The Salem Shelter, is celebrating it’s grand opening with a bang. St. John Allerdyce has come to Salem for one reason; to eliminate the anti-mutant rights political figure, Senator Robert Kelly. The scene turns to chaos, as the intended target is replaced by the Senator’s only son.
William Dekker, a military schooled teen mutant is transferring to Xavier’s school just days before it opens. Dekker serves as the naive newcomer to the already established team of leads, allowing the audience to witness and judge each of the leads and their respective priorities.
Opening Scene: In Media Res
Leads & Features: James ‘Jimmy’ Johnson, Koah, Magnus Tate, William Dekker, Zakariah Clements, Sarah Tate, Professor Charles Xavier, Erik Lehnsherr, Moira MacTaggert, Raven Darkholme, St. John Allerdyce, Edward Kelly, Senator Robert Kelly
Extras: Alex Summers, Kitty Pryde
The show opens with a Black & White, eagle eye view of a formal gathering in a winter, snowy town. Fire bursts out over the scene, followed by an immediate explosion. The camera zooms down quickly, focusing in on the chaotic scene, and the film swaps to color.
There are remnants of a Limousine transformed into a fiery inferno, overturned. There is a trail of fire on the ground, extending up onto a wooden podium that is now engulfed in flame. There is a well dressed figure with dark hair laying face first on the podium, surrounded by the inferno. Two other figures who the leads would recognize as Charles and Moira are climbing back to their hands and knees, coughing from the smoke inhalation.
A man with long blonde hair in a brown winter jacket offers a look of satisfaction and a crazed smile before he darts away from the scene. The camera pans to the building entrance nearby. The sign reads ‘Salem Center Shelter’ and a blue banner strings along the bottom reading ‘Grand Opening’.
The scene pans back to the eagle eyed view of the town, presumably Salem Center. It pans west to a monstrous brick mansion set on a small hill, extending upward well past the tree line. The title flashes across the center of the scene and locks into place: X-Men, First Class..
Salem Shelter: In Media Res → Xavier School, The Courtyard: An Orientation, Pt1 → Xavier School, The Food Lounge: An Orientation, Pt2 → Xavier School, The Television Sitting Room: An Orientation, Pt3: → Salem Shelter: The Clinic’s Grand Opening → Salem Centre: Chasing Down Pyro → Salem Shelter: Saving Edward Kelly → Xavier Room, Power Detainment Area: Interrogating St. John → NYC Memorial Hospital: A Chance Encounter with Mr. Worthington
The Storyline progression through the Leads
William Dekker served the role of the Naïve Newcomer to the established group of students. This allowed William to act as the audience surrogate to the unfamiliar school. It was made apparent through flashbacks and William’s references to the military school, that his decision to join the school was not in response to becoming an outcast. William worked alongside ‘Jimmy’ Johnson to keep Edward Kelly alive, as well as securing the safety of Senator Robert Kelly. While watching over Edward in the ICU, William and Jimmy spoke with Warren Worthington III, a responsible business tycoon and former roomate of Edward. In the introduction scene, William met Megan Gwynn in an interaction that would lead the audience to believe she could become a potential future romantic interest.
James ‘Jimmy’ Johnson is introduced through his role as the male student’s orientation guide, responsible for the orientation of William Dekker at the start of the episode. He was portrayed as a very likeable, innocent character, who was able to save the life of Edward Kelly, after the attempted assassination of Senator Robert Kelly. It was made clear through an early welcoming scene, that he currently has the hots for Kitty Pryde, though the interaction was far too awkward to tell if the feelings were reciprocated.
Zakariah Clements was first seen eating in the Food Lounge with Sarah Tate, a new found friend and potential romantic interest. William Dekker was introduced to the couple by Jimmy Johnson as Sarah interrogated Zak on his morning training. Zak was able to demonstrate his powers after the attempted assassination of Senator Robert Kelly, as he lept into pursuit of the culprit, St. John Allerdyce. Teaming up with Koah, the two were able to deal with the Brotherhood mutant.
Koah was introduced to the audience in the Television Lounge, alongside Magnus Tate, Raven Darkholme and Alex Summers. Displayed as the rebels of the school, they offered an early demonstration of their counterpoint opinions to that of Professor Charles Xavier. Koah was able to demonstrate his impulsive attitude in the careless pursuit of the Brotherhood mutant St. John Allerdyce. When Erik Lehnsherr presented himself as the unknown observer to the conflict with St. John, it became clear that Koah shared similar doubts about the possibility of peace between mutants and humans.
Magnus Tate was introduced in the Television Lounge, alongside Koah, Raven Darkholme and Alex Summers. He was presented as the comic relief in character banter, but the most obvious introduction to Magnus, was the protective focus he held to his younger sister, Sarah Tate. In the aftermath of the attempted assassination of Senator Robert Kelly, Magnus stayed behind in order to see to the wellbeing of his assumed replacement parental figures Moira MacTaggert and Professor Charles Xavier. Though he was certainly viewed as a gentle giant, something in his eyes demonstrated that there was a dark past left to be uncovered at a later time.