Season IV, Episode IX:

"Ascension, Part II"

Writer: Greg Johnson

Director: Frank Paur

Original Air Date: October 25, 2002

Synopsis/Review: This episode begins where the last one left off. The different teams are going to confront the horsemen, while Wolverine gives them a short (and rather good) pep talk.
    Now, this synopsis is going to work a bit different from most. Since most of this episode is fight sequences that flip back and forth between scenes rather quickly, I’m going to make things simple and tell everything that happens in a particular fight scene up to the next commercial break before I go onto the next scene. So it’s NOT going to be in the same order that it’s shown in the episode. Now, with that being said:
    In Mexico, Shadowcat, Angel, Sunspot, Havok, and the Scarlet Witch go to confront Magneto. He uses his powers to cobble together a Sentinel and sends it after them. The Scarlet Witch gets pounded on by a huge metal part, but she’s okay- Shadowcat manages to phase her through it in time. Kitty tells Wanda that she has to forget that Magneto is her father- otherwise, they’ll lose. Wanda’s having a hard time with it, though. (Oh, Wanda, how different you are…) The team tries to down Magneto, but they’re having a hard time even avoiding all the different metal stuff thrown at them.
    In Egypt, Jean, Boom Boom, Colossus, Multiple, and Magma take on Xavier. Jean tries to convince Xavier telepathically that what he’s doing is wrong, but it doesn’t work, of course. Colossus throws one of Boom Boom’s huuuge booms at Xavier, and Magma tries to burn him up, but to no avail.
    In China, Storm starts a hailstorm that rains down on her pursuers- Beast, Spyke, Iceman, and Berzerker. Iceman creates a quick ice “tent” over them to keep them from being pelted on by the golf ball-sized hail. Berzerker tries to zap Storm, but she dodges. Spyke tells everyone else not to hurt her- she’s a victim in this, just like they are!
    Wolverine, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler enter the Sphinx and search around for Mystique. A puddle of water morphs into her behind Nightcrawler and kicks him into Wolverine, knocking them both into a pillar. Cyclops fires at Mystique, but she actually morphs a hole in her stomach, allowing the beam to pass through before she morphs back into her normal self. Mystique jumps and morphs into a horde of bats, which plague the trio of X-Men.
    Deeper in the Sphinx, Apocalypse has that cerebral interface headgear on inside the Eye of Ages. He’s overseeing the activation of the pyramids. Suddenly, at all three pyramid locations, the top halfs glow and separate before lifting off into the outer atmosphere. In China, Spyke wonders where they’re going, and Beast guesses that in order to affect the entire planet, they have to be much higher. Jean gasps- they’re too late… The pyramids reach the outer atmosphere and break apart into several smaller pyramids, which start to locate themselves equidistant from each other around the globe. Energy lines link each pyramid to the others.
    S.H.I.E.L.D. sends its last three Sentinels up to take out the pyramids. A S.H.I.E.L.D. soldier tells this to Nick Fury, who nods his head and knocks on a door in the flying base. It opens, and on the other side is Rogue, who admits him before it’s closed…
    The Sentinels start to fire on the pyramid parts, and although they initially have shields, they eventually break down, and two or three of them are destroyed. Apocalypse gets mad and mentally sends a message to Magneto.
    Back in Mexico, Magneto has been giving his pursuers quite the fight. Beast manages to radio to everyone else that they should try to focus on destroying the pyramid base, since they’re the power sources. However, it’s clear that Magneto’s winning- he manages to knock everyone out. He soon gets the message from Apocalypse and leaves for a bit, entering the outer atmosphere and creating a “bubble” somehow around himself to keep the air in so he can breathe. He quickly rams the Sentinels into each other and heads back to Earth.
    While he is gone, Wanda regains consciousness and tries to wake up Kitty, but to no avail. She tries to hex the power stream emanating from the pyramid, but she doesn’t have the power to. Magneto soon comes back and throws a huge Sentinel part on top of her- only this time, it’s Quicksilver who saves her! Yep, the Brotherhood has changed their minds and come to help out. Toad says that they “bummed a jet, got lost, and STILL managed to get here”. He offers to hug Wanda, but they’ve got bigger problems- Magneto throws the jet at them, but Blob stops it in time. Avalanche sees Kitty lying on the ground, and, angered, uses his powers to their fullest extent, buring Magneto under a bunch of trees. Kitty wakes up during this and sees him do it.
