Season I, Episode III:

"Rogue Recruit"

Writer: Simon Furman (who is also a famous Transformers writer!)

Director: Steven E. Gordon

Original Air Date: November 18, 2000

Introducing: Rogue and Destiny

Synopsis/Review: This episode starts out at a small local dance party in Mississippi. There's a goth girl leaning on a rail outside (obviously Rogue), wanting to go inside and dance, but for some reason, she decides to stay out here. A football player named Cody and his friend come out, and, after some persuasion from his friend, Cody asks Rogue if she wants to dance. At first she refuses, but then eventually gives in after seeing how dissapointed Cody looked. So, they go to dance, but Cody's pretty shy at first, and stays back from Rogue a few feet. His friend tells him to make his move, and haphazardly pushes Cody into Rogue, and they both collapse in a heap. Cody apologizes profusely, and starts to help Rogue up- when he inadvertently touches her skin. Rogue's power manifests itself for the first time, and Cody collapses, in a coma. Rogue is completely bewildered by all of this, and apparently very confused, too. Cody's friend tries to block her way out after seeing what she did to Cody, but, using Cody's football tackling ability, she manages to shove his friend out of the way and runs away. Cody's friend is amazed by Rogue's moves... he thought only Cody could do stuff like that...
    Meanwhile, Rogue's "mother" (she apparently adopted Rogue 5 years ago), who is blind, is at home, having a conversation on the phone with someone. She mentions that she can predict the future, to a certain extent- she can predict pathways and probabilities, but not any definite answer. She predicted what form Rogue's powers would manifest in, but not exactly when they would emerge. She mentions that she had taken precautions, such as telling Rogue she had a phony skin condition, but apparently, it didn't work. After listening for a little while, she says, "Yes..yes, I know you're coming. And Xavier's team... they're coming too."
    Meanwhile at the X-Mansion, Wolverine and Storm are testing out the new security systems, with the other teenage X-Men watching them in the Danger Room. It's doing okay, but a few bugs still need to be worked out of it. Shadowcat mentions that she's completely freaked out by all of this, but apparently, no one echoes her sentiments, which just makes her feel more alone. Nightcrawler tells her not to worry, that she'll get used to it (while teleporting all over the place and offering her some popcorn with is tail). Of course, this freaks her out even more, and she phases out of the room to go somewhere else. Soon afterwards, Xavier comes in, and tells the X-Men that he's picked up a Mutant signature in Caldecott County, Mississippi, and that they should all leave ASAP. So, they all pile in the Blackbird and take off. On the way, Nightcrawler tries to show off to Kitty (who's talking about how calm and collected Scott is), but only managed to freak her out more. Nice job, 'Crawler.
    Back in Mississippi, Rogue's "mother" is waiting in a limosuine outside an airplane. Principal Darkholme walks out of her (apparently) private jet and gets into the limo, shapeshifting back to Mystique as the limo starts to drive away. Mystique reprimands Rogue's "mother" (who we learn is named Irene; her Mutant "codename", not mentioned in this episode, is Destiny). She talks about how they had kept Rogue hidden away here for five years, but it all comes falling apart in five minutes. Knowing that she can see the future, Mystique asks Destiny where Rogue will go. Destiny answers that Rogue will go "home... or, what she thinks is home".
    Rogue, meanwhile, walks up to, as we are told via flashes, Cody's house. She obviously thinks she's Cody, and lets herself into the house, via a hidden key on the lower roof. Inside, she starts talking to herself- it becomes apparent that she doesn't know whether she's herself or Cody.
    The X-Men are all in the X-Van, waiting outside a hospital. Xavier explains that he needs to isolate Cody's memory patterns in order to find Rogue, but Cody is unconscious and he can't pinpoint them. He needs Jean (posing as a nurse inside the hospital) to help calm Cody's mind while Xavier extracts the memory patterns. It works, and the X-Men go off in search of Rogue.
Mystique, meanwhile, stops in front of Cody's house and enters it, morphing into Wolverine. "She will come to us willingly... given the right incentive", she tells Destiny. Getting inside, she starts to "fight" Rogue (obviously making sure she doesn't hurt the girl), and makes a big point out of saying that she (Wolverine) is an X-Men, and that they're trying to kill Rogue for some reason. Rogue "manages" to escape, after Mystique morphs into Storm and starts attacking her a second time via explosion charges that are meant to look like lightning. Rogue, nearly hysterical at this point, soon meets up with Destiny, who she vaguely remembers amid her confused memories. Destiny tells her to come with her, that she'll keep Rogue safe from the X-Men, who are Mutant hunters. She was just about to win Rogue over when the girl spots Wolverine (with Shadowcat and Nightcrawler coming up behind him), who finally have found the Mutant they were after. Rogue takes off again, with the three X-Men in chase. She jumps over a fence into a yard, and Wolverine's about to follow after her, when Nightcrawler tells Logan to stop. Rogue seems to be terrified of Wolverine, why not let ol' Kurt give it a shot? Wolverine admits that Nightcrawler may be right, and lets the guy go on ahead. He'll go back to the Prof, meanwhile, and tell him how things are going. Oh, and keep an eye on Shadowcat, will you?
