Mutant Research Center, Muir Island, Scotland. Doctor "Adler" straps Warren Worthington III to the machine to start the process but then he transforms back to Mystique who mockingly laughs at him. Apocalypse shows up and praises her work as the enslavement process starts. At the local pub, Professor X is discussing with Jean, Scott and Rogue how most mutants are unsatisfied with their mutations and become consumed by their bitterness.
At that moment "Warren" comes in and tells everyone that he's cured. The mutants in the pub are overjoyed but Scott angrily tells them that there's nothing wrong them however Xavier says that it's not the X-Men's role to tell other mutants what to do with their lives. Apocalypse is watching the scene through a surveillance camera when an Obviously Evil altered Warren shows up- he now has metal wings and his skin tone is tinged blue and calls himself Archangel. Apocalypse monologues about how he will destroy the old order and bring about a better world from the ashes. Three metallic horsemen, based on the biblical horsemen of the apocalypse, are ordered, along with Archangel to wreak havoc and cleanse the world.
Back at the X-Mansion, Jean, Rogue and Gambit are playing pool. Gambit is flirting with Rogue, who doesn't appreciate his attempts at ending up in a coma. Storm is watching television where the news are focusing on the global conference for the conventional weapons disarmament. As the conference speaker is giving a speech, Apocalypse and the Four Horsemen appear. The crowd gathered outside the palace run away as the French army attempts futily to stop the powerful mutants. Professor X is worried about this development, as Apocalypse is not just a threat to world peace but the continuous coexistence between humans and mutants. The X-Men fly on the Blackbird to Europe however Rogue is sent by the Professor to Muir island as he recognized the Horsemen as the mutants seeking a cure back the pub.
In his hideout in Stonehenge, Apocalypse directs his horsemen to destroy all humans and to use their powers to destroy military bases, spread diseases and destroy dams. Rogue arrives at Muir Island where she confronts "Adler" by strapping him to the machine and threatening to put him through the prodecure- Mystique reveals her true nature and tells Rogue that there was a never a cure. The machine enslaves mutants, making them hate everything and everyone, and that Apocalypse has a secret hideout in Stonehenge in England. Rouge releases Mystique from the machine now that she knows the true, but Mystique then grabs a gun she had stashed under a nearby table and blasts Rogue, distracting her long enough to flee.
Meanwhile, the rest of the X-Men arrive in England, where they confront Pestilence. Storm conjures a wave of fog to distract her and Scott blasts her with his eye beam. Right then the other three horsemen arrive, but their flying steeds prevent the X-Men from attacking them. After rescuing Pestilence the Horsemen fly away, but Scott states that they will lead to Apocalypse's hideout. Rogue and the X-Men arrive at Stonehenge, but the combined powers of Apocalypse and the Horsemen proves to be evenly matched to that of the X-Men. Desperate, Rogue decides to use her absorption powers on Archangel, freeing him from the compulsion but also causing pain to Rogue. Horrified at what he has done Archangel sends metal feathers at the Horsemen, defeating them. Apocalypse, realizing he's outgambited, flees into his hideout and then escapes through a spaceship.
Archangel is still horrified at the evil deeds he has done and while Rogue tries to console him, she's also shaken by having to absorb the evil inside Archangel.
This episode provides examples of:
- Ax-Crazy: Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen. Rogue was forced to absorb the memories of Death/Archangel, but even she's unsure if she can keep the evil contained before it consumes her.
- Bad is Good and Good is Bad: Apocalypse sees the world as corrupt (read:filled with weakness), and believes that ideals such as "peace" makes people "corrupt" and "weak". Therefore, both humans and mutants (who generally don't have good relations with each other) are equally feeble and in his mind and both an "evil" that must be destroyed for seeking peace as something to strive for. Rogue was very unnerved by the logic Apoc used.
- Badass Boast: "I am Apocalypse! Look upon the future and tremble!"
- "All who oppose me shall be crushed!"
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Apocalypse attacks the peace conference after a reference is made to the future:"Fools! You bleat for the future like a herd of sheep! I'll give you the future right now!"
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The mutants looking for a cure who became Apocalypse's Four Horsemen.
- Clothing Damage: Rogue's jacket gets destroyed by Apocalypse's energy beam attack.
- Before that, the back of her jacket has a hole thanks to Mystique blasting her from behind.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Rogue vs Apocalypse. Let's just say it doesn't go too well for Rogue. Fortunately, the rest of the X-Men show up.
