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X-Men'97 Season 1 Episode 7 You light up everything you touch.

The X-Men carry the coffin of Gambit

You know one would think, that a show such as X-Men'97 would be very reluctant to kill off a main character such as Gambit, but goddamn, they did it.


Doesn't mean he can't come back, but yeah, he dead.


Now this episode is everything that happened after the Genocide of Genoshia and the question lingers in the air, will human and mutant peace ever be possible? Even the mutants who usually get along well with humans, seem unwilling to talk.


Even to friends.

Beast tells Ms. Tilby that he dare not waste anymore of her "tolerance"

And there is a lot that can be said about the parallels to real world Tragedies like how even well meaning politicians and public figures are unwilling to or unable to (depending on how you want to look at it) help the mutants, for fear of loosing the very power that lets them help, or for fear of optics.


Now, I will say, there is a very important point to be made here, yes, at face value, the moral thing to do is to not care about power, to not care about optics and just save as many as you can just at once, however, if one looses the power and optics that let them help, they can't help anymore.


And if not saving one person now, can mean having the ability to save a million later, there is an argument to be made for holding back, especially, if a sympathetic person loosing power means a less sympathetic person steps in, or something else is damaged.


Yes, even if this is true, many would still choose against waiting/holding off. the point I'm trying to make is optics and power do matter, and there is an argument there, and yes, many times such arguments are made as an excuse to better serve ones self interest, and since that is served regardless of intention, it is easy to make this interpretation.


And that is why it is necessary to take a step back before making this interpretation, because easy interpretations, often get applied more often than they are actually true, why? because they are easy to make, that's why.

Captain America tells Rogue he gotta do this one by the book.

I like that they made captain America be the public figure who cared about optics, it does a two pronged attack, it simultaneously highlights the struggle of groups such as the mutants in the face of such atrocity as even the most likely of public figures refuse to or unable to help (again depending on how you want to look at it.) and simultaneously shoving off any one note interpretations like, oh look, sleazy power hungry guy do sleazy power hungry thing.


Oh unless you are a Twitte... sorry X user, then it's just Marvel demeaning Captain America for cheap social messaging, I mean again its possible, but it is the easiest and the worst interpretation, so let's be cautious shall we?


Good.


Now that we have that out of the way, can we talk about the fact that actually Captain America should up in a cameo? Like till now, I believe it was agreed upon that the X-Men'97 universe was completely separate from the MCU, and it still may be, but after Forge using Dr. Strange's Eldritch Magic, and Captain America showing up, it's seeming more and more likely, that there will be very deliberate comparisons.


And yes, sure, this could mean nothing, Cartoons of the old crossed over all the time, the nineties show even had a crossover with the spiderman cartoon once, and once again, the Eldritch magic could just be that, Eldritch magic, with some uniformity thrown in, I mean why change it when you've got a perfect looking one already?


Speaking of looks, Rogue has got her villain look down pat.

Rogue looking all evil after she let Bolivar Trask fall down a multistory building.

And evil she almost became, as she drops Trask from a multistory building at the U.N., I mean he was goin to jump anyways, but, yeah, still evil, but somewhat justified I would say, given the circumstances.


Rogue is on a quest to find out who exactly caused the attack on Genoshia and obviously the best way to get there is through Gyrich, who funded Trask's Sentinel program.


On her quest, she finds the logo of a certain corporation that has apparently now taken custody/moved Henry Gyrich, an organistation called OZT.


What is OZT? If the comics are anything to go by, it is Operation Zero Tolerance, no prizes for guessing whose tolerance is being referred to here.


OZT in the comics was created by a being called Bastion, and yes, I did call him a being, not a person, and there is a goo reason for that.


In the comics, and particularly towards the future, there was a particularly advanced Sentinel capable of shapeshifting and with a certain sentience, called, Nimrod, over time, Nimrod, came over to the Heroes side and started helping them, but that was short lived.

Nimrod as he appears in the X-Men Comics.

Eventually the Sentinel Master Mold(that's the one that controls and creates new ones.)(yes I know I initially assumed that Master Mold was the three headed Sentinel in episode 5, because... I didn't know better... of course.) and Nimrod, were involved in the same battle and that lead to both their destruction, and then their destroyed pieces went through a certain veil...


I mean I'm calling it the Veil cause it serves the same function as the Veil at the department of mysteries in harry potter, i.e. it plays a barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead, and so crossing through it, will cause you to die.

Sirius black falls throw the veil at the department of mysteries after he is hit by the killing curse shot by his sister Bellatrix Lestrange.

