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Ascension, Part Two
Review and Media by Stu

Episode #52 - Ascension, Part Two
Original Airdate October 11th, 2003

With the threat of Apocalypse now in full swing and his Horsemen attacking, The X-Men, The Brotherhood and all the other mutants face the fight of thier lives.

Written By: Greg Johnson
Directed By: Frank Paur
Music Composed By: William Anderson

Review: After a full two and half seasons build up, The X-Men finally come face to face with Apocalypse. I had the Ďpleasureí of knowing that this was the last time Iíd ever sit down and watch a new episode of X-Men: Evolution, so my mood was dampened, especially since this season had proven to be so good, but to be honest, I was still buzzing from the awesome cliffhanger at the end of part one. The creative team really went all out on these 2 part season finales, and this was no exception.

Whilst some shows would no doubt crumble under the pressure of the endless build up, this episode handles the storyline pretty well and delivers one of the shows finest episodes to boot. The cast of this show was entirely too large for everyone to get a nice send off, but after viewing the episode, one really canít complain about a specific character not being used well enough in their final seconds. Some would complain that if Angel and Colossus didnít actually do much of anything in the episode, then they shouldnít have been featured in it, but I disagree. Itís great to see them last one time. Itís even cooler to think know that they would join the team in the future.

I was a little let down by Apocalypseís defeat, especially after seeing some outstanding fights with The Horseman and the various mutants. I thought it was a little weak having Rogue doing it with someone elseís powers. I realised they were what they were trying to do with the character (secluded girl saves the world) but Iíd have preferred it if the entire team had managed to get it done, as a team effort. I personally thought Rogue would be better fighting Mystique and putting a lid on that, but I donít write the show. It wasnít too big an issue for me, but one of the few negatives (if you could really call if that) that I had with this episode.

I did like that we did manage to get a happy ending. Whilst itís true that sometimes the sadder finales stay with you more, or hit a little closer to home for some (Mind Games from Spider-Man: The New Animated Series should be ringing a bell for you by now) I donít think a dark finale wouldíve fitted this show. It certainly grew into a darker, more mature show as time went on, but X-Men: Evolution was never, ever devoid of fun and optimism, and I think itís important that the finale moments of the show stay consistent with the tone the show tried to keep.

Xavierís speech at the end was simply superb in itís entirety. Itís clear that these characters had so much more to give and itís nice that we got a glimpse of that, be it either new members joining, old members returning or current members leaving, itís good to see it wasnít just a ďso long X-MenĒ moment, it was something that sticks with us, and something we can plan out how it could be done ourselves. The future designs kicked ass too. Iíd have killed to see those bad boys animated.

So thatís it folks. 52 episodes simply flew by. Whilst the show wasnít perfect one certainly canít blame it on lack of trying. X-Men in itself is a very, very difficult concept to crack, years and years of useless and pointless X-Men comic stories have proven that. Whilst some shows grow old and stale, this show evolved. X-Men: Evolution is actually a very, very fitting title. Itís a shame that such a great show was cut off in itís prime, whilst some shows linger on and on with each season sucking more than the last. Itís a shame that this retarded 52-episode rule exists, as I wouldíve loved to see where the show would eventually evolve too. It honestly seems like they were only scratching the surface with these unique take on the characters. In all honesty, it often feels like this shows cancellation was Kids WBs loss, given how utterly poor their Saturday morning line up has become. Given the showís fantastic ratings, one canít really explain itís odd disappearance from the US airwaves, but nevertheless, hopefully theyíll get off their useless asses and release it on DVD and soon. The show deserves better than what it received.