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Shadow Dance
Review by Screw On Head, Media by Stu

Episode #26 - Shadow Dance
Original Airdate February 2nd, 2002

Forge and Xavier decide to take a look at the dimension that Kurt teleports through each time he uses his powers, with dire results. Meanwhile, the students social lives are at risk when monsters attack the prom!

Written By: Boyd Kirkland
Directed By: Boyd Kirkland
Music Composed By: William Anderson
Guest Starring: Samuel Vincent as Forge and Moneca Stori as Amanda

Review: Right off the bat fans will notice the slightly angular and off model animation that kicks off this episode as Rogue and Kitty walk down a hallway. The animation through the rest of the episode doesn't look, nor move, as elegantly as the series usually does. The story ends up slightly better, but like the animation, it isn't the series' best.

The best part of this episode is the soap opera end of it, though "the BAMF dimension” scenes do make for some good action, despite the animation. One of my favorite moments in the episode is when Jean blows off some friends as she gets into Duncan's car. Jean's friends notice the obvious diss to the girl who beat Jean to the punch and asked Scott to the school dance before her. In the girl's words, "It's her own fault. She's had plenty of chances at Scott". There are interesting little character moments like that throughout the episode, dealing with relationships, like the one between Lance and Kitty, and character conflicts, like Nightcrawler and whether or not he should use his holo-watch.

The BAMF dimension scenes are pretty good, and the eventual BAMF dimension monster attack at the dance isn't bad either. Wolverine and Nighcrawler's fight for survival is well staged and what it lacks in animation it makes up for in suspense and solid storyboarding. The monster attack at the dance is nothing special because the animation is pretty slow and awkward overall, and the sad fact is, Amanda's aside with Kurt ends up being more interesting than any of it.

All in all, though this episode doesn't sport the series' best animation, is does have a lot of character going for it, as well as cool little references to "Middleverse", which all make it required viewing for any Evolution fan wanting to be squared up on any and all character drama. It should be noted that this is the only episode in the series written and directed by Boyd Kirkland.