Season 4 Episode 5

Proteus (2)

Aired Saturday 11:30 AM Oct 07, 1995 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
48 votes

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Episode Summary

Tracking down his father, who is now a candidate for Secretary of State, Proteus continues threatening lives with his uncontrolable powers. It's up to Professor X alone to try to stop the boy who brought even Wolverine to his knees.

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  • Wolverine, running away?

    Proteus has finally confronted his father, but Joe McTaggert decides to runaway. So does Wolverine as his form being manipulated has caused him to fear Proteus. This gets him even more confused, and it's just another failed attempt for the X-Men to capture Proteus. However, when Proteus tries confronting his father a second time, Xavier allows himself to be absorbed so Proteus can also see his memories. Through this, the boy was able to tame his powers and have his father accept him with open arms.

    So the ending was happy. It was a classic text book, happily ever after ending though. It was just too perfect, and they didn't even reveal the results of the voting! So Xavier said Proteus will be able to control his powers, making it sound like it'll take an entire process, though he instantly learns to not turn into his lava like form and hug his father. And it seems too convenient that Joe McTaggert decides to accept his son after being absent in his life for a decade and a half. At least Wolverine was funny again. He wasn't as comical as the previous installment, but his cowardly actions were just as amusing.moreless
  • Fatherhood vs. Politics

    It amazes me how Part II is far superior than Part I. The Proteus story really took off in this segment and all the loose threads really came together, resulting in one of the more compelling episodes of Season 4.

    After the end of Part I, Wolverine is still dealing with the horrific experience of being turned inside-out by Proteus. Meanwhile, Proteus himself took off to the city to find his father. The X-Men chase after him in order to protect both the inhabitants and Proteus himself.

    Logan is clearly attempting to ignore what's happened to him, true to his character. It's the kind of behavior that can be expected of someone like Logan. He has yet to face that fear.

    It's amazing how much everything was so connected. Wolverine's newfound fear drove the episode and was tied to the events. Rogue also had her shining moments in this episode. And the tension grew with each subsequent scene. The plot structure was perfect and the animation was perfect as usual. Luanne Crocker wrote a nearly perfect episode that was perfectly directed by Larry Houston.

    The X-Men try to take on Proteus again. Moira tries to reason with him, but he insists on trying to talk to his father. Thanks to his lack of maturity, he uses his powers to stop the X-Men, forcing them to defend the innocent bystanders in the city. Proteus slips away again.

    Moira feels the burden of this crisis, since she fears what Kevin will discover when he meets his father. The fact that Joe McTaggert never wanted a mutant child could drive Kevin to insanity and worse.

    Personally, I never understood why would Moira abandon Xavier for another man, especially one like Joe McTaggert. However, all of that was addressed in the previous episode and has no place in this segment.

    Xavier decides it would be best to contact Moira's ex husband Joe McTaggert and bring him up to speed on this crisis. Needless to say, Joe is not thrilled to find out the son he abandoned is coming after him. He's still too mired in his own politics and refuses Xavier's assistance. He intends to fend off poor Kevin with his own bodyguards.

    Rogue is deeply affected after meeting Joe. She has to spy on him. When she sees Joe hiring some goons to take care of Kevin for him, she ends up revolted by his actions and motives, since they remind her of her own father, who threw her out when her powers manifested, back when she was 13. It's the best use of Rogue since Season 2.

    It's not surprising that Joe would pull out his cloak and shield himself from the truth. Since mutants are still held in comtempt by humans, if the truth were to come out, Joe's political caree would be irrevocably damaged beyond repair. However, this raises some serious questions about Joe's own humanity. How much of that humanity has been lost thanks to his political career is certainly debatable. This is very much another terrific source of material in the ever-growing X-Men universe. Since the show's always dealt with bringing peace between humans and mutants, it's always great to see both sides of this conflict being challenged in one way or another. A human being forced to accept responsibility for being related to a mutant is surprinsgly a new topic, at least on the show at this point.

    The episode does an excellent job of portraying the successful politician in the form of Joe. However, there's one only weakness in the episode and that's Beast's description of the whole process. He describes the whole appeal politicians make to the public as if it was a fascinating subject of study. It's supposed to be a story grounded in realism, not some Public Service Announcement.

    Proteus breaks into the poltiical convention before anyone realizes it. Joe's bodyguards try to use force on him. The provocations make him use his powers. He begins to scare everyone away and the X-Men are forced to face him. They are unable to counter Proteus. Meanwhile, Wolverine doesn't rush in to help them and breaks down. Fortunately, he comes to his senses just in time to save Xavier from certain death in a fiery hole.

    Xavier tries to talk to Kevin again, trying to allow him to let him help him somehow, while telling him his father has fled in fear of him. Kevin claims the only way to do that is to bring his dad to him. He storms away.

    When the X-Men realize they have no way of ever stopping Proteus, thanks to the power of his mind. Moira's had enough and plans to solve this crisis herself.

