Season 5 Episode 4

No Mutant is an Island

Aired Saturday 11:30 AM Sep 21, 1996 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
49 votes

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Episode Summary

Following the loss of Jean Grey to the Phoenix Entity, Cyclops becomes disillusioned with the constant struggle between human and mutantkind. He quits the X-Men and returns to the orphanage he grew up in, discovering old friend Sarah now runs the place. She's helped by a wealthy philanthropist named Killgrave, who has been adopting several orphaned mutant children. Little does anyone realize, Killgrave, secretly a mutant, is brainwashing the children into using their powers to help him take over the nation! Can Cyclops overcome his grief in time to stop him?moreless

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  • I love this Cartoon Show.

    I just love this Cartoon Show so much, It's Unbelievable, When I hear that Intro Theme, I knew that They were going to open a can of whoop a** on someone, also sometimes I wish I was a mutant, and my Mutant Powers would be Shape-Shifting Into anyone that I see, Also I would Hang Out In The Mall With Jubilee, Fly High In the sky with Rouge, Control The Weather with Storm, Have a Political Debate With Beast, Have a Chat With Cyclops, and Tell Him why Him and Jean Grey isn't Moving out of the Mansion, Shoot The Breeze With Gambit and Wolverine, and have a Telepathic-talk with Pro. Xavier.moreless
  • Do not attempt to adjust your TV color. Purple Man is on the air.

    Before I review this episode I must mention the well known fact that this episode was delayed for 2 full years in the US. I heard it happened due to animation issues that had to be solved. It might explain some of the delay, but not 2 years. I had a chance to see this episode back in 1995, back in Brazil. More than a year before the american broadcast.

    At first we got to see all of the Phoenix Saga, followed by Obsession, Cold Comfort and the Savage Land two parter. After this initial run, these episodes were repeated and No Mutant is an Island was placed right after the Phoenix Saga and before Obsession and has remained so ever since in reruns. This first happened around July of 1995. That's why I never understood why FOX delayed this episode until 1996.

    Now to the review....

    This was specially disappointing. The episode was severely flawed. It tried to do two main stories in 20 minutes. Sandy Scesny tried to adapt the X-Terminator storyline to the screen while following Cyclops's emotional journey from the Phoenix Saga. While the episode had its moments, it didn't work as well as it should have.

    On the other hand, the animation was terrific. I don't know what problems the studio had, but they were not present in this episode. The animation was nearly perfect on every scene. The music was also very good. The voice actors also had their moments.

    The episode opens with Beast reading a poem on Jean's memorial service. Grief dominates all of the X-Men. While they try to maintain their composure out of respect for their fallen comrade, Jubilee breaks in despair. This was one of Jubilee's better moments in the series. Losing Jean is almost like being orphaned again for her. Having Rogue comforting her, telling her to release her grief was a brilliant touch as well.

    Following the event, Xavier tries to get Cyclops to move on by giving him a new assignment. Cyclops, however has a change of heart and decides to quit his job at the X-Men for good. Overall, Act 1 was the highlight of the episode and saved part of it.

    Act 2 opens with Cyclops riding a bus to the countryside. He keeps remembering his following argument with the Professor. This scene is actually one of Cyclops's best moments in the entire series. While Xavier tries to get him to reconsider, Cyclops gets increasingly impatient with him. He even uses arguments he couldn't possibly believe, even though they do have a hint of truth beneath them. Xavier tries to get on Scott's good side by bringing about the benefit caused by his powers. Scott counters by telling it's not worth defending a world full of people that hate them. In the end, Scott lashes out at Xavier telling him that he's fed up with this responsibility of running the X-Men. He doesn't want it anymore, especially after losing Jean under his watch. He throws his uniform on the ground and stalks away.

    As the action returns to the quiet bus, Cyclops is bothered by a kid playing hero vs mutant. While the kid's mother tells him to stop bothering Scott, it just brings back the fact that being a mutant is a curse to him. It actually works to some extent. Being a mutant is everything Scott has now that he lost Jean.

    Scott arrives at the old orphanage he used to live in when he was a kid. He has a memory of his first manifestation of his powers back when he was around 12 or 13 years old. Scott meets a woman at the door. It turns out to be his old childhood friend Sarah.

