Season 3 Episode 8

Savage Land, Strange Heart (1)

Aired Saturday 11:30 AM Sep 10, 1994 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
55 votes

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Episode Summary


Mutant-draining, pterodactyl-man Sauron is persuaded into capturing Storm by Zaladane, the high priestess of Savage Land Sun God Garokk, unaware of her ulterior motives for unleashing the mutant's full potential.

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  • I've never really like dinosaurs.

    Sauron is being attacked by the local humans within the savage lands, but is rescued by Zaladane to go to New York city. There, he battles Wolverine, Jubilee, Beast, and Storm. Storm however, gets captured, and is taken to the Savage Lands. When she awakes, Sauron unleashes the rage within her that she's done her best to contain, which were unleashed. Sauron used his special abilities that allows him to absorb powers of others, and gained an amazing amount from Storm. Later on, while the X-Men were investigating and looking for Storm, were attacked by Sauron. Jubilee becomes the unlikely hero, and defeats Sauron, but Ka-Zar realizes once he turns back into human, that the human was Karl Lykos, whose identity was taken over by Sauron. Then, Storm appears in her new raged form.

    There's something about the Savage Lands that I don't like. It's not really the story themselves, more like the setting. It feels so unenthusiastic, which was why I've procrastinated from watching this arc until now. The story so far seems to be your usual serving of X-Men goodness with Storm becoming a dark verison of herself, the protagonist orchestrating pawns like Kyle and Sauron, to do her dirty work, but it's just the damn setting! The colours are way too bright, and the jungle atmosphere just doesn't feel very contempt. With all of that nonsense aside, like mentioned before, this episode is your usual X-Men episode with the conflict being an inner one with Storm. It'll be interesting how this conflict will be solved.moreless
  • Control, control, you must learn control

    Savage Land, Strange Heart-Part I was a far superior story than every Savage Land entry in the second season, in terms of defining the place itself. It was also a great chance to show off Storm's loose side. Part I also spends some valuable time setting up its events. Most of them get paid off in Part II, but this part is still worth its duration. Skir and Isenberg once again brought all of their talent for developing characters amidst an emotional rollercoaster and still creating a fun story filled with plenty of swashbuckling action.

    The animation was also superbly done in this episode. The Savage Land looked far more realistic, with a more cinematic feel to it. Larry Houston did a superb job with this one.

    The story begins at the Savage Land where Sauron is trying to defend the fortress that once belonged to both Sinister and Magneto. Ka-Zar and his band of freedom fighters struggle to capture Sauron. Sauron's forces are unable to defend the fortress while Sauron gradually loses his powers. When Ka-Zar is about to deliver a final blow, he's knocked out by Zalladane. Sauron follows her.

    She's the high priestess of Garokk. Meanwhile, Sauron turns back into his former self, Carl Lykus (I think that's his name). I thought this part of the plot passed by a little too fast. There should have been a little more time developing the Carl character's motivations. His allegiance with Zalladane felt more than a little contrived. Zalladane tells him that Ka-Zar won't risk having his old friend becoming Sauron again prompting Carl to flee the Savage Land entirely, using Magneto's ship.

    Back in New York, Rogue and Storm are having some serious fun horse-riding at Central Park. While Rogue lets it all loose, Storm rides slowly and gently. This prompts Rogue's advice to Storm to let loose every now and then. This is obviously part of the greater plot.

    At the same time, Wolverine, Beast and Jubilee have some fun at the museum of natural history. That is, Beast is having fun, while Logan and Jubilee yawn endlessly. As they exit the museum, they ignore Hank's next itinerary suggestion and race to a hot dog stand. Hank's comment about Jubilee being a thankless child is one of my favorite lines in the show. He couldn't be more right. I mean, I've visited that same museum and I was hooked throughout the visit. It's a nice coincidence that X2 also began at a museum.

    As they buy some hot dogs, Carl appears, dressed as a homeless, who's sucking people's energy to fuel his desire like a vampire. He senses it from Wolverine and decides to suck some of it. He realizes it's mutant energy. I loved the animation process where he becomes Sauron once again. It's one of those priceless moments you have to watch again every time.

    Sauron takes off, while Hank warns Rogue and Storm. Sauron hipnotizes Rogue very easily. He uses Rogue's manic distraction to seize Storm and incapacitate her. He takes Storm into the ground. I loved Wolverine being surprised by the sudden rise of Magneto's ship from the ground. How did Carl bury it beneath the park in the first place anyway? I guess dramatic impact can often get in the way of believability. But, any superhero story has to depend on it, so I'll forgive it.

    After using an effective method for bringing Rogue out of that hypnotic state, Beast, Wolverine and Jubilee take the Blackbird to the Savage Land. There's also the first reference to Jean being treated on Muir Island. Back when I first saw this, I was puzzled. Fortunately, the previous episodes started being aired again after this two parter and No Mutant is an Island was included among them, bringing more sense to this episode.

    Sauron returns with Storm in tow. Zalladane talls Sauron to absorb the weather witch's immense powers by using his suggestive powers to make her releaser her full potential. It works and Act 2 ends with a bang as Storm is totally out of the cage in full fury.

    As Act 3 begins, Sauron fights Storm's wind to absord her powers and renders her uncouncious again. Sauron leaves the fortress to gather troops for an all-out assault upon Ka-Zar's people.

