Begun on Livejournal, this guide for Mutant X nitpickers was inspired by The Discontinuity Guide: The Unofficial Doctor Who Companion: "To really love something, you have to want to take it apart." Invaluable resources: the official site, Masonesque, Pure MX, MX Phoenix, Television without Pity, TV.com, and many thoughtful Mutant X fans.
Nitpicking Sections: General ~ Season One ~ Season One cont'd. ~ Season Two ~ Season Two, cont'd. ~ Season Three ~ Season Three, cont'd.
Beta aid by milmiss
Entry #1. New Mutant Growth Spurts.
In the Season 1 episode "A Breed Apart," Brennan, Shalimar, Jesse, and Emma experience a sudden growth spurt in their mutant abilities. Shalimar’s already heightened reflexes and perception are enhanced, Jesse begins to phase external objects by touch, Brennan acquires jet propulsion, and Emma develops her characteristic ‘mental bazooka.’ It is curious that Adam did not foresee Emma's eventually forming a psionic blast, since the majority of the tele/telempaths who appear later in the series, including Andrea Marshall in "Where Evil Dwells," Dr. Olivia Robinson in "In Between," Riley Morgan and John Bishop in "The Prophecy," have this ability too. Though Shalimar, Jesse, and Emma more or less maintain their newfound skills for the rest of the series, Brennan's flights mysteriously cease halfway through the second season and are never mentioned again after "Crossroads of the Soul." Perhaps he thought it best to curb his novel power after it had catapulted him into a world without Camaros or a sense of humor about rule-breaking.
Of the four, it is Jesse's new ability which represents the least amount of change. At the new mutant safehouse in “I Scream the Body Electric,” Jesse phases as Brennan shoots through him, and then falls through the floor. Since Jesse does not instantly fall through the floor every time he phases, he must have been able to phase the floor beneath him at will. It's also clear that whenever Jesse phases, his clothes, shoes, and comlink ring phase with him, presumably because he is in close contact with them. Thus, the supposed growth spurt that occurs in “A Breed Apart,” allowing him to phase other objects by touching them, is really nothing new. Yet, when Jesse is holding the Rafflesia pricei plant at Tricorp Botanicals in "Dark Star Rising,” he must toss it through the window while he phases through the wall, and catch it on the other side. No idea why.
In "Shock of the New," Adam tells Emma that new mutant DNA is in a constant state of evolution. "A Breed Apart’s" growth spurts may or may not be related to the type of uncontrollable mutating which stimulated Ashley Elliot's electrical hunger in "Lit Fuse." After all, the Mutant-Xers' ranges continue to expand as the second season progresses, most notably evidenced by Emma’s fear broadcast in “No Man Left Behind,” Shalimar’s increased need for nocturnal hunting in “Under the Cloak of War,” and Brennan’s ‘zapping out’ in “One Step Closer.” But why these four undergo spontaneous growth spurts simultaneously in “A Breed Apart” despite being different ages and mutant types is never explained. Shalimar states in “I Scream the Body Electric” that they’ve had their gifts since birth, but each of the four first became aware of his or her abilities at a different time of life. Emma recalls psychically identifying her parents at a crowded rock festival at the age of five (“I Scream the Body Electric”), while Jesse didn’t discover that he could phase and mass until high school (“Wasteland”). So why wouldn’t the four teammates develop their growth spurts at different times as well? Perhaps it was something in the water supply at Sanctuary...leading to Adam's eventual decision to nix the waterfall and reflecting pool before the second season. Alternatively, the evolution could be the result of Adam's continued experimentation upon the Mutant X team members, or, as some fans have postulated, a symmetry akin to menstrual cycle synchrony that occurs amongst females living in close quarters. Interestingly, even after Jesse's DNA has supposedly been stabilized in "The Assault," he inexplicably experiences another growth spurt by the end of the episode, now having acquired the ability to mass other people by touch. We’ll never know, but this might have been a hint by TPTB that Jesse’s so-called fix was only temporary.
