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.
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.
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