    Meanwhile, in China, Iceman manages to freeze Storm while Spyke tries to take out the pyramid. Storm isn’t downed for very long, though, and breaks out of the ice prison, summoning up a whirlwind which carries the others off.
    In Egypt, Tabitha continually pumps out her booms for an army of Multiples, who are busy slingshoting them at the Professor. Colossus, meanwhile, goes up to the pyramid and tries to smash through it. Xavier sees him, though, and psychic-blasts a couple of Multiples into non-existence before going after Colossus and sending a bolt of psychic energy at him, rendering him ineffective. Magma also gets knocked out by another bolt of energy. Jean, however, has used this time to hook up to the portable Cerebro helmet that they’ve got in the helijet, and she and Xavier form astral projections of themselves and battle mentally.
    In the Sphinx, Nightcrawler manages to teleport Cyclops and Wolverine into the next room, where they quickly close the door shut to keep the bats from getting in. Logan tells ‘Crawler to port behind the next door and report, as he smells somethin'. Kurt says that he’ll be right back to report, but… he doesn’t. Apocalypse has managed to take him out on the other side of the door before he could. Meanwhile, Mystique has somehow gotten into the room that Scott and Logan are in and takes Scott out by surprise. She then turns her hands into a couple of scythes and attacks Logan. It doesn’t work too well, so she then turns into a bunch of cobras. Yup, that seems to be a bit more effective…
    Apocalypse is now lying down in the Eye of Ages, though, and he says that “the evolution begins”. The device powers up, and the mini-pyramids in the atmosphere all start to emit a black energy cloud that soon covers the Earth…
    All over the world, the sun is blotted out, and we see lightning start to strike down everywhere.
    Over in Egypt, though, the battle continues. Xavier and Jean continue their fight mentally, but Jean’s eyes start glowing green, and her shield takes on a bird shape. A huge mental shockwave comes out of her astral form, knocking Xavier’s astral form back into his body. That did it for Jean, too, and her astral form absorbs back into her body, and they both collapse to the ground. Xavier gets up a few seconds later, though, and readies his astral projection again for another strike…
    In Mexico, Toad asks if they’ve won… but Quicksilver knows better. The tail of the jet rips off from the rest of its body and is hurled at the Brotherhood, who dodge as Magneto bursts forth from the trees…
    In China, everyone has been knocked out from the wind except for Berzerker. He staggers up to where Storm is, who sends a lightning bolt down on Berzerker. Berzerker takes the bolt and fires part of it at Storm, knocking her into a cliff sde. He's about to re-direct the rest of it at her when Storm calls down a sudden downpour, which “shorts” Berzerker out. Beast groans and sits up, and mumbles through his intercom to Wolverine that they’re not going to make it…
    Logan gets the message, and tells Beast amidst grunts while fighting the snakes that don’t give up hope, they’ve got one play left…
    Outside the Sphinx, a S.H.I.E.L.D. helijet lands, and Rogue opens the door. She turns to Dorian Leitch and his mother. She tells the kid that he has the power to save a lot of people right now- but in order for it to be useful, she’s got to borrow it for a little. She touches the kid, knocking him out and absorbing his powers. His mother catches him while Cannonball flies Rogue into the pyramid after a nod from Nick Fury.
    Logan manages to wrestle free of the snakes and charges towards the door to Apocalypse’s chamber, but Mystique morphs into a panther and chases after him. She’s just about to pounce on Wolverine when Rogue and Cannonball burst into the room, and Rogue nullifies Mystique’s powers, turning her back into her real self. Logan quickly carves a hole in the door, and tells Rogue to move! Mystique jumps on Logan and attacks him before he can follow.