Besides the obvious downside of unexpectedly losing control over one’s mutant abilities, the ongoing mutation of new mutants’ DNA has another negative consequence: it considerably shortens their lifespans. When Gabriel Ashlocke’s parents returned him to Genomex for treatments that would give him a conscience, Adam overlooked a weakness in strand 19 which increased his genetic instability and precipitated his explosive death. All the new mutants Adam created after Ashlocke seem to have inherited the same flaw. Adam tells Brennan in “One Step Closer” that he can’t predict which of them will be the next to mutate out of control. By the time “The Assault” rolls around, he is able to calculate an exact ‘expiry date’ for each new mutant...not that that does them much good. At the end of “Lit Fuse,” Adam was able to stabilize Ashley Elliot’s DNA, just as he managed to slow Danielle Hartman’s DNA breakdown in “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” and Angel Dorn’s genetic fragility in “Dark Star Rising.” Even so, Adam would continue to claim ignorance about methods for making similar repairs to his own team's DNA up until they confront him in "The Assault," and he finally admits to having secretly succeeded in stabilizing Jesse's DNA. Further hints that the technology for new mutant DNA stabilization was in place long before "The Assault" comes in "Wages of Sin," when Jesse discovers that the geneticist Dominique had successfully stabilized the DNA of her ex-GSA mutant employees. Even Gabriel Ashlocke himself was able to devise a serum capable of preventing the initial destabilization Adam caused in “Time Squared.”
Entry #2: Emma’s Psionic Abilities
Throughout the first season, Adam calls Emma a telempath, one who can sense and manipulate the emotions of others. She does indeed have this gift, but her range has always exceeded this one facet of psionics, since the very first episode. She demonstrates her ability to cast illusions on Allison Turner in “Shock of the New,” by making two harmless dock workers look like GS agents. In "Russian Roulette" and "The Meaning of Death," she makes Sonya and Jesse respectively feel as though they are choking. Fear and panic are emotions. Suffocation is not. Neither is blindness, which she accomplishes with the GS agents in "In the Presence of Mine Enemies," and with Adam in "Double Vision." In "Fool for Love," she displays telepathy after enhancing a witness’s memory of a license plate number. No one should be surprised, therefore, that her teammates are unaware of Emma’s growing proficiency as the second season wears on.
Entry #3: Genomex and Sanctuary.
At the end of Season 1's "A Breed Apart," Gabriel Ashlocke announces that Genomex is the perfect place from which to take over the world. Though Genomex will be mentioned many times after this episode, this is the last time this perfect place is seen in its original glory in Mutant X. Mason's office does make three special guest appearances throughout Season 3, however, the first being in "No Exit" (William Dennett looks down at Jesse and Brennan from there), and in "A Normal Life" when Shalimar goes back to Sanctuary to retrieve the microwave accelerator. Its last cameo occurs under (literally) Brennan and Shalimar's love scene in "The Assault."
Perhaps the main reason Mason Eckhart could never find Sanctuary was because it was constantly adapting and moving about. In the beginning, Sanctuary had all kinds of beautiful amenities, including a reflecting pool, a waterfall, and a dojo for practicing martial arts. The back staircase will remain throughout the series, but these wondrous luxuries lasted throughout the first season, then vanished, leaving Sanctuary a darker, starker place in which to live. In Season 1, Stormking Mountain was located in the midst of a big lake; this body of water disappears in the third season, where Sanctuary appears to be in the midst of a vast mountain range. When Mason proclaims in “Into the Moonless Night” that Sanctuary’s located in “that place that meant so much to both of us,” you have to wonder to which one he’s referring.
Entry #4: Plotline Recycling
Season 3, especially, is filled with these. Examples: Barry Sterling ("Kilohertz") is resurrected as William Dennett ("No Exit"), the OTHER psychotic cybernetic who gets revenge on Mutant X by tampering with Sanctuary’s air supply. Zack Lockhart ("Ex Marks the Spot") is revived as Randall Blake ("The Art of Attraction"), the OTHER untrustworthy art thief with whom Mutant X and a female member must “get into bed” in order to complete the mission. Richard Saunders ("Fool for Love") is reincarnated as Keith Burstyn ("A Normal Life") the OTHER scientist who wants to live a normal life with Shalimar. Jay Minhaus ("Dancing on the Razor") comes back as Eddie Boyle ("Conspiracy Theory"), the OTHER ex-reporter who attempts to expose the existence of new mutants to revive his journalistic career. The entire plot of "The Taking of Crows" bears close resemblance to "Hard Time," except that Shalimar and Lexa take Brennan and Jesse's place behind bars. Do TPTB think we suffer from amnesia?
