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My Mind Is Blown #8

Talking About X-Men '97: Episode Ten (Spoilers Ahead!)

By Alexandria StanwyckPublished 30 days ago 8 min read
X-Men '97 Episode 10 Intro

Part #1 Part #2 Part #3 Part #4 Part #5 Part #6 Part #7

Final Warning: Spoilers Ahead!

It has been a week since the end of not only Tolerance Is Extinction, but also the first season of the new X-Men series, X-Men '97. Yes, it has been confirmed the show will not be left on a cliffhanger, but will have at least a second season with a presently unknown premiere date. Thank goodness, because X-Men '97 is by far one of the best iterations of the X-Men to date, and no, that is not my biased opinion. Rotten Tomatoes has the show on the list of Best TV Shows for May 2024 with a 99% on the Tomatometer, surpassing its predecessor by 16%.

And perhaps most problematically (though it's a good problem), it also sets the bar so high for Marvel's live-action X-Men reboot that it's hard to envy whoever Kevin Feige entrusts with the project. - from X'Men '97 Episode 10 Review: Marvel's Best X-Men Adaption Sticks the Landing - Are You Watching, Kevin Feige? by Screen Rant's Simon Gallagher

As a general rule, it seems like the animated version of the X-Men are held in higher esteem than the movies, though of course I'm sure there are expectations. But this show, it should be considered a model to follow for the MCU, within reason because animation gives a certain kind of freedom not seen with live-action.

A Quick Recap

In the previous episode, the lives of some in the X-Men seem to hang in the balance in their fights against Magneto and Bastion, especially for Jean Grey and Wolverine. With some of the bombs the creators dropped on us episodes prior, such as killing Gambit, a main character until his death in episode 5, I couldn't put it past the creators to hit us with another main character death.

A Perfect Ending to a Near-Perfect Season

We had to wait a few minutes before finding out their fates because the episode starts with a meeting of the minds between Magneto and Charles. I love the twist they put on the flashback and having it transition to the realization that Xavier is in Magneto's head, trying to use a tender moment between the two of them to persuade Magneto to fix the damage done to Earth.

How we see Magneto's mind, a building in shambles and at risk of being wiped out by the flood outside, is nothing short of a perfect illustration of the destruction trauma and poor mental health can do to a person. Often, I have heard from those with depression, anxiety, and trauma, compare negative and debilitating thoughts coming out seemingly nowhere, like a wave to drown out the positive. To see the animators and writers working together to depict something of a similar nature is outstanding.

Unfortunately, at the risk of shattering both of their psyches, Xavier takes over Magneto's mind, and power is restored on Earth, including a fleet of Bastion's Prime Sentinels. This time, they are aimed against human and mutant alike, and though we see many other heroes attempting to protect everyone, Bastion looks like he's won.

He didn't account for the return of the Phoenix, who not only breaks Bastion's control over all Sentinels, but strips Mister Sinister of every strand of mutant DNA he has stolen over the years. And whew, he is ugly!

Bastion isn't finish yet, giving himself yet another upgrade with Cable's metal arm, and planning to give Earth a rerun of what happened to the dinosaurs, using Asteroid M as his weapon of destruction. In order for him to do so, he has to get through the X-Men on the asteroid, not including those incapacitated, but stable.

Magneto's psyche is shattered, and Xavier plans on restoring it before Magneto's pain destroys them both. Wolverine, who suffered a horrific attack in the previous attack, is still alive, but struggling to heal. While they work to recover, the X-Men take on Bastion, starting with Rogue and the newly named Sunspot, and ending with Nightcrawler, Jubilee, and Cyclops. They are able to hold their ground until they are joined by Jean Grey, Beast, Morph, and Storm. All together, they prepare for another round against Bastion, until Cyclops decides on a different route, to try and talk Bastion down.

Their attempts are interrupted by an army of missiles, part of the Magneto Protocols, hitting and destroying the gravity core. What I admire at this point, is even as the rock crumbles around them and what Bastion has done, Cyclops gives Bastion a chance to survive, though Bastion is obliterated by the explosion. It seems like, in death, Bastion still may get his wish, for the rock plummets to Earth, and with the X-Men's (excluding Forge, Cable, Jubilee, and Sunspot) best efforts, they can't stop it.

In the midst of the apparent demise, Charles does everything in his power to restore Magneto's psyche and is successful. I know many were expecting an Onslaught appearance, me included, but I don't feel disappointed we didn't get that. Instead, we saw heart-wrenching moments galore, from Magneto's devastation at not being able to recall his parent's faces to Charles' quote reminding us we will often hurt the ones we hold in our heart and them us.

The only ones who can break our heart are those kept in it. - from X-Men '97: Episode 10, Charles Xavier (voiced by Ross Marquand)

Backed by a cinematic soundtrack, Magneto is awaken and saves mankind, sending the asteroid in an orbit away from Earth. Everyone is celebrating, but for the X-Men left on the ground it is extremely short-lived when the rock, along with everyone aboard disappears in an explosion of light. Yeah, didn't see that coming.