    Rogue enters the chamber and quickly uses Dorian’s powers on the contraption, nullifying it. Apocalypse gasps “no...” as he loses his energy. Magneto, Mystique, Storm and Xavier also collapse as the device that was controlling them loses its power, and they fall to the ground, and the chips that were controlling them fall off their heads. Rogue then runs up to the Eye of Ages and starts closing it up on Apocalypse. Apocalypse catches her hand and tries to stop her, but he’s too weak to do much (because he himself was powering the device), and she pulls her hand out of his grip and finishes closing up the device on him. Logan then enters and jumps on top of the device as Apocalypse starts pounding on it, and tells Rogue hurriedly to turn the power back on. She does, and the device starts powering up and closing in on itself. Rogue and Logan hurry away as it spins around, glowing, before it disappears. Logan picks up Kurt’s awakening form as Rogue asks where it went. Logan isn’t sure, but he guesses that it slipped through the cracks of time… hopefully to never be seen again. Rogue doubts that they’ll be that lucky.
    As they exit the Sphinx (amidst “falling stars” caused by the mini-pyramids in the atmosphere falling to Earth), a groggy Scott asks Logan if they did it in time. Logan admits that it was close, but… yeah. Kurt tells Rogue that she did it- the girl who cut herself off from the world has just saved it! Rogue says that she wishes she could admit that she did it for the world, though. Mystique runs up to them and stops them before they can leave the Sphinx and tells them that she wants them to know that all of the things she did… it was because-- Kurt stops her in her tracks, though, and tells her to save it. Rogue adds that Mystique doesn’t even believe her own excuses, so just leave them all alone. Kurt teleports himself and Rogue out, leaving a glowering Mystique behind.
    In China, Spyke and a recovering Storm hug and make-up, while the same happens in Mexico with Magneto, Pietro, and Wanda. Kitty’s feelings for Lance also have crept up again in reaction to his recent act, and they leave the scene with arms around each other.
    In Egypt, Boom Boom thanks Colossus and Magma for inviting her to “the party” while Jean levitates up Xavier to her level and they hug. Behind her back, though, Xavier looks at Jean, concerned…
    Later, everyone- both in the X-Men and the Brotherhood- are gathered on the front lawn of the X-Mansion. Xavier thanks everyone for their contributions, and the fact that they all succeeded. He tells them all that is was not without its price, however, and many challenges await them in the future. He knows this because he has glimpsed the future in the mind of Apocalypse. He tells them how he has witnessed enemies become friends (during which we see Magneto in the Danger Room, engaging in a fun training session with the New Mutants- including Wolfsbane and Jubilee!), and sadly witnessed friends become enemies (we see a slightly older Jean suddenly become overcome by a fiery form- The Dark Phoenix). He also tells them that he has witnessed his X-Men grow and change (we then see older versions of Shadowcat, Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, Storm, Nightcrawler, X23, and a now-flying Rogue gathered in front of the X-Jet), and he has seen that some people never change (during which we see older versions of the Brotherhood members, in addition to Pyro, in front of a wall with the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo written on it). But, Xavier says, for better or for worse, he has seen that the X-Men will always be there. And for that, he is proud. During these final two sentences, we’re treated a short scene involving a flying army of Sentinels as well as a smaller guy leading them (who I'm told is Nimrod, an advanced Sentinel character from the comics). We also see a big group-shot of all the X-Men, plus Colossus, Boom Boom, Spyke, Gambit, and X23, in front of the Mansion. And that’s… it. Fade to black.

Last Words: Well, for Evo's last episode, it certainly went out with a bang. Wonderful writing, dialogue, pacing, etc. My only complaint about the episode, and it's a rather major one-  the way Apocalypse's plan was thwarted was unusually predictable. I mean, quite a few people had guessed that Leech would be the undoing of it all. Also, we never actually got a real Apocalypse/X-Men battle. The rest was simply awesome, though. Normally, such oversights would probably give this ep a 8/10, but the "future visions" ending was TOO cool, so I couldn't bare to give it any less than a 9/10. It was also incredibly moving as well, for anyone who has followed the series for a while and grown attached to the characters. Such a crying shame there was never a Season 5...

Overall Rating: 9/10 Excellent

Back to Cerebro Records Index