And this is what happens to the remnants of Nimrod and Master Mold, they get thrown through this "veil" and "die" I put quotation marks, because they can't really die if they aren't living now can they?


And then they return through the veil as a single person called Sebastion Gilberti, who is then thrown back in time and has Amnesia, you get all that? Cool?


So basically, Bastion is a Sentilnel, but he has free will and is also a Person, initially, it's just him, and then, over time, as he is exposed to a Master Mold shell, the Master Mold's programming blends into his personality and he grows extreme anti mutant sentiments, and creates Operation Zero Tolerance, also known as OZT.


And this is why Bolivar Trask is quoting Oppenheimer, he created the Sentinels to fight the Mutant kind and "protect" Humanity, and that lead to the creation of Bastion, who will now kill everyone.

Fun-fact, Oppenheimer was actually quoting the Hindu religious book the Bhagvad Geeta when he said this line during an interview.


And just like Oppenheimer, who made the Atom Bomb to end the war early, and believing that Americans will use it Judiciously, but then inadvertently caused Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Bolivar Created the Sentinels to protect non mutants (or as he calls the, "normal people"), He inadvertently created Bastion and that lead to the Genoshia Genocide.


Morph even calls him jokingly as "poor man's Oppenheimer."


Which, can I just say, twice now, I have been confused, first by the sudden and unannounced presence of the ruler of Limbo: Illyana Rasputina, aka Magik and her alter ego Darkchylde and now by the sudden and unannounced presence of Quicksilver, and both the times, it turned out to be Morph.

Morph as Darkchylde, Quicksilver and Magik

It seems he is just an excuse to bring in characters that otherwise cannot be brought in but some writer thought it would be cool if this powerset was here.


I mean it's cool and in the moment I like it, but what it ultimately just leads to is me questioning where these character's are and what in the world happened to them? I mean they existed at some point, that's why Morph can... Morph... into them, are they dead? Gone somewhere they cannot return? Predisposed? If so what is so important that they aren't present here?


And yes, I am a hundred percent sure that my questions can have completely reasonable answers, ones which would probably be found just by viewing the original cartoon, and it is kind of on me that I am watching X-Men'97 without watching the original nineties cartoon X-Men the animated series.


Except if you read the previous weeks article, you would know that I tried, but that cartoon is literally unwatchable currently where I am at. That and Morph Kind of has the same problem as G'iah from the end of secret invasion, he can literally recreate the powers of all the mutants he knows, leading him to be an unnecessarily unbalanced powerhouse...

Yeah he just has all the powers, like okay, I will admit, I don't know the full story, maybe there is some limitations, like mutants only, or heck I'll give you more, only the characters that he is shown to explicitly transform into in this season, even then, he has Darkchylde, Magik, Jean Grey, and Quicksilver.


That's already four super-powerful characters, even they alone can grant him such ridiculous power that its not even a question as to whether anyone can beat him, and I will grant you, he never explicitly uses all the powers of Darkchylde or Magik he just uses them as essentially swords women, which grants the question why? if he is limited to that, any swordswoman will do no? I believe the answer to that can be its random, or its to Jog Madelyn's Memory or something like that, and Jean he does just to tease Wolverine, which, power move bro.


so yeah, maybe his limitations restrict him to only some of Magik and Darkchylde's powers like her swordsmanship, and can't use Jean Grey's power, and can only use Quicksilvers superspeed unimpeeded.


Again all of this is possible, but the problem is it's not properly explained and again maybe it is in the original show, but I cannot watch that, for above stated reasons.


What gives Disney!


Now I must Clarify, because unfortunately internet discourse today is like that that this is mandated, unless I want a barrage of hate, this is a minor nitpick, the episode is larger than this, and over all Morph is cool, and is used amazingly, it's just I am a nerd, and while it is fun to go into these little nerdy rabbitholes, one must remember that this is a nitpick and to not assign more value to it than it deserves, its an issue but not as large as my rant would imply.


X-Men'97 isn't "ruined" by me saying this, because alongside being a nerd, I am also a writer and therefore understand how difficult it is to look through and address every single little eventuality that someone might think of, but yes if they did, without(and this is necessary.) compromising the rest of the show(which is way easier said than done.) the show would be, slightly to moderately better.


So its a huge task for a small improvement, some might see it as worthwhile, some might not, to each their own, that's the beauty of art, it's interpretive in nature.


Okay... Now that that digression is over...


We must return to our good ol' friend Bastion.


Bastion has lots of super abilities, like, resisting mind control, being straight up superman(yes he is.), the ability to create new Sentinels from living beings called Prime Sentinels, which can even be made from previously dead people.


