The Final Decision
Written by Mark Edward Edens
Summary: A Sentinel stops Magneto from killing Senator Kelly. Kelly realizes he isn’t safe, however, when Master Mold later announces to Trask that the Sentinels will no longer obey human orders. Their new programming is to replace all the world leaders' brains with computers, leading the way for a Sentinel takeover. Meanwhile, the X-Men locate Magneto and discover the Sentinels have returned. Scanning Gambit’s memories, Xavier learns the identity of the Sentinels’ former government administrator, Henry Gyrich. From Gyrich, they locate the Sentinels’ manufacturing plant. Magneto reluctantly joins the X-Men in battle, and Master Mold is destroyed. Senator Kelly reverses his stance on mutants and helps arrange Beast’s pardon.
· Gambit met Henry Gyrich in Genosha when he tricked the authorities into believing he was spying on the mutant inmates.
· Professor Xavier’s examination of Gambit’s memories reveals quick flashes of Ghost Rider and Bella Donna, which means someone looked through that X-Men/Ghost Rider crossover for research.
· Cyclops proposes to Jean in the closing scene. Mr. Sinister watches them off-screen, boasting that he knows what their future holds. The original voice used for Sinister in this scene, which was high-pitched and somewhat campy, was replaced when the episode reaired.
· Trask is given a vague death scene, as he causes a giant explosion in an attempt to stop Master Mold. He returns without explanation in a later episode, though.
Approved By Broadcast Standards: Magneto has a bloody mouth during his fight with a Sentinel (which is made of plastics, of course.) Later, when the X-Men discover his body, Magneto’s entire chest is covered in blood. Magneto also makes a speech about seeing his loved ones executed before his eyes as a child.
Review: “The Final Decision” is my favorite episode of the series. Not only is this a fantastic conclusion to the first season of the show, but it also feels like it could’ve been a great final act for an X-Men movie. This really is classic X-Men material: Magneto’s after Senator Kelly, Sentinels are after Magneto, the X-Men are forced to save a bigot, someone gives an emotional speech about what the X-Men stand for, characters make noble sacrifices in battle, Magneto forges an uneasy alliance with the team, things blow up, and a human has a change of heart about mutants. Plus, we have a few gratuitous cameos from other characters in the Marvel Universe, and vague hints about the past of a team member (the first season of the show was filled with these teases). “The Final Decision” also has some of the finest animation in the show’s run. The scene that has Wolverine fighting Sentinels in a mineshaft, only illuminated by the intermittent shots of their eye-blasts, is pretty amazing. The forced perspective shots of the Sentinels flying out of the mine and racing towards the camera are also fun. There’s also no shortage of strong performances in this episode. Who could forget the wounded Magneto’s soliloquy “Noble fools…the brave are always the first to die.” as he watches the X-Men fly off on a hopeless mission? More than any other episode, this showcases how good a Saturday morning X-Men cartoon could actually be.