“When will you learn the truth? That this world is an ugly place.” Gabrielle
Baby David is cooing in his crib while his mother Gabrielle (Stephanie Corneliussen) admires her son. She sits down to write her husband Charles Xavier (Harry Lloyd) a letter. Gabrielle: “How long have you been gone? Days? Weeks? Wonder if you’re…. If I’m even here. Or if I’m there. [Sees herself back at the mental ward.] Still. Remind me how long you have been gone. How did we find this place? A dream you made true, or did you? In my head. Charles are you still there? Here? [Mental hospital] Inside me? [Looks at her baby] David. My beautiful boy.” The two are now talking from an earlier period. Charles: “I found someone like me.” Gabrielle: “You were alone before?” Charles: “You know what I mean.” He’s going to leave to find this person. Gabrielle isn’t happy about it. Later while she’s in bed she hears some disco music [which hadn’t been created yet]. She hears a grown man say “Mommy.” She goes outside and finds a pair of doors in the garden. There is a quick flash of her in a hospital ward, and then we’re back at her home reading to Baby David. Charles is in another room working on an earlier version of the Cerebro, he locates Amahl Farouk (Navid Negahban). Farouk notices Xavier and we see a flash of the yellow-eyed devil. Charles is a patient in a hospital and a doctor is talking to him. Unbeknownst to the doctor, Charles is reading his mind.
Charles is in a mental ward post World War II. He sees Gabrielle sitting silently in a wheelchair. Charles goes over to her and probes her mind, hearing an air raid siren and chaos. He asks a nurse about her and she tells him that Gabrielle had been in a concentration camp and she’s alone in the world. Charles hears muffled disco music and we see a hazy vision of David’s compound. Charles goes for a walk in the woods and comes upon a tunnel. As he’s climbing down, he’s wearing his army uniform. While carefully walking through the tunnel, he is attacked by a German soldier. Charles mentally tells the man to kill himself. The German soldier takes a pistol and shoots himself in the head. Now Charles and Gabrielle are at home, there are flashes of David’s commune; Gabrielle can hear the disco music and we can see David Haller (Dan Stevens). Gabrielle holds her baby and talks to him. Gabrielle: “David. My beautiful boy. Who will you become? What will you do? Fall in love? Fight in a war? Will you be content? Strong? Will you be like your father? A good shepherd? Or will you be like me? When will you learn the truth? That this world is an ugly place.” While she is talking to him, we see the montage from the series premiere of David growing up. I’m sure it’s not what Gabrielle could have pictured. She goes upstairs and hears a voice. David: “Mommy. Mommy. Mama. I’m right here. Your David, I’m here.” David: “I don’t understand why she can’t see me?” Switch (Lauren Tsai) stumbles in. Switch: “I don’t know. I’ve never gone this far before.” David: “Farouk is coming. I can feel it. Please, I have to warn her. Switch do something.” Switch: “I can’t. I’m sorry. I don’t know how much longer I can keep us here. I’m so tired. Can you use your powers?” David: “I don’t know. But we’re running out of time.”
“I don’t know, I – I guess it just…runs in the family.” David Haller
David and Switch find themselves at the mental hospital, David wonders why they are there, Switch says this is part of his parents’ time stream. Charles draws a picture of Gabrielle; he shows it to her but she doesn’t respond. Gabrielle is in a catatonic state. She’s holding a box; Charles opens it and the box contains the angriest boy doll. Yikes! Charles penetrates her mind again and wakes her up from her catatonic state. David: “Wow, this is how they met. My parents. In a mental hospital.” [He chuckles] Switch: “Why is that funny?” David: “I don’t know, I – I guess it just…runs in the family.” Charles and Gabrielle are in the hospital cafeteria eating cherry pie. Gabrielle tells him a cute story about her not knowing what a tomato was and biting into it thinking it was an apple. Gabrielle: “Did you see that when you were in my mind? The tomato that is not an apple?” Charles: “I…There’s a Greek word. Telepathy. Which means ‘distant feeling or perception’. I have that skill. I don’t know why. I can hear thoughts. Memories. But it – it occurred to me that there should be rules. People deserve their privacy. So, I don’t pry when I’m in there. I just try to help.” Gabrielle: “Are there others like you?” Charles: “Maybe. I don’t know. Do you think it’s odd?” Gabrielle [chuckles]: “A little.” [They both laugh] Gabrielle: “But I like odd. [After a long pause] I’m not well, you know.” Charles: “Neither am I.” Gabrielle: “I’ve seen blood on fire.” [He nods knowingly] Charles: “We can change.” Gabrielle: “People don’t change.” Charles: “I don’t believe that.” Gabrielle: “That’s sweet. Do me a favor?” Charles: “Anything.” Gabrielle: “When the time comes…prove me wrong.” Now we watch a montage of them doing cute things like holding hands, Charles drawing a heart-shape tomato, and dancing. The two are falling in love.
Charles is in bed having a vision of Farouk and David. Gabrielle joins him in bed but this is when they are still in the mental hospital. Gabrielle: “I had the most wonderful dream.” Charles: “Tell me.” Gabrielle: “We lived far away from here. You and me. Together. And the stars…They belonged to us.” Charles: “Sounds nice.” Gabrielle: “Just a dream.” Charles: “Doesn’t matter to me.” Gabrielle: “We’re in the madhouse.” Charles: “Until we’re not. Say the word. There’s something I can do.” Gabrielle: “A trick. Well in that case…what are we waiting for?” Arm in arm they walk out into the ward and everyone cheers them on. They are now in their street clothes and the doctor holds the door open for them as they walk out. [She’s a Rainbow plays, just like it did for David and Syd. I guess it does run in the family.]
