|Season Three, Episode 3|
|Air date||September 28, 2002|
|Written by||Greg Johnson |
|Directed by||Frank Paur|
The Stuff of Heroes
The Stuff of Villains
- "You have been chosen to take the first step into this new world. To lead the way, to be a beacon of hope for mutants yet to come. This is not only a big responsibility, it is an honor. I'm always astonished by the wondrous things that can be built on the ashes of tragedy. For even in the face of bigotry and discrimination, the X-Men will endure."
- —Charles Xavier
The X-Men have rescued Professor X, and are back home. However, despite their very public efforts to defeat Juggernaut and prevent the destruction of the town threatened by his attack, bigotry towards mutants still exists as our heroes return to Bayville High. Now, they are scorned and verbally abused by their human classmates, including their mutant-hating Principal Edward Kelly. Also, the School Board decides whether or not to allow mutants to attend school. However, Kelly enlists Duncan to team up with Avalanche, Toad & Blob to ensure a permanent mutant ban.
The X-Men are now living underground beneath the ruins of the mansion. Kitty is sneaking a midnight snack, when Kurt teleports in and catches her drinking straight from the milk carton. As Kurt teases her over it, Kitty sees intruders on the monitors. They teleport upstairs to take care of the intruders before an alarm is tripped and wakes everyone up. Kitty gets to them first, and she’s startled by their monster-like appearance.
Kitty and Kurt take them out, and it turns out that it’s just Mal Robson, Keith Kcid and some other high school jock, all in masks; they had been spray-painting graffiti everywhere. When Kurt tells them that they’d “better take off now,” they do — the unnamed jock saying that Kurt, Kitty and the others are all freaks. Keith agrees, saying that Bayville doesn’t want the mutants around (and Mal adds that nobody wants the mutants around). Kitty tells Kurt it was a lot easier when only the Brotherhood hated them.
The next day, Jubilee’s parents have arrived to make her come home. Logan tells Xavier that first Rahne, and now Jubilee have left. Xavier tells him that he understands, that the parents don’t feel that their children are safe after all that’s happened. Wolverine blames himself, saying, “This is my fault. I should’ve caught Mystique’s scent when she was here posin’ as you.”
Xavier adds “And I should’ve sensed her in Wanda’s hospital room before she abducted me.” Xavier then says that with her advanced mutant powers, Mystique’s now able to conceal herself completely from them.
Xavier mentally wakes up the rest of the X-kids and calls the older kids into a meeting. All of the students are now crowded into a few rooms in the sub floors. At the meeting Xavier tells them that they're going to be allowed back to school for one day as long as they do not use their powers. That night the school board is holding a meeting to vote on whether or not to ban mutants from the schools permanently.
Kitty tells him that she's afraid to go back, that they don't fit in there anymore. Xavier tells her that they now have a chance to go back and be appreciated for everything they are. They see the morning paper calling mutants monsters and Spyke gets angry. Nightcrawler starts reading the article and realizes that his identity is still "unknown". Scott tells him that it's only a matter of time before everyone realizes who he really is since he lives at the Institute. Xavier tells them all that it's an opportunity for them to set an example and he wants them all to be at the meeting that night.
At school the rest of the students gawk and taunt the X-Men as they file into school. Kurt slowly distances himself from the others and when Kitty looks back and realizes she turns away mad. Taryn gives Scott the cold shoulder. Duncan Matthews greets Jean happily telling her that he's willing to overlook her "problem". That they can even use it to their advantage for tests and things. Jean gets angry and tells him off. She breaks it off with Duncan and drags Scott away by the hand.
In town Logan is riding on his motorcycle when he meets up with Colossus riding another motorcycle. Colossus slams his fist into the back of a truck causing a huge wreck. Wolverine jumps the wreck and follows him.
At the Brotherhood house, Todd and Fred are heckling Lance because Kitty won't talk to him anymore. Principle Kelly shows up to invite the boys back to school. At first they don't want to go, but Kelly drops some not too subtle hints that they'd have the run of the school if they came back. So they decide to return.
At school, Kurt is trying really hard to hide the fact that he's a mutant. Amanda questions him about abandoning his friends and she's not too happy about it. Duncan has decided to blame Scott for the fact that Jean broke up with him. Him and some of his friends start pushing him around trying to get him to use his powers so he'll be expelled. Kitty and Rogue show up to defend Scott and scare off Duncan and company.
As they're leaving Kitty sees Kurt hiding behind a building. He was there the whole time but didn't step up to help Scott. He turns to leave, but some other kids are there and ask him if he isn't friends with the mutants. He tells them that he "used to be" and tries to get away, but Kitty and Rogue are right there behind him and heard the whole thing. Kitty tells him thanks, but Kurt rambles on about having to be somewhere and runs off.
Logan catches up with Colossus at a barn. The two begin to fight.
Kelly calls Duncan into his office and tells him that he shouldn't mess with the Xavier kids, that they always stick together and he shouldn't fight them alone. He also casually mentions that the Brotherhood boys also don't like Scott.
Back at the barn, Colossus tells Logan that Magneto has sent him to deliver a message. Magneto wants Wolverine to come and join him. Wolverine tells Colossus that he won't be a lackey like him. Colossus gets upset and says he's not a lackey, he has no choice. Wolverine tries to get him to join the X-Men, telling him that no matter what Magneto has on him they'll help. Colossus tells him that he can't and leaves.
The Brotherhood show up at school and start terrorizing the normal kids; Lance makes an example out of Andy Black when he bumped into him.
