"African Storm" s2e7 X-Men: Evolution Review (A Marvel Fancast) LoS518

Summary notes created by Deciphr AI

Summary Notes


In episode 518 of Legends of S.H.I.E.L.D., hosts Jason, Rob, Lauren, Michelle, and Chris discuss "X-Men Evolution" Season 2, Episode 7, "African Storm." The episode centers on an evil African shaman attempting to steal Storm's weather-controlling powers to conquer Africa, while Storm contemplates sending Evan back to his parents due to his struggles. The hosts critique the episode's cultural inaccuracies and discuss character dynamics, particularly Evan's growth and the evolving tension between Jean and other characters. They also highlight the show's representation issues and voice actor contributions, expressing hope for better storylines and character development in future episodes.

Summary Notes

Overview of Episode 518 of Legends of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Topic: X-Men Evolution Season 2, Episode 7 "African Storm"

  • Air Date: November 17, 2001
  • Plot Summary: An evil African shaman comes to the institute to steal Storm's weather-controlling powers to take over Africa. Storm is faced with the decision to send Evan back to his parents.

Key Themes and Discussions

Early 2000s Context

  • Cultural Sensitivity: The episode reflects the early 2000s' approach to cultural representation, which can be uncomfortable by today's standards.

    "Yep. This sure was made in the early two thousands, wasn't it? Took exactly 0 second to get uncomfortable."

    • The early 2000s had different standards for cultural sensitivity, which may not align with contemporary views.

Character Dynamics

Evan's Troubles and Misunderstandings

  • Evan's Misfortune: Evan gets into trouble due to situations beyond his control, such as Jean's telepathic interference and a training accident with Storm.

    "Evan gets in a little trouble. And at first, it's actually not his fault, is it, Chris?"

    • Evan is often blamed for incidents that are not his fault, highlighting the misunderstandings he faces.

    "The meme is that Scott is a jerk, and that is mostly true. But in this case, he's just sitting there with Taryn... And Gene doesn't like that... So she knocks Evan over across an entire table full of kids... Evan gets in trouble because nobody knows that Gene is a telepath."

    • Jean's jealousy causes her to use her telepathic powers, leading to Evan being unfairly blamed.

Training Accident and Storm's Claustrophobia

  • Training Incident: During a training session, Storm's claustrophobia is triggered, causing tension between her and Evan.

    "Between that and the training accident that happens later when he's working with Storm in the danger room... Storm gets caught in a little space. And as we all know, Storm is claustrophobic."

    • Storm's claustrophobia exacerbates the situation, leading to further complications for Evan.

    "Although I do have to give her some credit for not instantly yelling at him because she's so sure that he did that."

    • Despite her frustration, Storm shows restraint, indicating her uncertainty about Evan's culpability.

Storm's Decision About Evan

  • Contemplating Sending Evan Back: Storm considers sending Evan back to his parents due to his struggles at the institute.

    "He hasn't been doing great in school. And so she's actually contemplating sending him back to his parents."

    • Storm's contemplation reflects her concern for Evan's well-being and performance.

Haunting and Supernatural Elements

Shaman's Haunting Tactics

  • Supernatural Haunting: Storm is haunted by unusual specters, adding a supernatural element to the episode.

    "She has these visions, or she's being haunted with these unusual specters that remind you of something, don't they, Chris?"

    • The haunting serves to unsettle Storm and foreshadow the shaman's intentions.

    "In that scene where she's asleep in her bedroom and tossing and turning, and the shadows creep in through the window. Lots of Nosferatu energy right there."

    • The haunting scenes are reminiscent of classic horror tropes, adding to the episode's eerie atmosphere.

Shaman's Strategy and Goals

  • Questionable Tactics: The shaman's strategy of haunting Storm before attempting to kidnap her is questioned for its inefficiency.

    "What gets me is that they start haunting her first. If it was me, I would want to go and kidnap her first."

    • The haunting is seen as a waste of time that could be better spent achieving the shaman's goal.

