X-Men '97 episode 10 recap and ending explained: What does [SPOILER] really mean?

The season finale of X-Men '97 left things on an incredibly jaw-dropping note. What does it mean for the future of the show, its characters, and season 2?
Magneto (voiced by Matthew Waterson) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL.
Magneto (voiced by Matthew Waterson) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

What an experience X-Men '97 has been. The animated series we were all waiting for, it certainly hasn't disappointed, with the 10 episodes that have released weekly on Disney Plus gripping Marvel fans around the world. It's not surprising given that this is a revival/sequel series to X-Men: The Animated Series, but it is fulfilling to know that the saga's legacy is intact.

The penultimate episode of the first season was easily the most shocking yet. In response to Bastion's Prime Sentinels, Magneto decided to plunge the world into darkness, affecting its magnetic field and knocking out all the power. He had officially declared war and it was up to the X-Men to stop him before things went too far. Unfortunately, they did.

The tenth episode featured the shocking fallout from that cliffhanger, while also bringing the first season to a close. "Tolerance Is Extinction - Part 3" was indeed a major episode for X-Men '97, so let's dive into each of the arcs that were wrapped up and what the ending really means.

The X-Men are stranded in time (and the Age of Apocalypse begins)

The big cliffhanger of X-Men '97's season finale saw the X-Men scattered throughout time after Magneto helped them achieve victory. How it happened yet, we don't know; but it was a shocker if there was ever one. And it brought forth some interesting reunions.

Let's talk about the big one first. Rogue, Nightcrawler, Magneto, Professor Charles Xavier and Beast all ended up back in ancient Egypt where they encountered a fellow mutant. After fighting off some warriors, they looked to the mutant to help them understand where they were. But as Charles connected his mind with the character before, he discovered that he was named En Sabah Nur. As Beast so aptly put it "Oh dear".

This version of En Sabah Nur hasn't quite ascended to the levels of X-Men big bad Apocalypse yet, but getting stuck in the past with your mortal enemy isn't exactly the best way to spend a day now, is it?

Can the X-Men change his ways before he becomes the major threat we all know him to be? That's an interesting question, because we know that Apocalypse will play a major role in season 2 (look no further than the mid-credits scene), so the X-Men's trip into the past with En Sabah Nur will no doubt prove privotal for whatever direction the season ends up taking.

Meet Rachel Summers and Nathan Summers

Then there is Cyclops and Jean Grey, who have somehow ended up stranded in the future (the year 3960 A.D. to be exact). There, they encounter a being calling herself Mother Askani. Though she is surrounded by armed men, they are told that Scott Summers and Jean mean them no harm by a young psychic by the name of Nathan Summers. Naturally, Scott and Jean are shocked to see their son, a young Cable, before them in such a dystopic-looking future.

What's even more eyebrow-raising is that, in Marvel Comics, Mother Askani is actually Rachel Summers, the alternate timeline daughter of Scott and Jean from the dystopian world of the Days of Future Past storyline. Now, if you've watched X-Men: The Animated Series, you'll know that particular storyline played quite a major role on the show, as Bishop attempted to save the world from that future.

Speaking of Bishop, he has now resurfaced to help Forge look for the X-Men lost through time. Will they be able to track them down, and how will Rachel and the young Nathan play into Scott and Jean's arc next season?

Is this an alternate timeline or the actual future? We'll have to wait and see; but as the original animated series loved its time-travel plots for Bishop and Forge, we have a feeling they will be the ones to help us get to the bottom of it.

X-Men '97 post-credits scene explained

After meeting Apocalypse in his early days, we flashed back to the present to see him in Genosha. There he was reflecting on the wreckage that took place in the attack and how there was so much suffering for "his children". He then lifted Gambit's burnt out card and smirked. Oh yes, folks, it seems that Gambit is coming back to us.

In the Marvel Comics, Gambit eventually resurfaces from death as, well, Death; becoming one of Apocalypse's signature Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. As soon as he died in X-Men '97, fans begun speculating that he would follow in his comic book footsteps because surely they couldn't kill off our beloved Gambit for real, right?! Thankfully, that indeed seems to be the case.

