Rogue is driving Gambit in her convertible to the X-Mansion. Gambit flirts with Rogue who is unimpressed and after arriving at the mansion she simply flies away. She goes to the war room, where she realizes there's a visit but then Gambit enters. Bishop, the visitor, suddenly grabs his gun and shoots, knocking down Rogue and Gambit. Jean uses her telekinesis to levitate the gun and Jubilee knocks him down with her fireworks. Scott and Wolverine hold Bishop back, who claims Gambit is the assassin he was meant to stop.
Gambit is skeptical but Bishop recounts the events that lead to his dystopian future: after the assassination, average people were scared and angry and demanded action. Thus the government passed mutant control laws that authorised the construction of an army of Sentinels which are sent to seek and capture mutants. In the end, in spite of mutant resistance, the Sentinels triumph over the mutants and the survivors are sent to detention camps, from which they never leave. However the people that control the Sentinels do not stop at mutants and soon enough they turn on the US government as well, overthrowing them and establishing a dictatorship over the country.
When Professor X questions who exactly is Gambit supposed to assassinate, Bishop says he doesn't know, only that it would happen soon in Washington DC. Professor X decides to go to Washington to participate in a Senate hearing on mutant affairs, taking all the X-Men along except for Wolverine and Gambit whom stay behind with Bishop.
In Washington, three mutants, Avalanche, the Blob and Pyro are preparing an assassination while a mysterious fourth mutants tells them that they better not fail. Back at the mansion, Gambit is becoming restless and decides to escape, setting two exploding cards to serve as cover. Wolverine and Bishop try to stop him but Gambit manages to grab a jet and fly away. He arrives at Washington and infiltrates Congress by jumping through an open window.
In Washington, Charles is participating in the Senate hearing when suddenly Avalanche and Pyro burst in. Scott and Jean fight them while Charles uses his telepathy to summon the other X-Men whom were outside the Capitol building. The battle goes into the outside where the Blob fights against Jubilee, Scott and Jean while Pyro creates firebirds to go after Storm (who uses wind to destroy it) and Rogue (who flies further up into the atmosphere to deny it oxygen). The Blob proves to be involnurable to Eye Beams and fireworks but Wolverine jumps him, covering his eyes causing him to fall into the pool which Storm freezes over.
Scott asks Wolverine what he's doing in Washington and where are Gambit and Bishop. Bishop appears, fighting Avalanche and Pyro. The fight causes the tower of a building to fall but Jean and Rogue save the civilians. Avalache and Pyro flee while Bishop runs into the Capitol Building.
Senator Robert Kelly is lead into an office by his secretary and he's shocked his secretary tied up in the office's floor. Then the secretary shapeshifts into Gambit and prepares to kill him. Right then the real Gambit burst in and fights the impostor but Bishop blasts the real Gambit, knocking him unconscious. As he aims the gun again, Rogue flies in and tears away Bishop's temporal transciver which causes the mutant to return to the future immediately. Kelly and his real secretary leave while Rogue confronts Mystique whom shapeshifts into a blond woman- Mystique is in fact Rogue's adopted mother. Shocked Rogue helps Mystique escape, who explains she was under orders from Apocalypse and Rogue demands to know Mystique tried to turn her into a mind slave. Mystique responds that it seemed as the only way to get her back.
Meanwhile Bishop returns to the future, reapering in Forge's lab. However everything remains unchanged, and Forge tells Bishop he's rebuilding the machine because something else might have happened to make the dystopian future into a reality.
Back in the present day, Jean, Scott and Charles go to Robert Kelly's office which they find wrecked and the Senator missing. However Charles deduces that it could not have been Mystique's gang that did it because of traces of a magnetic field in the room.
This episode provides examples of:
- And I Am The Queen Of Sheba: Gambit's response when hearing that Bishop is from the future is that he's the queen of France.
- Artistic License Geography: As Gambit is flying to Washington DC, the monitor on the jet is showing the state of the state of Washington (with Washington, D.C. captioned right below).
