"The X-Impulse" is the second episode of the first season of X-Men Evolution and the second of the overall series. It debuted on November 11th, 2000.
Kitty Pryde discovers that she has mutant powers and is soon discovered by her parents. Throughout her day at school, she is met by fellow mutant Lance Alvers and Jean Grey. After saving her parents and Jean from being crushed by Avalanche, Kitty joins the X-Men. Meanwhile, Cyclops and Nightcrawler try to help Wolverine defeat Sabertooth and are told not to do so again.
A girl is laying in bed, turning as well. She has a dream, in which she is falling through the sky and is scared while doing so. She falls through her bedroom's floor, which is attributed to the use of her new powers. Charles gets her signal on Cerebro, which points out that it is the second detection in the area. Her parents intercept her as she begins to weigh on what happened, her mother hugging her while reassuring her that it was just a dream. Her father's pointing out of the bed sheet phased partially though the floor, discredits the theory of a bad dream. She begins to ask her parents what she is and what is happening to her. Charles tells Cerebro to prepare the Blackbird.
The next day, Kurt tries to get into Bayville High School without being spotted by Darkholme. She sees him anyway and determines that since his watch is not slow, then he must be responsible for his tardiness and threatens to enroll him in her after school group if he is late again. Scott comes out and claims to Kurt that his teacher sent him to look for him, and briefly acknowledges Darkholme as he goes inside. While going inside, Scott asks him if took a stop for some food, which Kurt confirms as Darkholme watches the two.
Kitty tries to sneak out of her home, but is seen by her mother, who reminds her that she thought they agreed Kitty was staying home today. Kitty tells her that she did not see the point, pointing out that neither wished to talk about it and that she would go crazy staying at the house. Kitty's father calls for her, which Kitty uses as evidence that he will make her stay as she begs for her mother to let her go to school. Once granted permission, Kitty blows her a kiss and heads off. Aboard the Blackbird, Jean asks Charles why he just picked her to accompany him and not the entire team. Charles explains that she can really connect with her and tells him to worry about Lance while she focuses on Kitty's parents, and indicates to Jean that she is what they are offering and is the representative of their team.
Once the two meet with her parents, Kitty's mother expresses concern and tries to figure out how the group knows her. Jean tries to get the two to let her and Xavier in their home, but to no avail as Kitty's father exclaims that they can discuss anything and everything out there. Charles tells them that the two are aware that Kitty is going through a unique transition and tells them that he and Jean simply want to help her. After he tries to get the two to tell them about last night, Kitty's father tells them that is none of his business and to leave them alone as he slams the door and leaves the pair outside. Jean suggests that they call and get hanged up on next time, which only leads Charles to tell her that she will need to make contact with Kitty at her school.
As he cleans his bike, Wolverine hears a engine riding past him. He smells around and gets the scent of Sabretooth, and suits up to start pursuing him. As he pursues the latter, Scott and Kurt return to the house, and Kurt asks Scott what is up with Logan. Scott tells him that the man is packing serious road rage, which prompts Kurt to ask if he wants to follow him. As the two get to the garage after Scott complies, Kurt asks Scott if he wants to take the X-Van. Scott refers to their ride, his car, as low profile and cooler as the two depart.
As Kitty is in her locker, Riley Finn and her friend notice her and believe that she is dreading P.E., remarking that it is probably the only class she is not acing before shoving her in her locker. Kitty begs for them to let her out, and crashes into Lance Alvers once she phases through on accident as he is vandalizing the school's lockers with a can of spray paint. As Lance confronts her about her powers, she denies that she used them and resents the fact that they are anything aside from a curse once he refers to her being able to phase through this as cool. As Lance shows her his powers after claiming that she was just like him, he asks her if she is getting the picture. Kitty refers to him as being like some kind of freak and shouts for him to leave her alone as he grabs her arm. While she runs away, he proclaims that she can run, but cannot hide because he is going to rock her world.
While coming to P.E., Kitty mentions that the reason for her longevity in taking time to arrive was because she was having trouble wit her locker, which only seeks to amuse Riley and her friend. Lance's friends try to get him to use his powers on the door for the teacher's office, though he points out they will know they were in and the teachers will change the test. As he sets his sights on Kitty, he takes note of her having been mocked by some girls. Lance uses his powers to mess Riley up during her run, and is seen by Kitty. Once she sees him, she starts to run off and bumps into Jean accidentally, before continuing to run as Jean watches after her.
Retiring to the auditorium, she begins to express her frustration and knocks over a bowl while trying to sit on a table. She uses her powers to phase her hand through the bowl, before Jean arrives. She asks her if Riley is one of her friends and defends her innocence in having nothing to do with what happened to her. Jean believes her and explains that she is not her friend, though admits to being just like her in the sense of having powers. She shows her abilities to the girl and tries to reach her by stating that she used to hate her powers when she first obtained them. While Kitty claims that she does not believe her, Jean tells her that she knows she does and reveals that she can tell by the use of her other ability, which allows her to read minds. Kitty exclaims for her to stay out of her head, which only causes her to get away from Jean.
