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Episode #20: Breakdown
Original Airdate - September 11th, 2009
Cyclops is mid-fight with the X-Men when he sees Jean in the background.
Or thinks he sees her. Distracted by his vision he gets pummeled. He
wakes up in the infirmary at the X-Mansion to learn that the enemy got
away and his team members ended up in pretty bad shape as well. As long
as he is still obsessing over Jean he cannot be the team member they
expect him to be. He is about to walk from his place on the team when
Emma offers to help him. She will erase all memories of Jean from his
brain so that he can focus on the X-Men. He is unsure, but agrees to let
Emma browse through his thoughts. She sees the tumultuous life Scott had
as a young mutant; his beginning as an X-Man; his first encounters with
the young Jean and the blossoming of his love for her. She discovers
that Magneto was competing with Charles to have Jean on his side and
that Jean was intrigued by Logan when he first showed up at the Xavier
Institute instigating a violently jealous reaction from Scott. But as
Emma goes through their last moments together before the explosion Scott
notices something he didn’t before. Emma replays the memory again slowly
and are both stunned to realize that it was Jean who caused the
devastating explosion! They see the blinding light burst forth from her
body as she rises into the sky in the form of a Phoenix!
Story by Greg Johnson, Craig Kyle, Joshua Fine
Written By Greg Johnson
Directed by Doug Murphy
Music by Dean Grinsfelder
Animation By Noxxon Entertainment
Steve Blum as Wolverine
Kieren van den Blink as Rogue
Fred Tacasciore as Beast
Jennifer Hale as Jean Grey
Jim Ward as Professor X
Liam O'Brien as Angel
Tom Kane as Magneto
Kari Wahlgren as Emma Frost
Review: Arsenal - Scott Summers and Emma Frost in… Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Scott has had enough of Jean Grey. Her memory hurts Scott so much that he feels like a liability to the team. He threatens to leave. Emma offers another option; remove her memory from his mind.
Almost this entire episode occurs in Scott Summers’s mind with brief Emma/Scott intervals. “Breakdown” doesn’t have the stunning action scenes of “X-Cessive Force,” but it is its equal.
“Breakdown” continues the streak of excellent episodes that have almost no Wolverine in them.
Cyclops continues to be the breakout star of this show. Fans who may have complained when he wasn’t automatically leader have to be pleased with his treatment in his spotlight episodes. This version of Cyclops is angry, fractured and not the leader; but he is still unmistakably Cyclops.
This episode also offers a healthy dose of explanation. Want to know why Cyclops and Jean were arguing in the pilot? It’s here. Want to know why Jean blew Wolverine a kiss? Here. Want to know why the X-Men blew up in the pilot? Here. (None of the answers will disappoint either.)
“Breakdown” also shows Wolverine at his caddish best. It’s fun to see Wolverine and Cyclops in their standard roles, even if it’s only for a few moments.
Two final thoughts: One, Wolverine and the X-Men has never been afraid to borrow from the movies. Iceman’s introduction was snatched wholesale from X-Men 2. “Breakdown” appropriates the opening scene from X3 for Jean’s introduction, as well. (In fact, this show’s version of the Phoenix seems to be based upon the movies, not the comics. That’s fine, of course. The movie version was much less convoluted.)
Two, this episode makes for a funny timeline. Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Jean and Iceman are established as the original five X-Men (as they were in the comics.) However, this must mean either Iceman was extremely young when he joined the X-Men or he just hasn’t aged along with the rest of the team.
This also means Iceman’s parents are extremely dense, as they clearly didn’t realize their son was a mutant for years.
Of course, none of this makes “Breakdown” anything less than wonderful. The show seems to have reached its stride.
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