    The X-Men arrive at the Savage Land. This time, we get a fair glimpse of the land, with dinosaurs and everything else. I hated seeing Jubilee being thrown into the mud pile and Rogue's comment about her needing a babysitter. If these scenes are meant to be fun, I lost the point of the joke completely. After leading the T-Rex into a trap, Ka-Zar meets his old friends.

    It turns out that Ka-Zar's people believe in the legend of Garokk. This leads to an interesting flashback detailing events that took place after the second season. What I don't get is why Sauron rebuilt the fortress he destroyed in the first place, back in Reunion-Part II. Anyway, Sauron gathered an army in order to enslave Ka-Zar's people. It was the appearance of the Garokk rock that inspired the natives to fight Sauron's oppression. It was a nice touch of Wolverine to ask what whether Ka-Zar shared his people's faith in the legend. It turns out it doesn't really matter, as long as his people are safe. This is an interesting insight into Ka-Zar I didn't see coming.

    Then we see the image of Jubilee wearing native clothing. Now that was enough reason for me to cringe, but her adopting the Jubilee of the Jungle slogan was even worse. Seriously, what was Eric Lewald thinking when he plotted the Jubilee character in the show?

    Afterwards, Sauron's army attacks Ka-Zar's village. The X-Men jump into the action. I loved Beast's use of Wolverine in a fast-ball special. It brings memories of the comic books. Rogue tries to take on the flying armies, when Sauron tries to get her. She proved smarter for once by leading him to a colder altitude. Unfortunately, her decision to not look at him was a poor one. At this point Sauron begins to get weak again. I guess he never heard of energy conservation, living in the South Pole and all.

    Jubilee uses this moment to become a competent hero by flying a pterodactyl and blasting Sauron to the ground.

    Meanwhile, Garokk tells Zalladane to release Storm so she can unleash her powers everywhere. Storm goes out with a bang out of the fortress.

    When Sauron recovers he's no longer Sauron. He's Carl again. When Wolverine goes berserk on him, Ka-Zar realizes who he is. This leads to a long-awaited insight into Carl. It turns out Sinister conducted experiments on him back in Season 2, making him dependent on life energy to survive. Mutant energy turns him into Sauron. It's an excellent way for the writers to deal with the consequences Sinister has wrought upon the Savage Land and how to deal with them.

    While Beast promises to find a solution for Carl, Storm makes her appearance. It's an amazing cliffhanger, complete with a thundering To Be Continued. I know I look forward to reviewing Part II.moreless
Lenore Zann

Lenore Zann


George Buza

George Buza

Beast/Dr. Henry "Hank" McCoy

Alison Sealy-Smith

Alison Sealy-Smith

Storm/Ororo Monroe

Cal Dodd

Cal Dodd

Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett

Alyson Court

Alyson Court

Jubilee/Jubilation Lee

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Cyclops, Gambit, Jean Grey and Professor X do not appear in this episode.

    • This episode marks the continuation of events concerning Sauron and the Savage Land, last seen in last season's "Reunion (2)".

    • The control screen in the jet-craft Karl Lykos uses to leave the Savage Land (which was left there by Magneto), lists the destinations of Los Angeles, Houston, New York City, and Asteroid M, which will be introduced in season 4's "Sanctuary (1)".

    • This is the first time Beast wears his special field-unit backpack, which acts as a research kit, scanner, and defensive mechanism.

    • This episode has a very involved final shot, of "To", "Be", and "Continued" appearing separately in light-blue over a black screen, with lightning effects throughout, eventually destroying the final word.

    • Why did Sauron have the Fall People slaves rebuild the citadel, when he was the one who self-destructed the original one? And how were they able to rebuild it exactly as the old one looked without blueprints or anything?

    • When Zaladane zaps Sauron with the Garokk amulet, the footage is very shakey.

  • QUOTES (8)

  • NOTES (4)

    • The "Fastball Special" manuever first used in this episode (involving Beast boosting Wolverine into a leap) was made standard in the comics by Wolverine and Colossus.

    • Animation Company: AKOM Productions.

    • There is a brief scene of Wolverine commenting on Jean Grey being "studied like a lab rat" on Muir Island, indicating that this episode was meant to be set after season 5's "No Mutant Is An Island", which was intended to air as an epilogue to the Phoenix Saga, but was delayed two years due to animation problems.

    • In the script stage, the video release, and some airings (such as Toon Disney, but not ABC Family) this episode was entitled, "Savage Land, Savage Heart."


    • Jubilee: You heard the man, Barney!
      Jubilee's comment to the tyrannosaurus rex in the Savage Land, is in reference to PBS's child-friendly dinosaur, called Barney.

    • Sign: New York City Comic Con, Fri Sat Sun, Nuff Said!
      A sign appears above Central Park, promoting an NYC comic book convention.

    • Beast: How bout the Guggenheim for the Magritte exhibit?
      Hank wishes to go to the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, to check out the works of René Magritte, the Surrealist painter.

    • Beast: Ahh, Shakespeare knew so well. How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child.
      The quote, applied by Beast to Jubilee's refusal to continue visiting museums, is from William Shakespeare's King Lear, act I, scene IV.

    • Beast: To paraphrase Sir Issac Newton... that which goes up, must inverably come down!
      Newton is best known for, among other things, developing the theory of gravity.

    • Rogue: "...Must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque"
      Rogue uses to describe Sauron's seemingly out-of-place demeanor, one of the catch-phrases of Bugs Bunny, which he would always use when his tunnels got him somewhere he didn't expect.

    • Wolverine:: No blue plate special today!
      Logan's comment to the hungry dinosaur is in reference to a common diner-menu item.

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