Review and Media by Stu
Episode #35 - Blind Alley
Written By: Doug Molitor
Directed By: Curt Geda
Music Composed By: William Anderson
Guest Starring: Andrew Francis as Iceman, Matt Hill as Alex Masters, Cathy Weseluck as Dr. Eaton, Paul Dobson as Scientist, and Richard Newman as Security Officer/Dr. Emirez
Review:There isn’t much to critique about an episode that is as utterly brilliant as this one is. The creators managed to create a highly original idea and turned it into one of the top 5 episodes of the entire series, with the level of excitement staying consistently high throughout the 22 minutes.
We again see the return of Mystique after being imprisoned towards the end of Day Of Recovery, and she is now more ruthless than ever, which at this stage in the game was no small feat. Mystique really does stand as the finest example of the improved quality of the show as it went on. From being an incredibly dull, one-dimensional character in the opening season, she’s quickly become arguably the show’s greatest, meanest villain.
Her plan here is brilliant, yet simple. Take away Scott’s glasses and leave him abandoned in an unfamiliar place. A lot of potential is here, and to be honest, had it been handled by less talented individuals, it could’ve been one of the series’ worst episode. But excellent writing, spectacular staging and outstanding animation really do leave it as a standout episode.
The episode also features one of the show’s funniest ever lines in Wolverine’s talk about his beautiful bike. I remember bursting out laughing the first time I heard that. This is a show I really came to appreciate after it had finished much more than when I first saw it, but I’ve loved this episode since I first laid eyes on it.
One of the more unnoticed aspects of the episode comes in the amazing final fight scene, as Jean’s hair morphs into a Phoenix type shape, planting the seeds for a story we would unfortunately never see come to fruition in the un-produced fifth season – The Phoenix Saga. The image in question is presented in the gallery below, number 43.
In a season bursting with excellent episode, this one surely deserves more attention than most. Screenshots: