X-Men

Season 3 Episode 11

Dark Phoenix (1): Dazzled

3
Aired Saturday 11:30 AM Nov 12, 1994 on FOX
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
62 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT

The flirtation between Cyclops and a mutant singer named Dazzler exacerbates the Phoenix-controlled side of Jean Grey, leaving her open for manipulation by a secret sect of mutants coveting her immense powers for their own evil designs.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Man I just Love This Episode So Much.

    10
    God I love This Episode So Much, This is one of my Favorite all time top ten X-Men Episodes, I remember watching this on Fox Kids. I think that The Hub should buy the rights to have this on the network.
  • Jean has come back, but so has evil.

    8.3
    Jean has came back from space, but the Phoenix also. The Phoenix has become unstable ever since fulfilling her duties as the protector of the crystal, and requires therapy. They have all failed. Other forces seem to have shown interest in Jean, or particularly, Phoenix. The Inner Circle compiled of mutants with out dated sense of fashion, have penetrated her dreams in order to manipulate her reality. The X-Men try to rescue her, but were quite over matched by the Inner circle, as well as Jean, who's memories of life have changed.



    When I was first watching this episode, I thought I skipped an episode because we already see Jean on earth trying to be treated, and then five minutes later the entire situation is explained. That part was pretty clever. These new mutant antagonist group that call themselves the Inner Circle are one of the most unique set of mutants I've seen in X-Men so far. They possess psychic abilities to go along with their out dated fashion styles and mutant powers. And they don't get easily thrown around as much as past mutants. The whole thing with the Phoenix is getting intriguing, and it'll be interesting how everything will pan out in the future.moreless
  • The turn to the dark side begins

    9.6
    The moment has finally arrived! The Dark Phoenix episodes.



    Many fans consider these to be the best episodes ever done in the entire series, right alongside the likes of Days of Future Past and the previous Phoenix Saga. They are almost right. The Dark Phoenix is actually superior to them all. Never before had I seen such a brilliantly crafted story so well adapted from the comic books. These are the only episodes to have Chris Claremont's name in the credits as a story writer. He deserves it! He's the one responsible for getting it started in the first place, so many years ago. Writer Jan Strand makes an impressive debut in the series with this ambitious entry. The story flows perfectly, with very minor differences from the comic book.



    One difference I'm glad to see is the absence of the whole Kitty Pride storyline that was forced into the comic book. That part almost hurt the Dark Phoenix story, since it detached from the heat of the moment. I'm glad they chose not to follow this thread in the episodes.



    Since I'm talking about Kitty Pride, I have to savor the moment in remembering that Jubilee is nowhere to be seen in these episodes. Maybe the X-Men locked her away in some deep dark lonely place in order to maintain the quality and tension of the story.



    You can see a lot of dedication went into creating these episodes as evident on the screen. The animation and the coloring looked better than practically every other episode in the series, with very few exceptions. Larry Houston also deserves every credit possible for this amazing work.



    The episode begins at Muir Island, where we finally get to see Jean's condition for the first time since the end of the Phoenix Saga. We knew she was on Muir Island on a previous episode, and we finally get our answer. She's alive and the Phoenix is still inside her. Moira McTaggert and the Professor are attempting a new therapy to get to Jean, but the Phoenix won't leave her body despite her mission being accomplished. With the M'Kraan Crystal buried deep inside the sun, there's really no need for her to be there. The Phoenix has an emotional moment that overloads every containment system in Moira's lab. She realizes there's little she can do for Jean. It's best to take her back home. Jean attempts to talk to Scott using her telepathic connection to him.



    Scott and Gambit are enjoying Dazzler's vocal performance on some Manhattan nightspot. How she ever escaped from Mojo's dimension is beyond me, but she's in New York now. Scott can sense Jean's plea for help. Despite Gambit telling him to cool down, Scott still decides to go back home and call Muir Island.



    At this moment, Scott sees poor Dazzler being hauled away by Pierce and some drones from the Inner Circle Club. By the way, I liked the original name better. I don't see how Hellfire Club could scare any kid in the first place. It's not like a vague name gives anyone nightmares. A name has to come backed up by some powerful image. This isn't the case. Plus, anybody who watches X-Men most likely knows the meaning of the word. And this four parter is dark enough that the name makes little impact.



    Scott tries to save his new damsel in distress by shooting Pierce. Pierce responds by using his bionic arm and throwing Dazzler's car engine into Scott. Despite his defense, he's thrown to the ground, allowing Pierce to finish him off. Act 1 already ends on a suspenseful tone.



    Act 2 opens with Dazzler blinding Pierce. This is apparently enough to make him flee. What a wimp! Dazzler uses this moment to play scared girl and ask for his help. It's very obvious she has a lot more on her mind than just protection. But a good old boy scout person like Scott Summers is too naive to realize such naughty intentions. He accepts her offer to return the next evening.