Meanwhile Jean is playing basketball in the gym, but the other girls accuse her of cheating and using her powers, Linda Lane won't even stand up for her, and she gets benched. As she's sitting there she notices Kelly packing up a lot of the athletic trophies. Jean asks him what he's doing and he says that he doesn't think that all of the awards were won fairly with them using mutant powers. He calls mutants a menace and calls Jean a cheat. Jean gets mad and Kelly tells her that it could be dangerous for her to have a hot temper with her powers. He tells her that he has a responsibility to protect the normal kids from the mutants.
That night at the meeting as Jean is giving her speech, the Brotherhood and Duncan team up and start a fight with the other X-kids in the parking lot outside. Scott tells the others that they are not to use their power, no matter what. So the X-kids take a beating and do their best to get out of harm's way. As Jean is finishing her speech, Lance starts to bring down the entire auditorium.
Everyone rushes outside and Kelly tries to turn the board members by saying that the mutants are all out of control, and that they can't be allowed back to school. Xavier says that his students are showing remarkable control — even against the overwhelming urge to use their powers.
The Brotherhood steps it up a notch and the X-Men are finally forced to use their powers to save the innocent bystanders. Kurt finally steps in to help, and when the X-Men regroup, the Brotherhood runs off. The X-Men stand in front of the auditorium and look sadly at the destroyed parking lot.
Next morning, Xavier calls everyone to another meeting. Logan asks if there's a funeral he doesn't know about when he sees everyone walking by with saddened faces. He tells them that the board voted to allow them back into school. The kids aren't too happy about going back, but Xavier tells them that it's not only an honor for them to be taking the first step in this "new world", but it's also their responsibility for the mutants yet to come. He tells them how proud he is of them, and that no matter what, the X-Men will endure.
Kurt: (Grabbing the milk carton from Kitty) I knew it! You drink right from the carton!
Kitty: Kurt! I was gonna... finish the whole thing.
Kurt: Okay then, drink up. Just about a half a gallon left.
Kurt: You better take off now!
Unnamed jock: You're all freaks!
Keith: Yeah — Bayville doesn't want you!
Unnamed jock: Nobody wants you! (Keith laughs)
Kitty: Oh, things were so much simpler when only the Brotherhood hated us.
Unnamed Student: Go home!
Unnamed Female Student: You don't belong here!
Ryan Griff: You gonna blow up our school next?
Unnamed Female Student #2: We don't want you.
Duncan: Jean, I — I want you to know this doesn’t change anything.
Jean: It doesn’t?
Duncan: Of course not. I’m willing to overlook your problem completely.
Jean: (angrily) Problem?
Duncan: Yeah! Besides, we could really put your mind-reading powers to good use, such as during the exams, or when we go—
Jean: You — you... lughead! Ugh! We are so through!
(Fred & Todd making fun of Lance)
Fred & Todd: Here, Kitty, Kitty. Here, Kitty, Kitty!
Lance: Knock it off!
Fred & Todd: Here Kitty, Kitty. Here, Kitty, Kitty!
(Knock at the door)
Todd: Is that Kitty?
Principal Kelly: I just thought I’d stop by and personally invite you all to come back to school.
Fred: School? Oh, no way. We don’t go anywhere we ain’t wanted.
Todd: Since when?
Principal Kelly: If you do come, I’m certain you won’t be bothered by anyone. In fact, I think they’re all afraid of you.
Todd: Hey, if you can’t be cool, be feared. My momma always told me that.
Lance: (to Principal Kelly) We’ll be there.
Principal Kelly: Wonderful!
Andy: Hey, what’s your special power, huh? Can you, like, read my mind?
Rogue: Yeah, like I could find it.
Colossus: When you tire of the discrimination, Magneto offers you the chance to join him and fight.
Wolverine: So I can become a lackey like you?! I don't think so!
Colossus: I am not a lackey! I... I have no choice.
Shadowcat: This is the real you, isn't it?! You're nothing but a hood!
Avalanche: Right. I'll never be good enough for you!
Jean Grey: Since this is personal, let’s keep it personal. Now most of you have children, and you love them for who they are — not for what they can or can’t do. There is a chance that one of them will have an advanced X gene, and as they grow older they will be considered mutants. You will love them anyway. But people will hate them. And people will want to hurt them. You will hope for the day that your child can live in a safe world. Well, that world must begin now, with you — by allowing mutants to attend public school. Thank you.
Kitty: (holding Kurt’s wrist) Maybe it’s time you show them the real you.
Kurt: One step at a time, please?
- The graffiti mural in the opening scene has distortions of Wolverine, Rogue, Cyclops, and Jean Grey.
- Jubilee, Taryn Fujioka, Ellen De'Gen, Portia Ross, Keith Kcid, Mal Robson and Linda Lane are all shown but have no lines.
- One of the masks worn by the vandals at the beginning bears a resemblance to the classic Marvel Comics monster, Fin Fang Foom.
- This episode marks the unwilling departure of Jubilee and Wolfsbane because of their parents feeling that they aren't safe at the Institute.
- The X-mansion hasn't been fully repaired yet, and the X-men are staying in a bunker below the house.
- Magneto tries recruiting Wolverine via Colossus.
- All of the trophies that Jean Grey has won are removed by Principal Kelly.
- Principal Kelly tells Jean Grey she has to return her MVP Soccer Award that she won the previous year for possibly being a cheater. However, she was voted unanimously by her teammates for that award.
- Principal Edward Kelly is shown as the mutant hater Senator Robert Kelly from the comic and the movies.