    "It's like, I know it's to make her uncomfortable, but you're wasting a lot of valuable time to go and kidnap her and to get her powers, because that's the goal, is to get her powers to take over Africa."

    • The ultimate goal is to steal Storm's powers to take over Africa, but the method is deemed inefficient.

Geopolitical Misconceptions

Misrepresentation of Africa

  • Continent vs. Country: The episode's portrayal of Africa as a singular entity is critiqued for its inaccuracy.

    "Africa, which is a continent, not a country. It's an entire continent with many countries and many cultures and many languages."

    • The discussion highlights the importance of recognizing Africa's diversity and avoiding oversimplification.

    "Are we talking about he wants to take over Africa as a country or Africa as the entire continent?"

    • The confusion underscores the need for accurate representation of geopolitical entities.


  • Further Discussion: The episode concludes with a promise of more insights into the shaman's motives and the unfolding plot.

    "But eventually we do learn more about what's going on."

    • The narrative is set to reveal more about the shaman's plans and the characters' responses in future discussions.

Misrepresentation of African Cultures

  • Africa is often mistakenly viewed as a monolithic culture despite its vast diversity.
  • The term "Hungan" is specific to Haitian Vodou, which is part of the African diaspora, not directly from Africa.
  • Storm's origin from Kenya and the Serengeti in Tanzania is inaccurately conflated with West African cultures.

"Africa is the second largest continent on earth after Asia. It has 54 distinct countries currently. People tend to think, oh, Africa. It's one giant monoculture."

  • Highlights the common misconception of Africa as a single culture instead of a continent with diverse nations and ethnic groups.

"The bad guy in this episode, they call him the Hungan, which is a voodoo priest. Voodoo is a Haitian religion from the African diaspora due to the slave trade."

  • Explains the origin of the term "Hungan" and its cultural context, emphasizing its inaccuracy in the given portrayal.

"Storm is from Kenya, a completely different part of the country. In comics canon manifested her powers in the Serengeti. So the Serengeti is in Tanzania, also completely different country."

  • Points out the geographical and cultural inaccuracies regarding Storm's background.

Inadequate Research and Representation

  • Criticism of the lack of research in accurately representing African cultures.
  • Acknowledgment of improvements in cultural representation over the years.
  • Frustration with the blending of distinct cultures without proper context.

"A modicum of research people, that is all I'm asking."

  • Expresses frustration over the lack of basic research in cultural representation.

"We've gotten so much better in representation over the course of decades, and so much better in terms of writers actually doing their research."

  • Acknowledges the progress made in cultural representation and research in media.

"It's like they didn't even try."

  • Criticizes the apparent lack of effort in accurately portraying the cultures.

Storm's Claustrophobia and Plot Development

  • Storm's claustrophobia is used as a plot device to trap her.
  • Risti's suspicious knowledge of Storm's claustrophobia raises questions.
  • Rogue's growing suspicion of Risti's true identity.

"Storm's claustrophobia comes back into play because they know about it. They put her in a small space in order to trap her."

  • Describes how Storm's claustrophobia is utilized in the plot.

"Rogue is like, well, how did you know about that? And then that look. What did you think about that look, Lauren?"

  • Highlights Rogue's suspicion towards Risti's knowledge of Storm's claustrophobia.

"Rogue's also been there enough for Risti having or being in places when things are happening. I think she is starting to put it together pretty obviously."

  • Indicates Rogue's growing awareness and suspicion of Risti's true nature.

Team Dynamics and Training

  • The team works together to rescue Storm, showcasing their training and abilities.
  • Evan recalls Storm's training about using senses other than sight in difficult situations.

"That fight, I think was a really nice way to pull everything together. You had the whole team out there trying to get her back, doing what they know how to do."

  • Describes the team's coordinated effort in rescuing Storm.

"Evan going and calling back on the training that he had had with Storm earlier. Specifically, we're looking at the fog that was created and Storm was pounding into his head. Dude, use your ears."

  • Highlights Evan's use of Storm's training to locate the shaman in the fog.

