‘X-Men’97’ Episode 8 Recap & Ending Explained: Will Professor X Be Able To Temper Magneto’s Rage?

In the Marvel Universe, mutants are the inevitable future ordained by evolution and the ultimate truth of humanity. While the majority of humans have accepted the much-discriminated, ostracized mutants being motivated by a feeling of either fraternity, gratefulness (X-Men), pity, or apathy, a bunch of bigoted and xenophobic ones are hell bent on obliterating the race from existence. Prejudiced against mutants to the core, people like Gyrich and Trask see mutants as the extinction of humanity; therefore, from a misplaced notion of preserving humankind, they conspire to thwart mutants at every turn. But even these hatemongers seem to be no match for the recent threat mutantkind is facing in the form of Bastion, whose heinous plans against mutants appear to be multifaceted and running way deeper than previously imagined.


Previously, as the X-Men approached a remorseful, suicidal Bolliver Trask, it was revealed that Bastion was the true mastermind behind the Genosha massacre and was designing advanced cybernetic Sentinels to cause even more havoc in the future. Trask transformed into a techno-zombified Sentinel himself and attacked the X-Men, and with Cable’s help, the team was finally able to neutralize him. The team also learns about Cable’s true identity as Nathan’s future self. Meanwhile, Bastion kills Gyrich for his apparent incompetence and reveals to Sinister that he is aware of Professor X’s survival in the Shi’ar Empire, which he aims to use to malign X-men on the international stage. Furthermore, Magneto is revealed to be held captive at the hands of Bastion as well, which contributes to the major plot point for the upcoming final two episodes of this season.

Spoiler Alert


Bastion’s Origin Revealed: Is the Despot a Sentinel-Human Hybrid?

As the episode begins in the X-mansion, Jean and Scott chat about Cable and his unwillingness to face his father, Scott. Understandably, there is some degree of uneasiness prevailing between the father and son, as separation from parents since infancy and being brought up in a hostile future have resulted in Cable feeling estranged in his father’s presence. Nevertheless, Jean assures Scott that they will figure it out eventually. The team gathers for a meeting as Cable shares information about Bastion, who, in the future timeline, has managed to create prime Sentinels by evolving humanity through the same techno-organic virus that Sinister used on baby Nathan. In simple words, Bastion managed to create a new apex species by making humanity into synthezoid-type beings. Later, this resulted in a three-century-spanning evolution war. However, unlike the dystopic future of many alternate timelines, the war resulted in a utopian existence for humanity, which ushered in an age of prosperity and peace by forcing mutants to create a bright future as surviving mutantkind was put into servitude. In a crude way, Professor X’s dream of co-existence eventually gets fulfilled. 

Upon Logan’s questioning, Cable also reveals that he tried numerous times to stop the Genosha massacre by warning them but failed on each occasion as he was being pulled across the time, which, as Hank mentions, might be an indication of time’s deterrent method to keep absolute points throughout history unchanged. The meeting is interrupted by a news broadcast that highlights Professor X’s survival and exploits in the Shi’ar empire, with footage shared by the UN (received from Bastion) acting as evidence, which presents the X-Men as a pity-begging bunch who faked their leader’s death to garner support for mutants. With Gyrich found to be dead as well, all arrows are once again pointed towards the mutants, despite them themselves being the victims of a horrendous conspiracy. The team realizes Bastion is pulling the strings behind all of this, and Scott remarks that knowing Bastion’s history will be instrumental in taking the battle to the enemy’s front.


Rogue is seen unconscious in X-Mansion as she is still recuperating from the aftershock of her clash with Trask in the previous episode. Jean tries to help her heal and chats a bit with Nightcrawler, who helps her sort out the memory confusion she shared with Madelyn Pryor. Later, Hank narrows down Bastion’s possible location to be in a small town named Harmony, and Scott, Jean, and Cable head towards the vicinity to apprehend him. However, the team is surprised to reach Bastion’s childhood home instead, with his elderly mother awaiting their arrival. Using her psychic powers, Jean reveals that Bastion’s father was infected with Nimrod, the most advanced future Sentinel tech, and as a result, Bastion was born as the first organic hybrid between humans and technology—evolved since birth. He is the descendent of every Sentinel construction, from Master Mold to Nimrod, which explains the innate hatred for mutantkind. 

What is Bastion’s master plan?

As the scene shifts to the secret base of Bastion, it is revealed that UN Agent Valerie Cooper had survived the Genosha massacre and was in cahoots with Bastion as well. Secretly, Bastion was connecting the right channels in the background to isolate the mutants, and the Genosha massacre exposed the true apathetic face of humanity, where so-called human allies refused to come to the aid of the mutants. It is revealed that other nefarious supervillains like Baron Zemo and Doctor Doom are in connection with Bastion’s organization, OZT, and Bastion is already planning to isolate the mutants even further.


Bastion states the Genosha massacre to be merely an instance of time management, as in the future, mutants will replace humans in all aspects of life, be it productivity or adaptability. To stop what he thinks will end up in total human extinction, he has started taking measures as he shows the full potential of OZT, aka Operation Zero Tolerance. Like sleeper cells, selected humans have been transformed into advanced Sentinel after being infected with the techno-organic virus, and seeing this, Agent Cooper gets alarmed. Like basic government stooges, her goodwill allows mutant massacres but not uses ‘normal’ citizens as living weapons. 

On the other hand, Sunspot and Jubilee go on their own journey as Roberto seeks approval of his mutant heritage from his mother, to not much avail. Quite suddenly, it is revealed that Bastion’s sleeper prime Sentinels have already mingled with the common mass as they get activated and start attacking X-Men in different parts of the nation. To the absolute horror of Jean and co., Bastion’s mother transforms into prime Sentinel, and so do the entire populace of Harmony as all of them go after Jean, Cable, and Scott to terminate them. Trish Tilby, the reporter, who has arrived in X-mansion to apologize to Hank for her past actions, turns out to be a Sentinel as well, as soon as numerous other prime Sentinels attack the mansion. As they proceed to kill a comatose rogue, a cool action sequence follows, with Logan and Nightcrawler fighting them. Sunspot and Jubilee get jumped by Sentinels as well, and to much disappointment, Roberto’s mother hands over her son and Jubilee to two of the Sentinels. Hordes of Sentinels start chasing Jean, Scott, and Cable, and somehow they escape from Blackbird to Scott’s Porsche in a sequence that reminds me of a me of a classic Bond movie action set piece.


Will Professor X be able to temper Magneto’s rage?

Bastion arrives in front of a destroyed X-mansion to rejoice his success when Sinister informs him about Agent Cooper’s betrayal—who has freed Magneto after suddenly growing a moral compass. As Bastion returns to his base and prepares to torture her, she goads in his face about the same human apathy he lectured about a few hours ago and remarks that Magneto’s ideology is right. Humans cannot coexist with mutants, and through force and fear, they will acknowledge them as equals. This has been the prime cause of the rift Erik had with his friend, the bleeding-heart humanist Charles Xavier, but he knows humankind a little too well compared to the trust fund billionaire. After all, twice ostracized as a Holocaust survivor and as a mutant, he knows the true dark depths humanity can reach to establish their supposed supremacy. 

A freed magneto goes to the North Pole, voices an emphatic ‘Enough’ and, connecting with the magnetic fields, manages to amplify his power to such an extent that the electromagnetic disruption affects the entire world. The Sentinels get shut down at once, which saves the X-Men from their inescapable deaths, and the impact of the blackout is felt everywhere. In a cameo role, Spider-Man from the iconic 1994 animated series appears, as does Silver Samurai, and the villainous adversary of Logan, Omega Red, is revealed to be freed as a result of the global blackout as well. At the ruins of the mansion, Logan seems surprised that Magneto finally decided to take matters into his own hands, as this act of his will be seen as a prelude to war by humankind. He wonders whether Professor X’s presence could have assuaged the situation, and almost like a wish come true, Professor X’s Shi’ar spaceship crashes near the mansion like a shooting star. Anticipating more trouble, as the team members approach the spaceship, they get surprised to see Professor, and the episode ends with Xavier calling his students using his psychic connection. 


The remaining two episodes will be the most intriguing ones of the season, as for the first time the entire roster of X-Men has enough reasoning to abandon Professor’s side, who was absent during their hour of peril, and accept Magneto’s extremist mindset, as humanity’s façade has been uplifted after the recent events. Erik tried to play by Xavier’s rule in his absence, and how much that worked is quite evident. There is no chance that Magneto will make the mistake of tolerating human oppression any longer, and it goes beyond saying that if the Master of Magnetism loses his cool, it will spell absolute doom for humanity. Will Charles be able to calm his friend by appealing to his senses, or is it too late for that already? We will only get to know in the final two episodes of this spectacular first season of X-Men’97

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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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