Tao Feng Fist Of The Lotus is the seventeenth episode of This Is Us. It premiered on March 7, 2017.
With the threat of Apocalypse now at all time high, Xavier attempts to confront Apocalypse whilst Nick Fury prepares for war...now in full swing and his Horsemen attacking, The X-Men, The Brotherhood and all the other mutants face the fight of thier lives.
Series finales are a very, very difficult thing to master. On one hand, you�ve got to provide an ending for your show that seems fitting. On the other, you�ve got to arguably provide you�re very best, because anything else can easily be considered a disappointment. With that in mind, it�s also nice to provide fans of the show with a little �thank you� for watching the show in the first place, and hope that this story you�ve come up with isn�t a slap in their face, made up just because it�s something you never got around to doing in the previous episode (Hiya Terra!)
Marvel has had a pretty decent track record with their finales. The vast majority of them have proven to be above their series� batting average. Spider-Man: TAS was an utterly fantastic look at his own shortcomings, the original X-Men gave us a fond farewell to Xavier and Iron Man did everything you could possibly ask it to do. On the other end of the spectre, there�s been a few utterly annoying cliff-hangers that are dying for a resolution (Spider-Man no more? Say it ain�t so!) Fortunately, this show has two and half�s seasons� worth of build up to accumulate here with this finale. The pressure now came from living up to the threat it had made of Apocalypse. Frankly, it succeeded on all levels, this story is one of the very best X-Men: Evolution ever did.
I personally loved the way Apocalypse was handled here. Apocalypse, to me, is a villain where less is more. He can�t be done as a villain of the week; he�s much, much too powerful a foe. Let us not forget, he is immortal, and more to the point, practically invulnerable. One of the main problems I�ve always had with Apocalypse is his motivation � he wants to reshape the world in his own image. What exactly did he want to do? Rid the world of ginger people? Blow up France? Here, we finally get an explanation as to what he wants to do � change everyone into mutants to make them stronger people, as he has no use for weak willed people (like the people who originally trapped him.)
Whilst a lot of this season was greatly enjoyable standalone, one can�t help but wonder what it would�ve been like if Kids WB had allowed them to turn this into a full season long arc, because the beginning of this episode showed a lot more maturity than practically everything else in the show. Jean�s line of �You�re not coming back, are you?� really hit home. This wasn�t some silly teenage fluff with super heroics thrown in, this was drama, as good as you�ll see in any animation.
The �evolved� Apocalypse design was tremendous, exactly what the character needed. I�ve always though Apocalypse looked a little silly in the comics and the old but one can�t argue he did have a memorable look to him. This version managed to streamline the design, keep what was cool and ignore what was cheesy and eventually ended up with one of the best Apocalypse designs ever. The red eyes clashed a little with the vast blue amounts of blue on his body, but that�s a minor nitpick.
The episodes conclusion did a fantastic job of building up part two. I�ve not mentioned this nearly as much as I should in these reviews, but William Anderson did a fantastic job scoring this series and some of his best work comes from the Apocalypse themes. The sense of dread created as the four teams nervously look on at their task is greatly heightened by the lack of talking, and great scoring. I remember being thoroughly impressed with the fact that they kept the score running through the ending credits to keep that sense of dread running until the very last second. When it re-ran over here, the normal credits were used and I was thoroughly disappointed.
A great episode, no doubt about it, I knew it wasn�t going to be easy to top this and but the crew did it effortlessly.
After a full two and half seasons build up, The X-Men finally come face to face with Apocalypse. I had the �pleasure� of knowing that this was the last time I�d ever sit down and watch a new episode of X-Men: Evolution, so my mood was dampened, especially since this season had proven to be so good, but to be honest, I was still buzzing from the awesome cliffhanger at the end of part one. The creative team really went all out on these 2 part season finales, and this was no exception.
Whilst some shows would no doubt crumble under the pressure of the endless build up, this episode handles the storyline pretty well and delivers one of the shows finest episodes to boot. The cast of this show was entirely too large for everyone to get a nice send off, but after viewing the episode, one really can�t complain about a specific character not being used well enough in their final seconds. Some would complain that if Angel and Colossus didn�t actually do much of anything in the episode, then they shouldn�t have been featured in it, but I disagree. It�s great to see them last one time. It�s even cooler to think know that they would join the team in the future.
I was a little let down by Apocalypse�s defeat, especially after seeing some outstanding fights with The Horseman and the various mutants. I thought it was a little weak having Rogue doing it with someone else�s powers. I realised they were what they were trying to do with the character (secluded girl saves the world) but I�d have preferred it if the entire team had managed to get it done, as a team effort. I personally thought Rogue would be better fighting Mystique and putting a lid on that, but I don�t write the show. It wasn�t too big an issue for me, but one of the few negatives (if you could really call if that) that I had with this episode.
I did like that we did manage to get a happy ending. Whilst it�s true that sometimes the sadder finales stay with you more, or hit a little closer to home for some (Mind Games from Spider-Man: The New Animated Series should be ringing a bell for you by now) I don�t think a dark finale would�ve fitted this show. It certainly grew into a darker, more mature show as time went on, but X-Men: Evolution was never, ever devoid of fun and optimism, and I think it�s important that the finale moments of the show stay consistent with the tone the show tried to keep.
Xavier�s speech at the end was simply superb in it�s entirety. It�s clear that these characters had so much more to give and it�s nice that we got a glimpse of that, be it either new members joining, old members returning or current members leaving, it�s good to see it wasn�t just a �so long X-Men� moment, it was something that sticks with us, and something we can plan out how it could be done ourselves. The future designs kicked ass too. I�d have killed to see those bad boys animated.
So that�s it folks. 52 episodes simply flew by. Whilst the show wasn�t perfect one certainly can�t blame it on lack of trying. X-Men in itself is a very, very difficult concept to crack, years and years of useless and pointless X-Men comic stories have proven that. Whilst some shows grow old and stale, this show evolved. X-Men: Evolution is actually a very, very fitting title. It�s a shame that such a great show was cut off in it�s prime, whilst some shows linger on and on with each season sucking more than the last. It�s a shame that this retarded 52-episode rule exists, as I would�ve loved to see where the show would eventually evolve too. It honestly seems like they were only scratching the surface with these unique take on the characters. In all honesty, it often feels like this shows cancellation was Kids WBs loss, given how utterly poor their Saturday morning line up has become. Given the show�s fantastic ratings, one can�t really explain it�s odd disappearance from the US airwaves, but nevertheless, hopefully they�ll get off their useless asses and release it on DVD and soon. The show deserves better than what it received.