- The Dragon: The Four Horseman technically serve as Apocalypse's Co-Dragons, but Archangel as the Horseman of Death seems to be their leader, and personally responds to Apocalypse. Apocalypse for his part, calls Death his "greatest creation": the dark angel to his "godhood".
- Evil Me Scares Me: At the end of the episode, Rogue absorbs the Superpowered Evil Side of Archangel, and she doesn't know if she's strong enough to contain it.
- Fallen Angel: Part of the Rule of Symbolism, as Warren Worthington becomes Archangel and the Horseman of Death.
- Fire-Forged Friends: In the heat of battle, Rogue absorbs Warren's powers/memories and removes the Death persona. It is finally through this act that the two reach a rapport, and the latter empathises with Warren's plight as he know has to reckon with the acts he did as Apocalypse's servant.
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Apocalypse named enslaved mutants Famine, Pestilence and War, with Archangel being Death.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Warren just wanted to be a ordinary human being, but instead becomes a slave to Apocalypse.
- It's Personal: After seeing the Four Horsemen in action, Rogue makes it a point to pay "Dr. Adler" another visit, and interrogates "him" on what the "mutant cure" actually does to the mutants who go through it. Rogue in the previous episode was very tempted from going for it herself, and nearly ended up a slave of Apocalypse as a result.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Rogue, to an extent. While Professor X may have ordered her to investigate the truth behind Dr. Adler's supposed mutant cure, he did not order her to confront Apocalypse alone once she found his hideout. She was way in over her head, and very lucky not to have been killed from the encounter, and it's a good thing that the rest of the X-Men (who were chasing after the Four Horsemen separately) came when they did.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Archangel's reaction after Rogue uses her powers on him.
- New Era Speech:Apocalypse: The old world passes away. Together, we shall forge a new one in fire and blood. The future is transformed. I am the instrument to purify the world! The evil human and mutant must be cut away. You shall help me tear down the old order. Those who oppose me shall perish through my agents of destruction: Famine, Pestilence, War, and my greatest creation, Death: the winged avenger. From the ashes of this world, I will build a better one! Go forth, my horsemen, and let chaos cleanse the world!
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After forcing Mystique to spill the beans on Apocalypse and how he turned four mutants into his Horsemen, Rogue - being a heroine, lets her go and makes the suggestion that she goes into hiding from Apocalypse. Mystique instead, shoots her in the back, and destroys the altering machine used to create the Horsemen in the process, and escapes - setting off the detonation of the laboratory in the process.
- No Ontological Inertia: Averted, the changes to Warren seem permanent and the other three Horsemen remain enslaved and flee away while the X-Men are trying to infiltrate Apocalypse's hideout.
- Not So Above It All: Watching Gambit tease Rogue during a game of pool he's winning in, Jean uses her powers to force Gambit to nick the table instead. Even Storm takes a dig at Gambit's expense:Storm: Gambit, the term "rec room" does not mean you must wreck it.
Gambit: Storm makes jokes now. What next?
- Rule of Symbolism: All over the place.
- The Social Darwinist: Apocalypse. He's downright fanatical about exterminating both the humans and mutants he sees as unfit, and ruling over those he deems "worthy" of living.
- Tempting Fate: After Archangel informs him they were defeated:Apocalypse: No. My forces cannot be defeated. I cannot be defeated!
(Apocalypse gets blasted from behind and sees the X-Men have arrived)
Cyclops: We beg to differ.
- That Man Is Dead:
- Visionary Villain: Apocalypse wants to build a better world. It just so happens that achieving his vision requires mass genocide to get there:Apocalypse: Each generation has cried out for a new world...But has built the same the old one: Corrupt and weak. But the new world shall come to pass. I will purge the earth of these benighted humans!
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: This is Professor X's assessment of Apocalypse after seeing him in action on the news. In fact, he considers it all the more important that the X-Men stop him at any cost since at least Magneto and the guys behind the Sentinel program could be reasoned with.
- You're Insane!: Rogue begins to take Apocalypse far more seriously when it becomes clear to her just how dangerous he really is:Apocalypse: Weak and foolish mutant...You are corrupted by those who want peace. You cannot oppose me! (fires concussive energy blasts at Rogue, blowing off her bomber jacket, and overwhelming her) You are corrupt, like all the others! You must be exterminated!
Rogue: The Professor was right: You are crazy.