Survival of the Fittest is the ninth episode of the first season of X-Men: Evolution and the ninth episode of the overall series. It originally aired on March 3, 2001.
The X-Men and Brotherhood of Mutants are sent to the Ironback Survival Camp, where they antagonize each other. Mystique busts Juggernaut, Charles Xavier's half-brother. The X-Men and Brotherhood race each other as Juggernaut advances to Charles despite the intervention of Wolverine, turning on Mystique as well. Storm picks the X-Men and Brotherhood up and the two groups team up to defeat Juggernaut.
An officer heads into Juggernaut's containment room, where the latter is being held until the officer uses his eyes and hands for the sensors. The officer then morphs into Mystique, who tells Juggernaut that it is time for his reunion with his brother Charles Xavier, seemingly alerting him.
Sergeant Hawk tells the students at Ironback Survival Camp about what they would and would not do, as well as taking note of Scott, who he mispronounces the last name of. His scholastic achievements at school earned him the title of group leader, who Hawk says they will follow the lead of. After Hawk dismisses the students, the X-Men start to complain and Rogue even tries leaving. Scott stops her from doing this and tries to motivate the group, along with Jean.
Blob complains about Scott being put in charge, while Pietro mocks him. Blob makes his plans to catch the X-Men in the woods with Toad envisioning what reports of their disappearances will sound like. Lance tells the group that they will hurt the X-Men where it hurts the most, in public before the four walk off.
Mystique with the newly freed Juggernaut, who she gives the helmet to as he asks her who she is. She identified herself as a deal maker and she explains that she wishes for him to retrieve Cerebro for her. Mystique puts his helmet on him and finishes putting on the locks as she explains that he will be taken by a plane. He then knocks her over and states that nobody takes him anywhere.
Members of the X-Men and Brotherhood participate in a training exercise, which Blob messes up when he falls out of the rope and causes the structure to fall apart as a whole. Despite this, Scott and Lance managed to advance and got to their boats. Lance asked Scott if he knew how to swim, which he confirmed he could do and Lance then dropped him into the water with the use of his powers. Lance then makes his way to the finish line as Evan tries using his powers to get back at him for what he did to Scott.
He is stopped by Jean, who said the group had agreed not to use their powers and Evan tells her that Lance needed his boat popped. While Jean stated she understood, she assures Evan that Scott will act as a leader and be cool. He then uses his powers on Lance and wins the race. The Brotherhood approaches the X-Men and voice their singular opinion that Scott cheated, while the X-Men insist he did not and begin to argue with the Brotherhood before the intervention of Sergeant Hawk.
After making the two teams do push ups, he explains he has ways of weeding out who's real and who is not and assigns the teams to reach the flag he planted at the top of Mt. Humiliation. While both Kurt and Pietro are about to get there before anyone else in their groups, Sergeant Hawk downplays this by having both groups have their entire team take a photograph when reaching the flag.
The conflict with Scott and Lance continues as the latter hints at the X-Men being attacked by him and their argument is broken up by Jean. After Scott voices his frustration to Jean about the X-Men always having to play by the rules, which Lance responds to by having the pair make an agreement that both teams not use their powers in the race. At the Xavier Mansion, Charles picks up the X-Men and Brotherhood due to them using their powers frequently and openly and has an exchange with Wolverine before picking up the signature of Juggernaut.
He explains Juggernaut's powers to Wolverine as the X-Men and Brotherhood take different measures to get to the top of the mountain, the Brotherhood scaling and the X-Men running. Storm fogs Bayville up to ensure no one will try and attack Juggernaut while Charles and Wolverine discuss him. The Brotherhood used an abandoned mine to get to the top while Scott had Kurt and Evan use their powers to check if the flag was still there and to spike a rope to the top.
The Brotherhood discover how small the space they were supposed to climb out of is and Lance gets angry at Toad, telling him they have probably lost. However, Pietro has Lance to try and open the space with his powers. Instead, the four are trapped under the debris. During Lance's failed attempt to open the hole, the X-Men were also affected and Evan nearly fell to his death as a result of the rumbling. Jean saves him.
Scott tries to get Jean to use her powers to levitate him, but she refuses. She further explains that she used her powers to help Evan because that was life or death and expresses disappointment in Scott not understanding this. The Brotherhood were then discovered by the X-Men, Toad asking the group to not leave the team trapped inside over a flag. Charles speaks with Wolverine as Juggernaut and Mystique arrive at the Xavier Mansion.
Wolverine tries to fight Juggernaut, but he is overpowered and outclassed. Mystique then discovers that Cerebro was destroyed by Juggernaut while he bursted through the walls and lashes out at him, before he smacks her and speaks with Charles. The X-Men assist the Brotherhood in getting out of the debris and as Scott and Lance are making their way out of the mountain, Pietro tries to get the flag for his team before Kurt teleports and the pair reach it at the same time.
The X-Men and Brotherhood are then contacted by an arriving Storm, who tells them of Charles and Mystique's predicament. Charles activates Logan's Run to hold back Juggernaut and after this fails, the X-Men and Brotherhood arrive. When Juggernaut tries to grab Charles, Jean keeps him away from Charles using her telekinesis, but gets tired due to how big he is. Wolverine instructs the two groups to remove his helmet. The group does and Charles defeats him by invading his mind.
The X-Men and Brotherhood are happy over their victory. Mystique calls their teaming "something you don't see everyday" and while Charles agrees with her, he also tells her that it is a shame. As the Brotherhood leaves with Mystique, Avalanche tells Cyclops that he's only half-bad as a leader. Cyclops tells him that he can call the shots next time, but Avalanche states there won't be a next time. Charles, Wolverine, Jean and Scott take Juggernaut back to his area of containment and Wolverine tells Charles that he cannot control the will of others.
Scott voices his frustration with the Brotherhood not being able to join the good side to Jean, who tells him that it was like Wolverine said, you cannot control the will of others. Scott jokes that she can be the conscience of the Brotherhood when they become good and stated that she was pretty good at it. Jean states that everybody needs a nudge and Scott asks her to give him one whenever she feels he needs it.
- Written by:
- Pamela Hickey
- Dennys McCoy
- Rick Ungar
- Randy Littlejohn
- Directed by:
- Frank Paur
- David Kaye - Charles Xavier
- Scott McNeil - Wolverine
- Kirsten Williamson - Storm
- Kirby Morrow - Cyclops
- Venus Terzo - Jean Grey
- Brad Swaile - Nightcrawler
- Maggie Blue O'Hara - Shadowcat
- Meghan Black - Rogue
- Neil Denis - Spyke
- Noel Fisher - Toad
- Christopher Grey - Avalanche
- Michael Dobson:
- Richard Ian Cox - Quicksilver
- Colleen Wheeler - Mystique
- Juggernaut is revealed as Charles's half-brother and they are revealed to have the same father.
- The X-Men would combat Juggernaut a second time in "The Stuff of Heroes".
- First episode to show the rivalry between Cyclops and Avalanche.
- First time the X-Men and Brotherhood have worked together. They would do it several more times throughout the series.
- In the shot of the unified X-Men and Brotherhood members, Quicksilver is noticeably absent.
- This is the only time in the first season that the X-Men and Brotherhood partner up in the first season.