It truly seemed like the series wasn't going to go there, and then it was. Someday, Remy LeBeau will return to us. He won't be like his usual self yet, but hopefully the X-Men - and his love for Rogue - will guide him there sooner rather than later.

The other important thing here is that Apocalypse's presence has been felt in all three times that factored into the finale: The X-Men met an early version of him in Egypt, Scott and Jean met their children in a dystopian future in which he was seemingly ruler, and now in the present putting a plan in motion that could bring back his Four Horsemen. Yes, the age of Apocalypse is coming, and it looks as if the X-Men are going to have to battle him all across time to stop him. What an exhilarating idea that is!

Magneto remembers who he is

The emotional core of "Tolerance Is Extinction - Part 3" was certainly the bond between Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto. After last week's installment, it truly seemed as if there was no way back for The Master of Magnetism after he reverted back to his darker ways due to being pushed to the absolute brink by the attack on Genosha, Bastion and humanity's treatment of mutants. But Charles managed to find his friend amongst all that grief anyway.

Professor X took a trip inside Magneto's head, reminding them of the time that they first met. In that moment, they shared an intimate part of themselves with each other, revealing that they are mutants to one another. From there, Charles helped Magnus rebuild his memories by overcoming the grief that had been weighing him down; grief over the loss of his parents, his past, the loss he suffered throughout his life, and the constant persecution he (and mutants in general) faced.

In the end, Charles reached him and Magneto was able to remember who he was. The irony is that, in doing so, he used his powers to save Earth from Asteroid M - which was hurtling towards Earth after they launched an attack on it.

This whole season has presented us with the idea that there was good in Magneto, and in the end, it prevailed as he saved the X-Men and Earth from total annihilation. And even though the team have been scattered through time, he is finally in their corner to help fight alongside whatever comes their way... even if that is Apocalypse himself.

Wolverine's Adamantium Skeleton is no more

The biggest talking-point from the previous episode was, of course, the moment which saw Magneto, in a reaction to being impaled by Wolverine's claws, use his powers to rip the Adamantium from Logan's bones. It was a hard moment to watch and one that had been taken straight from the pages of Marvel Comics.

Logan was obviously in a lot of pain in the finale, rendered incapacitated by Magnus' attack. And it was up to the rest of the X-Men to take down Bastion and protect Wolverine, whose healing factor was seemingly having a difficult time responding to the severe levels of damage that had been inflicted on him by The Master Of Magnetism.

He didn't have much to do in the finale as he recovered and we don't know where he and Morph ended up when the team were ripped through time, but the good news is that he's still alive. His location will no doubt be a major factor in season 2.

Are we about to get Berserker Wolverine? That's possible; he's in so much pain right now that the loss of his Adamantium and the damage he suffered could drive him to become his more animalistic self. And if that's the case, we're in for a very different Logan in the next season.

Bastion is defeated

One of the biggest twists in X-Men '97 was the reveal that Bastion was the big bad of the season who had been pulling the strings from behind. He was the one who orchestrated the attack on Genosha that killed Gambit, Madelyn Pryor and countless other innocent mutants. At the time, audiences thought Magneto was killed off too, but it was subsequently revealed that it was Bastion who had kidnapped him.

But no matter how big a threat he posed (which included inadvertently letting an angry Magneto loose on the world), there was always one group of people capable of stopping him: The X-Men. With Charles Xavier back on Earth and his team of mighty mutants working together, they were ultimately able to overcome the treat of Bastion and Mister Sinister, ending their reign of terror. They offered Bastion a chance at redemption, but the destruction of Asteroid M seemingly prevented that from happening, as he was ripped out of the rock as it began to plummet to Earth.

As with all X-Men stories, the X-Men's victory didn't come without loss and the members of the team who remained in the present had to come to terms with everything that had happened. Among that was the damage Bastion had done to mutant community, his destruction of the X-Men's reputation as heroes, and his abhorrent mission to turn even more people against mutants. And after all of it, President Kelly faces opposition in the White House from Graydon Creed of all people due to his actions in the finale.

Dark days may threaten to engulf hope for the mutants, but as the X-Men always have, they will soldier on through all of it and continue their fight for mutants' rights.

Season 2 can't come quick enough!

Next. Every X-Men ranked from weakest to strongest. Every X-Men ranked from weakest to strongest. dark