Magneto's arms are outstretched in Bastion's captivity in X-Men '97 Episode 8 | Agents of Fanddom

‘X-Men ‘97’ Episode 8 Recap & Review — Operation: Zero Tolerance Begins

X-Men ’97 continues to raise the bar for superhero television.

Warning: This recap contains spoilers for X-Men ’97 Episode 8.

X-Men ‘97 is back with an all-new episode that brings the X-Men face to face with their toughest battles yet. After last week’s reveal that the villain Bastion (Theo James) is pulling the strings from behind the scenes, the X-Men must face this new threat in a devastatingly action-packed episode that tests our heroes like never before.

Will the X-Men be able to uncover Bastion’s evil plot? Will Cyclops and Cable have their father-and-son moment? Will Storm be the one to save the day? Find out all this and more in our X-Men ‘97 recap.

Cyclops and Cable Struggle To Bond in ‘X-Men ’97’ Episode 8

Cable confronting his parents Cyclops and Jean Grey in X-men '97 | Agents of Fandom
Father and son reunions are tough, especially for time-traveling mutants. Image Credit: Disney+.

We begin this episode at the X-mansion as Cyclops (Ray Chase) and Cable (Chris Potter) struggle to connect with each other. We learn that Cable and Bishop were separated in the time stream and that Cable landed alone in the future. Cyclops struggles with accepting what has happened to his son, but Jean (Jennifer Hale) lightens the load by telling him that he came back because he needs his father.

Cable then gives the back story on Bastion, explaining how he used Genosha’s fallout to get backing for the Prime Sentinel program and used the Techno-Organic virus to rewrite their DNA, making them capable of reproducing and replacing mutants as the new apex species. A glimpse into this future is then shown, in which Bastion enslaves mutants to reach his goals.

Cable explains that every time he attempts to stop the attack on Genosha, he is temporally pulled away. This leads Beast (George Buza) to conclude that Genosha must be an absolute point in the timeline — a concept he learned from the mystic of Kamar-Taj, perhaps even Doctor Strange. Absolute points were also touched on in the MCU Disney+ series What If…?.

“Tolerance Is Extinction – Part 1” Sets Bastion’s Plans in Motion

The X-Men along with Cable gather around hologram projections of Bastion's Prime Sentinels to devise a plan in X-Men '97 | Agents of Fandom
The X-Men always have a strategy, even in the most dire situations. Image Credit: Disney+.

In an attempt to stop Genosha before it happens, Cable has returned to the X-Men’s time to infiltrate one of Bastion’s facilities and avenge his mother, Madelyne. Cyclops is less than enthusiastic about this plan, saying there are too many unanswered questions, and Cable confronts him. Before things get too heated, Jean breaks it up, and the team sees Xavier on the news. 

The news program shows Professor Xavier (Ross Marquand) and Lilandra (Morla Gorrondona) taking over the Shi’ar Empire, as seen in Episode 6, and accusing the X-Men of faking his death to gain support for mutants. The news report also insinuates that they are behind the death of Henry Gyrich (Todd Haberkorn), which concluded last week’s episode. Realizing that this is Bastion’s work, the team set off to find him.

Dr. Cooper Shows Remorse for Her Actions in ‘X-Men ’97’ Episode 8

Dr. Cooper sees Magneto in his captivity by Bastion as he is tied to a giant X in X-men '97 | Agents of Fandom
Dr. Cooper sees mutants in a different light. Image Credit: Disney+.

Jean tends to Rogue’s (Lenore Zann) injuries from their battle with the Prime Sentinel, and she and Nightcrawler (Adrian Hough) have a heart-to-heart about Madelyne. Jean shows regret for not being more accepting of Madelyne and that with their psychic connection, her memories of being pregnant with Nathan feel like her own. Nightcrawler comforts her by saying it doesn’t matter if they are truly her memories, only the emotions she feels from them, and that just because she is not Nathan’s mother by blood doesn’t mean they are not family.

