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X-Men 97 – Remember It

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Beware of spoilers for the show in the article. Please do not continue reading if you are interested in watching the show and you are not okay with being spoiled since this article will discuss events from the 5th episode of the show that aired on the 10th of April 2024 on Disney +.

Genosha :

This week on the show Genosha is admitted into the UN. Magneto , Rogue and Gambit fly to the country in the new X-Jet ( the original jet blew up in episode 1 ). The trio reunites with Madelyne Pryor and Nightcrawler in Genosha as Magneto meets up with the Genoshan Quiet Council made up of Moira Mctagget , Calisto , Banshee and some members of the Hellfire Club ( Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw ). The Quiet Council offers Magneto the chancellorship of Genosha , something he only agrees to on the condition Rogue leads the country with him.

Circling back to the opening , when Rogue , Magneto and Gambit flew over Genosha, I got major Black Panther 2018 vibes specifically when Okoye , Nakia and T’challa first go to Wakanda and we see the wonder of the capital city in the film. Genosha in many ways symbolizes what both Professor X and Magneto wanted for their people, so it was beautiful to see both of their statues overlooking the country. The scenes of mutant children laughing , playing and just being children were beautiful , finally able to be children away from the horrors of the discrimination and prejudice of the world.

The X-Mansion :

Back at home, a reporter Trish Tilby visited the X-Mansion ( she dated Beast in the comics which explains Beast’s blushing ). Scott had a meltdown during his interview , he is grieving so pretending everything okay wasn’t easy especially once Trish kept pushing for information about his son Nathan Summers, she crossed a line and Scott imploded. Cyclops sounded a lot like the old Magneto in that scene which is interesting because Magneto has so far been acting closer to Professor Xavier. It makes sense that Scott would go to Madelyne, she is the only one who understands what he is going through so it makes sense that he would go and talk with her about his feelings.The only thing he can be sure of right now is that Madelyne is the mother of his son.

This episode felt like a nod to Morrison’s comic book run with lots of comic book references such as Scott Summers’ psychic affair with Emma Frost ( switched out with Madelyne Pryor for this show). It makes more sense to use Madelyne since Emma and Scott have barely interacted in the continuity of this show so far, so adapting that would have been something out of left field. Emma telepathically picking up on what was happening with Madelyne and Scott was a clear nod to her own storyline with Scott.

Jean also kissed Wolverine during their scene at the lake outside the mansion, a scene that seemed to reference the live action Fox X-Men 2 film and Jean Grey controlling the water in that scene. Wolverine loves Jean but he understands that she is still confused right now and working through her memories so he sends her away to go and talk to Scott which ultimately results in Jean walking in on Scott and Madelyne kissing and discovering their psychic affair. Morality wise all three characters need to take a breather after dealing with cloning and having to send their child to the future which is unprecedented territory , what therapist could even handle that mess ?.

Rogue , Gambit and Magneto :

Back on Genosha , we finally got some more insight into the history of Magneto and Rogue’s relationship. Rogue met Magneto back when she was still working with her mother Mystique and got romantically closer to Magneto once she learned that they could touch and Magneto was immune to the negative effects of her powers. Eventually though ,both of their issues ultimately got in the way of their relationship, from Rogue’s explanation it sounded more like they needed couples therapy like everyone else in this episode. We need a resident therapist at the X-Mansion.

Rogue’s dilemma with Gambit is that whilst she loves him she can never touch him without hurting him and Magneto gives her an easy way of experiencing a relationship where she can touch someone. Her initial choice to be Magneto’s Queen and Genoshan co-ruler is because she wants to help people but she also wants to experience the ability to touch someone again. Rogue clearly cares for Magneto and has a strong connection with him , it’s something we’ve seen since episode 2 and it was pretty palpable during their dance scene. Rogue is however in love with Gambit now and the dance and kiss with Magneto makes her realize exactly how she feels and why her feelings can’t be buried away.

