Season 4 Episode 7

Sanctuary (2)

Aired Saturday 11:30 AM Oct 28, 1995 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • X-Men in metallica costumes is so cool!

    The X-Men ran for their lives after being framed of Magneto's death. Gambit stayed behind to help Xavier, Beast, and the other humans run away. He was quickly captured however. Cortez proposed that all mutants be freed, or else he'd fire off the warheads. The X-Men, in co-ordinance with their shair technology, were able to infiltrate Astroid M without being noticed.

    Amelia exposed Cortez, though he got away from the clutches of the angry mutant followers, and fired off the warheads himself. However, magneto, using the earth's magnetic field as his source of energy, were able to stop every single one of them. He got his revenge on Cortez, and sought to it to destroy Asteroid M. Cortez was however, saved by Apacolypse.

    This was a very good episode to this double header. What I found intriguing was how previous episodes, while not connected story wise, still played a factor to these episodes. Such as Magneto's Asteroid M being influenced thanks to the technology found in the Savage Lands, and the upgrades to the Black Bird incorporated with Shi-ar technology. It was a small thing that made this episode that much more awesome.

    The episode played out a bit predictable on the other hand. Cortez was bound to be figured out, and the warheads were going to be stopped one way or another. Though how it was stopped, which was by the hand of Magneto, was awesome. How he controlled over 200 warheads with his hand was too badass. It's even cooler how Apacolypse decides to capitalize on Magneto's scraps by capturing Cortez and his powers.
  • A straight action blowout with little breathing room. But not without some flaws.

    Sanctuary-Part II resolves all the loose ends from Part I in a very straightforward action tale mixed with some nice character interactions. The episode does have some pacing issues and Cortez is not as well developed as in Part I. I guess Jeff Saylor didn't grasp Cortez as well as Melching and McDermott. Fortunately, there are some exciting action scenes always saved by the ever reliable animation direction of Larry Houston and some impressive character voiceovers. If anything else, the X-Men has frequently impressed me in the action department. The episode also opens some new plot avenues that would be further explored in the future.

    This episode opens right where Part I left off. Magneto's room/capsule is taking a steep dive towards Earth about to burn up on reentry. Cortez, along with his Acolytes, including Amelia and several mutants pursue the 3 X-Men like a bloodthirsty mob. Cortez obviously has managed to grasp his crowd using the situation to his advantage as he spouts fanaticism every chance he can get.

    Gambit stays behind to keep the mob away while Beast and Xavier run to a NASA Shuttle. The Shuttle is commandeered by the surviving NASA pilots and techs who were working on the russian missiles. Gambit, much like Morph, is left behind when he fails to appear. Quite a nice parallel with Night of the Sentinels. Xavier orders the pilot to depart.

    The Shuttle crash lands on Earth. Rogue softens their landing. When she breaks in she's desperate to find Gambit. Beast and Xavier break the sad news to her.

    Gambit is under arrest and is using the infamous inhibitor collar. I guess Cortez decided to improve the Genoshan artifact. This one is capable of inducing pain to the user. He's putting an impressive show to his audience as he interrogates Gambit mercilessly without producing actual results. But the show is his real goal. It impresses me as to how much this guy has in common with today's world leaders. The manipulation of public opinion to their favor. The way people rally their support around a leader who feeds and thrives on their fear.

    However, I can't even begin to wonder what are Cortez's intentions. His motivation is a major mystery. That's the liability in the development of the character.

    Xavier and the X-Men gather in the garden to participate in a brief memorial service over the death of Magneto. This was a well crafted moment. His death would have created little fanfare. Xavier knew that. During the service, Rogue confids in Beast that despite the death of Magneto, she's actually worried about Gambit's fate.

    While being interrogated and tortured, Amelia steps in front of Cortez, demanding an immediate halt to this horror. Cortez challenges her defiance by invoking a well-known euphemism: "If you are not with me, you're against me". It's shocking how much we can relate to that these days.

    Meanwhile, Xavier talks to President Kelly whose options are rapidly running out. With Cortez in charge, the situation is escalating at an alarming pace. Action must be taken. Xavier has already decided to return to the asteroid, this time to fight in order to prevent world devastation.