As Cyclops, Jean, and Cable set off to find Bastion, Mister Sinister (Christopher Britton) holds Magneto (Matthew Waterson) captive in his lab as Dr. Cooper (Catherine Disher) enters, revealing she has been working with the villains this whole time. Sinister tells Cooper he is only using Bastion for his own means and leaves the doctor with Magneto.

Cooper approaches the fallen master of magnetism and shows remorse for what she has done, pleading with him for forgiveness or just to say anything at all. However, her groveling goes unanswered as Magneto looks upon her in silence.

‘X-Men ’97’ Episode 8 Reveals Bastion’s Origins

A close-up shot of the villain Bastion with his piercing pink eyes staring into the camera from X-men '97| Agents of Fandom
Bastion was once a normal man before his prime directive from the future was activated. Image Credit: Disney+.

The Summers family arrives at the location of Bastion’s Sentinel facility, and using her psychic powers, Jean discovers it’s actually his childhood home. Jean senses someone else in the house, and the three find that Bastion’s mother still lives there. As they go through the house, Jean uses her psychic powers on one of Bastion’s childhood pictures, projecting her mind to his childhood.

We see a young Bastion as a child, tormented by the voices of machines and visions of Master Mold and how he became the villain they know today. It’s revealed that Bastion’s father was infected by the future Sentinel Nimrod, making Bastion an evolved descendent of every Sentinel, born in a human body.

Operation: Zero Tolerance Is Enacted

A man being reborn as one of Bastion's Prime Sentinels as he is lifted from a vat of green ooze in X-men '97 | Agents of Fandom
The new Prime Sentinels can blend into any crowd. Image Credit: Disney+.

Back in Sinister’s lab, Cooper confronts Bastion about not being warned about Genosha, along with other members of this secret cabal, including Doctor Doom (Ross Marquand) and Baron Zemo (Rama Vallury). Bastion argues that it doesn’t matter now and that they push on with the plans, and Dr Cooper is ordered to stay with Bastion to ensure they are kept in the loop.

Bastion then takes Cooper on a tour of his facility and reveals his dastardly plot. The villain explains that, eventually, mutants will outnumber humans, and to combat this, he has developed Operation: Zero Tolerance, or OZT.

Bastion has been recruiting people from mutant hate chat rooms, turning them into Prime Sentinels like Trask, and returning them to their homes with no memory of the ordeal. These Prime Sentinels, able to blend in with the general public, can be activated by a mutant at any moment, creating his own sleeper Sentinel army.

“Tolerance Is Extinction – Part 1” Gives Nightcrawler His Moment To Shine

Nightcrawler prepares for battle holding 3 swords with one being held with his tail in X-men '97 | Agents of Fandom
Nightcrawler is even more deadly with his swords than with his mutant powers. Image Credit: Disney+.

Back at Bastion’s house, the Summers get to know his mother, who shows them one of his drawings he did as a teenager, “ The Final Dream,” depicting the fall of the X-Men at the hands of Master Mold and Prime Sentinels. Then, she begins to bend and twist her limbs and reveals herself to be a Prime Sentinel, along with the rest of the town.

The Summers are barely able to make it back to the Blackbird before being overrun. Multiple people are activated simultaneously around the city, including the reporter Trish Tilby (Donna Jay Fulks), who attacks Beast in his lab and the rest of the X-Men at the mansion.

The team is overpowered by the Trish Sentinel, and more begin to show up when Wolverine (Cal Dodd) emerges from the destruction to do what he does best: kill some robots. The Trish Sentinel takes the fight to the air, with the others following. Wolverine is able to free himself and enter a free fall as he slices through Sentinels on his way down until the Trish Sentinel smashes him back into the mansion.

Prime Sentinels come for Rogue, but just before they get to her, Wolverine once again comes to save the day and is joined by Nightcrawler, who is equipped with three swords, one of which is held by his tail. The two heroes fight off the Sentinels as more and more keep coming, and just when they think they have sliced through them all, they look up in the air to see more on their way.