And guess what happens to Trask when he dies? HE BECOMES A PRIME SENTINEL!

Trask as a Prime Sentinel

And this Bolivar Prime, goes on to absolutely Annihilate all of the top tier X-Men, including, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, and he doesn't even break a sweat, only when Cable comes in and sets off an Electromagnetic Cluster Grenade, which seems to be the quickest way to take down a Prime Sentinel.


He would know this, because he is from a future where he has been fighting them tooth and nail, and this is the future he is here to prevent.,


Jean Grey drops a really interesting hint here, that She can still feel Trask's mind inside the Prime Sentinel, this is how her ability is used often in this episode, to effectively convey certain information to both the Audience and the X-Men that would otherwise be difficult to achieve, such as, better developing the Genocide by having her feel all the left over unfinished thoughts and Dreams, cut short in an instant, and then to help Detect the presence of Emma Frost underneath all the rubble.


And here, it seems Jean's abilities are giving us a hint as to how Gambit will be brought back, I mean initially, me along with a lot of other people, had assumed that it would be Cable time travelling and undoing the Genocide, and all the story and development that came along with it, but now it seems, they will bring back Gambit, and still keep all the Development in place, and give us an amazing fight at the same time.


I say, Gambit will be brought back as a Prime Sentinel, I mean Bastion does have that Ability in the comics, and this kind of aligns with what happens in the Comics as to when Gambit becomes a Horseman of Apocalypse, he is still alive inside, and it is his feelings for Rogue, that help bring him, back.


And why would Bastion do this? I mean what better candidate to Turn into a Prime Sentinel than the one who took down the largest most Terrifyingly effective Sentinel in a single move, a Sentinel that Singlehandedly caused a countrywide Genocide.


And this was already foreshadowed in the previous episode, when Gambit becomes a skeleton and releases a Sentinel Blast from his mouth in a vision that Professor X saw in the Astral Plane, I mean yes, that could just be a nightmarish interpretation of what happened in Genoshia, or it could be foreshadowing, probably both.

Gambit shooting a Sentinel laser in professors X's nightmare.

Speaking of dead characters coming back(as they almost always do in the comics) Magneto is back, the show of course reveals the misdirect it played on us in the previous episode by revealing Sinister to be the one behind the attack, as it is shown the Sinister is also working for, who else, but Bastion.


And this beast of a Villain is revealed in a chilling scene where he chokes out Henry Gyrich, whom he had given an "upgrade" in being able to (like Bastion) resist Mental Probing by characters such as Jean Grey, but then again, Rogue is the one that probes Gyrich for information, and that isn't exactly a mental probe.


And for almost revealing his existence and therefore failing him, Bastion Kills Gyrich, and then obviously, being the Conniving villain the Bastion is, he knows of Professor X being alive and well with the Shi'ar Empire, and he only made it seem like he killed Magneto, where as in reality, he kept this mad lad alive and subdued with a mutant suppressor collar, and is... shaving him?


Well this could just be him flexing hard on Magneto, but it seems very intentional that the show brings attention to the fact that Bastion is monitoring both Professor X and Magneto, and what do I think will happen with these two?


Why onslaught of course.

Onslaught as he is in the X-Men Comics.

Now when I first saw this guy, not gonna lie, I legit thought this was Magneto as a Demon or a horseman of Apocalypse wearing this epic armour.


But no, this guy is a psionic entity created by merging the darker aspects of Magneto and Charles Xavier, and I believe one of two things will happen, either Bastion will combine the two into a single Sentinel called Onslaught and we will get an alternate Onslaught or, he will convert both of them into prime Sentinels or somehow use their powers or make them directly harm the X-Men and other Mutants.


And in their moment of shared grief they will combine into onslaught, which both seem equally likely, but the second one is infinitely cooler, or Idk maybe its the first one... and then they break out of the mind control... I really don't know, right now the only thing I know with certainty is I want this to happen, MAKE IT HAPPEN MARVEL(sorry nerd took over again.)


Everything in this episode is like, well you thought that was Dark? Well we gonna subvert it with something even darker, so to end on a positive not, here is something that was going to be bad, but the episode subverted it to be a lot better, Sunspot revealed to his mom that he is a mutant and they already knew and didn't pressure him cause it was his secret to tell, aww... finally a superhero with supportive paents.


Then they subvert that by telling him to keep it private, although yes, their hands are kind of tied, it coming out that he is a Mutant can be used to harm the da costa company and fortune and hence indirectly Roberto's lifestyle... and I do think his mom is being Genuine, otherwise she would have just not accepted it.


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