X-Men ’97: Episode 5 – A Pivotal Moment with Lasting Impact


X-Men ’97, the animated revival series taking fans back to the beloved 90s show, throws a curveball in episode 5 titled “The Phalanx Covenant.” After a period of optimism with the mutant nation of Genosha established, the episode plunges viewers into a desperate fight for survival. This article delves into the key plot points, character arcs, and lingering questions that have sparked discussions online.

A Nation on the Rise, a Threat Looming

Picking up from the previous episodes, Genosha thrives under Professor X’s leadership. Mutants celebrate their newfound freedom and sense of belonging. However, a subtle tension simmers beneath the surface. The source of this unease becomes evident when a colossal Sentinel, dwarfing any seen before, descends upon Genosha.

This monstrous Sentinel, dubbed the “Wild Sentinel” by fans, proves to be an unstoppable force. Its advanced technology decimates Genosha’s defenses, leaving the X-Men and mutant citizens scrambling for survival. The episode masterfully portrays the swift descent from hope to utter devastation.

Sacrifice and Loss: The Price of Freedom

“The Phalanx Covenant” throws several beloved characters into the heart of the conflict. Rogue, grappling with her feelings for both Gambit and Magneto, struggles to find her place in the fight. Magneto, ever the pragmatist, leads the defense with unwavering determination. Gambit, with his trademark charm masking his inner turmoil, plays a crucial role in the desperate battle.

The episode doesn’t shy away from portraying the harsh realities of war. Casualties mount quickly, with established characters like Banshee and Marrow meeting their demise. The weight of these losses is palpable, particularly for viewers familiar with these characters from the original series.

A Shocking Turn of Events: Sacrifices that Shape the Future

The episode’s climax is a gut punch for fans. In a desperate attempt to destroy the Wild Sentinel, Magneto sacrifices himself to buy Rogue and Gambit precious moments. This selfless act is a powerful testament to Magneto’s character development throughout the series. He prioritizes the future of mutant kind over his own life, a stark contrast to his earlier militant persona.

However, the emotional impact doesn’t stop there. As Rogue attempts to escape with Gambit, the cunning thief makes a final, heroic sacrifice. Using his mutant ability to manipulate kinetic energy, Gambit supercharges an attack that destroys the Wild Sentinel. This act of bravery comes at a cost, though, as Gambit himself seemingly perishes in the explosion.

A World Forever Changed: Questions and Theories

The ending of “The Phalanx Covenant” leaves viewers reeling. The deaths of Magneto and, seemingly, Gambit, represent a major turning point for the series. The episode doesn’t explicitly confirm their demise, leaving room for speculation. Could advanced technology or mutant abilities bring them back?

The episode also raises questions about the future of Genosha. With its leadership decimated and its population traumatized, the mutant nation’s fate hangs in the balance. Will Professor X manage to rebuild Genosha? Or will this event fracture the fragile peace between humans and mutants?

Fan Reactions and Online Buzz

The internet has been abuzz with reactions to “The Phalanx Covenant.” Fans are mourning the loss of Magneto and Gambit, with many expressing disbelief and hoping for a twist that could bring them back. The episode’s emotional weight and willingness to take risks with established characters have sparked passionate discussions online.

The episode’s animation is also receiving praise, with viewers commending the action sequences and the portrayal of the desperate struggle for survival. The return of the Watcher, a cosmic entity who observes major events in the Marvel Universe, adds an intriguing layer to the episode, hinting at a larger conspiracy at play.

A Pivotal Chapter for X-Men ’97

“The Phalanx Covenant” stands as a pivotal moment in X-Men ’97. This episode raises the stakes significantly, forever altering the landscape of the series. The loss of major characters, the devastation of Genosha, and the lingering questions about the future make for a compelling and emotionally charged chapter.

One thing is certain: X-Men ’97 has dared to venture into uncharted territory, setting the stage for a darker and more complex narrative in the following episodes. With the X-Men reeling from this tragedy, viewers eagerly await to see how they rise from the ashes and confront the uncertain future that lies ahead.


Q: What happened in Genosha?

A: The episode explores Genosha, a mutant nation that has transformed from a prison for mutants to a haven. However, this peace is shattered when a giant Sentinel attacks the city. The X-Men, led by Storm, arrive to help, but the powerful Sentinel overpowers them.

Q: Who sent the Sentinel to Genosha?

A: The episode doesn’t explicitly reveal the culprit. Theories abound online, with some fans speculating on potential villains like:

  • Magneto: This is a popular theory due to Magneto’s past conflicts with the X-Men and his extremist views. However, there’s no concrete evidence to support it.
  • Bastion: A powerful anti-mutant cyborg introduced in the comics, Bastion could be a potential enemy pulling the strings.
  • Apocalypse: The series has hinted at Apocalypse’s return. He could be using the Sentinel to destabilize mutant relations.
  • A New Threat: It’s possible the Sentinel is part of a previously unknown threat, building suspense for future episodes.

Q: Did Magneto and Gambit die?

A: The episode’s final moments are ambiguous. Magneto attempts to shield the Morlocks from the Sentinel’s attack, but his fate is unclear. Gambit sacrifices himself by supercharging the Sentinel, seemingly destroying it but likely perishing in the explosion.

Q: Are Magneto and Gambit really dead?

A: The lack of definitive on-screen deaths leaves room for interpretation. In the world of comics, characters often return from seemingly fatal situations. Here’s what fans are discussing:

  • Magneto’s Survival: His mutant power to control magnetism might have shielded him from the blast. Additionally, Magneto’s history of cheating death fuels speculation about his potential return.
  • Gambit’s Legacy: While losing a fan-favorite character is a blow, his sacrifice could leave a lasting impact on Rogue and the X-Men.

Q: What does the “Remember It” title refer to?

A: There are two main interpretations:

  • Madelyne and Cable: Madelyne Pryor experiences visions of a Sentinel attacking Genosha. This could foreshadow future events or be a glimpse into Cable’s memories, explaining his arrival in the next episode.
  • The X-Men’s Promise: The title serves as a reminder of the X-Men’s mission to protect mutants. The episode highlights the devastating consequences of failing to do so, potentially motivating the X-Men to fight harder in the future.

Q: Where do we go from here? What’s next for the X-Men?

A: The cliffhanger ending leaves several possibilities:

  • Cable’s Arrival: Cable’s purpose and connection to the Genosha attack are likely to be explored in the next episode. His time-traveling abilities could be crucial in unraveling the mystery and potentially saving the future.
  • The X-Men’s Response: The team will undoubtedly mourn the loss of Gambit (if confirmed) and grapple with the tragedy in Genosha. This could lead to a renewed focus on protecting mutant kind of a desperate search for answers.
  • The Return of a Villain?: The identity of the attacker will be a major focus. Learning who orchestrated this attack will likely be a central narrative arc moving forward.

Q: Where can I find more discussions and theories about the episode?

A:** Several online platforms offer opportunities to delve deeper into the episode:

  • YouTube Review Channels: Many channels offer in-depth analyses, episode breakdowns, and fan theories. Search for “X-Men ’97 Episode 5 Review” to find various perspectives.
  • Online Forums: Dedicated X-Men forums and communities like Reddit (/r/xmen) allow fans to discuss the episode, share theories, and speculate about upcoming events.
  • Social Media: Follow the official X-Men ’97 accounts on Twitter or Facebook for updates, behind-the-scenes content, and potential clues about future episodes.

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