    This leads to the episode's best moment. When Wolverine votes for attacking, Rogue berates Wolverine for being a chicken for not helping them, but Beast makes matters even worse by pointing out that Wolverine succumbed to fear. Xavier breaks the tension by claiming Moira plans to kill her own son. They must find a way to stop this.

    Joe McTaggert begins to speak at another convention (Two conventions in one day.It must be quite an expensive election). Proteus breaks in again and corners his father. Joe is scared out of his mind and calls for help. This crushes Kevin beyond help. At this moment, Moira and Banshee arrive with a type of neural disruptor. She plans to use it to finish Kevin off. As the episode rushes to its inevitable climax, Xavier tries one last time to get to Proteus. He successfully enters his mind and begins to have a frank conversation.

    He finally introduces himself as Charles Xavier and calmly explains the whole situation to him and offers to help him control his powers. They are both successful and Kevin is back to normal.

    This is a terrific ending to the Proteus storyline, while exploring some new ground between Xavier and Moira. Since Moira's helped Xavier several times in the past, now he can repay the favor by bringing peace and stability to her own family. Given their history, it's a whole new avenue Xavier's had to travel and he's come out of it a little more wise.

    Kevin finally reunites with his father in a tearful hug. It's nice to point that after all this chaos, there are immediately some cameras documenting Joe's in this moment. That's the media and its power for all that's worth.

    The episode ends in a nice epilogue where Kevin plays some high-tech game with Banshee. The game seems to be designed to help focus Kevin's mental skills and his powers. Moira, Xavier and Beast are thrilled with his development.

    Meanwhile, there's a well deserved ending, where Rogue tries to help Logan face what happened. He admits he was astonished by how Xavier found courage to overcome this whole situation without losing his nerve. Rogue tries to comfort Logan claiming it's normal for anyone to lose their nerve in the worst situations. Logan states that cannot be his case. The episode ends in this statement. Thankfully, Logan's situation will be addressed again in Lotus and the Steel.

    Overall, it's one of the strongest entries in this season. The characters are superbly written. The pacing is nearly perfect and there's a strong feeling of cohesion in this episode. Everything comes together and feels just right. And it almost makes up for the mistaks commited in Part I as well. Nicely done.moreless
Lenore Zann

Lenore Zann


Cedric Smith

Cedric Smith

Professor X/Charles Xavier

George Buza

George Buza

Beast/Dr. Henry "Hank" McCoy

Cal Dodd

Cal Dodd

Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett

Stuart Stone

Stuart Stone


Guest Star

Jeremy Ratchford

Jeremy Ratchford

Banshee/Sean Cassidy

Recurring Role

Lally Cadeau

Lally Cadeau

Dr. Moira MacTaggert

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

  • QUOTES (5)

  • NOTES (6)

    • Animation Company: AKOM Productions.

    • The same day this episode debuted, the Spider-Man episode "Mutants' Revenge" premiered, guest-starring the X-Men, and the entire current voice cast for them.

    • Loosely based on The Uncanny X-Men #128 (Dec 1979; which had a far unhappier ending for Kevin & Joe MacTaggert).

    • The version airing in some markets, such as TeleToon in Canada, has several differences from the one which debuted in the US (unlike part 1, where the differences were improvements, these are all indications of this version being an unfinished edition). They include:
      - The recap has different angles. Some differences in the scenes, dialogue, and music.
      - Font, "Proteus Part II" instead of "Proteus, Part II".
      - Larry Houston is listed for "produced and directed by" instead of "producer and director".
      - "Ye don't understand maeve" is cut.
      - The home campaign poster pan-up to see the top shows a differently colored poster (wife is brunette, all sketchy).
      - Book cover isn't blurred.
      - A shot of Proteus isn't intercut with Wolverine opening the door.
      - Proteus doesn't create the fire-hole in the ground (though it's already there).
      - Wolverine isn't seen by the fire hole before he snares Charles.
      - The fire is animated, instead of the live-action footage-overlay.
      - Beast slides down AFTER the professor is already rescued, and mentions how "a set of claws would be extraordinarily useful about now".
      - An X-fade between the X-Men in the alley and the reporter scenes.
      - The end credits are incorrectly the season 3 version.

    • Original broadcast end-credits-scene: "Orphan's End"; Corsair demands back his dogtags from Cyclops, who finds his family's picture inside, and the dogtags of his dead father.

    • The book Beast is reading (the same one Joe's new wife drops earlier) is "Making of the President 1968". The cover of it is blurred out in the original USA broadcast for some reason.


    • Visual: "The Making of the President 1968"
      The book Beast, and Joe MacTaggert's new wife, are reading, is the 1969 book chronicling the 1968 United States presidential campaign, by Theodore White.

    • Joe MacTaggert: Our children are MORE than our future!
      The term "children are our future" was made popularized in the song The Greatest Love of All, performed originally by Whitney Houston.

    • Beast: "Political campaigns are designedly made to paralyze what slight powers of cerebration man can normally muster", James Harvey Robinson.
      The quote, which lacks its "emotional orgies which endeavor to distract attention from the real issues involved" part between "made" and "paralyze", from his 1937 book "The Human Comedy As Devised And Directed By Mankind Itself."