It was great to see Nightcrawler return in the show, having him reunite with Rogue who is his adopted sister ( something I don’t think the 90’s show explored with Mystique being his mother ), I hope that gets more exploration here going forward especially since we will get a second season and Mystique has yet to make a formal appearance on the show.

Climax :

From the moment I saw Cable appear and a shot of The Watcher ( from the MCU “What If” tv series ) in the sky observing the Hellfire Club Gala, I knew things were about to go south and boy did they go south for everyone in Genosha. The episode adapted a lot of events from the X-Men comic book run “E is for Extinction” , in which Genosha is destroyed by sentinels. I can foresee this event having so many consequences for the mutants and radicalizing some members of the team Rogue , Cyclops and Magneto ( if he survived ) are probably going to be out for blood. So far we have gotten glimpses of how far the friends of humanity are willing to go in their war against mutants but this took it to a whole other level of pure evil.

Magneto died a hero protecting the Morlocks he promised to protect as he told Leech in German to not be afraid. I’m still not sure Magneto is dead primarily because of Leech’s power-set ( Leech possesses the ability to dampen mutant powers for a time ). So it’s very likely when Master Mold said “omega threat eliminated “ Leech had turned on his powers.

Gambit’s final sacrifice at the end had more of a sense of finality , I imagine Rogue won’t be kind to the friends of humanity when she crosses paths with them next. Gambit died thinking Rogue chose Magneto, which adds to the tragedy of their relationship. His final scene also hammered home Cyclops’ point about humans being lucky the X-Men are on their side, Gambit was powerful enough to destroy Master Mold ( one of the most deadly sentinels we’ve seen ). The X-Men typically hold back on unleashing their full power so they don’t hurt innocent humans.

The deaths in this episode will probably divide the X team. I’m still holding out hope Gambit can be saved through some time travel shenanigans. Gambit protected Rogue just like Magneto did when he pulled her back from trying to save Magneto and he also used the motorcycle to knock her out of the path of Master Mold’s blast. Both men took the rejection very maturely which shows they love her and want the best for her , I guess Rogue has that effect on her sugars. Rogue revealed Magneto pretended not to know her so she could have a family with the X-Men.

The show’s creator Beau DeMayo who wrote this episode explained through a twitter message that the climax was meant to be a reference to events like 9/11 and how it marked a terrifying shift for a lot of Americans. The first 4 and a half episodes reflect the comfort of the 90’s and the last 5 episodes will deal with the aftermath of the massacre.

My other thoughts :

1. There were so many cool visuals of mutant powers in the climax of this episode from Nightcrawler teleporting Rogue and Magneto out of harm’s way , Rogue flying and Gambit riding his motorcycle next to her , Magneto fighting Mastermold alone , Gambit’s final sacrifice e.t.c…

2. In the comics the Genoshan massacre results in Emma Frost activating her secondary mutation that allows her to turn her body into an organic diamond. I wonder if they will adapt that storyline too , the setup for that is perfect.

3. Rogue holding Gambit in her arms at the end of the episode reminded me of the famous “Death of Superman” comic book art of Superman in Lois Lane’s arms.

4. Is Valerie Cooper actually Mystique in disguise ? , Val’s interest in Rogue joining Magneto as his “Queen” would certainly be a big clue if they did that. Mystique pretending to be an important government operative type figure is certainly on brand for her.

5. This episode was written by the show’s creator Beau Demayo and offscreen drama aside he delivered a brilliant episode of television. Based on his work on this show he should easily get another show outside of this show’s success.

Verdict :

The show has continued firing on all cylinders week to week by truly paying homage to what the X-Men are supposed to be, a show made by fans for fans. This episode is hands down some of the best Marvel content we’ve had in a long while right up there with Loki Season 2 in terms of quality. We will definitely remember it , Gambit.

Rating :

1. Story: 10/10

2. Visuals: 10/10

3. Sound: 10/10

4. Performances: 10/10

5. Overall: 10/10

Join me weekly for more reviews of the first season of X-Men 97.

“What did you think of the show’s 5th episode ?”

“What are your hopes for the rest of the season ?”

Let us know in the comments below.

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