X-Men

Season 3 Episode 9

Savage Land, Strange Heart (2)

1
Aired Saturday 11:30 AM Sep 17, 1994 on FOX
7.7
out of 10
User Rating
52 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT

Storm's unfettered weather-fury continues setting the stage for the rise of Garokk. Even if Storm can be brought back under control, the Sun God's geothermal rejuvenation will spell an end to the Antarctic paradise known as the Savage Land.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Storm needs more spurts like these when she goes raged.

    7.5
    Storm's powers rage on, and no one can stop her. Kyle Lykos however, suggests to absorb some of her power in sacrifice of him turning into Sauron again. Sauron is revived, and Storm remains calm. Storm after waking up, gets enraged after seeing the statue of Garokk being praised by the humans. She was drugged to keep her restrained. Sauron wanted Zaladane to amount an army against the X-Men, but she says he has already outlived his purpose. Garokk was finally revived. Storm believes she's the only hope in defeating him, but her powers only assisted him. Sauron however, absorbed some of his power, and the two battled until they both destroyed each other.



    There's nothing wrong with the story. I think this ended much better than some of the earlier short arcs earlier in this cartoon, but there's just something that feels so unlively and unenthusiastic about it. The atmosphere just feels a bit dull. I guess it really is the Savage Lands. The episode though in general, is pretty good that wrapped things up unexpectedly well in such a short span of time. I liked how it didn't really pull anything totally deus ex mechanica to defeat Garokk after he fully regained his power. Sauron absorbing some of his power made quite a bit of sense.moreless
  • Duel of the Titans

    8.6
    Savage Land, Strange Heart-Part II offers a great deal of action and adventure for any hungry viewer. However it suffers from a lack of focus on the plot itself. The episode begins as the greatest Storm-fest ever, but it suddenly changes focus to Garokk. I think there was too much plot to cover with little time to spare. Nevertheless, it's still a fun episode with great performances from Alyson Sealy-Smith and Lenore Zahn as Storm and Rogue. Skir and Isenberg did their best effort possible in such a complex two part story. Part II is mostly conclusion without the need of explanation, which helps the viewer immensely to enjoy the action itself. That's a plus.



    The story begins where Part I left off as Storm wreaks havoc to the Savage Land. The weather becomes unbearable amidst an endless supply of hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding. The beginning is already spoiled by a stupid move made by Jubilee. Once again, quoting that stupid George of the Jungle reference (a cartoon I never liked as a kid), Jubilee believes she can take on Storm like she did Sauron. Storm kills her ride and she falls to the ground until Rogue saves her. By the way, Rogue said "Jubilee of the Jungle" and her lips didn't move at all. I can overcome some animation goofs every now and then, but this was atrocious. You can tell this episode was finished in quite a hurry. That's why I blame FOX for ordering so many episodes within 2 years.



    Suddenly the Savage Land trembles in an earthquake. It's a major stampede. As the X-Men take refuge in a cave with Ka-Zar, they decide what to do next. The best (although more risky) course of action is to allow Carl to drain her powers, stunning her for a while. The risk is having him becoming Sauron. It's a better option than having Rogue absorb her powers and make matters even worse.



    Meanwhile, high priestess Zalladane realizes that Storm's power is giving Garokk more strength. He plans to build enough power to make his way to the Savage Land volcanoes so he can feed off their power and become invincible. Now this is a well thought plot for a villain, with little room for error.



    Wolverine and Ka-Zar distract Storm long enough for Rogue to take Carl to Storm. It works, but the craving sets in and Carl becomes Sauron once more. Rogue actually tries to stop Sauron, when he suddenly grabs her face, creating quite a freak show. Their absorbing powers cancel each other out and Sauron flees before they get him.



    As the weather goes back to normal, night falls into the land and Storm is sedated inside a hut. Soon Storm realizes that an even worse evil than Sauron is present on this land. She goes outside and blasts the Garokk rock that is worshipped by Ka-Zar's people. Storm is clearly not thinking this through. She's still too messed up to control herself. The X-Men are forced to hold her so Beast can sedate her again.



    It's at this moment that the plot makes a 90 degree turn. Sauron orders Zalladane to gather his troops, but Garokk has different plans when he ties up Sauron on the ground. He's finally powerful enough to make his move. Act 2 ends on a stunning note as a giant form of Garokk rises on a mountain peak.