- Artistic License Physics: To get rid of a firebird created by Pyro, Rogue flies higher into the atmosphere to deny the firebird oxygen. However it's unlikely she could fly fast enough into the Stratosphere and then back before she either passed out due to lack of oxygen or died.
- Part of Ms. Marvel's powerset was the ability to survive in the vacuum of space for a while. Since Rogue now has her powerset, this should be less of a problem.
- Bad Future: Preventing it is the point of the episode.
- Big Damn Heroes: Rogue prevents Bishop from killing Gambit by destroying his time travel device, thus sending him back to his own time.
- The Cameo: An older version of Beast briefly appears alongside Cyclops and Jean during Bishop's monologue about the Bad Future.
- Cliffhanger: Again.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The US Army was not capable of even slowing down the Sentinels as they marched on Washington DC.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Gambit has this thrown in his face when questioning Bishop's credibility.Gambit: What we know about him?
Wolverine: Only a little more than we know about you. You've never been straight with us, not completely.
- Day of the Jackboot: For the US as a whole, the fall of Washington to the Sentinels was this. For mutants, the creation of the Sentinel army was this.
- Downer Ending: All of Bishop's efforts are for nothing, the future is still a dystopia and Senator Robert Kelly has been kidnapped by Magneto.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: Bishop's Laser-Guided Amnesia simply exists to ensure the episode is not too short.
- Drives Like Crazy: Rogue, who learned to drive from good ol' boys on country backroads.
- Energy Absorption: Bishop's power is to absorb bioenergy and then channel it back in form of explosive beams.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It's a twisted, yet desperate form of love - but when called out by Rogue for her part in Apocalypse's scheme to brainwash mutants into his slaves, that targeted Rogue as well, Mystique replies that had it worked, at least they would've been together again.
- False Friend: The people who control the Sentinels, implied to be weapon manufacturers were this to the US government, as they eventually overthrew them.
- Fallen States of America: In the end, the conflict between mutants, Sentinels and the government destroys the United States and leaves it in ruins for decades.
- Flash Forward: How Bishop recounts the events that lead to the Bad Future.
- From Bad to Worse: Cyclops, Jean, and Xavier find that Kelly has been kidnapped. Xavier then determines it was Magneto who did it.
- Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: The Senate is having a hearing on mutant affairs.
- Know When to Fold 'Em:Pyro: He who fights and runs away—
Avalanche: Just shut up and run!
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Bishop is still suffering from Nimrod's meddling with the Time Portal.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Mystique reveals that she is Rogue's adopted mother.
- The Man Behind the Man: Mystique reveals Apocalypse was behind all this in order to "give humanity the future it deserved."
- Mirror Match: One happens between Gambit and the shape-shifter (Mystique) impersonating him:Gambit: (enters Senator Kelly's office) Surprised to see me? (charges playing card) I know I sure am!
- Mythology Gag: A dramatic example; Professor Xavier wonders if he is the target of the assassination that will set off the Bad Future. In the original "Days of Future Past" story, both Senator Kelly and Xavier were killed by Mystique's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and were the deaths the X-Men were trying to prevent.
- Oh, Crap!: Rogue when she learns Mystique is the woman who adopted her years ago.
- Oppressive States of America: It must be remembered that the US already was a dictatorship for mutants, as not only were murderous robots designed to hunt them down, and those that resisted killed, the survivors were sent into detention camps in clear violation of constitutional rights. It just became a dictatorship for everyone else too.
- Spot the Imposter: Bishop can't tell the difference between Gambit and Mystique's disguise. He rationalizes that he'll just have to kill them both to be on the safe side.
- There Was a Door: Subverted, Avalanche and Pyro do enter the Senate room through the door but they use their powers to blast it instead.
- Waving Signs Around: An anti-mutant demonstrations occurs in the Flash Forward.
- Wham Line: When the X-Men find Senator Kelly has been kidnapped:Professor X: My watch has stopped.
Cyclops: I dont understand; how is that important?
Professor X: Because... (drops his watch, which sticks to the side of his wheelchair) its been magnetized.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Mystique's disguise is a woman with blue hair.