X-Men ’97 – Episode 4 Recap & Review


Episode 4

Magneto wants the X-Men to train in the Danger Room after breakfast as episode 4 of X-Men 97 begins, but the rest of the team wants to celebrate Jubilee’s birthday. When she arrives, Rogue says they have many surprises for her and asks what the girl wants to do. Then, Jubilee tells them she wants to go to the arcade with everyone, which doesn’t please their leader.

Jubilee furiously complains about Magneto to Roberto, as she just wants to relax and celebrate for a day. The boy doesn’t like games, but she tries to convince him to play something with her. That’s when she sees a strange console in her room called Motendo. However, the moment she activates it, the console imprisons her and Roberto.

Even though they don’t notice they are inside the game, they quickly realize something strange is happening. Suddenly, a bunch of Sentinels attack them. Roberto still refuses to use his powers, as his parents might see him on TV if there are cameras around. When a phone rings, he rushes to it thinking it’ll be helpful.

In a matter of seconds, they find themselves somewhere else. Jubilee realizes they are in Genosha, but the old version, when she was stuck there with Gambit and Storm. As a couple of criminals try to attack them, someone with a punk style defeats the grunts and disappears.

Almost instantly, Mojo appears and says he’s offering Jubilee the chance to relive her best memories forever. With all the changes happening to the X-Men recently, that makes the girl excited.  Then, she and Roberto are dragged into many scenarios where they must fight several enemies like a side-scrolling beat ’em up. 

The final stage is Asteroid M, and Roberto confides he acted at home like he hated mutants. Even though his mom tried to say there were good ones, he knew she was scared, so he kept lying. 

Out of nowhere, Magneto attacks and kills the boy. Jubilee is shocked, but quickly recognizes the villain’s attack patterns and defeats him. Just when she thinks there’s no way to save her friend, she finds an extra life. Happily, using it saves Roberto. Then, a pair of hands takes the two out of there.

It turns out the punk lady who helped them before is actually a digital replica of Jubilee which tested the game before and found a way to stay alive. Mojo goes to where they are, but everyone works together and easily defeats him. When that happens, Roberto and the real Jubilee return to reality. They kiss, and this section of the episode ends.

The next section, Lifedeath, starts with Storm and Forge having dinner. His power is to create anything he can think of, which leads to her asking if he is the one who fixed himself. He reveals that he went to war and he ended up losing his arm.

To help Storm and make her see things in a different light, Forge takes her to ride a horse and explore the region. They bond and she expresses more of her feelings about her situation.

Later, Forge reveals he has built a machine that can reverse the radiation’s power and bring her abilities back. Storm seems a bit hesitant but still enters it. However, it doesn’t work. No matter how much she tries to summon the powers of the wind, nothing happens. She cries, not wanting to believe that’s actually happening.

When Storm sees Forge still trying to fix the machine, she asks his motive. Surprisingly, after the war, he worked for the Defense Department. He was broken and didn’t know what to do, so he helped them build weapons to neutralize dangerous mutants. Storm gets furious learning he just wants to have his redemption. Even when Forge says he loves her, she only slaps his face and leaves.

As she leaves, the floor cracks and she finds herself back at his house. A demonic-looking owl bites Forge and throws him far away. It’s the Adversary, a creature that feeds on misery and sees Storm’s current situation as the perfect meal.

The Episode Review

It’s great to see more of Roberto’s inner thoughts about his life and mutation, and Motendo gives us a lot of that. What he reveals about Asteroid M and his mom is something very real, which makes it even more heartbreaking. That’s the best part about his character, everything is connected to actual problems and ways people end up behaving.

Jubilee’s problem in the episode is also very relatable. Everyone goes through a phase in which they wish things would stop changing and return to being how they were before.

And, even with the serious themes in it, the section is incredibly fun. The way the animation changes when they become a beat ’em up game is incredible. If you’ve played one and feel even a bit nostalgic, there’s no way you won’t like it. Also, the characters, mainly Jubilee and her game version, are very fun to see. The action scenes and the fight against Mojo are all of that but even more fluid and colourful. 

Lifedeath is a good contrast as it has almost no action and is much more reflective. You follow Storm’s torment (and a bit of Forge’s too) and realize how that’s breaking her. Having a villain like the Adversary, who feeds on misery, is perfect for a story like that.

The only bad part about it is that it ends way too fast. Fortunately, the next episode will most likely fix that. 

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