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  • April 15, 2024 4 min read

    While X-Men '97 has effectively capitalized on nostalgia for the beloved X-Men: The Animated Series, episode 5, "Remember It," demonstrates the series' ambition to be more than just a retread. This episode serves as a turning point, showcasing the show's ability to blend classic mutant melodrama with high-stakes storytelling, resulting in a significant shakeup to the X-Men '97 universe.

    "Remember It" initially appears unassuming, focusing on the emotional fallout from the Madelyne Pryor incident. The episode skillfully portrays the simmering tensions within the X-Men as they attempt to maintain a united front for the public eye. This creates a palpable sense of unease, akin to a tense family reunion where past conflicts linger beneath the surface. However, this deceptive calm is merely the prelude to a narrative bombshell.

    The episode eschews mere nostalgia, instead opting for a bold narrative shift that will leave viewers re-evaluating their understanding of X-Men '97. "Remember It" proves that the series possesses the courage to push boundaries and deliver genuinely surprising developments.

    A Whammy of Romance, Rivalry, and 90s Nostalgia

    This X-Men episode is a whirlwind of mutant melodrama, but with a refreshingly self-aware twist. The opening interview with Trish Tilby perfectly sets the tone. We're reminded that these heroes aren't your average folks. Cyclops, for instance, is reeling from discovering his wife's a clone and sending his son to battle a future plague. Not exactly relatable dinner party conversation.

    But that's where the show's humor comes in. It acknowledges the absurdity of the situations without diminishing the emotional impact. We see Cyclops' marriage disintegrate, and Jean seek solace in Wolverine's arms. However, the kiss is less about passion and more about disappointment, leaving us wondering where this classic love triangle is headed next.

    The episode doesn't stop there. It delves into a whole new love triangle for Rogue, exploring her mysterious past with Magneto. This revelation adds depth to her internal conflict. Will she be swayed by Magneto's power, or remain loyal to the ever-charming Gambit? The show even throws in a delightful dance sequence, complete with a perfectly on-point 90s soundtrack courtesy of Ace of Base.

    This episode is a masterclass in juggling complex narratives. It seamlessly weaves together established love triangles like Cyclops-Jean-Wolverine with the newly introduced Rogue-Gambit-Magneto dynamic. All this emotional turmoil builds to a dramatic climax that leaves viewers eagerly anticipating the next chapter. But beyond the drama, the episode cleverly infuses 90s nostalgia through the soundtrack and interview setting, creating a truly unique viewing experience.

    A Modern Twist

    "Remember It" breathes new life into the X-Men mythos by weaving a narrative that cleverly bridges eras. While the animation evokes the nostalgic charm of the 90s, the story takes cues from the groundbreaking works of Grant Morrison and Jonathan Hickman. Cyclops' psychic entanglement with Madelyne mirrors the Emma Frost affair from Morrison's New X-Men, and Genosha's political machinations echo the Krakoa government and Quiet Council established by Hickman in House of X. This refreshing blend ensures the series isn't just a visual throwback, but a show that understands the power of modern X-Men storytelling.

    A minor quibble with the episode lies in Nightcrawler's underutilization. His return is a welcome sight, and we get glimpses of his trademark teleportation skills and a touching conversation with Gambit about love. However, considering the episode's fast pace and packed plot, it feels like a missed opportunity. Perhaps with the devastating events of the climax, Nightcrawler will be called upon to bolster the X-Men's dwindling numbers.

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    Speaking of the climax, it's a masterclass in raising the stakes and delivering emotional gut punches. Cable's brief appearance casts a long shadow of foreboding, and the subtle Watcher cameo serves as a chilling premonition of the chaos to come. The animation truly excels during the desperate fight against the Wild Sentinel. This sequence isn't just visually stunning, it also provides powerful character moments for Rogue, Gambit, and Magneto. For those who weren't the biggest Gambit fans, his selfless act of sacrificing himself to destroy the Sentinel is a surprisingly poignant sendoff, leaving a lasting impact on the viewers.

    X-Men '97 Unveils its True Potential in "Remember It"

    Brace yourselves, X-Men devotees! "Remember It" emerges as a game-changer for X-Men '97, showcasing the series' potential for truly compelling storytelling. This episode isn't just a retread of familiar territory; it's a masterclass in capturing the essence of what makes the X-Men so enduring.

    We get the classic mutant melodrama we crave, with emotional turmoil and high stakes taking center stage. The writers cleverly weave two complex love triangles into the narrative, adding depth and intrigue without resorting to cheap soap opera cliches. But "Remember It" doesn't shy away from the inherent humor in these situations either, providing moments of levity that perfectly balance the dramatic weight.

    The true brilliance of the episode shines through when the action ignites. Our heroes find themselves thrust into a desperate struggle for survival, with the fate of an entire nation hanging in the balance. This high-octane sequence is a thrilling testament to the series' ability to deliver pulse-pounding action alongside its character-driven core.

    "Remember It" transcends mere nostalgia. It demonstrates that X-Men '97 has real storytelling ambition. The series isn't content with simply rehashing past glories; it's actively forging a bold new direction for these iconic characters. This episode throws down the gauntlet, proving that X-Men '97 is a must-watch for both longtime fans and newcomers to the mutant world. 

    What did you think? Did this episode live up to the hype? 

    And hey, to gear up for the next adventure, our store is having a huge sale on all X-Men and Marvel merchandise! For a limited time, you can save up to 40% on  statues to action figures. Don't miss out – suit up and save big. Click here to avail the offer.

    We hope to see you back next time for another exciting recap of X-Men '97!