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  • Jay B.

Review: 'X-Men ‘97' - Season 1 Episode 7 - “Bright Eyes”

Rogue attacking a military base.

(Image: Courtesy of Marvel Animation)

WARNING: This review contains spoilers for X-Men ‘97: Season 1, Episode 7!

If the purpose of this episode was to ready fans for the highly anticipated 3-part finale titled “Tolerance is Extinction,” then oh boy did the team behind episode 7 succeed.

Gambit’s Funeral

(Image: Courtesy of Marvel Animation)

We are first taken to the funeral of the beloved Gambit, who was killed during the mutant massacre on Genosha in episode 5. The members of the X-Men along with family members of Gambit are grieving, the funeral service led by Nightcrawler as the Pastor, (it's safe to say his words here really make us as fans feel like we have also suffered a loss). “How could Remy, so tuned to potential fail to see how his sins had made him into a hero” really hits when you think about what we saw in episode 5. One noticeable absence we see from Remy’s funeral is Rogue… who lets just say has gone…. FULL ROGUE.

Rogue attacking a military base.

(Image: Courtesy of Marvel Animation)

Grief-stricken Rogue is out on a personal mission (one I fear every fan will see as justifiable considering she lost not only the man she loved, but another that she once had a romantic relationship with). She is out looking for Henry Gyrich and Bolivar Trask, the individuals that the X-Men believe were behind the attack on Genosha. In these scenes with Rogue, we get to see just how powerful she is when she is tapped into all of the rage and hurt built up over losing Remy and Magneto. She is able to break into a prison that is described as being strong enough to hold the Hulk, but that doesn’t stop her from knocking the walls down to get the information she needs. Audiences won’t understand just how serious Rogue is about finding Gyrich and Trask until she goes up against of one the military personnel who proclaims that the X-Men are supposed to be one of the “good ones” and Rogue says “you killed those sugar, now you get me”. She is on a mission and she isn’t here to play any games with anyone in her way. This attitude is nearly mimicked as she encounters the only and only Captain America soon after. She gets to a point where she pretty much tells Captain America that if he isn’t going to help her and do things by the book, then there’s really no reason for him to have his shield and throws it far off to not be seen as if Superman were to throw a football across the world (pretty petty and funny if you ask me). If someone as righteous as Captain America refuses to help the mutants, who can they trust?

The one thing I love about the writing on this show (and something Beau DeMayo and his writing team) have excelled at, is really making you fall back in love with these characters. Outside of the comics and maybe a few of the Fox X-Men films, they really are never done justice or have time to shine due to studios and companies pushing Wolverine to the forefront. Throughout this entire series we have gotten to see every character have its own moments and side stories that are interwoven into the overall story-arch of this season. Each character is given time to showcase their emotions, a reaction to choices that we have seen played out. I think this is what is going to make the finale of the series play off so well and I can’t wait to see what choices beloved X-Men do or don’t do.

On the other side of the world, we see the X-Men visit Genosha to assist in helping with clean up and aid to the victims of the massacre. We find that Emma Frost (as many fans guessed) was not killed in the attack on the island as her and Jean are able to have some sort of telepathic moment that help Jean and Scott locate her. We also get to see an interesting turn for Beast during this time on the island. I feel like we rarely see Beast bothered or upset by much, he’s usually the voice of reason and optimism on the team but after a conversation with journalist Trish Tilby, we hear him say “begging for your tolerance was our first mistake”. This really makes me feel as though we are going to see members of the team really make some defining actions on their points of view on humans and how they view mutants. It’s also important to note how important this will be once they are finally reunited with Professor Xavier during his year long vacation away with the Sh'iar empire.

Bolivar Trask warning the X-Men

(Imagine: Courtesy of Marvel Animation)

The X-Men are then alerted that Bolivar Trask is on Madripoor and tells them to quickly journey there where he will reveal more information about Mr. Sinister and his plans (definitely a trap). We finally get to see that there are in indeed more sentinels being built, Trask admits much worse than the ones we saw attack Genosha. He attempts to commit suicide as he claims that he had no idea that Sinister was going to attack Genosha in such a… well let’s say sinister way. Before he is able to jump off the building, Rogue catches him and tells him that if he wants to truly make amends, he needs to help the X-Men. He says “I have nothing” and Rogue replies “neither do I” and she lets go, leading him to death. The remaining X-Men are shocked that Rogue… would kill someone willingly (even if the asshole Trask). This is another moment where we get to see how every member on the team feels differently, and how grief makes some of them cross a line they wouldn't cross in a million year. Nightcrawler says “Rogue, what have you done?”, Scott, Jean and Beast are shocked, Morph says “is this who we are?” And Wolverine seemingly is okay with Rogue’s decision to drop Trask. Before Rogue can even fully defend her actions, the X-Men are hit with a powerful blast from Trask who is now… a sentinel? This is another moment of writing that just hits this spot so sweet because for the first time we get to see our heroes left in the past and humans evolve into something bigger and more dangerous.

Jean, Scott, Morph (as Quicksilver), Beast and Wolverine attempt to take on Trask but they are extremely outmatched. Even Jean (who finally gets some bad ass fight scenes and reminds audiences that she’s not just some fainting laughing meme for folks but is actually a very strong telekinetic) didn’t stand much of a match for Sentinel Trask. Things are not looking well and I almost got scared Scott was going to be seriously injured but luckily for the X-Men they have one badass, time-traveling mutant appear to assist, aka Cable.

Bastion revealed as the big bad behind the attack on Genosha

(Image: Courtesy of Marvel Animation)

Before the end of the episode we get two huge reveals. Magneto is not dead and the big bad behind the attack on Genosha wasn’t even Sinister but rather the supervillain Bastion (voiced by the amazing Theo James - who was revealed to be in the show a few months ago, but his role was kept a secret). Things are not looking good for the X-Men and the 3-part finale is bound to be one for the books. Let us hope Storm, Professor Xavier and other mutants appear to assist because this is about to be one big uphill battle for our heroes.

Rating: 4.5/5


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