X-Men ’97 1×08, 1×09 and 1×10 Review: “Tolerance Is Extinction” 3-Part Finale

Tolerance Is Extinction Part 1, 2, and 3 Review X-Men 97
Rogue, Xavier, Beast, Nightcrawler, and Magneto in ‘Tolerance Is Extinction’ Part 3 (Image: X-Men 97 Season One Episode 10)

‘Tolerance Is Extinction’ served as an enjoyable 3-episode finale for X-Men 97 season 1, with our heroes going after Bastion and the emotional beats focusing on the Summers as well as Charles and Erik’s relationship.

The first part of ‘Tolerance Is Extinction’ was all about providing viewers a look into Bastion’s past. Apparently, he can be described as a being created through future technology (Nimrod) binding to human DNA. With the narrative of X-Men 97 talking so much about the future and the next step in evolution, it makes sense for humans to look at tech upgrades to get the upper hand against mutants.

In Bastion’s perfect world, from what I could understand, every human was a mix of organic elements and tech. They all lived happy lives. Surprisingly, mutants did exist in such a world. However, their numbers were scarce and they were forced to serve the human/tech hybrids.

I liked how the writers delivered Bastion’s backstory with Jean, Scott, and Cable paying a visit to his childhood home. The animation team did a good job of creating an eerie atmosphere. You could tell something just wasn’t right about such a small town. And of course, soon enough it’s revealed that Bastion had managed to transform the residents, including his mother, into Prime Sentinels.

Magneto’s anger and sadness related to the Genosha attack was also explored with Val Cooper sharing her shame over what Bastion had done (and what certain human leaders had allowed him to do). Val’s guilt led to her releasing Magneto and the episode featured an awesome scene of a hurt Magneto taking matters into his own hands.

Erik was willing to give humanity a chance when he agreed to continue Professor X’s message of finding a way for humanity and mutants to co-exist. But, as history has shown several times, humanity just can’t help itself. The Genosha massacre was, understandingly, the last straw for Erik. And combined with what Erik knew about Bastion’s endgame, the Master of Magnetism wasn’t in the mood to play nice anymore.

Erik altered Earth’s magnetic field to force a global blackout. This meant that not only were the Prime Sentinels switched off but the sudden magnetic change left people with no electricity. So, yeah, thousands of people died due to not receiving the proper healthcare, airplanes crashed (including Xavier’s aircraft as he flew back to Earth), etc.

The X-Men only had a day to make Erik fix the magnetic field. But Erik didn’t care. He was okay with humans and mutants living in such a world. He was so done with everything. According to him, the tough will find a way to survive.

Part two of ‘Tolerance is Extinction’ was about the X-Men coming together to find a way to make Erik change his mind and put a stop to Bastion. But before they could head out to battle, I liked how the writers took some time for Charles and Scott to talk about Charles’ decision to leave everything to Erik in his will.

I get that Xavier did what he did because he wanted to give Scott a chance to raise a family with Jean. Charles appreciated both mutants doing his bidding since they were teenagers. So, Charles wanted to give them a (kind of) gift by taking away the pressure of them feeling the need to advocate for his dream when he was gone.

However, I also understood where Scott was coming from. While Xavier’s intentions were (somewhat) honorable, it wasn’t his choice to make. As Scott said, no matter how much they tried, the X-Men were always going to remain connected to each other and the X-Mansion.

Erik brought back Asteroid M and declared his stance in front of Professor X and the rest of his students. Erik wasn’t going to allow anyone to mess with mutants anymore. And that involved not showing mercy to humans or begging for their tolerance. Erik’s words swayed Rogue (still dealing with her trauma) and Roberto (who had been handed over to the Prime Sentinels by his mother) and the three mutants flew away with Asteroid M.

With Earth running out of time, the Gold Team had Storm, Jean, Forge, Morph, Cable, and Beast head toward Bastion’s HQ to put a power-nullifying collar on him to block his technopathy. The Blue Team had Cyclops, Professor X, Jubilee, Wolverine, and Nightcrawler head to Asteroid M to face Erik.

Now, why would anyone put freaking Wolverine on a team that has to fight the Master of Magnetism? Well, let’s chalk that up to the plot demanding an iconic comic book scene to be adapted.

The fight sequences involving both teams were enjoyable (though I preferred the Gold Team stuff more). Jean Grey vs Sinister was very dynamic, with Jean figuring out how to beat Sinsiter who kept annoying her by bringing up her clone.

Storm was also shown to be more than capable of taking down an army of Sentinels (directly being controlled by Bastion). However, her fight sequence was cut short because again… plot.

Also, why the heck didn’t Storm (who mentioned sensing the weakening magnetic field) use her powers to help Earth? Again… plot… Sigh!

While I had fun watching X-Men 97 season 1, I have to say that I was left disappointed by how Storm was treated throughout the 10-episode-long offering. Hopefully, things will be much better for her going into season 2.

Tolerance Is Extinction X-Men 97 review
Xavier and Erik in the Astral Plane in ‘Tolerance Is Extinction’ (Image: X-Men 97 Season One Episode 10)

The finale of ‘Tolerance Is Extinction’ Part Two showed both teams suffering defeat. I wasn’t surprised by such a decision because that’s how stories are told. The heroes deal with failure before figuring out a way to achieve victory during the final chapter.

The scene where Erik forcibly extracted the adamantium from Wolverin’s body was quite impactful. There was just something about the tragic incident being visualized via a static image and a screen instead of being animated.

‘Tolerance Is Extinction’ Part Three focused on Jean Grey tapping into the Phoenix Force and Xavier reaching out to Erik in the Astral Plane.

I think we all knew Phoenix Jean was going to appear before the season ended. And we finally got to see her during the 10th episode. Such a powerful cosmic entity made quick work of Sinister’s control over Cable and blocked Bastion’s hold over the Prime Sentinels. However, due to plot reasons, the Phoenix Jean form had to vanish (for now) to allow Bastion to unlock a new power level and continue being a threat to the X-Men.

Seeing Rogue, Jubilee, Scott, and Nightcrawler battle the newly improved Bastion was exhilarating yet worrisome. You knew none of them were capable of stopping Bastion. A single wrong move could mean death, especially for Nightcrawler who was teleporting around Bastion (comic book readers know!).

With Jean, Storm, Forge, Morph, and Beast also arriving on Asteroid M to lend a hand, Cyclops decided not to continue fighting with Bastion. Scott, with Storm in agreement, was going to reach out to Bastion’s humanity because that’s what the X-Men were supposed to do. They wanted to give Bastion a second chance.

I mean, I get the X-Men are supposed to be heroes. But just an episode ago Team Blue was okay with Logan killing Erik. So, I do feel they need to do a bit better when it comes to who gets the privilege of their Talk No-Jutsu and who gets to experience their fury. 

Of course, Bastion wanted nothing to do with the X-Men and the finale led to the X-Men working together to stop Asteroid M from crashing down on Earth and causing an extinction-level event. Jean and Storm should have been able to stop it. But oh, well… the plot demanded Erik showed up at the last second for the rescue.

With the X-Men busy with Bastion and later Asteroid M, Xavier and Erik were busy inside the Astral Plane. The writers did a good job of exploring their decades-long relationship with Charles refusing to leave Erik’s side even if that meant drowning in Erik’s evergrowing pain and causing permanent damage to his mind.

Even though Charles’ words and loyalty finally got through to Erik, I’m looking forward to seeing how long it will take for Erik to revert to his “villainous” ways once season 2 rolls in.

Due to Charles and Erik’s minds being linked in such a manner and the existence of Onslaught in the comics, I wouldn’t be surprised if the writers decided to flip their dynamic by making Charles lean toward his bad side and using Erik as the one who needed to appeal to Xavier’s better nature.

With how ‘Tolerance Is Extinction’ concluded, we got a very interesting setup for season 2. Something or someone managed to time-displace the X-Men. Bishop came back to help Forge in the present. Apparantly six months had passed since the X-Men’s disappearance and Forge was looking to recruit a new mutant team.

Apocalypse paid a visit to Genosha. With how he picked up Gambit’s playing card, you know Gambit will be resurrected as one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen.

Cyclops and Jean found themselves in 3960 A.D., where they were met by Mother Askani and a young Nathan/Cable.

Rogue, Nightcrawler, Beast, Professor X, and Eric got thrown into Ancient Egypt during 3000 B.C., where they encountered En Sabah Nur aka a younger version of Apocalypse.

So, yeah, it looks like the X-Men will be dealing with Apocalypse during the past, present, and future. And I’m here for it.

As for the whereabouts of Storm, Wolverine, and Morph? I have no idea. But I guess they are time-displaced, too.

Also, before I end my review of ‘Tolerance Is Extinction’, I have to mention the scene featuring Morph sitting beside a recovering Wolverine. The way the writers had Morph transform into Jean Grey so they could declare their love for Logan… ufff!

I’m not a fan of unrequited queer love stories, but I have my fingers crossed when it comes to Morph and Logan becoming a thing because Logan has been known to be a queer character in alternate realities. So, there’s a chance, Morph! Ha!

What did you think of the X-Men 97 season one finale? Are you excited about the second season?

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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