- Story Arc: Avalon Mystic Tour
- Characters: Goliath, Elisa, Angela, Bronx, Brooklyn, Broadway, Lexington, Hudson, Demona, Matt, Xanatos, Claw, Puck
- Enemy(ies) : Puck
The Avalon travelers finally make it back home to Manhattan, only to find it completely different. Elisa and Angela get captured by Steel Clan robots, but Goliath and Bronx get saved by Matt and Claw, who now look old much to Goliath's confusion. Matt reveals that 40 years have passed since he, Elisa, and Bronx disappeared from the clock tower that night. Goliath is horrified when he sees that Manhattan is now ruled under the thumb of Xanatos. It gets even worse when he sees the rest of his clan changed in ways he couldn't possibly imagine, and are now a resistance force against Xanatos' tyranny.
This Episode contains the following Tropes:
- All Just a Dream: It turned out that the whole episode was just a dream created by Puck in order to get the Phoenix Gate from Goliath.
- Bad Future: Manhattan has become a futuristic apocalypse with robots and mutates patrolling the ruined streets.
- Big "NO!": "Elisa" is shouting this as the entire illusion begins to unravel, forcing "her" to reveal herself to Goliath as Puck.
- Book-Ends: The first and last episodes of the Avalon World Tour, "Shadows of the Past" and "Future Tense", both show Goliath returning to what he believes to be his home, and being subjected to nightmarish visions. And in both of them, the beings who subject him to those visions slip up, and Goliath realizes just in time that his visions aren't real.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: Lexington is revealed to be the true mastermind, saying that Xanatos really did die in the fight with Hudson. He just kept his memory alive for the sake of his own plans. Subverted in the end, as everything turns out to be an illusion by Puck.
- A couple items referenced during the dream actually do come to pass, such as the name of Xanatos's son and the destruction of the clock tower.
- Puck's resistance to returning to Avalon drives the following two-parter.
- Goliath sends the Phoenix Gate into the time stream without a mind to guide it. He hopes this will keep the Gate from anyone's reach, but it ultimately kick-starts Brooklyn's Timedancer phase (which is glimpsed at in the comics).
- Contained to the episode itself, there are a few things happening throughout that hints at things not being as they seem. First, there is Brooklyn being thrown off for a moment when Goliath points out an inconsistency regarding Demona's relationship-status. Then there's "Xanatos'" throwaway-line about the spell Puck put on Demona, despite having no reason to know about that.
- Future Badass: The remaining group of heroes who are still alive, Matt Bluestone, Claw, Brooklyn, Broadway, Demona, and Lexington, all became this during Goliath's absence. Lexington in particular will destroy the world. Subverted, in that it's an illusion.
- Karma Houdini: Aside from not getting the Phoenix Gate, Puck doesn't suffer any kind of retribution for the nightmarish ordeal he put Goliath through, and instead manages a last jab at him, by suggesting the illusion might as well have been a prophecy. Justified in that Puck is still an incredibly powerful fae against whom Goliath would have been hopelessly outclassed.
- Kill the Cutie: Broadway's death is portrayed as a very tragic affair, and all the more so because he was the most happy and tearful that Goliath returned.
- Master of Illusion: As it turns out, Puck is incredibly talented with those, creating an elaborate illusion, designed to make Goliath surrender the Phoenix Gate.
- Mind Screw: Goliath receives three in rapid succession. First, it looks like that Xanatos has gained immortality due to his body being destroyed and his mind being picked up by his satellites. Then, it looks like that Lexington has pulled a FaceHeel Turn and was the actual mastermind before everything. And then, finally, it's revealed that the whole thing was actually a dream created by Puck.
- Near-Villain Victory: Puck came dangerously close to obtaining the Phoenix Gate from Goliath, who was already willing to hand it over to him, but overplayed his hand at a crucial moment. Goliath was too weak to literally hand it to him and dropped it on the ground inviting Puck (disguised as Elisa) to take it, which wasn't enough for Puck to be able to pick it up, and kept pressing Goliath to put the Gate in his hands. With Goliath's increasing suspicion Puck's hold on him withered until the entire illusion collapsed around him.
- Not So Above It All: Puck hoped to use the Phoenix Gate to convince Oberon into letting him stay among mortals. As he says, "Even Oberon's not above a little bribery."
- Or Was It a Dream?: Puck messes with Goliath by suggesting the dream was instead a prophecy.Goliath: And thats why you created that horrible dream!?Puck: Oh, was it a dream? Or a prophecy?Goliath: I must know!Puck: Mmm-hmm, like Id tell you. Wake up!
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:Goliath: You betrayed your own clan!
Lexington: You betrayed us! You disappeared when we needed you the most!
- Rules Lawyer: The rules forbid Puck from simply taking the Phoenix Gate, so he engineered a situation to try to prompt Goliath into literally handing it over.
- One of the chief inspirations for this episode was the Marvel Comics X-Men story "Days of Future Past". This story, widely regarded as a classic among X-Men fans, was partly set in a bleak future in which the Sentinels had first killed or enslaved both the X-Men and the rest of the mutant population, then proceeded to enslave the human race as well; Greg Weisman has freely admitted that it was an influence for the depiction of a Xanatos-ruled Manhattan.
- During the duel between the Xanatos program Goliath, the former misquotes the "Alas, Poor Yorick" line from Hamlet (as "Alas, poor Goliath; I knew him well") and also combines two lines from a scene in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, when it asks Goliath's head "What are you going to do, bite my kneecaps off?"
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Ironically enough not Xanatos himself this time but Puck. His underlying plan is fairly simple: Design a dire situation for Goliath in which he will give up the gate. As Goliath continuously refuses to use it, Puck spins the story on and on, creating ever more horrendous scenarios, until Goliath reaches a breaking point and willingly gives it up. Unfortunately for Puck he slips up at a crucial moment.