Six months pass and the fate of the X-Men is still unknown, thus leading to the presumption they are dead. The outside of their mansion has become a shrine and Forge attempts to rebuild the team. Thanks to a visit from Bishop (dude, where you've been?) and a short little montage, we learn the X-Men have been yanked through time.

Egypt - 3000 B.C. w/ a young En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse): Rogue, Nightcrawler, Charles Xavier, Beast, and Magneto

The Future - 3960 A.D w/ a young Nathan (Cable), Mother Askani, and Clan Askani: Cyclops and Jean Grey

Obviously, Jubilee and Sunspot are in the present with Forge, since they got off the asteroid before the explosion. The only ones in question are Storm, Wolverine, and Morph. Are they in past Egypt, the future, or in a different time altogether? Worst, are they dead?

Now unlike the other episodes, we get an extra scene in the middle of the credits. Apocalypse is in a present day Genosha, holding a destroyed Queen of Hearts playing card, which seems to indicate Gambit might make a return next season.

The Season Overall

Disney + Poster for X-Men '97

My rating: 5/5 stars - would definitely recommend

I have not stopped singing this show's praises since I started this series. Even though it is a continuation of X-Men: The Animated Series, X-Men '97 has set itself apart while paying tribute to its roots. Although tackling a few popular storylines at a faster pace, it was not confusing or overwhelming. Things progressed to an amazing finale, with plot twists, drama, and shocking moments to carry you through every episode.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels they are armed to the teeth with quotes aplenty thanks to some of the best dialogue I have heard. There were some hit home and made you think, while others made the audience hold their stomachs in laughter.

The animation paid respect to not only its predecessor, but also to anime, especially when it comes to many of the fight sequences. As I mentioned in the beginning, animation allows for a certain kind of freedom not found in live-action films and shows. Not only would attempting to mimic the fluidity and seemingly effortless action break the bank, it would not have translated as well into a live-action version. CGI and stunt work is not always perfect; in fact it can be done quite poorly.

We cannot forget the soundtrack. We are hit with a wave of nostalgia every time we hear the theme song play with every introduction and epic fight scene. On top of that, the music should be considered its own star along with the characters with scenes like Storm destroying the Sentinels in the first episode and the return of Asteroid M in episode 9.

The characters are utilized extremely well, although I would've liked if they used Morph for more than comedic relief and cameos. We do get to see hints of how he feels about what Mister Sinister at times. Of course, this is only the first season, so they is a chance we get to see more characters get their turn in the spotlight in the next one.

Some Theories for the Coming Season

With the end of the season ending in a cliffhanger, I can't help but start thinking of what could happen with season 2, leading me to three theories.

Remember these are theories, none of these have been confirmed by creators.

1. Remember when I mentioned that the whereabouts of Storm, Wolverine, and Morph were unknown? At the very least, I think they are in a completely different time than the rest of the X-Men.

This next part is more of a want than a theory. They could be somewhere like the Savage Land in a different year only because of what happens to Wolverine after the whole adamantium purging in the comics. At some point afterward, Wolverine becomes a feral, bestial version of himself. Maybe it's just me, but it would be interesting to see him in that state while in the Savage Land.

2. This leads to a theory I've read and heard a few times. Wolverine is going to go feral. How I'm not entirely sure because obviously the creators are given some freedom when it comes to how much of the comics storyline they are going to use. It could be something as simple as the incident triggering another mutation or it could stem from another set of events.

3. Gambit is going to return as a Horseman for Apocalypse, specifically the Horseman of Death. Not only does the reveal of Apocalypse in Genosha seem to be a major clue to Gambit's future, but we do also have Xavier's vision of Gambit turning into a skeletal form of himself and a flash of green light coming from his mouth.

Top Three Favorite Moments

Okay, I really regret putting in this portion, because it is beyond difficult to figure out my favorite moments. For this episode, it was pretty much impossible; there were so many great moments. But I still tried.

1. Every scene where Xavier was in Magneto's mind: It was so eloquently done, from the dialogue to the music to the...it's was just so good.

2. Cable's comeback against Bastion: The rule here - don't bring people's mommas into tense matters. You are just asking for trouble.

3. Beast's last "Oh dear!" of the season: I don't know why this makes me laugh every time I hear it. Maybe's it the timing or delivery, but I just love this moment so much.

***

I hope you enjoyed reading through this series! All episodes of X-Men '97 Season 1 is available on Disney +.

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About the Creator

Alexandria Stanwyck

My inner child screams joyfully as I fall back in love with writing.

I am on social media! (Discord, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.)

instead of therapy poetry and lyrics collection is available on Amazon.

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  • Vicki Lawana Trusselli 30 days ago

    BRILLIANT!

Alexandria StanwyckWritten by Alexandria Stanwyck

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