of course, manages to land on Duncan. He gets mad and grabs some food from a nearby tray and throws it at Fred. Poor Fred now has food all over his clothes, and people start to laugh at him. Again. Freddy gets fed up with all the laughing, and starts going nuts and throwing food around at the laughers. (While grunting a lot, of course.) A food fight is declared, and things quickly get hectic. Shadowcat and Nightcrawler leave before things get too messy, whilst Jean goes up to Fred to try to get him to stop. She slips on some goopy stuff on the floor, falling right next to Fred- who's unfortunately about to smash that area with a table, his eyes covered with some green food. Cyclops blasts the table in half just in time to save Jean from getting bashed. (Of course, by this time, everyone else has left the lunch room. How oddly convenient. And where are the supervisors during all this?) Fred finally finds out what he was about to do, and Scott says if the big guy wants to fight, try him. Jean tells him to wait outside the lunch room, which he reluctantly does. Rogue sees Cyclops waiting outside, watching Fred closely, and starts thinking about how much the X-Men seem to watch out for each other. She and Scott start to talk a little, but then Darkholme comes in and ushers them off to class before they can talk TOO much.
    Back in the lunch room, Jean gets Fred to calm down a bit by showing that she has powers too (via picking a chair up via telekinesis and smashing it into the wall. Gee, awfully considerate of others' property, aren't we, Jean?). Fred is, of course, surprised by this. Jean tells Fred about the Xavier Academy, a place she thinks he'll really like. Fred says he'll think about it, and Jean smiles and leaves the lunch room for her next class. Fred finds out that Jean left behind her backpack, and finds a picture inside of it- of her and Cyclops. He shows some obvious hate toward Scott, and rips the picture in half, stomping on the half with Scott in it. Touchy, touchy...
    After school, Fred goes up to Jean again, who introduces him to her friend, Terran. She doesn't really do much yet- she's just there- but she'll become an important plot point in the future, so it's rather important to mention this. Terran goes off while Jean stays behind to talk to Fred. Fred asks Jean is she wants to go out and get something to drink, but Jean says she has stuff to do (she was talking a little earlier with Terran about having a lot of homework over the weekend). Fred doesn't think that this is a good enough excuse, and keeps telling Jean that she's HIS friend. Clamping on to Jean's arm, he drags her behind the school to talk to her more. (Obviously, none of the other students leaving the school see this. Yeah. Obviously.) Jean tries to convince Fred to let her go, that friends don't do this to each other, but Fred will have none of it. Frustrated, Jean picks up some nearby cement blocks from a construction platform on the back of the school and hurls them at Fred. It doesn't hurt him at all, so she does it again- with a buttload of blocks this time. He merely punches them all away, but in the process, he knocks one into a vital point in the construction platform. The whole thing topples on him and Jean, cement blocks and all. Fred soon tosses the fallen stuff off of him and Jean, but finds out that she's been knocked unconscious by the whole thing. Not really knowing what to do, Fred carries Jean off somewhere, watching out to make sure he's not seen by any others.
    When Jean comes to, she finds herself tied to a chair in a room in an abandoned warehouse, several candles flickering around her. Fred, now obviously recovered from the whole ordeal, welcomes Jean back, and shows her the table he set for her. Jean, of course, is completely surprised/disgusted by the whole thing, and manages to contact Professor Xavier telepathically. The Prof is with Wolverine, watching Nightcrawler and Shadowcat do a little "Keep Away" training exercise with a football. It's pretty fun to watch, but Shadowcat wins and does this REALLY annoying laugh. Eeeyaugh... Anyway, Xavier gets the message, and sends Wolverine out to scout for her, using his powerful, super-sensitive nose. The Prof then gets the other X-Men together to search for Jean.
    Nightcrawler, obeying Xavier's orders, goes to get Cyclops, who is practicing his literature scene with Rogue. The two start to connect a little, but you can tell Rogue's still very wary of him, despite his kindness. Anyway, Kurt teleports in and messes the whole thing up, telling Cyclops the whole sitch, and they both teleport back, after a little confrontation with Rogue (in which she tells them that she knows nothing- in a very defensive way).
    Meanwhile, Wolverine finds Jean's scent at the warehouse they're in, and, despite Xavier's order to wait for backup, he charges in. Stupid, stupid, stupid... Wolverine finds Blob inside, who was getting a record player for the "date". The two fight, and Blob basically suffocates Wolverine with all his fat. It's actually rather funny. "Can't...breathe..." Heheh. Cyclops then busts in, and, after a few words exchanged with Fred, opens a laser blast on Blob. Although he's obviously stuggling, Fred manages to stand his ground, and throws Wolverine's unconscious form at Scott, knocking the teenage X-Man out for the count.
    Satisfied, Fred goes back to Jean, angry at her for contacting the other X-Men (and telekinetically throwing a bookcase at him). Forgetting the date, he's about to throw a large mechanical...thing at her (even though it's far too big to fit through the door between him and Jean) when Rogue bursts in. She's absorbed a bit of Cyclops' power, and, after fighting with Blob a bit, steals HIS power and throws/blasts him far out of the warehouse, waay into the city dump. Where a very frustrated Fred throws a tire at some seagulls that are "laughing" at him. Riiiight.
    Soon afterwards, the rest of the X-Men show up at the scene. A still-recovering Cyclops asks Rogue why she saved Jean. Rogue sort of blurts out that she doesn't..really..know... and leaves before the X-Men can ask her anything else. Jean tries to go after her, but Wolverine holds the red-head back, telling her "she ain't ready". Kitty then pipes up that, even though Rogue is technically their enemy, they now owe her big. And Cyclops agrees while putting his arm around Jean. Awwwww...

Last Words: This episode wasn't really bad, but it could have been done better. For one, it passed Freddy off as being very stupid, with a very demented perspective of the world. It was done to such an extent where it's really hard to like the Blob as a character this early in the game. Granted, he does become a more likable (and less demented) character as time goes on, and especially in Season 2, but for an introductory episode, it doesn't really get you to like the main character much. Also, there were lots of scenes that some of the Mutant's powers SHOULD have been seen, but they weren't thanks to a lot of "convenient" happenings. And that gives you a bad feeling that the writers sluffed off a bit in that area. But still, some bits were pretty good, and it did get a bit funny occasionally.

Overall Rating: 6/10 Above Average

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