    Sarah currently runs the orphanage, following the death of her husband. She's financially aided by prominent town politician Zebediah Kilgrave, who has an interest in investing in the future of these children. Sarah explains to Scott that these children are mutants. While it's hard enough to get children adopted, it's ten times tougher to get mutant child adopted. Scott even has a memory of being rejected for adoption after accidentally burning some curtains. All of this works as well, but the episode's pacing begins to lose its momentum.

    Zebediah Kilgrave is trying to get elected governor. But he has ulterior motives no one knows yet. After a fire breaks out in the house, Scott finds the culprit. It's a young boy named Rusty, who can't quite control his powers, who's also one of the orphans. Scott tries to get to know the boy, who everybody considers to be nothing but trouble. After a talk, Scott finds out that the boy might be telling the truth about a secret plot by Kilgrave. Sarah won't have any of that. Kilgrave arrives and takes Rusty to his custody. As Act 2 comes to an end, we finally get to see the Purple Man's plan. He hypnotizes the four children who compose the X-Terminators group (Rictor is mysteriously missing, despite his appearance on Slave Island).

    The Purple Man plans to use Rusty and the other children to invade a government building so Kilgrave can get some plans to some dam. Honestly, this plot doesn't make much sense. How this criminal act is going to get him elected? Wouldn't be wiser to rob a bank? You only need money to win an election.

    The group invades the building, while the kids keep the guards busy and Rusty protects Kilgrave who does the dirty deed.

    Scott sleeps the night in the orphanage. According to Sarah, he apparently talks in his sleep. He couldn't stop saying Jean's name. An interesting tidbit in the news about the whole dam story, tips Scott that something might not be right with Kilgrave after all. I'm surprised he figured that out so fast.

    Scott pays a visit to Kilgrave and is ambushed by one of the kids. Our Purple Man makes the most stupid move any villain could make. He throws Scott in the pool, hoping he'll die somehow. He could have simply used Rusty to fry him and dispose of the problem. He didn't even think about Sarah's involvement. Talk about bad plotting.

    Scott has a vision of Jean coming towards him, then Sarah revives him with a mouth-to-mouth. They go to the secret basement and find the children under a computerized hypnosis therapy. Scott blasts the monitor and frees the children. Kilgrave couldn't possibly think of bringing the children with him as well?

    The children are brought back to the orphanage. Sarah realizes the mistake she commited by trusting Kilgrave. There's also a very nice moment between her and Scott. They seem to be about to kiss, when the helicopter makes the appearance.

    Kilgrave warns Sarah to return the children. He uses his power to bring Scott down and attract the children out. Rusty burns the house down. Scott resists long enough in the heat of the moment to blast the helicopter down. The wheelchair kid is still inside and Sarah rushes to find him. Scott suddenly sees it all happening again. He's determined to not lost another loved one. This is actually quite an emotional highlight for Cyclops in the episode. He pushes Sarah aside, blasts a path and brings the kid to safety. A very convenient news crew films the whole thing.

    Sarah offers Scott the chance to rebuild this place and remain together. Scott feels that he finally realized where he belongs. It was too abrupt. This should have been a two part episode.

    Scott returns to the war room, while Cerebro uncovers new information. Jean is alive after all, ending the episode on a happy note.

    While the episode had some great moments, the pacing was all wrong, and there wasn't enough time to tell both stories.

    On the other hand, I hope somebody brings the Purple Man to one of the Daredevil movie sequels in the future. I think he would look cool.moreless
Lenore Zann

Lenore Zann


Cedric Smith

Cedric Smith

Professor X/Charles Xavier

George Buza

George Buza

Beast/Dr. Henry "Hank" McCoy

Norm Spencer

Norm Spencer

Cyclops/Scott Summers

Alyson Court

Alyson Court

Jubilee/Jubilation Lee

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (16)

    • Just before Scott demonstrates his powers to the boy, you can see a bit of his eyes which shows from behind the side of his glasses. It does not glow, and you can even see a normally colored iris.

    • The project Killgrave is trying to take over is on the Platte River, suggesting it's in Nebraska or Colorado.

