this cartoon show brings back memories of my childhood, I'm 35 and sometimes I come on here, just to see these episodes, I remember watching this when it was on Fox Kids, God I wish that The Hub Would Buy The Rights to Air This Cartoon Show On The Network.
In the future where Cable resides, he raids Apocalypse's pyramid, only for his computer to get stolen that allows him to travel through time. Bishop is also traveling through time, but because of Apocalypse's, he gets stuck in a land that connects all time spaces. In the present time, Jean and Cyclops are getting married, but the Nasty Boys come and ruin it. They only capture Jean, while Sinister captures Professor Xavier. Though Bishop's sister intervenes, and he's only able to save his self. Jean finally wakes up in the neutral time zone, only to find that it's Apocalypse's that's orchestrating this entire scheme.
Apocalypse's monologue in the beginning was a bit thought provoking and philosophical, but outside of that interesting tidbit, this episode was a bit average. The story looks to be shaping good already, and it's good to see this arc is four episodes long instead of the usual two. Though this episode really didn't do much but build up suspense. Suspense is suppose to be a good thing, but I didn't feel like the episode did a good job of it. It established the story, but the execution was kind of mediocre. The potential story however, can't be ignored, and that itself scores points.
One Man's Worth had a very brief ending. I knew the whole time travel concept was far from over. But I didn't expect this four parter to immediately follow up from One Man's Worth and complicate matters even more.
Traditionally, two parters suffer from pacing problems and a weak first half. It's evident in several X-Men stories. Since Part I spends too much time developing and introducing the plot and its characters, the story always falls short in this part. The satisfaction always comes from Part II. I call this the Fellowship of the Ring curse. The X-Men has been suffering from this curse for a while, with rare exceptions.
However, since this is a four-parter like the Dark Phoenix, I expected a slower pace that would give time for viewers to immerse themselves in the story. Sadly, this wasn't the case. Beyond Good & Evil-Part I suffers from this problem even more than other episodes. Everything feels rushed. Plot twists come around the corner cramming an already shaky set of stories. If the episode had been built to endure this kind of plot direction, it could have worked to some extent. However, this is not the case at all.
Steve Cuden did his best with the task at hand. But the story had problems even before the teleplay was written. That problem is more likely to have surfaced from the hands of Eric Lewald and story consultant Bob Harras. The direction, on the other hand, is terrific containing some outstanding animation and awesome designs. The music and voice acting were also terrific.
As I previously stated, I saw this four parter the day after I saw One Man's Worth, well after several episodes in Season 4, including the Sanctuary two part story which had Apocalypse.
The episode opens in Cable's future in the year 3999. Along with his son Tyler and his elite group, Cable has finally managed to break into Apocalypse's Lazarus Chamber, where he rests every 100 years or so. Cable is very much driven to finally finish the job he's been looking forward to complete for a very long time. Could this be the final breath for Apocalypse?
They enter the pyramid and encounter a few obstacles. Cable deciphers a door inscription and enters the chamber. A trap is set when Cable is separated from his group. Apocalypse has him cornered. In the following scuffle, Apocalypse manages to steal Cable's portable computer. With that new device, Apocalypse is finally able to travel through time.
Like any self-respected villain, Apocalypse takes the time to gloat over his victory. He longs for a chance to finally gain complete control over the universe. Cable argues that this world won't stomach his evil forever. Apocalypse, like any self-respected villain doesn't see himself as evil at all. However, he wonders how come he was never able to fulfill his dark ambitions within the 5000 plus years he had available to control the universe. He wonders whether due to some larger-than-life design, such as the balance between good and evil, he'll always be doomed to struggle to gain a control he'll never be truly able to achieve.
Cable tries to take advantage of his gloating by blasting him, but Apocalypse has already vanished inside a time portal. As Tyler and the others break past the trap, they encounter a defeated Cable, who realized Apocalypse didn't even try to finish him off like he didn't need to.
As the episode proceeds in a breakneck pacing, the story cuts to the ending of One Man's Worth-Part II. Fitzroy drains some of Xavier's energy to create a time portal and returns to the future with Bandam. Bishop explains what the future awaits for Logan and Ororo and then returns to the future himself.
As Bishop approaches the time portal in 2055, Shard and Forge detect a barrier that prevents Bishop from jumping out of the portal. This barrier throws Bishop in a whirlwind outside of time. There's a brief moment where we see Apocalypse travelling through time's flow.
This is one of the episode's best moments. Bishop lands in a bizarre landscape. Then, he's visited by Bender. As soon as this new fellow appears, the episode becomes truly hilarious. This makes me wonder what in the world were the writers smoking (or sniffing) when they came up with this scenario for Bishop.
