- Fridge Brilliance: Rice is just getting out of the shower when X-23 begins her rampage through the installation. It seems an odd bit of timing, until you remember the last scene in which he appears is revealed to be the moment in which he contaminates Sarah with the Trigger Scent. He immediately jumped in the shower afterward to clean the scent off himself!
- In a delicious bonus, if he'd still had the trigger scent on him, Laura would have been forced to kill him quickly. Without it, she takes her sweet time finishing him off.
- Genius Bonus: A minor detail during X-23's training scenes with her sensei is the color of her belt. The first time we see her train she's wearing a white belt. We then see her progress to yellow, then brown, and finally, by the time she kills her sensei, she's wearing a black belt.
- Heartwarming Moments: X-23 defying her off-book orders from Rice to kill Martin Sutter and his family, when she chooses to spare Sutter's ( actually Rice's) son. After all the effort the Facility went through to break her, that one moment proves her humanity hasn't been completely destroyed.
Sarah: But then you showed me hope. Not when you saved Megan, but when you saved Henry. You showed me that we can chose to be something other than what we are forced to be, that we can be something better than we believe we are. And, in that moment, you saved my life. All that matters to me now is that I save yours.
- The implications are especially poignant when Sarah discusses this in her letter. This event, more than any other, is what triggered Sarah's final HeelFace Turn, and led to her decision to rescue X.
- X-23's training sessions with her sensei. Rather than being the stereotypical Drill Sergeant Nasty Old Master putting her through Training from Hell, the old man shows X almost grandfatherly affection and she responds in kind. He's even openly defiant when Rice tries to warn him against treating her like a person. Unfortunately, this last part probably plays a key role in Rice's decision to test the Trigger Scent on him...
- Moment of Awesome: The No-Holds-Barred Beatdown X-23 delivers to Rice at the end is not only incredibly brutal, but incredibly satisfying to see as well. Look at the time on her mission clock when she begins, and again when she's done. She's pounding on him for ten minutes. Laura could easily have killed him within less than a second, but she put away her claws so she could go to work on him with her bare hands. She's giving him back the thirteen years of abuse she suffered at his hands in the space of less than thirteen minutes, and he deserved every second of it.
- Moral Event Horizon: Rice was a bit of a Jerkass from the start of the story, but if he doesn't cross it when he sticks seven year old X-23 in a radiation chamber to forcibly activate her Healing Factor, it's when he performs the surgery, by himself, to extract her claws for bonding with adamantium without even attempting anesthesia a few weeks later. And then he just keeps going from there.
- Tear Jerker: Hoo boy, where to even start:
- The letter that narrates the story. All of it.
- Just seeing the suffering X-23 was put through.
- As noted above under Heartwarming, Sarah's comments about X-23's decision to spare Henry.
- Sarah successfully manages to rescue X-23 from the Facility and shut down their experiments, but at the cost of her own life. Just before she dies, she gives X-23 a proper name, Laura, and tells her she loves her.
X-23: Please don't leave me.
- And afterwards, Laura kneeling next to her mother's dead body in the snow, fully aware that she killed her. For just a moment she stops being a weapon, and is just a little girl again in need of her mother.
- X-23's stunned reaction to having killed her sensei, one of the only people to treat her with kindness.
- The followup story Target X manages to make an already sad story even worse in its flashbacks.
YMMV / X-23: Innocence Lost