Because this is a Canadian television series and the number of Canadian actors is limited, the recycling isn’t limited to plotlines. Several guest stars from previous seasons popped up again in the third season. Lyriq Bent played Harris in S2's "Within These Walls," and returned as Randall Blake in "The Art of Attraction." In S1, Ted Whittall was GS agent Carl Ames in "Deadly Desire;" in S3, he was the android Sebastian Conway in "Dream Lover." Lisa Marcos was the Egyptian alchemist Avaris in S2's "Past as Prologue," and a lab technician in "Possibilities." Joseph Scoren, GS agent Lynch in S1's "Altered Ego," came back as the psychotic Lee Marker in "Where Evil Dwells." Deborah Odell also played two roles: Lisa Valentine in S1's "Crime of the New Century," and Kristen Greg in S3's "The Wages of Sin."
Entry #5: The Mutant X Timeline
Establishing a single timeline for Mutant X is a confusing task. There are discrepancies among the three seasons as well as between the series, the official Mutant X website and Tribune’s faux websites. The efforts of two different fans to clarify the Mutant X timeline concentrating on different sources are here and here. Here's a basic rundown of the situation.
The Mutant X Timeline
1850's The Creator begins his work
1913 William Kilmartin is born
1943 Henry Burns creates Project Immortalis
1968 Gabriel Ashlocke, the first new mutant, is born
1969 Scorpion feral Lorna Templeton and precog John Bishop are born
1972 Brennan Mulwray is born; Adam becomes friends with Dr. Benjamin McTeague, Sr.
1975 Jesse Kilmartin and Lexa and Leo Pierce are born
1976 Telepath Riley Morgan (née Isabella Eastham) is born
1978 Adam Kane begins at Genomex
1979 Gabriel murders his parents in April and is podded; ferals Shalimar Fox and Nikki Rogers are born
1980 Genomex's stem cell research program is underway; Psionic Johnny Cummings is born
1981 Adam and Mason Eckhart form a partnership
1982 Adam has an affair with Lucy McTeague
1985 Adam meets stealth mutant Danielle Hartman
1986 Catherine Hartman is born
1988 Shalimar is institutionalized; Adam's last dinner with Charlotte and Anthony Cooke; Johnny burns down St. Pastor's Hospital
1989 Lexa and Leo leave the military facility
1990 Lexa is hired by Mason Eckhart
1992 Adam recruits Lexa for Mutant X 1.0; elemental Joshua Valentine is born
1993 Nick Maddox becomes a mutant
1994 Lexa leaves Adam; Adam finds Shalimar and Nikki for Mutant X
1998 Leo escapes from Genomex and Lexa joins The Dominion
2001-2002 Season 1
2002-2003 Season 2
2003-2004 Season 3
Evidence by Episode
"Shadows of Darkness." Psionic Johnny Cummings was born in the summer of 1980, when Genomex's genetic embryo research "was in full swing." At 8 years old (1988 or 1989), he burned down St. Pastor's Hospital and remained there for 15 years until "Shadows of Darkness." That means season 3 takes place in 2003 or 2004.
"Divided Loyalties." While making Brennan's rap sheet, Jesse mentions that it's been three years since Brennan joined Mutant X in "Shock of the New." This means that each season lasts a little longer than a year, so season 2 runs from 2002-2003, and season 1 from 2001-2002. This is confirmed in "Inferno," where Ray Larkin's obituary lists his death year as 2002.
"Time Squared." Adam's first day at Genomex was in 1978, when Gabriel Ashlocke was 10. That means Gabriel was born in 1968. Since Adam met Gabriel in October 1978, when Gabriel murdered his parents six months later, it would be April 1979. Gabriel says in "Past as Prologue" that he had been podded about 25 years.
“A Normal Life.” Shalimar says she’s been with Adam for 10 years, so she must have met Adam in 1994. Since we learned in "Understudy" that Adam found her and Nikki Rogers when they were 15 years old, that means that both Shalimar and Nikki were born around 1979. It also means that Shalimar is now 25 years old.
