‘X-Men ’97’ Episode 5 Recap & Ending Explained: Who Was Behind The Genosha Mutant Massacre?

Time and again, the X-Men saga has proved to be Marvel Comics’ key source of bold, hard-hitting, poignant storytelling, with the stories of mutants acting as an allegorized account of the real-world treatment of the marginalized sections of society. With the latest episode of X-Men ’97, titled Remember It, viewers are once again reminded of the scope of such narratives, as a devastating tragedy taking place in the mutant nation of Genosha almost reminds us of an ongoing real-world crisis. 


Previously, Nathan Summers, the infant son of Scott and Madelyn Pryor (Jean’s clone) was infected by a techno-organic virus thanks to Mr. Sinister’s machinations, leaving no option for the parents except to send him to the future with Bishop to find a cure in order to save him. Meanwhile, Magneto had proven his goodwill by showing restraint, even after his hearing at the UN ended with an assassination attempt, which ultimately led to Storm losing her powers forever. As an act of gratitude, the UN recognized the sovereignty of the mutant nation of Genosha by offering them a seat at the global peacekeeping organization. Just when situations was looking a little better for the mutants, a horrible disaster strikes them like a bolt from the blue—one that can change their relationship with humankind forever.

Spoilers Ahead 


Why Was Magneto Selected To Become Genosha’s New Leader?

X-Men ’97 episode 5 begins with journalist Trish Tilby getting an interview with members of the X-Men at Xaviers’ mansion, as the world bears witness to the historic day of Genosha being formally inducted into the UN. Gambit, Magneto, and Rogue have traveled to the island nation as representatives of the X-Men, while the rest of the team watches the events unfold with great anticipation. 

Madelyn Pryor and Nightcrawler, key members of Genosha’s administrative and cultural council, welcome Magneto and co., and they are visibly delighted or surprised to see the nation becoming a developed, self-reliant, safe haven for the mutants. We meet the Morlocks, the young outcast mutants consisting of Leech, Glob, Dazzler, and Boom Boom, who were rescued from Friends of Humanity and are now leading a happy life in Genosha. 


The administrative interim council members, which consist of Sebastian Shaw, Banshee, Callisto, Emma Frost, and the only human member and Xavier’s close friend, Moira MacTaggert, request Magneto to lead Genosha on the international stage. Magneto’s influence in the history of mutants is second only to Charles Xavier, and when it comes to experience, even his former rival or best friend falls short in that department. Not to mention, the impact he had made at the UN hearing was as inspirational for the mutants as it was an eye-opener for the reluctant bureaucrats of the States, which is all the more reason for him to lead Genosha from the front. With Xaviers’ dream of human-mutant coexistence gradually coming close to becoming a reality, Magneto accepts the role—but with one condition: he wants Rogue by his side to lead Genosha. 

Love Lies Bleeding

An affair between Magneto and Rogue was hinted at during the premiere episodes of X-Men’97, about which Rogue’s lover, Gambit, became aware. In the current episode, the issue came out in the open as Magneto pleaded with Rogue to assist him in ruling Genosha. Even though Rogue lashes out at him at first, she can’t help but fall for his earnest request. Eventually, Rogue reveals her and Magneto’s fling in the past to Gambit, revealing how before joining X-Men she found refuge and acceptance at Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants. She states that Magneto was the only person with whom she could physically belong without being afraid of her tactile power-draining abilities harming him—a connection that Gambit cannot provide her despite his best intentions. At present, she has decided to accept Magneto’s proposal, as she sees this new responsibility as a necessary change and a new calling as well. A heartbroken Remy (Gambit) accepts her decision, and the duo agree to remain friends.