“I’m sorry. It was too far. I’ve got to sleep.” Switch
Gabrielle gives Baby David the angriest boy in the world doll to play with. Charles joins her as they look at their baby boy. David and Switch observe them. Switch: “Are you okay?” David: “Yeah, I’m just…It’s them, you know. My mother. Father. My real family. I didn’t think I’d feel so…” Switch: “What happened?” David: “They gave me away. Why did she give me away? What was wrong with me? Why didn’t you love me?” Back to his parents. Charles: “What if I pass it on to him? And he ends up like me?” Gabrielle: “Would you rather he be like me?” Charles: “Yes.” Gabrielle: “I wouldn’t. He’ll be fine. He’ll be himself.” When his younger self is alone, David goes to his crib to talk to him. David: “Hey you. Baby me. So small. So happy. Is your mommy being good? Do you feel loved? Something scary is coming. Don’t worry, I’m here. I’ll protect you.” Gabrielle can hear the disco music again. She’s still writing her letter to Charles. Gabrielle: “Charles, my love. I think this house is haunted. I hear voices. There’s a presence. Or maybe it’s the sickness coming back. Maybe I’m the one who is haunted. When I sleep, I feel something beautiful watching over me. But when I’m awake, the shadow seems to move. Charles my love. Why did you leave me all alone?” She can feel David’s presence but Farouk’s shadow has entered the house.
David tries to warn his mother about Farouk, “Mama he’s here, the devil.” The shadow hovers over Baby David. Gabrielle can feel that something is wrong. The phone rings, it’s Charles, he’s in a panic. He met Farouk, and he tells her that he’s evil, there is static on the line and they both can’t understand each other. Gabrielle begs him to get back home. She lays down and hears David crying, she gets up but she’s walled up inside her bedroom. She finally breaks through into David’s room. When she picks him up, he doesn’t have a face, as she keeps turning him over, she can only see the back of his head. She screams no and his face appears. Gabrielle finally sees Adult David, and she faints. Charles finally arrives home and sees David, he thinks David is the threat and he mentally tosses David out of the house into the Time Hallway. Switch falls in behind David. Her mouth is bleeding and she pulls out a tooth. David wants to go back. Switch: “I’m sorry. It was too far. I’ve got to sleep.” David: “No. No. No. Wake up! We have to go back!” He can’t wake her up and screams in frustration. Charles can’t wake up Gabrielle, she is catatonic again. Behind them, the dark shadow enters Baby David. We enter inside the baby’s mind; Farouk is sitting in a rocking chair rocking the baby. Farouk: “My angel. My beautiful boy.”
We meet David’s parents, Charles Xavier and Gabrielle. They meet in a mental hospital just like David and Syd. Gabrielle was a concentration camp survivor who is in a catatonic state. Using his considerable powers, Charles wakes her up, and the two eventually fall in love and have a baby. Everything is going well until Charles gets wind of another person who has his powers. Instead of just letting it slide, Charles goes looking for trouble and finds it when he meets Farouk. They told us how Charles defeated him, but that Farouk was able to escape and possess David. We didn’t see the fight but we got to see him take over David. Our fallen hero goes back in time with Switch to try to prevent it. Every time Adult David is around, Charles and Gabrielle can hear the muffled sound of disco music. Switch has never gone back this far in the past, so she’s having trouble keeping them there. David calls out his mother, she can faintly hear his voice. He isn’t able to make himself be seen until the end. Gabrielle thinks the house is haunted or that she is going insane. When she finally sees David, it along with his and the Shadow King’s presence disturbing her equilibrium, Gabrielle can no longer take it and falls back into a catatonic state. Charles also sees David and thinking he’s the cause mentally throws him out. All of this commotion allows Farouk to possess David. His attempt to change the past fails, it looks like he might have helped it happen.
This episode is a prime example of non-linear storytelling. We were constantly hopping from the mental hospital until their present time. You could also throw in David and Switch being there from the future. It was sometimes hard for me to figure out where they were in time, is it before Charles went to find Farouk, is this scene in the present, or are we in the mental ward. Gabrielle was never quite sure what was going on, and I could feel her pain. It was a very melancholy episode. We knew what was going to happen, but that didn’t make it less painful. Harry Lloyd and Stephanie Corneliussen were excellent as David’s parents. Mr. Lloyd had the bigger challenge because we’ve seen two versions of Dr. X on the big screen, he made the role his own, but kept the essence of Charles Xavier we are familiar with. Ms. Corneliussen was lovely, warm, funny and fragile. David has his father’s powers but his mother’s fragility. He used to have her warmth and humor, but his descent into villainy has subdued that. Aside from Switch and Farouk, none of the regular cast was in the story. There was enough going on not to miss them. The episode looked gorgeous as usual and the acting was strong all the way across.
The scene with She’s a Rainbow from the Rolling Stones is above. The disco song that played throughout the episode was WOT! from Captain Sensible.
Nothin to Worry About plays when Charles begins to read the mind of a catatonic Gabrielle.
The song that plays while Charles and Gabrielle fall in love is True Love Will Find You in the End by Daniel Johnston.
Mon enfance by Jacques Brel plays while Farouk holds Baby David.