“Brother’s Keeper.” Leo Pierce’s age is listed as 28, so his fraternal twin Lexa must also be 28. That means Lexa and Leo were born in 1975. Lexa and Leo left the military facility when they were 14 (1989); Lexa then joined the GSA to pay for his treatments. Lexa joined the Dominion five years ago (1998) to look for Leo after he escaped from Genomex.
"Into the Moonless Night." Lexa says she was part of Mutant X 1.0 for two years. Since Shalimar and Lexa did not meet while each lived at Sanctuary, Lexa must have been gone by the time Adam found Shalimar in 1994.
"Lest He Become." Jesse says that he's "been waiting 28 years to trust someone." If he's 28, he was born around 1975 like Lexa and Leo Pierce.
"No Man Left Behind." If Brennan's biological father was shot down in Vietnam in 1971, the latest he could have been born is 1972. That would make him 29 or 30 years old.
“The Assault.” The Creator states that he began his projects 160 years before season three, which would be in the mid-1800s.
"Age of Innocence." Jesse's grandfather William was part of Project Immortalis in 1943. When he de-ages, he has the body of a 30 year old, so he must have been born sometime around 1913.
"The Meaning of Death." Charles Marlowe says that Adam and Mason forged their partnership 20 years ago (1981).
"A Whiter Shade of Pale." Adam says that he first met Danielle Hartman at Genomex 16 years before (1985); Danielle's daughter Catherine has just turned 15 years old (born in 1986).
"Under the Cloak of War." 20 years ago (1982), Adam had an affair with the wife of his best friend, Benjamin McTeague. At that time, they had been friends for 10 years (1972).
"Crime of the New Century." Josh Valentine, the son of psionic Lisa Valentine, is 10 years old in this episode. He must have been born in 1991.
"Altered Ego." Adam says the last time he dined with Charlotte Cooke and her father was 13 years prior to this episode.
"Deadly Desire." Scorpion feral Lorna Templeton's age is listed as 32 in the mutant database. She was therefore born in 1969.
"Within These Walls." Jesse discovers that the assassin Nick Maddox was made into a mutant 10 years prior (1992 or 1993).
"The Prophecy." Precog John Bishop's age is listed as 34 in the mutant database, putting him around the same age as Lorna Templeton. Riley Morgan is 27, meaning that she was born a year after Jesse and Lexa.
Two Timeline Contradictions:
1. In "Brother's Keeper," Lexa says she worked as a GS agent in exchange for her brother's treatment in a Genomex facility. Since Mason Eckhart did not officially create the GSA until the beginning of season one, this would mean that Lexa was a GS agent years before the GSA was actually formed. Some fans have pointed out that Frank Thorne’s statement in "Shock of the New": “Our GS agents are new at this,” along with Adam’s assertion that Emma’s pursuers were from the security branch of Genomex imply that the GSA existed in some form before Paul Breedlove’s death. Lexa might have been part of this covert organization, or serving Genomex in some other capacity.
2. Shalimar's been living at Sanctuary since she was 15. Or has she? In "Ex Marks the Spot," she complains that when she last saw Zack Lockhart 6 years before, he stashed stolen loot in her freezer. Unless she means Sanctuary's freezer, Shal was living someplace else at the time.
Entry #6: Genomex’s Project Timeline
In “Shock of the New,” Adam explains to Emma that the 1,000 new mutants in existence were the unforseen consequence of secret genetic experiments conducted by the biotechnology firm Genomex, a branch of government intelligence. It is revealed in “The Meaning of Death” that the original purpose of Adam's experiments was to heal children with irreversible diseases. At the end of the episode Shalimar comforts Adam by reminding him that all the Children of Genomex owe their lives to him and his work at Genomex. However, a closer look reveals that Adam's projects were not the only new mutant experiments at Genomex, nor were his the first.