On the other hand, a strange conundrum affects Scott and Jean at the X-Mansion, as love triangle drama among mutants almost seems more commonplace than average humans. Jean tries to tie her memories back together while connecting with a reluctant Logan, and both she and Scott reminisce about their relationship in their own way. On the other hand, Scott storms off from the interview after memories of Nathan start hurting him anew, and he psychically connects with Madelyn, getting caught red-handed by Jean while doing so. Confusion, arguments, and bickering follow, which is suddenly broken as a psychic blast temporarily robs Jean of her powers. 

Who Was Behind The Genosha Mutant Massacre?

The scene shifts to the gala event at Genosha, organized to celebrate the historic day. Dressed to the nines, the new mutant leader of the nation and interim council gather around, and agent Cooper of the UN can’t help but express her disliking of seeing Magneto, a terrorist, as the leader of a nation of mutants. The master of magnetism hits back, stating her tolerance for leaders who become terrorists instead, which cuts deep in the context of real world events today. 


Soon, Rogue joins the gala, and Remy departs as she joins Magneto for a dance. Moments later, Madelyn gets hit by a psychic blast as well, and she meets a grown-up Nathan Summers, aka Cable, coming hurriedly out of a portal. Cable tries to warn her about something, as he was seen trying to evacuate the party venue in anticipation of an oncoming threat. Madelyn recognizes her son and finds much relief in realizing that he has survived in the far future. However, her joy is short-lived as Cable disappears into a portal, as suddenly he had appeared, recognizing his mother and apologizing for not being able to save her. Madelyn is confused as she wonders what she needs to be saved from, and a giant Tri-Sentinel launches an attack on the mutants in the most vicious way imaginable, annihilating everything in its path. Death and destruction transform the festivities into a morbid, grim nightmare as, amidst terror and panic, mutant residents of Genosha start fleeing for their lives. The Tri-Sentinel’s immense destructive capabilities make it impossible for even Omega-level mutants like Magneto to stop it, and a number of important characters like Moira, Banshee, and Shaw perish in the attack. The giant statue of Xavier getting wrecked and resulting in the deaths of trapped mutants is as shocking as it is horrific, emphasizing the nature of the atrocity committed against the mutants. Remy and Rogue evacuate as many of the mutants as they can while Magneto tries to protect the Morlocks from the Sentinel’s attack, but eventually it becomes quite clear that the end is near. 

Keeping Remy and Rogue away from direct confrontation, Magneto makes his last stand while shielding the Morlocks. In his final moments, Magneto asks Leech not to be afraid and seemingly gets obliterated along with the young mutants by the deadly blast of the Tri-Sentinel. Remy manages to get into close proximity to the robotic monstrosity to take control over its kinetic energy, but gets fatally stabbed in the process. Nonetheless, the bleeding heart hero manages to take over the killer bot and finally destroy it, ending the carnage once and for all. 


As the dust settles and a new day begins, the full extent of the tragedy is revealed to the world. From X-Mansion, Logan, Beast, Scott, Jean, and the rest of the team watch in horror as the appalling nature of the crisis sends a tremor down everyone’s spine. At ground zero, a devastated Rogue is seen holding the lifeless body of Remy close to her, this time without the fear of her tactile abilities, as she can no longer feel him. Although Genosha has suffered massacres of this level a number of times in comics, as the episode ends, one can’t help but feel there was a conscious and topical approach to make the unprovoked attack on the mutant’s homeland feel relatable through real-world parallels. It remains unknown as to who orchestrated such an abhorrent assault—humans like Trask and Stryker; even recently appearing organizations like Orchis; or, in the worst-case scenario, some hate-spreading mutants themselves can be responsible for this—who want to instigate a war between humans and mutants. With the appearance of Cable, there is an off chance of even Apocalypse being the one pulling the strings as well, which we will learn in the upcoming episodes. What’s most important, however, is how X-Men choose to respond to this deplorable act. Whether they remain faithful to Charles’ teachings or they choose the initial principles of Magneto in dealing with such a situation remains to be seen, but whatever the decision turns out to be, it will leave a monumental effect in the history of the mutants. 

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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