Evan's Training and Challenges

  • Evan's training is highlighted, showing his progress and attention to his lessons.
  • Evan faces significant emotional turmoil due to the possibility of being sent away for reasons not entirely his fault.
  • The adults' indecisiveness about Evan's place causes frustration and anger in him.

"It was good to see the training that Evan was undergoing actually come together and show that he had been indeed paying attention."

  • Evan's training efforts are validated, demonstrating his growth and learning.

"He goes through a lot in this episode because he's angry that he could be sent away, possibly being sent away."

  • Evan's emotional struggle is emphasized, focusing on the fear of being sent away.

"For something that isn't even mostly his fault. I mean, yeah, he does need to pay more attention both in school and training, but especially right at the beginning. Come on."

  • The unfairness of the situation is noted, highlighting that the issues are not entirely Evan's fault.

"But he does get to stay and he seems to be just fine."

  • Despite the turmoil, Evan's situation resolves positively, allowing him to stay.

Frustration with Adult Decisions

  • The adults' inconsistent decisions about Evan's place cause significant frustration.
  • The back-and-forth decisions about whether Evan should stay or go create emotional instability.

"Like, you're just. You're telling me that I have to go live at this X Men institute with Professor Xavier and everybody putting me in a new school, putting me through all that. Then you're telling me I have to go home because I'm not good enough, and then you're telling me, oh, no, we made a mistake. Oopsie, you can stay."

  • The quote captures the frustration of being subjected to inconsistent decisions by adults.

"And if I'm Evan, I'm just pissed at the adults. Cause you're just yanking me around all over the place."

  • This quote emphasizes the emotional toll of the indecisiveness on Evan.

New Mutants and Team Dynamics

  • Introduction of new mutants and their small moments of showcasing their abilities.
  • The potential for these new mutants to form a cohesive team is explored.
  • Challenges of teaching and managing teenage mutants with emerging powers are discussed.

"We're seeing these new mutants, and, you know, I'm going to keep calling them the new mutants, even though it's including some other people that aren't comics. New mutants. But we're seeing them have these little moments."

  • Introduction of new mutants and their initial moments of showcasing abilities.

"Hank comes out and says, oh, hey, let's go play volleyball. And to make it harder, you can't use your powers. And just seeing them, they all have their little moments of showing off what they can do and everything."

  • Hank's approach to training by incorporating non-power-based activities to foster teamwork.

"He ends up in the infirmary a lot because of them."

  • Hank's frequent injuries highlight the challenges of managing teenage mutants.

"He's a good teacher. He really is. But things just kind of get a little bit out of hand when you have teenage attitudes, plus teenage hormones, plus budding mutant powers."

  • The complexities of teaching teenage mutants are acknowledged, considering their attitudes and emerging powers.

"I am looking forward to this little crop of students getting together and actually learning how to use their powers together instead of accusing each other of using them."

  • Anticipation for the new mutants to learn teamwork and proper use of their powers.

Voice Actor Shoutouts

  • Recognition of voice actors contributing to the episode.
  • Blue Menkuma, Tony Sampson, and Bill Switzer are highlighted for their roles.

"First off, as the Hungan, we have Blue Menkuma, who has been in a whole lot of stuff, mostly as bit parts, but continuing the theme of everyone on this show has been in these."

  • Introduction of Blue Menkuma and his contributions to the series.

"As Ray Crisp, Berserker, the guy that has the three little hair prongs. Up front we have Tony Sampson, who was Eddie in the Cartoon Network show Ed, Ed and Eddie."

  • Highlighting Tony Sampson's role and his previous work in Ed, Ed and Eddie.

"As Sam Guthrie, Cannonball, the kid with the really thick southern accent. We have Bill Switzer, who has also been in a whole lot of stuff, but was Harvey, Sabrina's boyfriend, in the animated Sabrina, the teenage witch from about this same time period."

  • Introduction of Bill Switzer and his notable roles, including in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

Media Consumption and Story Immersion

  • Discussion on how inaccuracies in media can disrupt story immersion.
  • Personal experiences with media inaccuracies that affect engagement are shared.