The first new mutant Genomex created was Gabriel Ashlocke. Though Mason Eckhart says in "A Breed Apart" that little Gabriel's mutant abilities were off the meter since birth, we learn in "Time Squared" that Adam did not first meet the boy until he was 10 years old, in 1978. Therefore Adam was not responsible for making Gabriel Ashlocke a new mutant; the child already had "unlimited powers" before Adam came along. Adam was, however, responsible for further fragmenting his DNA, thus making him more dangerous and considerably shortening his lifespan. In Adam's words:
In October 1978, I arrived at Genomex to work on the Patient Zero project. I was the bright young star working at the hottest developmental facility in the world. And then, two weeks later, on October 13th, Gabriel Ashlocke’s parents brought him back into Genomex. They were convinced that Genomex was responsible for his extreme aggression. And they were right. Genomex had no idea what kind of a child he was until they’d given him unlimited powers. Look at this. He’s out of control. Nobody knew what to do. And then I came along, right? I was the savior. I designed a procedure, a procedure to make him more humane, give him a conscience. I had no idea that my procedure would cause his genes to mutate and make him into more of a monster. 6 months later, Gabriel Ashlocke killed both his parents.
More evidence that Gabriel was already a mutant before Adam's procedure:
1. In "Time Squared," Adam shows Emma a video of young Gabriel Ashlocke having a temper tantrum at the time his parents brought him back to Genomex. During the course of his rant, little Gabriel sends a scientist flying through the air to land on his face. A normal 10 year old boy wouldn't be able to do that; but Gabriel can because he has heightened feral strength. Note that this is *before* Adam does his procedure.
2. The older Gabriel returns to his childhood house to pick up his younger self and take him to Genomex. When the younger Gabriel opens the door, the child's feral eyes flash. This is *before* Adam does his procedure on young Gabriel, which is scheduled to occur later that day, but young Gabriel has already got some feral abilities.
3. In the car on the way to Genomex, older Gabriel's talking to his younger self:
Gabriel: You know how you can walk through walls? Jump off the Hallian’s roof without ever getting hurt?
Young!Gaby: How’d you know about that?
Gabriel: You know about Genomex, what they did to you, right?
Young!Gaby: Just what I stole from my file. I’m supposed to have an appointment there today.
Gabriel: They’re gonna do this procedure. It’s supposed to make you nicer, give you a conscience. The whole thing backfires.
So before the procedure, young Gabriel also already had traits of a molecular...like being able to walk through walls. But if young Gabriel was already a mutant before the procedure, what exactly did Adam's procedure do? Dr. Aziza said in "Past as Prologue" that the reason that the adult Gabriel is dying is because his DNA is breaking down. This is a direct result of Adam's procedure. When Gabriel is speaking with young Adam at Genomex in "Time Squared," Gabriel explains why Adam's procedure didn't work: "You missed the weakness, Doc." Adam's procedure was designed to make young Gabriel nicer, but he missed a weakness in strand 19 of Gabriel's DNA structure. Instead of having the desired effect, Adam's experimental treatment triggered the very breakdown of Gabriel's genes that is slowly killing Gabriel. In fact, the entire reason Gabriel travels back to 1978 is to reverse the effects of Adam's experiment on his DNA. The blue serum he has created will strengthen strand 19 in young Gabriel's DNA, so when young Adam does the procedure on young Gabriel, the child will still maintain the powers he was born with, but he will no longer suffer from the broken DNA that Adam caused. No longer under threat of dying before his time, Gabriel would be virtually invincible.
It is revealed in “The Meaning of Death” that the original purpose of Adam's experiments was to heal children with irreversible diseases. Charles Marlowe, for example, was brought to Adam to be cured of his fatal illness; the development of his enhanced cellular regeneration and indestructibility was a side effect of his treatments. Fans have wondered why, if Gabriel Ashlocke is indeed the first mutant created, new mutants like telepath Lisa Valentine and the telekinetics Paul Benedict ("Russian Roulette") and Frank Thorne ("Shock of the New"), look older than Gabriel. In the real world, mutants cannot be created after birth. In the Mutant Xverse, however, they can. Charles Marlowe was already 11 years old by the time his parents brought him to Adam for treatment.
