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Review and Media by Stu

Episode #33 - Mainstream
Original Airdate September 28th, 2002

The X-Men return to Bayville High as the school contemplates whether or not to let them return on a full time basis. Can The X-Men avoid using thier powers for an entire day? Not if Duncan and The Brotherhood have anything to say about it!

Story By: Greg Johnson
Written By: Michael Merton
Directed By: Frank Paur
Music Composed By: William Anderson
Guest Starring: Vincent Gale as Duncan, Moneca Stori as Amanda and Michael Adamthwaite as Colossus.

Review: After 4 blissful episodes free of Bayville High, The X-Kids return to school. Generally, I hated The X-Men going to school. Now, I’m not one of those X-Men purists, who believe that the kids should’ve been educated in the institute; no I hate the school because most of the time, it was a waste of time, serving only as a place where all the mutants, good and bad, could congregate.

Personally, I think the school was a wasted opportunity. I think the kids constantly keeping secrets of their double lives (as mutants) could’ve been great fun. It’s probably what I like most about Spider-Man, my favourite fictional character. Constantly hiding who he is from those around him, and having to deal with the consequences his double life effects not only him, but those around him. I think this is why I like the MTV animated series more than most, as this was one of the major focal points. There’s a line in the trailer for that show’s DVD that goes as follows;

“Most people spend their entire lives trying to figure out who they are. But for me, it’s about keeping it a secret.”

Had the students of Bayville tried something like this, I think the show could’ve been a hell of a lot more interesting than it actually was. I don’t know if this was a creative decision or the WB wanted kids to relate to the characters, but alas, having the X-Men at school was a major pain to the series and greatly dragged it down for the first two seasons. Now though, this very episode deals with in a different light, as the rest of the students are now fully aware that the students at Xavier Institute are mutants. With their sweet new civilian designs in tow, the X-Men finally face the persecution that I’d personally been waiting for since the opening seconds of Unexpected Changes.

The annoyance of the WB’s romantic rules once again leaves us with an interesting romance that literally fizzled out as Scott and Taryn’s literally ends on her giving him a dirty look. Like that, she is never seen or mentioned again. I understand the point of why they broke up like this, but still can’t help but feel disappointed. Jean’s relationship with Duncan also ended here, but that was given more of a resolution. It also served as big plot of this episode. Whilst the pairing of Duncan and The Brotherhood was more than a little odd, the main point was to show that Principal Kelly was fully against mutants. I thought Kelly was good in the role of Principal; especially considering how wasted Mystique was in the role. Having a human threat in school worked much better than someone who helped like to boss about the then useless Brotherhood.

Speaking of The Brotherhood, I loved them barging into school, now loving the fact that everyone was afraid of them. They’ll never find the acceptance they all want, and to them, being feared is the next best thing. I couldn’t help but chuckle more than once at Lance’s “You looking at me? Did I do something funny?” line. One of the best Brotherhood scenes throughout the series, without a doubt.

I thought Jean’s speech at the end was very well done. With them now being accepted back into school, it gave an optimistic feel following on from a string of very dark episodes. A well done episode, even if the majority of it did take place in school.