    Wolverine, Rogue and Beast join Xavier in the blackbird, which's been modified with Shi'Ar upgrades to travel to outer space. Nice bit of continuity. It's a tip of the hat to previous events during Season 3.

    Amelia begins to suspect Cortez's intentions and looks for the real truth behind the assasination of Magneto. Using her powers, she sneaks to the video archives and uncovers the actual camera footage of what really happened. It strikes me as poor planning in Cortez's own part. He should have hidden the tape in a safe or something.

    And by the way, it's hard to believe that with the technology to build an asteroid facility, they still use VHS tapes. I know this is supposed to take place in the 1990's, but the Marvel universe is flexible enough to adapt. They should have known that the DVD would soon replace the VHS medium. This whole universe is part science fiction anyway. They should have created some other means of high definition recording entirely.

    The X-Men board the asteroid undetected thanks to a Shi'Ar stealth cloak. Wolverine and Rogue enter the base to look for Gambit while Beast breaks into the missile silos in order to deactivate them one by one. This also reeks of poor planning. Suppose Cortez decided to launch the missiles prematurely. They should have brought in some NASA assistance to speed up the work or some of the other X-Men like Storm and Jean (But not Jubilee, please!).

    Unknown to everyone, a meteor plunges in the Sahara desert. The crash results in the reappearance of Magneto, claiming to be alive, and bristling with magnetic power more than ever. I guess the writers managed to avoid the better path and cheated death once again. I understand why they did it to Morph during Season 2, but was Magneto's revival really necessary? I think the show would have survived without him. Season 3 had no Magneto whatsoever and his death actually felt right in a storytelling angle.

    This operation was poorly planned at best. None of the X-Men are ready to complete this mission. Sending only Beast to deactivate 200 plus warheads was bad enough. Sending Wolverine and Rogue without some plans of the facility was just as bad. Who was in charge anyway? Wolverine and Rogue are quickly captured by Cortez and his Acolytes. They are about to be used as examples of terrorists and traitors in his next speech, before being thrown out to deep space.

    When Cortez makes yet another McCarthy-like rousing speech to his mutant audience about the demise of Magneto and the need for action against every one that opposes them. Amelia uses this moment to show the real evidence to everyone present. The video feed of Cortez draining Magneto's energy and sending him to his doom is enough to turn the whole mob against him. Even his Acolytes are appaled at his actions to the point of tears of betrayal. This was a really moving and compelling scene brilliantly potrayed in the animation medium.

    Realizing he's run out of options, Cortez throws a grenade at the mob and escapes to the control room. He begins to launch every missile in the asteroid to put an end to Earth at once.

    Beast realizes this and returns to the Blackbird. They do their best to destroy as many of the missiles as possible before they enter the atmosphere, but the effort is in vain. All seems doomed until Magneto makes a stunning entrance and uses all of his power to break every missile to little pieces. Consumed with rage, he proceeds to use his power at the asteroid. The first person perspective shot of his magnetic blast was simply awesome.

    The asteroid begins to break up. Every mutant flees. Gambit and Amelia are found by Rogue and Wolverine. They return to the Blackbird and flee the asteroid. A lot of other ships flee as well. How convenient they were there. Cortez is left to die in the asteroid. Xavier tries to get in touch with Magneto. He's a defeated man lost in a tragic Shakespearean tale losing his soul. He wants to get away from this hellish world and be alone forever. It's a sad, but perfect ending to such a fascinating character.

    As the mutants return to Earth, Xavier and Amelia renew their friendship hoping for a better future for mutants on this planet. They must begin the process of peace again. Saving Earth from destruction can be considered a very promising start.

    But it's not yet over. We uncover the fate of Cortez. He was kept alive by Apocalypse, who intends to use him in the future. He was impressed with the evil in Cortez and finds him useful. This was a superb ending. I only wish this last thread had been effectively followed. I half expected Cortez would make an appearance on the Beyond Good & Evil four parter. I was sadly mistaken. He returned in the disappointing The Fifth Horseman, near the end of the series.

    This was an effective no-brainer conclusion with a lot of action to boot. Despite some mistakes, this episode was largely successful in telling the story and creating some new ground to cover. Nicely done.