In the year 2055 Sentinels patrol the ruins of New York City. A couple of mutants are harassed by Sentinels and while they use their powers to destroy a few, they are nearly overwhelmed if not for the timely arrival of an visibly aged Wolverine. But before they can celebrate a black man with "m" on his face, Bishop, who is a tracker of mutant "rebels" appears in a flying machine and uses a gun to knockout the trio. Wolverine wakes up inside a container and as he tries to touch the ropes he's electrified. The black man leads them to a Mutant Termination Center where the Sentinels informs him that the tracker services are no longer needed and that all mutants are to be terminated.
The group is lead into the center where they are lead to a cemetery containg the tombstones of the X-Men. Enraged, Wolverine and the other two mutants attack the Sentinels. While they managed to defeat them with aid from Bishop, a more powerful Sentinel called Nimrod appears. The two other mutants decide to stay to serve as distraction while Wolverine and Bishop flee, eventually coming to the hidden lab of a scientist named Forge. It's revealed that the rebels have created a time portal, along with a bracelet ("temporal transciver") which the time traveler is require to keep because otherwise will be sent back to their original timeline. Forge says that they must travel to the nineties to stop an assissination the rebels believe is the root of the dystopian future.
Bishop however is skeptical, especially when Wolverine reveals that the only way to stop the assassination is by killing the assassin themself. Bishop points out that Wolverine will not be able to kill the assassin and suggests he should go, and the two nearly fight but then the anti-Sentinel alarms go off. Forge suggests that Bishop should go and orders Wolverine to tell him all he needs to know as he prepares the time portal. Forge straps in a temporal transciver on Bishop who jumps into the time portal but then Nimrod, who defeated Wolverine, touches the portal causing Bishop to be transported across time and space.
He appears in a ruined back alley and initially thinks that he was merely teletransported across the city but realizes it worked when he sees children playing outside on daylight. However Bishop seems to suffer from amnesia as he does not remember why he travelled back in time, but thanks to reading the newspapper he decides to go to Charles Xavier.
Rogue and Gambit visit Beast, who's still in prison awaiting for his trial. Gambit questions why Beast remains in prison and seems overall uncomfortable and decides to leave, with Beast opinating that he must deal with his own inner demons. Bishop, still under amnesia, starts to piece the puzzle together that he came back to stop an assassin but he thinks the X-Men are the assassins. Bishop goes to the X-Mansion and attacks the X-Men but in spite of training and a powerful he's ultimately defeated. Intrigued, Professor X has him moved to war room where he uses Cerebro to look into his mind but is shocked to find the dystopian future where the world is consumed by darkness.
Determined to unveil the mystery, the X-Men release Bishop and help him track down the place he came through time. When they arrive they're attacked by Nimrod, whose advanced technology and armor renders the mutants' attacks nearly useless. Even when combining Storm's Elemental Powers, Scott's Eye Beams and Bishop's BFG to tear Nimrod apart, the robot starts to regenerate soon after. Bishop destroys Nimrod's temporal transciver which sends the robot back to the future.
The group returns to the mansion where they discuss who exactly could be the assassin. Rogue and Gambit return from their visit to Beast, and suddenly Bishop attacks Gambit
This episode provides examples of:
- Adaptation Distillation: The two-parter is a combination of the "Days of Future Past" story and the "X-Traitor" arc that was running in the X-Men comics at the time, where Bishop was accusing Gambit of eventually betraying the team.
- Animated Adaptation: Of the famous Days of Future Past storyline from the comics.
- Batman Grabs a Gun: Not that he was averse to lethal force, but the future Wolverine grabs a rifle to prepare to jump back in time to stop an assassination that caused the Sentinel-dominated Bad Future, when before his adamantium claws would've been just fine.
- Bad Future: Mutants are being hunted down in the Fallen States of America.
- Berserk Button: After being marched pats past the graves of the X-Men, Wolverine upon seeing his fallen comrades loses it and attacks the Sentinels.
- The Big Rotten Apple: The New York City from The '90s is only slightly off better off than its future counterpart. When Bishop arrives, there are smashed cars, destroyed buildings and broken windows- it seems NYC was under a recent attack but no explanation is given.
- Calling Your Attacks: This one of the earliest episodes where Storm is shown being a Large Ham with her Elemental Powers.
- Cliffhanger: As usual for the series, the episode ends with one, more especifically with Bishop calling Gambit a traitor and attacking him.
- Contrived Coincidence: A partially amnesiac Bishop still works to fullfill the mission, all thanks to reading a newspaper about Charles Xavier making a speech about mutant persecution.
- Cool Old Guy: Wolverine, who's still kicking Sentinel ass even though he's more than a hundred years old.
- Creepy Cemetery: One inside the Mutant Termination Center contains the graves of the X-Men.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: Bishop suffers from partial amnesia, as otherwise the episode would be quite short.
- Fallen States of America: If the state of New York City is anything to go by, the USA is on rough times.
- Healing Factor: Wolverine still ages, albeit very slowly, in the sixty years into the future. Nimrod also seems to have sort of regeneration capabilities, even after he was torn apart by the X-Men.
- Heartbroken Badass: The future Wolverine when he sees Jubilee's headstone.
- HeelFace Turn: Bishop has one when he realizes the Sentinels plans to kill all mutants, not just so called rebels.
- Heroic BSoD: Charles has a mild one after using Cerebro to read Bishop's mind and sees images of the horrible future.
- Incoming Ham: Right as Bishop is discussing an X-Man who wuld betray the team and assassinate a prominent figure, Gambit enters the War Room:Gambit: Everyone can relax! Gambit has returned.
- Kick the Dog: A minor bit but, in the Bad Future when wolverine is gazing mournfully at the graves of the Xmen, the sentinel "escorting" him rudely pushes him and demands he keep moving. This, unsurprisingly, makes him mad enough to destroy said sentinel.
- Large Ham: Storm when she's using her powers.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Bishop, while retaining most of his memories, does not know why he travelled back in time possibly because of Nimrod's meddling with the time portal.
- Monumental Damage: The opening shot of the episode is a ruined Statue of Liberty.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Effectively describes the state of the United States in the future.
- The '90s: Obviously as that decade is The Present Day.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Bishop initally thinks he was teletransported but when he sees children playing outside he realizes it worked.
- La Résistance: A various small one operates in the Bad Future, seeking to undoing their dystopian reality through time travel.
- Shout-Out: The music during the future scenes sounds a lot like the main theme from The Terminator, which is quite fitting considering the similarities between the stories.
- Story-Breaker Power: Wolverine's claws, a BFG, Telekinesis and Eye Beams are all no-sold by Nimrod. However once Storm unleashes her Elemental Powers to freeze Nimrod and then use electricity and energy blasts to destroy him.
- Ruins of the Modern Age: The episode begins with wide shots of the ruins of New York City.
- Tempting Fate: When the X-Men track the time portal, Jubilee wonders if anything else came through as well. A second later Nimrod blasts them from behind.
- Time Travel: As in the comic, a person from the future travels to the past.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: According to the headstones, Jubilee was the first of the team to die.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After Bishop captures Wolverine and the other two mutants, the Sentinels tell him his services as a Tracker are no longer required and he will be sent for termination along with the others.