X-Men ’97: Season 1, Episode 8 – “Tolerance Is Extinction – Part 1” Review

Full Spoilers for X-Men ’97: Season 1, Episode 8

Caution: The following review contains full spoilers for Episode 8 of X-Men ’97!

The element of surprise is a key attribute of X-Men ’97. While heavily influenced by the classic comic book stories, the series always manages to throw in unexpected twists and turns to keep viewers on their toes. Episode 8 continues this trend as it kicks off the final story arc of Season 1 in a grand manner.

Titled “Tolerance Is Extinction,” this new three-part arc draws inspiration from “Operation: Zero Tolerance” (1996) and “E Is for Extinction” (2001). With the rise of the powerful Bastion and his army of Prime Sentinels, along with the looming threat of mutants to humanity, Episode 8 seamlessly weaves these two narratives together. The episode efficiently introduces Bastion, his origins, and his world-altering plans before the credits roll, showcasing the series’ ability to cover significant ground each week without feeling rushed.

While Episode 8 does a commendable job of fleshing out Bastion’s character, a deeper dive into his backstory could have added more depth and humanity to this menacing villain. By portraying Bastion as a mutant himself – a mechanical being embodying the pinnacle of Sentinel evolution – the show offers a fresh take on the character compared to the original comics.

The ensemble cast shines in Episode 8, particularly in the showdown against Bastion. The strained relationship between Cyclops, Jean, and Cable takes center stage, delving into the intricate Summers/Grey family dynamics. The addition of Nightcrawler to the team proves to be a smart move, adding depth to the story through his musings on family and camaraderie.

The episode also delves into the evolving bond between Jubilee and Sunfire, exploring themes of acceptance and persecution. As the action unfolds, the threat posed by the Prime Sentinels escalates, creating a sense of urgency and danger for the X-Men. With dynamic battle sequences featuring Wolverine and Nightcrawler, the episode strikes a balance between character development and thrilling combat.

Notable cameo appearances by Doctor Doom, Baron Zemo, and a silent Spider-Man reference further expand the Marvel Universe within the series. The inclusion of these iconic characters and references to the larger Marvel multiverse enhance the interconnected feel of the X-Men ’97 universe.

Episode 8 culminates in a surprising twist as Magneto declares war on humanity, setting the stage for a larger conflict that transcends the X-Men vs. Bastion narrative. With tensions between humans and mutants reaching new heights, the season finale promises a darker and more complex storyline ahead.