Season 2 Episode 3

Whatever It Takes (3)

Aired Saturday 11:30 AM Nov 06, 1993 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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out of 10
69 votes
  • Underdeveloped concepts; such a common mistake in most children and action cartoons these days.

    Somewhere in Africa, in Storm's old village, a crack allows the Shadow King, a former villain that even Xavier had trouble defeating, to pass through, and take over Kimimari's body; Storm's son. Rogue and Storm arrive at the location, and are delivered the bad news. They try and find Shadow King, and makes a deal for Kimimari's body for Storm's. Storm agrees, and soon after, has enough will power to fly into the sky, and drive Shadow King out again. Kimimari lures Shadow King into the dimensional crack again, sealing him forever. Meanwhile, Wolverine searches for Morph, and while he was pleased to see him, Morph wasn't. The two fought, but Morph escaped. In Antartica, Xavier and Magento survived the Avalanche, but their powers were disabled! And Xavier was even able to walk! Soon after, men riding tarydactyls capture Magneto, but is rescued by Xavier. They both find themselves falling off a cliff; maybe to their doom?

    I personally thought the whole situation with Shadow King was underdeveloped. Maybe I'd have to read the comics in order to know who he was, but he seems like a pretty cool villain in a large cast of already cool villains in Sinister, Mastermold, Apacalypse, and Magneto. Sadly, it seems like we won't be seeing him for a while, as this seems to be a one episode thing. Though they did provide some pretty informative background information on him, like how Xavier was even barely able to defeat him. If you know Xavier was only able to edge him out, then you know you have a pretty sweet antagonist. Though there could have been much more to this episode. Maybe Shadow King achieving at least a lick of what he had planned, and then getting defeated by the X-Men, rather than him getting beaten prematurely. It would have eaten up more episodes, but it would have been much better than this. Plus, it shared air time with the Wolverine and Morph situation that was going on, which I found to be much more entertaining. While it seems almost certain Morph isn't going to come back, and it's futile for Wolverine to even try, his attempts are really touching and sympathetic to watch, especially since Morph seemed to be his only closest friend on the team. The last sequence involving Magneto, Xavier, and Sinister, was also a lot better presented in its short two minutes rather than Shadow King's ten or so minutes. While it's not completely certain the man behind this is Sinister, lots of facts point it to him. Plus, I've always loved the scenes involving Magneto and Xavier, because their relationship is just so complicated; they're bestfriends with completely different ideals, and are forced to face off against each other in the battlefield.
  • Storm travels to her home in Africa and learns of a "shadowy" threat to the village

    this episode had some much more potential than it realized. there was no backstory to fall back on and it seemed to be too many plotholes.
    first off having Storm be a mother is like having Batman get married, it just shouldnt happen, spiritually or otherwise. they attempted to flesh out Storm's past and her associations with the village but didnt give the fans something substantial other than now we know she's from somewhere near Mt. Kilimanjaro.
    the Shadow King would be a whole lot more kick-@$$ if they hadnt already promised the season to Sinister. oh well....
    the chase scene as Mj'Nari race to trap our shadowy friend back on the astral plane is the highlight of an otherwise less than stellar episode.
    the Wolverine side-story was too short and probably was ended eary because they intended to use Omega Red coming up and needed Wolverine for that story. still doesnt excuse the rushed feeling of the segment.
    the obligatory Xavier/Magneto update wouldnt have been as necessary nor as regular as it was in season 2 but that's the plan i suppose...
  • Be careful of your own shadow.

    Whatever it Takes was a seriously mixed bag. The A-Story was extremely limited to begin with. There was barely enough material to fill the episode. This lack of plot required some additional material in the form of the Wolverine/Morph storyline and the Xavier/Magneto storyline.

    Let’s tackle the A plot first. The whole idea of self-sacrifice has been done to death on any television and film production anyone can possibly imagine. Sometimes it can be effective. This episode fails on that subject. While the idea of Storm having a spiritual son can provide some interesting material for the character, the execution left much to be desired. At least it provided viewers with the opportunity to see Storm’s home land deep in the African wilderness, near the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

    The Shadow King was a very interesting character in the comic books. His potential was wasted in the adaptation process. If it weren’t for the excellent animation and visual design on this menace, the episode could have been even worse. The whole plot follows the pattern of a road movie where the characters follow the path and overcome their obstacles in order to arrive at their destination. After Storm’s son is possessed by the Shadow King, Rogue and Storm fly to Mount Kilimanjaro in order to set things right. When Storm arrive and puts out the fire in her home village, we actually get a good notion of her past as a goddess to these people. It’s one of the few decent bits of characterization in this whole story.

    Storm finds the Shadow King and gives her own body in exchange for her son’s freedom. That’s the real intent of the Shadow King. I never really understood as to why Storm fascinated him so much. We get some of these answers in Season 4’s Xavier Remembers. Rogue is forced to take charge and save Storm somehow. Meanwhile, Mj’Nari (I think that’s his name) can be a real pain to Rogue as he desires to save Storm by any means necessary. This is a less than subtle method to stretch the plot. Rogue finally realizes that the Shadow King entered this world through a rift in the astral plane, located inside Mount Kilimanjaro. Storm manages to free herself from the Shadow King by using an efficient method Rogue used to dodge Pyro’s flame in Days of Future Past.

    The chase begins as the King returns in order to possess Mj’Nari once again. This leads to the best sequence of the episode. Speed always works as a way to increase the tension. Mj’Nari enters the rift and eludes the King in a desperate race to exit the astral plane before the rift collapses. This part actually works and saves the episode.

    I presume the reason the rift opened in the first place is due to the fact that Xavier’s powers are not working, while he’s stranded in the South Pole.

    Wolverine’s story was promising, but it ended abruptly. It’s as if the writer reached a dead-end and lacked a solution. Logan tracks Morph to a bar in the middle of the Amazon and begs him to return to the X-Men. It’s obvious Morph is still very confused from his recent experience and gets hostile with Wolverine in order to prevent him from taking him back. This is merely an opportunity for the animators to play with different forms for Morph, including Sabretooth. After he beats the hell out of Wolverine he simply claims he has to deal with his crisis himself and Wolverine simply lets him go without a fight. This was a sorry way to stall this story until the end of the season.

    Xavier and Magneto finally escape their snowy burial and find themselves in the Savage Land, where Magneto once had a base of operations. It’s clear their powers don’t work in this bizarre tropical environment. For some unknown reason, Xavier’s legs actually work. It doesn’t make sense. His paraplegic condition was never a result from his growing mutant powers. He shouldn’t be able to use his legs at all. But the writers needed a way to make Xavier easily mobile in this hostile environment, so I can forgive that flaw and assume the mutant power excuse. They come immediately under attack by wild men, forcing them into a waterfall, setting up an unnecessary cliffhanger.
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