Season I, Episode XII:

"The Cauldron, Part I"

Writer: Simon Furman

Director: Gary Graham

Original Air Date: May 5, 2001

Introducing: Havok

Synopsis/Review: This episode starts out with Scott and Jean driving back to the Mansion, finished with a Friday's worth of school. Scott immediately leaps out of the car, ecstatic that the weekend's finally here. Jean yells after him that he forgot his homework (such a party pooper...), but Scott's already too far off to hear her. Jean sighs and picks up his backpack, when she suddenly hears a rustle in the bushes behind her. She investigates it, and sees a figure suddenly leap behind another bush, farther away. She rips the bush out using her psychic powers, and discovers that Toad's behind it. Toad immediately starts attacking Jean- to no avail, of course. Toad's powers simply aren't effective against Jean's. During the one-sided battle, Toad goes on about how "they've all got to prove themselves", refusing to expand on that any further as he continues to attack Jean. Jean eventually tires of trying to get more information out of Toad and tosses him down a nearby well. As soon as she finishes with that, Jean turns around, as out of nowhere a huge metallic ball suddenly hovers down to the ground, finally setting down on the soil. Jean, bewildered, comes up to it, as the metallic ball opens up part way, revealing a hollow interior. Suddenly, long metallic tentacles come out of the ball, grabbing Jean and dragging her into it. It then quickly closes back up and hovers away. Toad, in the meantime, finally manages to get out of the wall just as the ball sails of sight. He yells something very confusing (at least for now) after the ball: " wasn't over...I coulda still won... That should've been me! MEEEE!"
    In the next scene, we focus on the coast of Hawaii. Two surfers are yelling for a figure on a surfboard a couple hundred yards out into the ocean to come back in. We gather that the figure's name is Alex, but since he doesn't respond, the surfer-friends assume he just wants to be alone for a while, and leave.
    Alex, meanwhile, is relaxing on his surfboard out on the waves, when something suddenly bumps his board. He gets up, and the "something" bumps his board again, this time so hard that he falls into the water. The "something" is a hungry shark! As it comes towards Alex again, Alex, panicking, throws his arms out in front of him, as if to protect him- only, to his complete surprise, laser blasts emit from his hands, striking the shark! The shark retreats, then comes around again. Alex, more confident this time, manages to fire at the shark again, and the shark retreats. Alex, completely surprised by the blasts emitted from his hands, stares at his glowing hands, until the glow suddenly disipates. What's going on?
    Back at the Institute, we see Xavier in the new, rebuilt Cerebro (trashed during the Juggernaut debacle). It looks remarkably similar to that used in the live-action movie... Anyway, Logan comes in, and Xavier explains that he's found Scott's brother, Alex Masters (formerly Alex Summers). Apparently, Alex is a Mutant too. Logan mentions that he thought Scott was the only one who survived the plane crash, but Xavier responds that he apparently isn't. Alex is now living with foster parents in Hawaii, as far as he can determine. He tells Logan to get the Blackbird ready- they're going to Hawaii, after he gets Scott.
    Over at Hawaii, we see Alex sitting by the beach- he still can't get over what happened earlier... suddenly, a figure hovers up- it's Magneto. Magneto invites Alex to join him, as he can help Alex with his powers...
    Later at the X-Mansion, the Blackbird is fired up, and Xavier tells Scott about his long-lost brother. Scott freaks out, unbelieving that his brother is still alive after all this time. He starts blaming himself for not continuing to look for Alex, but Xavier reassures him that it's not his fault. Scott and Xavier quickly board the Blackbird, and it takes off. Spyke, Rogue, and Shadowcat come into the hold right as it takes off, though, and stare longingly as the X-Jet zooms off. Spyke and Rogue are really ticked- weren't they going to Hawaii!? Kitty just says that she doesn't blame them for leaving- since Scott's seeing a brother he hasn't seen in ten years. (How'd she know that? Meh.) Once Kurt pops in in a very wacky tropical beach get-up, they all decide to go to the beach anyway to soak up some rays.
    The four X-Kids get in the X-Van, hurrying so that they can leave before Storm arrives back at the Mansion and messes up their plans. Rogue mentioned that she couldn't find Jean, so she left her a note... As the van pulls away, a cat watches them slyly from behind a tree, then morphs into Mystique. She opens up a walkie-talkie and talks to Lance about a "change of plans, they're on the move". Lance mentions that they won't be for long...
