Season 4 Episode 1

One Man's Worth (1)

Aired Saturday 11:30 AM Sep 09, 1995 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

Write A Review
out of 10
81 votes
  • Terminator, except with mutants!

    It seems that an alternate time line has been created in which Xavier doesn't exist. All the mutants unite as one to fend off the humans machinery, but Bishop and Shard see to it that the assassination is stopped. The Storm and Wolverine of the alternate time line tag along, and immediately find Xavier. They encounter Nimrod and Fitzroy, but it seems that Fitzroy already plotted Xavier's dead by planting a bomb in his room.

    This episode is automatically awesome because of the first seven minutes. War movies are my favourites, especially sci fi ones. Seeing all the mutants, especially an aging Magneto and Sinister, fighting on one side with the other X-Men, excites you in a way. Even the Avengers making a cameo appearance was cool.

    What I also like is how all of these stories are connected with one another, but only through a minor concept. Such as Bishop, which tells of the events directly before the Beyond Good and Evil arc. Though the thing I like the most is how X-Men so far handles time traveling. Everything is structured so well, and it's all very cleverly plotted. Also, me being a huge Mastermold fan, it's a treat to finally see him make an appearance. His tyrannical attitude towards Fitsroy was also pleasing to see.
  • This encounter could create a time paradox. The results of which would cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and DESTROY THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE!!!

    What can I say? I have a weakness for time travel stories in general. If you stop to even consider the implications of altering the past, you're more likely to fry your brain cells than you're likely to try and understand any of this. I tried doing that both in Days of Future Past and Time Fugitives. The best solution is to ignore all of that and allow yourself to really enjoy such a surreal experience.

    Not that every time travel movie is perfect or anything like that. It is possible to destroy a good story. Terminator 3 is living proof of that. I also recall Star Trek episodes exploited time travel relentlessly, draining any fresh material. And I can't say whether a Back to the Future-Part IV would have added anything significant to a perfect story with an already perfect conclusion in Part III.

    One Man's Worth performs just as well as the previous time travel episodes. It's even better than Time Fugitives, since it brings an emotional anchor to the episode. This is more on the level of Days of Future Past.

    I understand story consultant Bob Harras was extensively involved in the development of this particular story. It was his idea in the first place to consider the scenario where Xavier is killed by a time traveler. The very fact that this episode was written alongside the comic book version really worked well for the episode itself. It's one of the high points of Season 4. Richard Mueller did an outstanding job with this episode.

    Curiously, american viewers saw this one as the fourth season premiere. I only managed to watch it after watching the Proteus two parter. That was early in 1996.

    The episode opens in the middle of a shootout near the England University in the year of 1959. Bishop and Shard, along with Wolverine and Storm are trying to destroy Nimrod. While this happens, a young Charles Xavier stumbles in his college's science lab, which has a pulse bomb in it. When Bishop realizes this, he screams in despair.

    The scene cuts abruptly to the future, in 2055, where Bishop and Shard are being sent by Forge to the time portal, back to 1995, in order to gather the X-Men's help to stop an urgent event from happening. It happens too quickly for anyone to understand, but it really works for giving a sense of realism for the people involved. Fortunately, we're bound to have some explanations over the course of this episode.

    The scene cuts abruptly again, this time to the present, in 1995, where Xavier, Storm and Logan are having a picnic in the garden. There's a lovely moment in this scene where Storm admires a butterfly. The music was simply perfect and the animation direction never looked better. This music cue was lifted from a Jean/Logan scene from Season 2's Till Death do us Part.

    This moment leads to some light flirtation between Logan and Storm. Xavier makes a comment about Adam and Eve. At this moment, a gigantic red storm devastates their reality. Xavier's chair is able to detect a temporal disturbance.

    Their world vanishes, and only Logan and Storm remain intact, but clearly changed. This leads to an apocalyptic battle. We aren't given any time to breathe at all. The episode simply plunges into the story faster than anything I've ever seen before. Wolverine and Storm meet up with a changed Beast, who tells them that humans are deploying a new army of robot spiders.

    This whole sequence can be only described as astounding. There's a boatload of cameos from many, many mutants in a very short time. Magneto is the leader of this mutant resistance group, struggling to survive in this devastated version of New York. There's even the abandoned mansion in the background. Larry Houston did a superb job directing this whole part.

