X-Men ’97 1×05 Review: “Remember It”

X-Men 97 season 1 episode 5 'Remember It' Review
Magneto, Gambit, and Rogue visit Genosha in ‘Remember It’ (Image: X-Men 97 Season 1 Episode 5)

X-Men 97 Season 1 Episode 5, titled ‘Remember It’, offered a surprisingly dark development that understandably left the audience shooketh. If this is what the mid-season episode brought to the table, I’m very concerned about what the finale will put the mutants through.

With Genosha being accepted into the UN, most of ‘Remember It’ focused on Magneto, Gambit, and Rogue’s time on Genosha. Magneto had an important meeting with the Genoshan Council while Nightcrawler showed Gambit and Rogue around.

The creative team did an impressive job of making Genosha come across as a mutant state you can’t help but root for. Yes, certain elements needed ironing out, namely how imported products were expensive ($10 for an apple back in 1997. Wow!), but you can’t deny the joy the resident mutants experienced by finally living in a country that wasn’t against them. Gambit and Rogue walking through the streets with Nightcrawler as their guide allowed for a bunch of cameos in the crowds. We got a dancing Exodus!

Magneto’s meeting, of course, had a more serious tone. Most of the Genoshan Council wanted him to be the face of Genosha allowing him to continue Charles Xavier’s dream. The episode took the moment to let Magneto share his thoughts as he reminisced about the first time he met Charles as well as what he thought of certain nations not electing terrorists as leaders but being more than okay with letting their leaders perform terrorist-like actions.

The writing on X-Men 97 has been so damn impressive as the narrative continues to explore what the X-Men IP is supposed to stand for in pop culture. You can’t tell a fully fleshed-out X-Men story without talking about the sociopolitical realities of the world we live in.

Back in the X-Mansion, the X-Men agreed to an interview to help improve their public image. While characters like Beast and Jubilee gave good answers, the segment with Cyclops turned into a PR nightmare. However, I do understand where he came from. Cyclops being fed up with being forced to present his mutant team/family as “normal” to appease humankind relates to the minority experience. Especially with how the queer community, years back (and even now, in certain instances), was expected to portray itself as “normal” and “just like the heterosexuals” to gain public favor to pass pro-LGBTQ+ legislation.

But again, as demonstrated by Scott’s outburst during the interview, trying to mold oneself to what the oppressors want you to become will never be enough. The mutants are the ones being hunted down and murdered. They shouldn’t have to act “normal” to be allowed the right to exist. They shouldn’t have to beg for tolerance.

The relationship drama between Scott, Jean, and Madelyne continued in ‘Remember It’ as the three tried to deal with confusion and trauma differently. Jean’s still confused about her memories and her place on the team. I liked the scene where she had effortlessly parted the lake and was projecting her memories onto spheres of water. I guess Jean decided to do that because of how she was reborn and burst out of the water as the Phoenix.

Jean’s confusion did lead her to kiss Wolverine though. As someone who has never been a fan of the Jean/Logan pairing, I appreciated Logan backing away from Jean and making her understand that she needed to clear her head first. Regardless of what she was going through, it’s always going to be Jean and Scott when it comes down to it.

However, Jean and Scott’s reconciliation isn’t going to be easy. The scene where Scott had been telepathically conversing with Madelyne to help deal with the loss of their son Nathan a month ago really took me by surprise. Jean interrupting their psychic affair made for such good drama.

I do understand why Scott felt connected to Madelyne in such a manner (she’s Nathan’s mother, after all), but I can also see why sharing such a connection came across as “cheating” to Jean. While I don’t mind Scott and Jean getting back together down the line, I do feel the two need a break from each other for now. There’s a whole lot for them to unpack and trying to go back to how things were isn’t the answer.

Remember It X-Men 97 season 1 episode 5 review
Creator Beau DeMayo cameos in ‘Remember It’ (Image: X-Men 97 Season 1 Episode 5)

Talking about wanting things to go back to how they were, Magneto tried that with Rogue. It’s revealed that he only agreed to lead Genosha if Rogue was by his side as basically his queen. The argument he put forth about Rogue being an empathetic leader due to the nature of her powers was a good one. But you could tell it was also a way for Magneto to feel close to Rogue again.

Being aware of the tension Magento’s return caused between her and Gambit, I liked how she took the mature route of coming clean to Remy. Via flashback, we saw how Rogue was introduced to Erik by Mystique and how her fascination with Erik soon turned into a romance. But as Rogue stated, those days were over. She had moved on from Erik and while she was in love with Remy, she couldn’t give him the romantic touch he deserved.

Remy took the entire revelation quite well. It’s obvious that he’s in love with Rogue and he was willing to wait for her. But what he wasn’t going to do was continue playing the fool by going along with their “pretend” girlfriend/boyfriend dynamic. If Rogue wanted to be with Remy, they needed to get serious about their relationship.

Though Rogue made the decision to close the book on Magneto forever and be with Remy, she couldn’t share her feelings with Remy because Genosha got attacked by a giant Sentinel.

I mean, I knew Genosha wasn’t going to last long due to comic book lore, but I wasn’t ready for the way ‘Remember It’ depicted the massacre. The animation team knocked it out of the park when it came to visualizing the emotional beats between Magneto, Rogue, Gambit, and the mutants they were trying to save as well as the flashy action choreography. The ending scene with Gambit’s dead body in Rogue’s arms while she cried about not being able to feel him… my heart!

Magneto held his own against the Sentinel for a while, but the MVP of this episode was Gambit. The scene where he sacrificed himself to blow up the Sentinel with a final attack. Yes!

With so many deaths, including Gambit and (from what I assume) Magneto, I have no idea how the rest of the season will pan out. Due to an adult Cable showing up to warn Madelyne about the incoming attack, I have a feeling that time travel shenanigans we’ll be somehow involved to rewrite Genosha’s destruction or we will be getting some version of the Resurrection Protocols from the Krakoan Age.

I mean, there’s no way the writers will allow Gambit, Magneto, and certain other mutants to remain dead. Right?

Some other thoughts and questions:

  • With Scott already going through it, I’m looking forward to seeing how witnessing Genosha’s destruction on TV will impact his leadership decisions.
  • Yeah, the theory about Valerie Cooper actually being Mystique continues to feel real with every episode.
  • I couldn’t help but side-eye Moira when the Genoshan Council mentioned she wasn’t a mutant. The writers could be setting her up for an adaptation of the Krakoan Age.
  • Keen-eyed viewers noticed The Watcher making an appearance. You just knew something big was going to happen. And it did!
  • I wonder where the giant Sentinel came from. Did it teleport to Genosha from the future? I say that because the tech felt a bit too advanced.
  • Why the heck didn’t Omega-level Exodus do something? Sigh!
  • Creator Beau DeMayo’s cameo in the episode was… interesting. He was fired by Disney before the show’s premiere. However, to DeMayo’s credit, he’s still active on social media and has been keeping it professional while sharing his creative process behind the show without dissing the House of Mouse.

Did you watch X-Men 97 Season 1 Episode 5 ‘Remember It’? What did you think of it?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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