X-Men '97 Showrunner Breaks Silence to Explain Episode 5's Shocking Ending

X-Men '97 Showrunner Breaks Silence to Explain Episode 5's Shocking Ending

Beau DeMayo, the creator of X-Men '97, explained the ending of the animated show's fifth episode, weeks after he departed the series.

X-Men '97 Rogue crying Credit: Marvel Animation / Disney

Warning: This article contains for X-Men '97 Episode 5, Remember It.

X-Men '97 showrunner Beau DeMayo has broken his silence, speaking publicly for the first time since his departure from the animated series a week before its Disney+ premiere. DeMayo, who previously worked on The Witcher and Marvel's Moon Knight, took it to social media to explain the emotional moments of X-Men '97 Episode 5, Remember It, which premiered on Disney+ on April 10.

“Lotta questions and so I'll momentarily break silence to answer,” he wrote in an Instagram story. “Episode 5 was the centerpiece of my pitch to Marvel in November 2020. The idea being to have the X-Men mirror the journey that any of us who grew up on the original show have experienced since being kids in the 90s. The world was a seemingly safer place for us, where a character like Storm would comment on how skin-based racism was ‘quaint’ in One Man's Worth [the season 4 opener for the original X-Men animated series] . For the most part, to our young minds, the world was a simple place of right and wrong, where questions about identity and social justice had relatively clear cut answers.”

DeMayo said that his worldview changed after the September 11th attacks. “Things weren't so safe anymore," he said. "Grassroots populist movements began to rise around the world as a whole nation struggled to deal with collective trauma and fracture at the seams of every diverse demographic. The effects we still feel today, and have only been exacerbated by more collective traumas like COVID or several recessions."

The emotional end of X-Men '97 Episode 5 shocked fans. The mutant safe haven Genosha faces disaster, and many beloved characters meet their end in quick moments. DeMayo explained that he wanted the episode to reflect the pain of real-life attacks on safe locations.

X-Men '97 Episode 5 - Rogue crying on Gambit's death Credit: Marvel Animation, Disney

“Yes, it looked like Gambit's story was going a specific direction,” he wrote. “The crop top was chosen to make you love him. Him pulling off his shirt was intentional. There's a reason he told Rogue any fool would suffer her hand in a dance, even if it ended up not being him suffering. But if events like 9/11, Tulsa, Charlottesville, or Pulse Nightclub teach us anything, it's that too many stories are often cut far too short. I partied at Pulse. It was my club. I have so many great memories of its awesome white lounge. It was, like Genosha, a safe space for me and everyone like me to dance and laugh and be free. I thought about this a lot when crafting this season and this episode, and how the gay community in Orlando rose to heal from that event.”

“Like many of us who grew up on the OG cartoon, the X-Men have now been hit hard by the realities of an adult and unsafe world,” DeMayo explained. “Life's happened to them. And they, like we did, will have to decide which parts of themselves they will cling to and which parts they'll let go of in order to do what they've been telling humanity to do: face an uncertain future they never saw coming. As Trask told Cyclops in the premiere: ‘you have no idea what it's like to be left behind by the future.’ Now the X-Men do, and like each of us, they'll have to weigh whether this is a time for social justice — or as Magneto preached at his trial — is it a time for social healing.”

Over on X, DeMayo explained: "My plan was the first half of the season is the OG audiences pre-9/11 days, rife with nostalgia and comfort. Then 9/11 — like Tulsa and other mass tragedies — turned the world upside down and reminded us the whole world unsafe…"

Fans react to X-Men '97 Episode 5's shocking ending

The shocking ending of X-Men '97 Episode 5 left viewers reeling as the destruction of Genosha was absolutely gripping. As Gambit and Magneto fell trying to protect as many people as possible in Genosha, Rogue reflects what the audience feels as she cries while looking at the devastation. It's hard to imagine that Magneto and Gambit might actually be gone. Fans have recently shared their reactions online with GIFs and memes, expressing how devastated they felt watching the end of X-Men '97 Episode 5.

Truly devastating:

Gonna need more time to recover:

Screaming in pain:

Who expected that?

Troubled emotions:

When you realize the horror of this episode:

The "greatest" praise for any X-Men material:


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The first five episodes of X-Men '97 are now streaming on Disney+.

About the author

Jake Vyper (627 Articles Published)

Founder of Epicflix.com. Fantasy & Sci-Fi enthusiast.