    Even Magneto seems to have serious problems holding it together, given the fierceness of the attacking forces. Mutants, who we never believed could ever get along, are fighting side-by-side in this desperate war for their very lives. It's as frightening as the apocalyptic future from Days of Future Past.

    In the middle of this battle, Wolverine and Storm are knocked uncouncious. Fortunately, Nightcrawler destroys the mechanic spiders, saving their lives. The human forces send a mysterious group of "super-humans". The mutants gather their forces and encases these guys in a force field. These guys are sent to oblivion.

    Wolverine and Storm embrace in love. As we get a close-up on their fingers, it's pretty much evident these guys are married. They return to a refugee camp, looking for help. A spider hounds the area, but Jason Wyngarde shields the facility from outside bystanders.

    Bishop and Shard arrive and discover the present has already been changed. They decide they must go to 1959 alone. Fortunately, for them, they are surprised by an angry Wolverine. Storm follows him. Bishop and Shard realize they may get some help after all. They decide to spill the beans to these new guys. But first, they are forced to evade a gigantic walking machine. After hiding in the mansion, they continue their story.

    Bishop and Shard tell the story of the X-Men, which adds nothing we didn't already know, but it does work for new viewers and it's necessary to bring Wolverine and Storm up to speed. What's new about all of this is that the future Mastermold recruited a loyal mutant called Fitzroy and his aide Bandam to murder Xavier so there can't be any chance of peace between mutants and humans. Bishop and Shard have to stop this madness.

    With this revelation, Wolverine and Storm are forced to make a difficult choice. If they decide to go to the past and change the present, they'll work together, but won't be together. Logan is not willing to sacrifice their love for the world's sake, but Ororo doesn't think with such simplicity. She knows it's a hard choice, but she also knows it's the right thing to do. She chooses to follow Bishop and Shard. Logan, despite his misgivings, chooses to follow them as well. They return to the fifties.

    We finally get to the fifties where a young Xavier is having a humorous chat with his professor and his working partner. They apparently inspired an old book from author Philip K Dick, which discusses the principles of science. It's shocking to see how different this Xavier is from his older, wiser self. He has no ambitions and looks at his own secret identity with a lot of disdain.

    Bishop arrives with his entourage, shocking Xavier. He can't possibly believe any of it. Storm offers to help explain all of it more calmly. They gather in an old bar.

    The bartender is none too happy with the presence of these weird-looking strangers in his establishment. Meanwhile, Bishop and Shard spill their tale of woe to Xavier. He's still baffled with all of this. The bartender, however warns Xavier to throw his friends out and makes some nasty racial remarks about them. This is more than enough to drive Wolverine nuts and start a vicious fight. He throws the bartender around the bar. He summons some thugs. They are forced to fend these guys off. Xavier slips away, unable to accept any of this nonsense.

    After Storm berates Wolverine for losing his temper again, they proceed to find Xavier. They find Nimrod posing as Xavier. A vicious battle begins. Storm is able to blast Nimrod to bits and pieces. While Nimrod recovers, Fitzroy and Bandam are found by Bishop. They escape into a time vortex.

    The worst happens as the episode's events from the beginning finally happen, this time in slow-motion. It's easily one of the best cliffhangers ever done in the series. You know it's going to happen and there's nothing you can do about it. Charles Xavier meets his end in this cliffanger, while Bishop screams in despair...

    Let me address some minor details...

    - How could Jason Wyngarde cloak a whole refugee camp from a robot? Robots aren't supposed to fall for an illusion.

    - The force field effect when those "super-humans" are thrown to oblivion was one of the best visual effects I've ever seen in the entire series. The slow motion was perfect.

    - I was surprised Wolverine and Storm were at all offended by the bartender. As mutants, they should be more than used to withstanding prejudice.

    - This episode makes me recall the movie Swordfish, starring Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry. There was a lot of chemistry between them and a lot of sexual tension in that movie. Imagine if Wolverine and Storm were to ever hook up in the X-Men films. Coincidence? I don't think so.

    Overall, this episode was simply perfect. Extremely fast-paced. The story was outstanding and gave a fresh spin on the whole time travel story angle. The voice acting was exceptional, the music was awesome and the animation was breathtaking. Superbly done!