    As Wolverine makes an actual good use of his claws for making a sandwich, Scott arrives to tell him about Dazzler. At this very moment, Jean arrives with Storm and Xavier. Despite the joyful reunion between Scott and Jean, we can see that everything is clearly wrong somehow. Xavier explains that the Phoenix still inhabits Jean's body. There may be little hope for Jean to be free of this presence. Her connection to Scott may in fact be her only hope. This moment is brilliantly carried out by the music. There's a lot of tension and regret in the room.



    Meanwhile, Pierce explains to his comrades at the Inner Circle that he was unable to take Dazzler to their club. Harry Leland provocates Pierce, leading them into a tense moment. This is enough to show that these people have none of the connection that the X-Men share. That's their achilles heel. Jason Wyngarde and Emma Frost make their entrance claiming there's an even more powerful mutant than Dazzler they could acquire. It turns out to be Jean Grey possesed by the Phoenix. Emma Frost spends the next several minutes explaining the events of the Phoenix Saga and its consequences. It's quite a bit of backstory for the viewer. It's good for people who missed the Phoenix Saga. The only interesting aspect for veteran viewers is seeing how Jean came out of the sun and Rogue's subsequent rescue of her.



    Emma also explains how she found out about all that. It turns out she's been hacking into Xavier's computer ever since the beginning of the year. That makes her the most dangerous threat the X-Men have possibly faced (or not faced yet) so far. Xavier's distraction in the early episodes of the season have provided her with the window to break into cerebro.



    Xavier keeps trying to get to Jean and uncovers a frightening new revelation after an emotional bout from the Phoenix. He reveals to Beast that the Phoenix is becoming dominant. With Jean's body, the Phoenix is experimenting sensations she's never felt before, including the dark side, just like Xavier's own dark side like we've seen in The Dark Shroud. This makes Jean a very possible threat to the whole universe, despite her good side.



    Scott explains to Jean he's going to the nightspot to look after Dazzler. The Phoenix experiences Jean's own jealousy over this. Scott decides to let Jean rest before slipping away. Storm comes to look after Jean while he goes out. Emma Frost and Jason Wyngarde use this moment to get inside Jean's mind.



    I was impressed Jean was so easily swayed by an amateur like Wyngarde. She should have easily noticed his illusions, but I guess she's too vulnerable to notice anything. After saving her from drowning, he begins to seduce her in a 19th Century sailing ship setting. By the way, the night is very romantic, and Jean is taken by this new beau, to the point of a kiss. This is when she is jolted awake by her psychic link to Scott. Emma realizes this and Jason takes action by taking Emma to find Jean at any cost. Already, we see he's not a very reliable member of this circle.



    While Jean asks Storm for some water, the Phoenix takes her away from the mansion into Manhattan. There's a moment where the Dark Phoenix almost takes over, but Jean forces her out and heads into the bar. She sees Scott and him meeting with Dazzler. Dazzler embraces Scott with a sudden kiss. The sight is more than enough to drive Jean catatonic. Wyngarde arrives and ensnares Jean very easily. Scott goes after her, but the Club drones stop him. Dazzler gets him off from them.



    The X-Men gather outside the Inner Circle Club. They realize that Jean may not want to be found after what's happened. Scott sends Rogue to the roof to find her. She stumbles across a private wedding. She breaks in to stop the wedding. Storm sends the X-Men to Rogue's location. The battle for Jean Grey begins. The leader of the club, Sebastian Shaw (not the actor who played Anakin Skywalker) takes in all of Rogue's physical assault and uses her own strength against her. Wolverine is thrown several stories down to an underground river thanks to Leland. Storm takes charge as the X-Men fall around her. She stuns every member of the club and freezes Shaw, until a new member attacks her. Nobody other than Jean Grey, now only known as the Phoenix. The episode ends on a very bitter moment as the X-Men lay defeated and the Phoenix kisses Wyngarde.



    The pacing is excellent. The plot has a lot of backstory and setup, but Jan Strand manages to get it all under 22 minutes. Much like Chris Claremont, Strand really managed to get the story to a great start. The direction is terrific and there's a real sense that not everything may end well in the end. Not every X-Men episode manages that. Truly amazing!moreless
Lenore Zann

Lenore Zann

Rogue

Chris Potter

Chris Potter

Gambit/Remy LeBeau

Catherine Disher

Catherine Disher

Jean Grey/Phoenix

Cedric Smith

Cedric Smith

Professor X/Charles Xavier

George Buza

George Buza

Beast/Dr. Henry "Hank" McCoy

Norm Spencer

Norm Spencer

Cyclops/Scott Summers

Nigel Bennett

Nigel Bennett

Jason Wyngarde

Guest Star

Lally Cadeau

Lally Cadeau

Dr. Moira MacTaggert

Recurring Role

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