    So, Nightcrawler (after engaging his holowatch) teleports into the yard where Rogue is, and tells her that he knows what she's going through- he's a Mutant too. He's about to win her over when Shadowcat comes up behind and tackles Rogue, for a reason I can't fathom- why would she do that? They're trying to win over Rogue, not smack her unconscious. Anyway, Rogue pushes Kitty off of her (via Cody's wrestling moves) and accidentally hits Nightcrawler's holowatch when the fuzzy guy tries to stop her. Completely freaked by his true blue self, she tries to push him away, only she accidentally touches him and absorbs his abilities, inadvertently teleporting away. Nightcrawler is left unconscious, with a panicked Shadowcat left alone. Kitty contacts Professor Xavier via her thoughts and tells him the situation. Right before he was contacted, however, Xavier lost Cody's brainwave patterns- Rogue's effect on others must be only temporary. He picked up Nightcrawler's brainwave patterns after Kitty contacted him, though, so he tells the other X-Men to go to the graveyard (where he detects Rogue), while Wolverine goes to help out Kitty with Nightcrawler.
    In the graveyard, Rogue suddenly appears there, completely stunned. She soon figures out that she must be that fuzzy guy- Kurt- just like she was Cody. She also figures out how to teleport, and has a little fun with it for a while before inadvertently breaking a gravestone and realizing what a bad situation she was in. Mystique enters the graveyard while this is all happening, and is about the show herself to Rogue when Jean Grey shows up. Rogue is initally weary of Jean, but then remembers (via Kurt's memories) who Jean is- that she won't hurt her. Jean gives her a communicator if she wants to contact them later, and almost wins her over, when Storm and the other X-Men come up. Seeing Storm (who supposedly attacked her earlier), Rogue flees again, leaving the X-Men baffled. They spread out to follow her.
    Rogue hides inside a large memorial grave structure...thing... when Cyclops (obviously really Mystique) comes down into the structure and starts trying to push heavy pillars and schtuff on Rogue. She narrowly escapes and goes outside, only to run into... Cyclops? Freaked out again, Rogue pushes Cyclops to the ground, accidentally activated his visor, which blasts a near powerline. Rogue runs back into the structure again, only to be confronted by Jean Grey (again, obvious Mystique) who "almost" uses her "psychic powers" on Rogue, when the girl teleports to another place in the graveyard- several feet above the ground. Rogue collapses to the ground as the real Jean Grey runs up to her, asking if she's hurt. Rogue edges away as Storm comes up behind her, trying to calm her. Rogue tries to push Storm away, only she accidentally touches the woman, gaining her powers. Soon, of course, everything starts to go haywire, as Rogue has Storm's powers, but not her control. Rain starts to pour down everywhere, along with multiple bolts of lightning hitting nearly everywhere. One hits the damaged power lines mentioned earlier. Cyclops, seeing the danger, gets Storm out of a newly-formed puddle just in time, letting Jean lift all three of them off the ground to escape the crashing power lines. Rogue, completely panicking, teleports away- it's way too much power for her to control.
    As everything dies down, Cyclops, Jean, and Storm land on safe ground while the rest of the X-Men come up, an unconscious Nightcrawler being carried by Wolverine. Xavier says that Rogue's mind is a jumble- he can't trace where she teleported too. But he thinks someone else had a hand in this. Wolverine confirms it by sniffing the air and identifying Mystique's scent. Nightcrawler then wakes up, and Shadowcat is ecstatic- she obviously warmed up to Nightcrawler a bit while he was unconscious. She helps Nightcrawler up, calls him a "fuzzy elf" (and thus, his famous nickname gets started here), and confuses the living daylights out of everyone else. But thus is the way of Shadowcat for a while after she's first introduced. Heheh.
    So, the X-Men fly back to the Mansion, and there's a short scene that basically shows that Cody does indeed recover from the whole ordeal.
    Back at Bayville High, we see Principal Darkholme talking to Rogue in her office. Darkholme was apparently the one that brought Rogue here after the whole ordeal, and she tells Rogue that "she'll be very happy here- happy.. and safe". Rogue, still unsure of all of this, thanks her and leaves the office, leaving Mystique and a suddenly-appearing Magneto (How does he DO that!?) to pat each other on the back. (Although what Magneto did in the whole ordeal remains to be seen- maybe he's just full of himself, and Mystique has to play up to him, since she's a subordinate. Yeah.) Mystique tells Magneto that she is positive Rogue's residual memories of the true X-Men have vanished. Out of the office, Rogue reaches into her pocket and pulls out the communicator Jean gave to her earlier and stares at it, unsure. To be continued, heh.

Last Words: This episode was incredibly well-written, with hardly any corny lines at all, and no plot holes to speak of. It all gave the feeling of a "conspiracy" being run by Mystique and Co. too, which was kind of cool. And, like the last episode, it got genuinely emotional without getting corny. A simple review doesn't do this ep justice; you HAVE to see it for yourself. Still remains one of my favorite episodes of the series.

Overall Rating: 10/10...Wow.

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