    He begins to attack Ka-Zar's village and shows how powerful can be. In this moment, he makes his mistake. His earthquakes make Storm's hut collapse on itself, shrinking the inner space. Storm has a sudden bout of claustrophobia. Mixing that with her already chaotic state is enough to drive her beyond anything we've ever seen. She blasts out of the hut and goes after Garokk.



    I also liked the look into Garokk's past. Not that it made me care for the villain. I just found interesting to see how he became a rock. It turns out it was the work of the High Evolutionary, who would finally make his appearance on the upcoming Family Ties.



    Rogue tries to quiet Storm down by holding her. Big mistake, or possibly best mistake ever. Storm has a tantrum that ignites a mini-supernova in the land. The aftershock is big enough to loosen Sauron's restraints. He breaks free. Despite Zalladane's endless preaching, Sauron finally puts her out of her misery and goes after Garokk to fight for the control of the Savage Land. This is where the episode really picks up in excitement.



    Storm continues to destroy Garokk using any means necessary, being either heat or cold. Neither works and only make Garokk more powerful. There was also an interesting flashback to Sinister's work back in Reunion-Part II as we see he being destroyed and Storm's healing of the land. An event previously unseen in the second season finale. That's what brought Garokk back in the first place. It was a great way for Skir and Isenberg to build up on the story and works as one of the biggest strenghts of this often interesting two parter.



    Garokk reaches the volcano and becomes unbelievably giant. Big enough to go to the stratosphere. Sauron goes for the volcano as well and slips into it. The effect results in a huge Sauron. Sauron and Garokk begin an amazing struggle. A true duel of titans that devastate huge portions of the land with each tiny move. This was an exceptional sequence brilliantly directed by Larry Houston.



    Storm still in her mad quest to extinguish evil (a.k.a. Archangel), flies towards the giants. A desperate Rogue struggles to get her away from that place. Garokk and Sauron's powers ignite, blowing the mountains like a nuclear bomb. The effect can be seen from outer space by a NASA Shuttle.



    As everything settles down, Wolverine, Ka-Zar, Beast and Jubilee run in search of Rogue and Storm. They are buried beneath some rubble. Rogue is fine, but Storm requires medical care. They finally go home.



    Before the end of the episode, Ka-Zar finds Carl and restores some of his life energy. He tells him that he has no chance of becoming Sauron again since there are no more mutants on this land. He thanks his old friend and disposes of the Garokk amulet. It's a well thought and fitting end for these characters.



    Meanwhile, there's little left of Garokk. He has as much strength now as he had before this whole Savage Land storyline.



    As the X-Men fly back to Westchester, Storm has a heart-to-heart with Rogue where she apologizes for her behavior. She was truly frightened. This was a new experience both for her and her friends, who had never imagined how hard it could be to control one's powers. Storm came out a better person from this experience. She feels glad to have released her inner demons and can be more free from now on. It's a nice ending for the episode, especially for Storm.moreless
Lenore Zann

Lenore Zann

Rogue

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

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

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

    • Storm "cutting loose" will be the focus of another 2-part storyline in season 5's "Storm Front (1)".

    • The enemy who defeated Garokk thousands of years ago was the High Evolutionary, a longtime Marvel Comics character (usually a villain). He'll make a more prominent appearance in season 4's "Family Ties".

    • When Rogue drags Storm away from the giant Garokk & Sauron as they explode, Storm's circle-x emblems are magically back on her costume. They're still there when they're found after the explosion, but are gone again on the Blackbird, before showing up again.

  • QUOTES (4)

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (4)

    • Beast: It appears we are caught between scylla and charybdis... the proverbial rock and a hard place.
      The phrase "between scylla and charybdis" comes from two Greek myths of sea monsters. If you move away from one to seek safety, the other will get you.

    • Wolverine: Boy... That rush hour traffic's murder, isn't it?
      Rush hour is a period in which vehicle traffic is especially heavy. Logan applies the term here to the stampede of dinosaurs who nearly run over him and his friends.

    • Jubilee: If Jubilee of the Jungle can take down Sauron...
      Jubilee's Savage Land "persona" seems to be a reference to the 1967 cartoon series, George of the Jungle.

    • Garokk: Gaze upon my works and tremble!
      The stonehead Sun God just happens to utter the same remark as the title character of Percy Bysshe Shelley's sonnet "Ozymandias", which happens to involve a guy made of stone, as well.

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