    Over in Hawaii, the X-Jet lands, and Logan and Scott examine what they believe is Alex's footprints in the sand, which stop abruptly. Logan bets on it being Magneto. Scott asks who's Magneto, but Logan just responds with a vague "You're about to find out". Suddenly, the Blackbird behind them begins to turn around by itself, Xavier still in it! Logan confirms that it IS Magneto, and latches onto the Blackbird as it's lifted off via the unseen Magneto's power, off into the horizon. Scott stares off at the shrinking form of the Blackbird, bewildered at what's happening, when a human form comes over the rocks... It's Alex! Alex and Scott immediately run up to each other and hug, reminiscing a bit, etc. Alex mentions that he's a Mutant too, just like Scott. Alex then proceeds to tell Scott about a "great guy" he met up with called Magneto. Scott immediately stops the conversation- Magneto just kidnapped his professor! But no, Alex says, Scott's got it all wrong. Magneto just wants to talk to them all. Alex then leads Scott to a nearby spot where one of those giant metallic balls is, partially open. Alex invites Scott into the ball, as the new Mutant wants to find out what Magneto wants to talk to them all about. Scott's still understandably wary, but reluctantly agrees, if for nothing else than to keep an eye on Alex. They both get in the ball, and it closes and zooms away.
    Back with the X-Van, the four X-Kids are cruising along towards the beach, when a jeep pulls up behind them- it's Lance, Pietro, and Todd! Avalanche rumbles the road the point where Nightcrawler's forced to maneuver the X-Van off it, onto a sandy side-ramp- only Blob's blocking the way! The X-Van slams into Blob, who stops it in place easily. The jeep pulls up behind the X-Van, and Lance gets up- "Let's party."
    Meanwhile, at the X-Mansion, Storm comes in, wondering where the X-Kids are. A familiar cat follows her, and morphs into Mystique. Storm turns around suddenly (for some reason not surprised that the cat is Mystique), and the two immediately attack each other.
    Back in the "commandeered Blackbird", Xavier asks Magneto (who's there, but isn't... weird...) what's going on. Magneto replies that he's merely ensuring the survival of the Mutant race. They both know that mankind will eventually learn of Mutantkind, and fear them, "for we are the future... and what man fears, he tramples... so I shall be ready for them". Before Magneto goes further, he notices Wolverine clinging onto the side of the Blackbird, and uses his metallic powers to pry Logan's claws off of the Blackbird, and Logan plummets into the ocean. Logan notices a nearby small island, and begins to swim toward it. Magneto then continues about how he will create a sanctuary for Mutantkind, and leads Xavier's Blackbird up to a large "city" he designed on a relatively small, floating asteroid somewhere above the arctic. "Welcome, Charles, to Sanctuary- Asteroid M!"
    Back with Logan, he finally makes it to the small island. He looks up and finds Sabretooth there, smirking. Logan realizes that he wasn't dropped here by accident... Sabretooth confirms Logan's suspicion and immediately attacks him.
    Later, Xavier has apparently gotten out of the Blackbird and walks up to Magneto, who's on a kind of large balcony on the top of the low-flying asteroid. Xavier asks his former friend what this is all about, and Magneto responds that it's a "rebirth"- both Xavier's X-Men and his own recruits are facing a trial. He's basically pitting them against each other, and the winners will take their place here on Asteroid M, where Magneto will perfect their powers and make them ready for the eventual war with humankind. The losers will be left behind, obviously.
    During Magneto's speech-voiceover, we see the different battles ensue between the different members of the X-Men and the Brotherhood. The action sequences are pretty cool, and, in short, Storm, Rogue, Avalanche, Blob, and Quicksilver win, while Mystique, Spyke, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, and Toad (again!) lose. Wolverine and Sabretooth are still battling it out on the island, however. All of the winners are brought up to Asteroid M by those metallic balls (via free will or not...), and the resistant X-Men winners get sedated and put in some kind of tubes with knockout gas in them. Magneto shows the Professor this, and Xavier is horrified at what Magneto has done to his friends. Magneto admits that sometimes "salvation must be force fed.. but for every believer, there is a new convert". A nearby door opens up, and Scott and Alex walk in, in new suits that Magneto apparently prepared for them. Xavier is horrified that Scott's apparently switched sides... and then the episode ends. To be continued! Dun dun dun!

Last Words: This episode was a very good one, and had a very nice lead-in to the next episode. I was on the edge of my seat the first time I saw this one. The fight scenes were also very good, especially the Mystique/Storm one. There was a couple rather odd minor plot points, though. How did Kitty know about Scott's brother when Xavier, I assume, hadn't told them yet? And how could Magneto speak to Xavier in the Blackbird, when he wasn't really that close to it? But that's not that big a deal, and definitely not worth dropping down the rating a point. Asteroid M seems a bit corny at first, but I hoped that they'd explain why it's hovering and why it's so futuristic in the next episode, as Asteroid M didn't really make its appearance until the last third of the ep. A nearly flawless ep, really, with a nice speech by Magneto.

Overall Rating: 10/10 ...Wow.

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