The one word that’s used several times in Days of Future Past to refer to Charles and Erik. Normally a word like that wouldn’t cause much fervor with me, but it’s the *way* it’s used that makes me believe the writers are pointing to a much, much deeper relationship than friendship between Erik and Charles. And that their relationship will be fully realized in Apocalypse.
The first time “together” is used in relationship to Charles and Erik is when Logan, after traveling back in time, goes to the X-Mansion to find young Charles. Logan needs to convince him to help stop Raven from killing Trask, thus bringing about the future Sentinel War– Charles seems to be considering it until Logan brings up the subject of Erik. And, oh man, Charles does not like that. He storms out. Logan says to him:
“That’s it, you’re just gonna walk out?”
Charles: “Oooh, top marks, like I said you are perceptive.” (Man, is he pissed off.)
And Logan delivers that infamous line: “The Professor I know would never turn his back on someone who’d lost their path, especially someone he loved.”
(Yes! Finally someone says it, someone calls Charles out on it. Yes! And this is First Class subtext becoming text.)
But all that does is make Charles even angrier, and he steps backwards off the stairs like “Bitch, oh hell no, you did NOT just bring that up” and says to Logan:
“You know, I think I do remember you now. Yeah. We came to you a long time ago seeking your help, and I’m gonna say to you what you said to us then- fuck off.”
(I love this scene so much. It’s my favorite out of both films. Erik and Charles are so bittersweet.)
Damn. Charles doesn’t usually use the word “fuck.” Erik is a serious sore spot, but..Logan knows that, and he also knew that calling Charles out on that would be the *only* way to hook him, to get him to come back down the stairs. And he also knows that Charles in fact doesn’t turn his back on Erik, and in fact forgives him everything in the future because they’re *together* in the future. Logan’s sly.
And he’s gonna have to remind Charles of that later on.
After pining away upstairs for a while, Charles comes back to tell Logan that he’ll help get Raven.
Charles: “I’ll help you get her. Not for any of your future shite, but for her.”
Logan: “Fair enough.”
(Hank’s close up in this scene shows he’s pretty happy about this development. Of course.)
“But I’ll tell you this, you don’t know Erik. That man is a monster, a murderer. You think you can convince Raven to change, to come home? That’s splendid.”
(notice how the dialogue is set up here, almost like Erik and Raven are interchangeable. Its intentional because it’s a callback to her being the subtext for Erik. This film really solidifies that, but I’ll detail that in another post.)
Charles: “But what makes you think you can change him.”
(The “and bring him home” is inferred here. Charles already said it in terms of Raven, equating her coming home with her changing. “To change, to come home.” Not “to change and to come home” or “to change or to come home.” The way the dialogue is structured here is *very* important. Charles wants Erik to come home. Logan knows this, which is why he says this–)
Logan: “Because you and Erik sent me back here together.”
Oh, that’s so beautiful, isn’t it? And Logan seems to be smiling a bit when he says those words. Definitely has a twinkle in his eye. He knows exactly what he’s telling Charles.
(by the way, Hank echoes Charles reaction to this line, furthering the parallel between the two.)
And Charles knows exactly what he’s hearing. Just look at his reaction:
Heartbreaking. And a moment of “Oh my God, we’re together in the future?!”
Sigh. These two. This whole scene.
That sets up what “together” means in reference to Charles and Erik for the rest of the film.
The second time “together” is used for Charles and Erik is after the intense plane/chess/make up scene, and they come upon Raven in Paris just before she shoots Trask. Erik deals with Stryker who is trying to capture her, and Charles soothes and calms her down, stroking her hair, and tells her:
Together. And he stresses that word. Together! He’s telling her this like a parent would tell a child “Your father and I are back together, and we’re here to bring you home.” I honestly don’t see how else this scene could be interpreted.
This really leaves no doubt as to what transpired on the plane between Charles and Erik– why else would he think they were back together? Like one chess game is gonna magically solve all his anger towards Erik– nope, they hooked up, and now Charles thinks everyone’s gonna come home and they can be a family again.
But, nope. Erik’s gotta go and fuck things up as usual, and Charles once again underestimates Erik’s devotion to the future of mutant kind over everything else. When he looks up with that pained expression in the above clip, he does so *right after* Charles says the word “together.” He realizes that not only is Raven indirectly responsible for the Sentinels being created, but that she’s an obstacle between him and Charles.
Yes, this scene has two separate layers. One surface story– the sentinel war and Erik thinking that if he just kills her now, the war will just magically never happen. The subtext story is that she’s an obstacle now between his happiness with Charles because Erik presumably had a relationship with her after First Class.
Erik moves the gun on the table into his hand and points it at Raven.
(note the painting Liberty Leading the People. Erik is equated with the young boy in the painting holding two guns. There’s a reason for that. I’ll detail it in another post. Just thought I’d point it out here.)
Charles: “Erik, what are you doing?”
Erik: “Securing our future.”
Yes, the line has a literal meaning. But it also has a subtextual meaning regarding his future with Charles. Cool, isn’t it?
Charles is terrified and angry at Erik for this, and the gun seems to be pointed at them both. Charles is protecting his sister just as he protected Erik when the guards were aiming their guns at him earlier. (Mirrors. Mirrors everywhere.)
And we all know where this leads. Another fight, Erik taking matters into his own hands, more fights, blah blah blah. Erik Erik Erik!
Which leads me to the last time “together” is used for Charles and Erik, and it’s at the end of the film, after all the craziness has gone down between all of them, and they’ve all parted ways. Hank is watching Raven leave and he says to Charles:
“Are you sure you should let them go?”
Charles: “Yes. I have hope for them. There’s going to be a time, Hank, when we are all together.”
Charles is referring to Hank with Raven and him with Erik, no one else. There’s no doubt as to what that means for Raven and Hank, so why should there be any doubt as to what that means for Erik and Charles?
Well, we don’t expect to see it. We expect heteronormativity. We expect that the filmmakers will keep these two just friends, or give them some sort of heterosexual relationship. But I don’t see that happening here, I think they’re going to bring these two together, officially, in 2016 when Apocalypse is released. Their story arc really can’t be resolved any other way. Someone’s gotta be the first, right? And what better platform than X-Men? And what better way to finally pay service to an *enormous* part of the graphic novel/comics fan base that has largely gone ignored until very recently–women and the LGBTQ community? If Sherlock can do it (and there’s NO doubt there of johnlock happening), X-Men can too. Same sex relationships need no longer hide in subtext– we’re past that now.
Bring it on, X-Men. It’s time. “Do what you were made for.”