The latter tries to call out for her, and only succeeds in being confronted by Lance. He claims that he is the only one that she is going to need and tells her to stay out of any interactions with the girl. As Kitty returns to her locker, Lance taps her on the shoulder and tries to relieve the tension once she gets in a battle stance. While Kitty walks away from him, he relates that she feels rather lonely over her abilities and how it is not helped by the ignorance of her parents. Kitty angrily asks him if he is reading her mind as well. Lance insists that he is not and tells her that he has simply been in her shoes before.
As Kitty continues to walk away, Lance tells her to meet him after school for help on using her powers. Jean contacts Charles, telling him that she is having difficulty helping Kitty. Charles tells her that he does not want to lose her and insists that she continue trying, before he moves on to his impending difficult experience, a number of steps he has to find a way to get down with the crippling of being in a wheelchair. Scott and Kurt continue their following of Wolverine, and the latter laments having lost his trail. He soon spots Wolverine as he stands atop a building, and is confronted by Sabretooth. After Wolverine slashes Sabretooth's motorcycle, the vehicle falls and drops on Scott's car, which Scott expresses shock towards.
As Wolverine is attacked by Sabretooth and on the verge of being smashed, Cyclops shoots Sabretooth with a optic blast, which allows Wolverine to both free himself and intervene as Nightcrawler pales in comparison to Sabretooth during his attempt to combat him. Despite his persistence, Wolverine fails to get to Sabretooth before he escapes with the use of a escalator, while he proclaims that they will meet again. Though Nightcrawler brags about their teamwork, Wolverine expresses a desire for the two to not aid him in his battles before departing.
Nightcrawler feeds his ignorance, while Cyclops sarcastically supports his theory that Wolverine "loves" them. Kitty meets Lance near the office, and expresses sadness in his words before he encourages that they use their powers to their advantage. Kitty uses her powers to get into the office, and lets Lance in. Lance gives her further words of encouragement, and Jean brings Kitty's parents up to speed on what she has done and Charles tells the three to ahead of him to meet with her. Lance gets the scores to a test, which alarms Kitty of his true intentions. As Lance wants to change her grades, Kitty stops him. As Lance puts his hands on her while she tries to stop her involvement, Kitty's father tries to get involved.
After having a book case dropped on him by Lance, Kitty's father tries to reason with her while Lance in taking her with him and admits that he had pushed her, but also admits that he is learning. Jean recalls when Kitty said her powers were a curse, which she promises will be a reality if she goes with him. Kitty phases her hand through Lance, and is hit by a large number of stones. As Jean tries to save Kitty's parents and the two lament having seemingly lost their daughter, Kitty phases through the gravel and uses her powers to get them out of the ruins and meet with Charles.
Charles congratulates Kitty on her use of her powers, and Kitty tells her parents of her trust for the X-Men, which causes her father to agree to talk to Charles. Lance looks amongst the ruins of the office, as Principal Darkholme meets with him and with Lance having seemingly blown his chances with the school, she tries to and successfully recruits him. As she reverts to her normal form, she gives him the codename Avalanche.
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- The introduction of Shadowcat, who would go on to be a main character of the series and one of the most recurring of the entire show.
- The episode also introduces Avalanche, who becomes the leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants.
- Nightcrawler is a member of the X-Men from the last episode, "Strategy X".
- Since Kitty and Lance first met in this episode, it is established that this is the beginning of their relationship.
- Sabretooth's fight with Wolverine was alluded to in the previous episode as well. This is just the beginning of their battles, as the two would continue their rivalry.
- Mystique is still in the process of recruiting young mutants into the Brotherhood of Mutants group.
- Riley Finn would later reappear in the series in the background at Bayville High School, where Kitty would transfer to as well.
- Charles tells Jean to let him worry about reaching out for Lance, yet he never makes contact with him. Ironically, the two would speak when Avalanche joined the X-Men in "Joyride".
- Despite Jean telling Kitty that her powers would be curse for going with Avalanche, Kitty displayed no interest in going with him and even tried to stop him from grabbing her prior to Jean speaking.
- First episode to not feature Storm. Subsequent episodes in the season would use her sparsely. Magneto also fails to appear, pointing to the fact that many of his appearances were only when large events took place.
- In what could be seen as accuracy, Shadowcat debuted in the comics prior to Rogue's introduction, who appears in the exact next episode.
- This is the first animated appearance of Kitty Pryde since Pryde of the X-Men. Given the character's role and reactions to it, it has been speculated that depiction was responsible for her being excluded from nineties series.
- As Kitty and Lance transfer to Bayville High School, the two are also joined by Riley as well, who from this point in the series would be seen only in background shots.
- As of this episode, Kitty was the only member of the X-Men to not have appeared during the original series.
- Since her costume was not seen until the next episode, this makes Shadowcat the only one of the three X-Men to join in the group in their introductory episode to not don their costume in it as well.
- Also, the series at this point had only featured villains that had appeared in X-Men: The Animated Series. The only real exception was Avalanche, who had a different real name.