Written by Adam Gilad
Summary: Archangel’s hired researchers discover a way to kill Apocalypse. Meanwhile, Apocalypse appears in a giant spacecraft over Liberty Island. The X-Men invade the spacecraft and discover the sentient personality, Ship, that has been forced to follow Apocalypse’s will. While Beast works with Ship to defeat Apocalypse, Rogue follows a fanatical Archangel on his assassination plot. Archangel discovers that he was duped by Apocalypse all along as his plan fails. Ship traps Apocalypse in a force field, creates a pod around him, and shoots it into orbit. Unable to repair the damage inflicted by Apocalypse, Ship then crashes into the ocean.
The X-Men featured in this episode are Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Gambit, and Rogue.
Ship makes his debut on the show. “His” isn’t a very accurate term, however, as Ship is given a female voice.
Archangel is no longer “bald,” as Rogue takes off his partial face mask and reveals that luxurious mullet he had in the comics at the time. Archangel’s wing-blades are also drawn properly this episode, as opposed to the arrowheads we saw in episode ten.
“Um, Actually…”: My memory is that Ship was always referred to as a male during his appearances in X-Factor. I do know that when Ship became the sentient robot Prosh in X-Force, he was clearly male (or as male as a robot gets).
"Actiiing!": You hear that unique Canadian pronunciation of “sorry” numerous times in this episode’s opening, as Archangel berates his archeological staff.
Review: I tend to view “Obsession” as one of the better episodes from this season, but I think Archangel’s hysterical behavior, and bad acting, do a lot to drag the episode down. The Apocalypse/Archangel rivalry was at its zenith when I first got into comics, so I’ll always have some nostalgic affection for any story pitting Archangel against Apocalypse, and Ship was the kind of obscure character I loved to see turn up in the cartoon, so I guess I’m revealing my biases early. I really wanted to like this episode as a kid. Having the researcher with the foolproof way to kill Apocalypse actually turn out to be Apocalypse is a nice use of his shapeshifting powers (maybe the only one during the show’s run), and there is a strong episode-to-episode continuity with the original Archangel storyline, as Rogue is automatically sympathetic to his cause because she absorbed his persona months earlier. What’s annoying is the casual way Ship is tossed aside at the episode’s end, not to mention Cyclops’ blunt declaration that a hothead like Archangel could never join his precious X-Men. That whole “illusion of change” edict was really starting to grate on me at this point, and years later, it still bothers me. From this point forward, too many of the episodes just have a feeling that they’re killing time, which is not a problem the show had in the early years.
Credit to http://marvel.wikia.com/ for the screencap.