"Has there ever been a time when you've been consuming media and something incorrect just kicked you out of story immersion?"

  • Introduction of the topic on how inaccuracies can affect media consumption.

"Obviously, there was this episode for me, another example is there's a podcast I like called Godawful movies."

  • Personal example of how an episode's inaccuracies disrupted immersion, referencing another podcast for context.

Mislabeling Historical Eras

  • Discussion on inaccuracies in labeling historical periods in media.
  • Example given of a host incorrectly calling the Roman Empire the Bronze Age.

"The Roman Empire was well after the Bronze Age. It just. It bugs me as a history nerd so much."

  • Highlights frustration with incorrect historical references.
  • Emphasizes the importance of accuracy in historical contexts.

Inaccuracies in Science Fiction

  • Discussion on the inaccuracies in a Korean show, likely "The Silent Sea."
  • Issues with scientific plausibility, particularly regarding DNA and space environments.

"It's when there's a water shortage and there's a base on the moon that's been experimenting with water."

  • Introduction to the show's premise.

"The girl is also genetically modified. She's meant to breathe underwater. I am like, DNA doesn't work this way."

  • Criticism of the show's portrayal of genetic modification.

"She's out there on the moon without any gear, and it's like, okay, she's meant to be this clone fish, you know, girl. But the moon doesn't work like that."

  • Highlighting the implausibility of surviving on the moon without proper gear.

"The moon doesn't really have an atmosphere, and there's so much radiation."

  • Emphasizing the scientific inaccuracies regarding the moon's environment.

Critique of "The Last Airbender" Movie

  • Discussion on the live-action adaptation of "Avatar: The Last Airbender."
  • Issues with unnecessary changes from the original animated series.

"The live action avatar of the Last Airbender movie, not the tv show, you know, get past everything avatar related."

  • Introduction to the topic of discussion.

"Why are you changing the pronunciation of people's names? Why are you changing the obvious cultural references that were made in the cartoon?"

  • Criticism of changes that detract from the original material.

"Earthbenders. There is earth under your feet. And then suddenly these earthbenders remember, yeah, we can work with this. And then they do a little dance, and a single rock floats across the screen on fishing line. It's so bad."

  • Highlighting a particularly poorly executed scene.

Misuse of Scientific Concepts in Media

  • General frustration with the misuse and misunderstanding of scientific concepts in media.
  • Specific examples include the myth that humans only use 10% of their brains and inaccuracies in space-related movies.

"Anytime somebody is like, you only use 10% of your brain, it just kicks me out. I just get so mad that I can't focus."

  • Frustration with the perpetuation of the 10% brain usage myth.

"My spouse is a rocket scientist, so it's any time there's incorrect space stuff, like, scott hates Armageddon, the movie, so much because of just everything wrong with it."

  • Mention of the movie "Armageddon" as an example of scientifically inaccurate space portrayal.

Character Development in TV Shows

  • Discussion on character development and plot threads in ongoing TV shows.
  • Emphasis on the importance of consistent character growth.

"Lauren, we're gonna see Evan again in, like, what, three, four episodes from now? Come on. Writers do better."

  • Frustration with predictable plot developments.

"And when we do see him, I hope this character growth actually sticks and we see some, you know, evolution of his character."

  • Desire for meaningful and lasting character development.

Upcoming Discussion on "X-Men Evolution"

  • Announcement of the next episode's focus on "X-Men Evolution" Season 2, Episode 8, "Joyride."

"Speaking of evolution, next week we're going to talk about X-Men Evolution."

  • Introduction to the upcoming topic.

Contact Information and Network Promotion

  • Information on how listeners can connect with the podcast and participate in discussions.
  • Promotion of the Legends of SHIELD network and associated platforms.

"If you want to tell us times that you've gotten distracted by the research or cool things that you noticed in the episode, or just comment on thoughts that we had or anything, you can head over to our website, legendsofshield.com."

  • Encouragement for listener interaction and feedback.

"Legends of S H I E l d is a proud member of the Guineek.com network."

  • Promotion of the podcast network affiliation.

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