X-Men ‘97 episode 9 review: "There’s no way any of this ends on a high note"

Our verdict is in

X-Men '97
(Image: © Disney Plus)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

Completely and utterly devastating, although we absolutely saw it coming.

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Warning: Major spoilers for X-Men '97 episode 9 below!

The penultimate episode of X-Men '97 season 1 has arrived – and the end is nigh. There's no way any of this ends on a high note.

A quick recap: Professor X is back on planet Earth, Magneto was right, and everyone's a Sentinel (and dead, mostly). As we get into episode 9, 'Tolerance is Extinction, Part 2,' the X Mansion is destroyed, as is most of the Earth, since that was quite literally the only way Magneto could destroy all of the Sentinels. But, uh, he also sort of set the planet back centuries and has declared war, the war to end all wars, against humans – and now there's 12 hours until the world ends. Great guy, we totally didn't see this coming!

Here's where I get annoyed: Xavier reveals that he left Magneto in charge of the X-Men so Scott and Jean could go have a family. Pardon? Luckily, Scott and Jean are also annoyed upon hearing this – with Scott explaining that giving him the "freedom" to leave doesn't matter, because he feels he has a duty to save the world (which is the plight of all superheroes i.e. "With great power comes great responsibility").

X-Men '97

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

We get about 11 minutes into the episode before we realize that it's all over for the X-Men, and, presumably, for mankind. Magneto proposes that they turn Earth into a new Genosha, and kill the remaining humans. Rogue, grief-stricken and pissed as all hell at the Professor, joins him. Shockingly, Sunspot also chooses Magneto...leaving Jubilee behind. But it's okay, you guys – Xavier is going to talk to Magneto. He tells the President that he'll fix all of this mess by giving his ol' pal Magnus a good talking to. 

This is the point where I'm done with Professor X, and couldn't care less if he got shot with another energy disruptor. All of this is his fault, and none of it would be happening (at least not at this catastrophic of a level) if Xavier had just done the smart thing and left the X-Men to Scott. It poses an existential question to the viewer: Are we supposed to forgive the people who have wronged us? Are we supposed try and see the good in even the worst of people? In this case, the answer is absolutely not. Do not forgive your enemies. Do not leave your entire legacy to your enemies in your will because they might use it as an opportunity to destroy mankind – a lesson to take with us in our everyday lives.

X-Men '97

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Moments before the episode ends, Magneto uses his magnetic powers to rip Wolverine's metal skeleton out of his body – and then we cut to credits. Now, at first, I screamed. Another beloved X-Men is dead? And not just any X-Man, the X-Man. When you think X-Men, you think Wolverine. You think Logan and his attitude and facial hair and claws, wearing that classic yellow suit. But alas, it's comic book-accurate (from X-Men Vol. 2 #25), and in the comic, Wolverine lives. Jean uses her telekinetic powers to somehow hold his skeleton together. But it's not a great ending, after the Adamantium is stripped from his skeleton...he becomes a feral beast. My guess, however, is that they could very well make a left turn and kill Logan off, for funsies, or, end his survival on a cliffhanger with a set-up for season 2. Either way, it's looking bad. It's looking real bad.

Of course, we all saw this coming. We knew leaving the X-Men, as well as the fate of mutant-kind as we know it, to Magneto, was a bad, bad idea from just a few minutes into the very first episode. That said, it doesn't make it any less devastating. It also feels wildly unfair that Magneto lived, Xavier lived, but Gambit is the one who stays dead and doesn't get his ol' Marvel switcheroo resurrection-type plot twist. I do want to reiterate, though, that I do think this series is one of the best things Marvel has done in a really long time – and I do not see a world where X-Men '97 doesn't get renewed for multiple seasons. I guess that makes me a masochist.

The first nine episodes of X-Men '97 are available on now on Disney Plus, with the remaining episodes set to drop weekly. For more, check out all the X-Men '97 Easter eggs you might have missed, our list of all of 2024's new X-Men comics, and our guide on how to watch the X-Men movies in order.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.