Essential Rogue and Gambit - X-Men: Evolution

X-Men: Evolution is the most recent animated incarnation of the X-Men, where most of the characters are teenagers. Along with the trials and tribulations of high school, these students have to deal with their emerging powers. Led by Professor X, and guided by Storm, Wolverine, and later on Beast, the X-Men struggle to balance a "normal" life full of homework, school dances, and trying to fit in, with their roles as super heroes.

In this series, Rogue is a somewhat introverted, sassy Goth chick. Not afraid to speak her mind or be herself, she feels like she doesn't quite fit in. With her suspicious nature and habit of pushing away people who try to get close to her, she tries to keep others an arm's length away.

Gambit, on the other hand, makes his first appearance at the end of the second season, as a member of Magneto's group, the Acolytes. But he seems to have a soft spot for Rogue from the start, and certain events have lead fans to hope that their futures may be intertwined.

Episode - Day of Reckoning, Part II
Summary - Unfortunately, I don't remember too much about this episode, and the Cartoon Network has suddenly stopped playing Evolution repeats, so who knows when I'll see it again. I know Professor X forces the X-Men to team up with the Brotherhood, and Scott leaves the team because he's angry about it. While the rest of the team goes on without him to fight the Acolytes, the mansion is set to self-destruct. Only Amara manages to escape before the mansion seals itself up. She and Tabitha find Scott, and the three of them break into the mansion and save everyone from the blast. Meanwhile, a Sentinel captures several of the members of the X-Men and Brotherhood, though the others manage to escape.
Significance - This is the first meeting of the southern belle and Cajun thief. Rogue sneaks along a crate, hoping to surprise the enemy on the other side, but Gambit is ready and waiting for her. He slowly hands her a King of Hearts, leaning forward a little in the process. Rogue is completely awed by him. Even as he charges the card and back off, she stares at him in wonder...and as a result narrowly misses being blown to bits.


Episode - The Stuff of Villains
Summary - In an attempt to hunt down her father, Wanda captures her brother and leaves him for the authorities. Back in Bayville, Rogue runs into Gambit and decides that he must be up to something. Dragging Kitty along, the two follow him to the Brotherhood's house and learn that Gambit is acting as Magneto's messenger, and gives them a task to complete in order to prove their worthiness to him - rescue Pietro. Rogue and Kitty follow them by hitching rides via phasing into a variety of different vehicles going in the same direction as the Lance's jeep. They try to stop the Brotherhood's mischief, and manage to save some of Pietro's guards' lives, but in the end Pietro and the guys get away. Pietro rejoins the Brotherhood, sent by his father to whip them into shape. Kitty and Rogue both get detention for cutting class...a fact that annoys Kitty, but is brushed aside by Rogue with a smile.
Significance - When a bunch of anti-mutant classmates harass Evan at school, Rogue is quick to jump to his defense...but when his spikes of bone come out, the classmates run off, saying that they're going to tell Principal Kelly and get them booted out of school for this. She calms Evan down, and runs after the boys to cut them off. Little does she know, they've already run into, and been threatened by, Gambit. Rogue then runs into him, and gets all defensive, but Gambit is as cool and calm as ever, avoiding her questions with a smile...and calls her "cherie" for the first time in the series.


Episode - Dark Horizons, Part I
Summary - In the middle of the night Rogue goes around absorbing everyone, though she doesn't seem to remember it the next morning. On her way to school, a mysterious limousine pulls up, and she gets in. She's taken to the Brotherhood's house where she absorbs all of them, and then to the Acolytes' warehouse. She absorbs Mystique, who's in the limo with her, and uses her powers to enter the warehouse and goes on to absorb everyone in there as well. A day or so later, at Jean and Scott's graduation, the Brotherhood and Acolytes show up, lead by Magneto. He accuses Rogue of absorbing all of them and erasing their memories (the only reason he knows is because of the warehouse security cameras). Rogue escapes, and Magneto and Professor X break their people up into teams. Gambit, Sabertooth and Wolverine track Rogue, while Magneto and the professor team up and take their people to Egypt in hopes of stopping Apocalypse.
Significance - When Rogue goes to the Acolytes' warehouse, she incapacitates Colossus, Sabertooth, and Pyro easily enough, but Gambit keeps her at bay for about a minute, trying to find out what she's up to. He calls her by name, and I think we get a second "cherie" in there somewhere...and the piece de resistance - she absorbs him with a kiss.


b>Episode - Cajun Spice
Summary - Rogue has been feeling guilty about pushing Mystique (who was turned to stone in Dark Horizons, Part II) over a cliff, so Gambit kidnaps her to give her a change of pace. She's knocked out in an alley near her school, and comes to in a train. After a bit of a scuffle, and Gambit's offer to let her touch him so she can absorb his thoughts, she decides to trust him. Meanwhile, back in Bayville, Kurt begins to worry when he hasn't seen Rogue all day...he shares his concerns with Logan, who goes out to investigate. He determines that she's with Gambit, and the professor is able to pinpoint their location using Cerebro when Gambit uses his powers on the train. Rogue and Gambit end up in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, and just when Rogue is starting to have a good time and get to know Gambit a little better, a bunch of men attack them. After they fight them off together, she finds out that the men are members of a gang that has kidnapped Gambit's father. Because she touched one of the men, she knows where his father is being held, and insists on helping him. On the way, she accidentally touches him for a moment, and learns that the entire trip was a trick...that he was just using her for her powers. She gets angry and leaves him to rescue his father himself, but comes back and helps him escape. The X-Men show up and lend a hand as well. When everyone is safe and sound, Logan throws Gambit against a tree, preparing to make the Cajun pay for his crime, but Rogue steps in and stops him.
Significance -'s all about Rogue and Gambit, so I'd say it's pretty significant. They establish a banter similar to the one they have in the comics, which I really appreciated. They both learn a little bit about each other, and Gambit especially has some great lines. He even looks guilty when Rogue finds out that he's using her. In the end, he tells Rogue that she'll always have people watching over her, and slips his Queen of Hearts card in her hand.


Episode - Ascension, Part II
Summary - The X-Men, along with whatever other mutants they can find, stand up to Apocalypse and his horsemen...and fail. Their only hope is Rogue, who absorbs Leech and uses his powers to "shut off" Apocalypse's powers just long enough to imprison him. Unfortunately, when his powers return, he disappears, presumably teleporting to another time. In the end, Professor X tells everyone that he's seen into the mind of Apocalypse and has caught a glimpse of the future, which includes Magneto becoming an ally, Jean Grey turning into Phoenix, and grown up versions of the X-Men and Brotherhood.
Significance - The final shot is a family portriat-type picture of the X-Men and includes several new additions, including Colossus, X23, and Gambit. Rogue and Gambit are standing next to each other...and Gambit has his arm around her.


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