    • Where were all of the other orphans during the final fire? They were never showing leaving the building, yet had no reason to not be there after Scott & Sarah returned with the mutants.

    • This is the first (and only non-cameo) appearances of Rusty (pyrokinetic), Skids (frictionless force field), Boom Boom (bouncing energy bombs), and Taki (Japanese paraplegic who can create technological miracles out of his wheelchair).

    • Gambit and Storm appear in this episode, but do not speak. Jean Grey appears only in hologram and dream form (as well as in a recycled scene from "The Final Decision").

    • Wolverine is missing from his rock seat at Beast's reciting, then is suddenly there moments later.

    • Professor Xavier's hoverchair seems to be floating unusually high when passing behind Cyclops in the command center.

    • The sound of Young Scott plopping to the floor occurs well before he actually drops down.

    • Rusty's voice is audible throughout the entire chant, even before he's "overcome".

    • Sarah's hand slips off Scott's shoulder when she says it will be alright, despite Scott putting his hand onto his shoulder where her's is supposed to be when saying "no".

    • Scott walks in front of Sarah when the news report comes on, despite her standing up near the table, he somehow passes in between without there being room!

    • Rusty offers Scott a cookie, but he's holding what appears to be a cake!

    • Young Sarah's skirt changes from purple to pink between shots.

    • The cameraman is just Sarah's dead husband with gray hair and recolored clothes!

    • The close-up of Rusty's head after Killgrave says "obey me" has the seat he was sitting in earlier visible (due to this being a recycled shot).

    • In the helicopter, Kilgrave's makeup comes off and his purple face is revealed. When he is next shown, his makeup is back on.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • (Orphans are watching cartoons)
      Reporter on TV: We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a News 9 Special Report!
      Orphans: (getting up and leaving the room) Aw, no!!

    • Killgrave: You have a special purpose, Rusty. You are one of the chosen. Soon, you will not hide your powers. You won't deny who you are just to be accepted! You will be the politicans! The bankers! The community leaders! The American dream will become a reality for every Mutant, young and old! And when we're in charge... we'll make them pay for the way they've treated us!

    • Johnny: (shoots Cyclops with toy ray gun) DIE, MUTANT!
      Mother: Johnny. Stop that. That's real impolite.
      Johnny: But Mooom! I'm just playing 'Good Guys & Mutants'!
      Mother: Well, I'm sure that nice young man doesn't appreciate being called a mutant!
      (Cyclops grits his teeth)

    • Cyclops: Don't you get it? I'm sick of the responsibility! I'm sick of being den mother to a bunch of quibbling children! I can't do it anymore!

    • Rusty: (to Cyclops) What're you? Some kind of do-gooder social worker?

    • Cyclops: (to Jean's hologram image) I miss you. I never knew how much I would.

    • Beast: And when its turbulent journey endeth, the river flows into the sea. At peace now, for all eternity.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Original broadcast end-credits-scene: "Sanctuary (1)"; Magneto addresses the mutants of Genosha, only to have the Magistrates unleash the Sentinels on him.

    • Animation Company: Philippine Animation Studio Inc.

    • The four orphan mutants in this episode were, in the comics, the second group known as the X-Terminators. The last member, known as Rictor, appeared in season 1's "Slave Island". Also, in the comics, the kid called Taki was codenamed "Wiz Kid".

    • The villain of this episode is only ever referred to by his real name, Zebediah Killgrave, but not by the name he is better known by in comics - The Purple Man, one of Daredevil's earliest enemies (In his bedroom, there is a cut-out of yellow-costumed Daredevil on a dartboard, a nod to that). In the comics, Killgrave is not a mutant, but an ordinary man who was doused in strange chemicals.

    • This episode was made during the third season to air following The Phoenix Saga (5): Child Of Light, and prior to Savage Land, Strange Heart (1). Due to problems with the animation, however, it was animated again from scratch by a different company, which delayed it a full 2 years.

    • The revised version of this episode has a Fox Kids show number of XM-430, due to arriving after the final 6 (though they were given 5XX numbers, at one point they were considered XM-424 through XM-429).


    • The title of the episode is a play on words concerning the term "No man is an island", which comes from poet John Donne, specifically his Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII.

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