‘X-Men ’97’ Episode 8 Unites the Summers Family

Cable, Cyclops, and Jean standing in front of flames from a battle with the Sentinels with Jean using her powers to protect the others in X-Men '97 | Agents of Fandom
The most powerful mutant family takes the Sentinels head-on. Image Credit: Disney+.

Things aren’t going much better for the Summers family, as they are still being pursued by Sentinels while they make their daring escape. The Sentinels catch up with them and begin to break through the Blackbird, and the family escapes by driving a Porsche off the jet just before it explodes.

The Sentinels continue their pursuit as the Summers’ make their way through a canyon and into a cave with Cable providing cover fire. Cyclops uses his eye beams to create a path. The family barely escapes as they burst through the canyon, and Jean provides a protective shield to bring them to safety.

Magneto Was Right All Along

A shot of Earth being covered by Magneto's magnetic blast in order to stop the Prime Sentinels in X-men '97 | Agents of Fandom
Magneto puts an end to the madness. Image Credit: Disney+.

Bastion arrives at the X-Mansion and appreciates his work as he looks at the mansion in flames, surrounded by his new creations, and resembling the picture he drew as a child. While reveling in his victory, Sinister calls to tell Bastion that Dr. Cooper has let Magneto escape, but he is neither surprised nor bothered by this, as his plan is already fully in motion. Bastion portals himself back to his lab, where Sinister is holding Dr. Cooper.

Cooper tells Bastion that Genosha opened her eyes to the horrible reality that mutants face every day and how most people just disregard their suffering. We see all of our heroes under attack by the Sentinels as Cooper tells Bastion that Magneto knows humanity better than Charles ever did and that he has been right all along.

Magneto touches down at the North Pole and says, “Enough,” as he sends out a massive magnetic blast that covers the entire planet, destroying the Prime Sentinels in the process. As the blast scatters across the globe, cameos from heroes and villains witnessing the event, including Spider-Man, Silver Samurai, and Omega Red can be seen.

Professor X Calls His X-Men To Join Him

Professor X using his psychic powers to call his X-Men in X-men '97 | Agents of Fandom
Professor X will always come when his children are in need. Image Credit: Disney+.

We then see the X-Men picking up what’s left of the mansion and tending to their injuries. Morph (JP Karliak) and Wolverine share a beer, and Wolverine says that Magneto has finally declared war between humans and mutants when a ship suddenly crashes into the remaining rubble.

Morph and Wolverine quickly jump into action, fearing it to be another Sentinel attack, and they discover it’s none other than their leader and mentor, Charles Xavier. Charles says that he hopes he is not too late, and the episode ends with Charles using his psychic powers to call on his children of the atom with his famous line, “To me, my X-Men.”

‘X-Men ’97’ Episode 8 Is The Best X-Men Episode Ever

A close up shot of Wolverine showing off his claws in X-Men '97 | Agents of Fandom
Six reasons why Wolverine is the best at what he does. Image Credit: Disney+.

Another week, another fantastic episode of X-Men ‘97. Not only is this the best episode of the series thus far, but it is also the best episode of X-Men content ever. Whether it’s the original X-Men: The Animated Series or otherwise, we have hit a new high.

It almost seems redundant to give this episode such high praise when we have been getting such a high caliber of material week by week, but that’s just the beautiful reality we live in. This episode is filled with action, heart, and spectacle and perfectly sets the stage for the last two episodes. These final episodes will no doubt raise the bar even higher.

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'X-Men '97' "Tolerance is Extinction - Part 1" Review

'X-Men '97' "Tolerance is Extinction - Part 1" Review
5 5 0 1
5.0 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • Amazing action with some of our favorite X-Men.
  • Bastion's plans come together in a devastating way.
  • Wolverine and Nightcrawler get their moment to shine.

The Bad

  • While I love the Jubilee and Roberto storyline, it still feels like it would be better served in its own episode to allow us to really explore that moment for Roberto's character.
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