X-Men '97 episode 9 recap and ending explained: Is [SPOILER] really dead?

X-Men '97 set the stage for a jaw-dropping season finale with its incredible penultimate episode, but what does that ending really mean?
Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL.
Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

The hype for X-Men '97 has been real the whole way throughout its run, but it feels like that hype has been magnified since its three-part finale kicked off, setting the stage for a war between Marvel's mightiest mutants and the deranged Bastion (and his army of upgraded human/sentinel hybrids).

The eighth episode was when all of that went into effect, with that installment seeing mutants all over the world attacked by the unstoppable sentinels. However, Magneto was able to stop them after being set free by Valerie Cooper. And with that, Chalres Xavier made a shocking return as the X-Men's leader crash-landed into the wreckage of his mansion, seeking to unite his team to save the world from this new threat.

The Disney Plus series' ninth episode has arrived and, as the penultimate episode of the series, it was an equally stunning adventure. Let's get into what it all meant, particularly that shocking ending.

Magneto rips the Adamantium from Wolverine's body

Magneto was pushed further than he had ever been pushed after watching his people slaughtered on Genosha, and the only way he could cope with that loss was to return to his original mission of destroying those who threatened mutants. With that, he donned his original suit and brought back Asteroid M, aligning with Rogue and Sunspot to execute his new (old) mission. However, when opposed by the reunited X-Men, things got very, very bloody.

Charles' attempt to reason with his old friend didn't work and so Wolverine did what he said he was going to do, stabbing Magneto through the abdomen. It was a genuinely jaw-dropping moment that had us all thinking Magnus was set to die this time, telling Logan that the rivalry between the two of them was finally over. However, he wasn't referring to himself, as he activated his powers to pin Logan against the wall, viciously ripping the adamantium from his body.

The final shot of the episode in which this actually happens is taken straight from the pages of Marvel Comics. Yes, this gruelling fate was bestowed upon Logan in the source material too by the Master of Magnetism. As for whether it killed him or not? The answer is, of course, no. Jean was able to telekinetically hold his body together while his healing factor eventually repaired the damage. But it didn't happen right away.

But Jean isn't on Asteroid M with the others, so how can Wolverine survive X-Men '97's version of what was potentially his worst ever fate? We'll have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure: We certainly aren't ready for the finale.

What happens to Jean Grey?

Another truly shocking moment in the closing sequence of X-Men '97 episode 9 came when Jean Grey battled Mister Sinister outside of Bastion's base. Though it seemed like the X-Men had the upper hand, Jean was attacked by Cable, a.k.a. Nathan Summers, after Sinister began controlling his mind. Jean was powerful enough to withstand his blasts, but Cable soon revealed to her that - due to the fact that his mother, Madelyn Pryor, was a powerful psychic - he also had incredible psychic abilities.

In an emotional moment, Jean used her mental link with Scott to tell him how much she loved him before she was seemingly blasted out of existence. Scott understandably screamed at the prospect of losing her.

Naturally, this has left fans wondering if the show has killed Jean off. While I certainly wouldn't put it past X-Men '97, which hasn't held back when it comes to character deaths in its nine-episode run thus far, it's unlikely that the show would legitimately kill Jean. After losing so many characters already (including Jean's doppelganger Madelyn), it wouldn't be right for Jean herself to die, especially as this has been a particularly rough season for her and Scott.

Scott reminded Professor X that the team at Bastion's lair needed more time, so that would suggest that he hasn't lost faith in Jean still being alive. Here's hoping he's right in believing so!

X-MEN '97 episode 9
(L-R): Beast (voiced by George Buza), Storm (voiced by Alison Sealy-Smith), Professor X (voiced by Ross Marquand), Jean Grey (voiced by Jennifer Hale), and Cyclops (voiced by Ray Chase) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

Charles Xavier is back

The big cliffhanger from the previous episode was, of course, Charles Xavier's return to Earth. Upon landing in the X Mansion, he sent out a psychic call, uttering those iconic words: "To me, my X-Men". And with that, his loyal students and friends returned to him.

Having caught up on all of the events in recent weeks, Xavier reached out to President Kelly and informed him that it's time to trust the X-Men to get the job done once again. Though Kelly was hesitant to spark backlash from either side in this conflict, he was even more worried about not doing something about the threat that Magneto currently posed after plunging the world into darkness. Charles appealed to him, reminding him that - even with Bastion's attempt to make him appear untrustworthy - that he should be willing to trust that the X-Men will get the job done.

In the end, it's up to the X-Men to get the job done and take down Bastion and Mister Sinister and once they are given that opportunity, they are more than happy to put that plan into action. The question is: Will they be able to do it in the season 1 finale?

The events of the penultimate episode didn't exactly work out in their favor, and with Mangeto on the warpath again, Bastion might not be the threat they need to worry about.

New suits for a new adventure

Ever since X-Men '97 premiered, there have been rumors about the X-Men themselves donning new suits before the end of the season. "Tolerance Is Extinction - Part 2" saw those rumors come to fruition as Charles Xavier's team of mighty mutants were seen suiting up in brand new uniforms in a goosebump-inducing moment.

Cyclops and Jean Grey donned their classic X-Men uniforms while Jubilee is seen in the new bodysuit she bought in the previous episode (accompanied by her iconic yellow coat, of course). Storm is wearing her new suit, too, as she reunites with her beloved teammates, showcasing the new look she donned when she regained her powers. And then there's Logan, who wears a brand new Wolverine suit inspired by his Uncanny X-Men look from the comics.

Seeing perhaps the most iconic on-screen X-Men in new suits is certainly a bittersweet feeling because, as epic as their new looks are, some fans aren't quite ready to say goodbye to the old looks when they just got them back. That said, it made for a heck of a triumphant sight seeing all of them walk out to battle in new threads.

Whether the new suits are permanent or not is a question that will likely be answered in season 2, so we'll just live in the moment for now and appreciate how epic they look.

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