X-Men 97: Episode 5 Review

Remember It

The mutant nation of Genosha is about to be accepted into the United Nations but an attack on the nation leaves its reeling and fractures mutant-human relations.

Love triangles

Magneto, Rogue and Gambit fly to Genosha to help usher in the peace talks. Tensions are high as they meet Madelyn Pryor who is working in Genosha to oversee the UN acceptance. Magneto is being asked to return as ruler, something that has been very difficult for members of the UN to accept. They want Rogue to join him as they don’t trust him alone. This creates other major issues, because Rogue loves Gambit, but her powers prevent them from being together. Meanwhile, Magneto is the only one who can touch Rogue’s skin without losing his powers and he loves her, but she doesn’t love him. It’s the ultimate love triangle.

Back in New York, Jean and Scott are at odds after Jean learns of a telepathic connection between Scott and Madelyn Pryor. Scott still loves Madelyn, who is a clone of Jean, because she is the mother of his child. Meanwhile, Jean loves Scott and is angry at this emotional affair he’s having with Madelyn. It leads to Jean kissing Logan, but Wolverine rejects her advantages as Jean Gray is supposed to be with Cyclops. It’s quite the intrinsic mess between seven different mutants for an animated series.

The interview

Scott Summers, the good guy, the boy scout, finds himself at odds with his sense of being. Any time Cyclops has been around, he’s fought for Professor X’s mission of harmony between humans and mutants. But, a man can only sacrifice so much and he’s reached his breaking point. Scott lost his mentor, lost his son, remains confused about the Jean Gray and Madelyn Pryor situation and ends up being called out for lying during the interview.

This leads to Cyclops snapping at the reporter suggesting that humans didn’t deserve all the sacrifices mutantkind was making for humankind. For the first time, Cyclops sounds like Magneto while Magneto is trying to uphold Professor X’s vision, something that’s usually Scott’s job.

Heartbreaking sacrifice

Speaking of Scott’s son, an adult version of Nathan Summers, Cable, makes his way through time to warn Genosha of an impending attack. A Godzilla-like sentinel then attacks the mutant nation attempting genocide. Magneto shields mutants he previously promised to protect. The sentinel appears to have defeated Magneto as it says “omega level threat eliminated.” Of course, we never see a body, so it’s possible Magneto isn’t actually dead.

However, the apparent death of Magneto leads to daring and heroic actions by Rogue and Gambit. Rogue tries to take on the sentinel by herself, but Gambit pushes her out of the way. Gambit takes up the mission and is skewered for his efforts but still uses his powers to blow up the sentinel. Of course, he dies in the blast as well. Rogue is left crying holding his body, heartbroken that her love she could never be with has sacrificed himself for her, for mutants and for Genosha.

Raising the stakes

It’s not often that an animated television series tackles such serious topics in a way that can relate to so many different age groups. There’s no easy way to discuss genocide but having mutants be the targets instead of an actual group of people helps to present it as the horror that it truly to a wide range of audiences.

Meanwhile, this show has killed off one of the most popular X-Men ever in Gambit and might have possibly killed off the most famous X-Men villain turned ally in Magneto. The team is in shatters, mutants and humans are headed to a bloody and brutal conflict. This is the closest to hopeless Marvel has provided since Infinity War.

I was hesitant to say it prior to this episode, but there’s no way to deny it now, this is the best thing ever produced for Disney Plus.

Article Written By: Jeremy Brown for Stelmach Brown Media 2024

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