Lexa's parents were involved in a Genomex fertility project, but the series never reveals exactly why Brennan, Shalimar, Emma, and Jesse are new mutants. Was Adam responsible for their creation as well? Perhaps, perhaps not. In “I Scream the Body Electric,” Shalimar tells Emma, “We’ve all had our gifts from birth. And just like we learned to walk and talk, we’ve had to develop skills with our new mutant abilities as well.” Apparently, though their parents were normal, these four were born new mutants, and not made that way by experimentation during childhood with the intention of curing disease. Adam tells Shalimar in "Dark Star Rising" that 'They' lied to her parents and the parents of the Children of Genomex in order to get them to participate in genetic experiments. Evidence that there was a large project outreach performed by Genomex at some point emerges in "Shadows of Darkness," when Jesse discovers that the psionic illusionist Johnny Cummings was the product of their widespread experimental “fertility program.”
The third generation of new mutants are the offspring of the Children of Genomex, such as the thermal elemental Joshua Valentine ("Crime of the New Century") and telekinetic Daniel Benedict ("Russian Roulette"). Daniel is understandably a telekinetic like his father, but Josh is inexplicably an elemental though his mother Lisa is a psionic. Since Josh's father Corbin is a non-mutant, either Lisa is a hidden elemental-psionic mix (as is Diane Moller in "Time Squared") or a paternity test is in order.
Other New Mutants:
Mason Eckhart also succeeded in making a handful of new mutants. In Season One's "Dark Star Rising," Mason and Dr. Kenneth Harrison team up to restart Genomex's early Rafflesia pricei Project for the purpose of creating new mutant soldiers from humans with serum injections. Though two of the feline ferals created manage to survive, Mutant X's destruction of Tricorp's three Rafflesia Pricei plants forced Eckhart and Harrison down a second avenue in "Double Vision": the enhancement of low-level mutant abilities through operations. The mechanism by which humans or low-level mutants could be transformed into new mutants through injections or operations is never clarified, though Dr. Harrison hints that Lieutenant Beau Longstreet was able to survive his new mutation because of a single strand of DNA.
And just when you thought it was safe...things become even more muddled after Season 3's "The Assault," when The Creator reveals that he is behind all the genetic projects at Genomex and The Dominion, and in fact, has been playing with the genetic code for a hundred years. All bets are off then.
Entry #7: Comlink Rings
a. Communication. Are the comlink rings always on, or only when the wearer wants his or hers to be? They are definitely activated when the wearers talk into them. They can also broadcast sounds and conversations around the wearers to the other Mutant X team members--but apparently selectively so, since you don't hear each member's ring constantly spouting forth noise from the environments of the others. And I'd guess rings can be selectively blocked from picking up conversations as well, since Brennan believes he can talk to Shalimar in "She's Come Undone" without Lexa's overhearing--even though she's wearing a ring (and sitting like three feet away, but that's another matter altogether). We'll ignore for the moment how it is that no non-Mutant X member in the immediate vicinity can hear voices coming from the comlink.
b. Location fixes. Under what circumstances can Sanctuary's computer get a location fix on a comlink ring? When Shalimar's ring has been taken off in "Reality Check," Jesse tracks it easily from the Double Helix. But when Shalimar's comlink falls off in "Where Evil Dwells," Jesse is unable to find her. Shalimar asserts in "Presumed Guilty" that it's impossible to get a signal from Adam's ring unless it's in contact with his DNA. She and Brennan find it only because it's covered in Adam's blood, thus still receiving a signal from his DNA. Yet in "Hand of God," Jesse can tell that Shalimar's barely alive by her weak signal, but says can't get a fix on her location until she actually responds to his hails. The computer locates her the instant she wakes up, but what should consciousness have to do with it?
Entry #8: Contacting Sanctuary by belle_marie
How is it that everyone can contact any of the MX team via phone or email at Sanctuary? Even Eckhart, who had been looking for Sanctuary for God knows how long, even manages a vidphone call to Sanctuary in Lest He Become, but in the following ep he's still looking for it? And Harrison knew Lexa's cellphone number in In Between? The Grift: Brennan's old girlfriend sends him an email at Sanctuary. How? If she's supposedly not been in touch with Brennan for years. Lest He Become: How does Eckhart know how & where to call Sanctuary? The Prophecy: How does the molecular guy contact Brennan? Has Sanctuary suddenly been listed in the Yellow Pages?
Entry #9: Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm... by princessbryn
How many times did we see Brennan without his shirt? How many times did Adam kiss someone's forehead? How come in "Body & Soul" every time the teenage boy changed bodies he always managed to have a bag of cheese puffs?