This is a definite change of scene for Bishop. After countless travels through time to save his apocalyptic future with plenty of room for conflict and drama, he finally gets a shallow lightweight story to dwell in. I never get tired of Bender himself. The laughing and the babbling are infectious. Bishop is told he's arrived in the axis of time. This is where all time travellers pass through in order to reach their destination. Bishop decides to go in the direction of the axis itself in the center of this weird place. Then he sees pictures, with mean time's being changed elsewhere. He sees the X-Men and Sinister, who he tries to shoot. It really has no effect. Bender jokingly reminds Bishop he can't kill time.
The episode cuts to the second wedding of Cyclops and Jean Grey. Fortunately this time, Wolverine is present for the ceremony. Unfortunately this time, Jubilee is also there. The wedding proceeds as usual. This time, Rogue gets the bride's flower instead of Beast. Wolverine cuts the first piece of the cake, after warning Cyclops to make Jean a happy woman. And, of course, there's the inevitable reference to their previous attempt at marriage and how it ended. When it comes to making sure this wedding happens without any interruption whatsoever, the X-Men are giving twice as much effort in order to avoid repeating Season 2. There's no chance of having a fake priest this time, since Morph is sitting with the congregation in a sweet cameo.
When the newlyweds make it to their car and begin to drive, a sudden flash makes them lose direction and crash. So much for a flawless wedding. Gambit claims it can't be his fault, since he only polished the car. The mansion is supposedly sealed for the ceremony.
Their answer to this mystery comes with a piercing scream by Rukus. The nasty boys, this time with Vertigo alongside them, are coming from the top of the mansion. They stun the X-Men with the scream and Vertigo's power. They take the whole car to a distant area. They leave Scott in the car and take Jean to a time portal.
Xavier stops sensing Jean's presence. Wolverine can't smell any of the Nasty Boys. They find Scott all alone in the car. They take him back to the mansion.
This contrived plot makes me wonder whether the X-Men ever considered a more effective defense strategy. When they left for Jean and Cyclops, did they even think of leaving a part of the team in the mansion just in case somebody came for the professor? No, of course not. They had to leave Jubilee with the professor. The one member of the team who's guaranteed to mess up her assignment. Sadly, it happens when Sinister comes through a second time portal and proceeds to attack Xavier. He destroy Xavier's hoverchair. Jubilee attempts to harm him to no effect. He blasts her and takes the uncouncious professor with him.
Meanwhile, in Bishop's future, Shard decides the best way to help her brother is by following the time travelling trails left by Apocalypse that crossed the nineties in North America. Realizing that's where the X-Men live, Shard asks Forge to send her there.
Shard drops in the front of the mansion and challenges Sinister to a fight. After driving Sinister to the mansion, she enters the place and finds Jubilee stumbling for help. The other X-Men arrive and Logan can smell Sinister. They all charge to the professor's rescue.
Sinister is cornered by the X-Men in the wedding hall. He's still no match for Cyclops's optic blasts. Sinister calls for the Nasty Boys for assistance. They enter the room and begin a major brawl. Gambit and Wolverine are able to counter Rukus and Vertigo, despite their powers. The others are dispatched easily by the X-Men. The Nasty Boys change tactics and flee, leaving Sinister behind. The X-Men realize Sinister is not the one controlling this whole time travel assault and corner him. When Apocalypse opens a portal for Sinister for him to escape, Rogue snatches the professor away from him.
Jean wakes up inside a cell protected by a force field. As she realizes Sinister was behind her kidnapping, she also realizes Apocalypse is behind Sinister, leading this whole ordeal. It's not that much of a cliffhanger ending, since it was obvious Apocalypse was behind it and the following episode opens elsewhere.
Now for some smaller details....
- What exactly did Rogue say when she caught the flower? The voice was low and muffled. I don't think my old VHS tape has a sound problem. More likely, this was a post-production flaw centered in the sound mixing.
- There's a lot of hilarious moments in Bishop's story, but the standout was Bishop's call for help getting him out of there. "Don't everybody volunteer at once" was the best one-liner I've ever heard in the show.
- Cable's future takes place in 3999, like in Time Fugitives. Somehow, Cable's son Tyler grew up an awful lot in such a small period of time. That's what you get when the animation doesn't remain consistent with past seasons.
- Have I mentioned how much I adored Bender and the Axis of Time?
- Why would Bishop blast Sinister the minute he saw him in that time portrait? He never met the guy before. He couldn't possibly know Sinister was evil.
- Cable makes a memorable Indiana Jones reference when he claims to hate snakes.
Looking back, this episode really didn't age all that well. There were a lot of problems getting this complicated time travel story on its feet. However, there were parts of the episode that were done right. Otherwise I would have given it a zero. If I gave a higher rating, it's because the people behind X-Men were doing something right. And that's always good. Part I may have had its share of problems, but it did set up a great set of upcoming episodes. Not bad at all.
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