Cartoon Review: The Spectacular Spider-Man Ep. 22

“Probable Cause”

With the gang war nearing between Tombstone, Doctor Octopus, and Silvermane things slow down a bit to give some much needed attention to the supporting cast of this show. As has always been the case when it comes to Spider-Man the most interesting part about the character is not Peter’s life as Spider-Man but the supporting cast Peter has. Though I enjoyed the last few episodes of this show, one of the things that has been missing is seeing the whole supporting cast along with Peter together. Usually we see one or two of them with the others playing background roles but here all the supporting characters get some attention.

In this episode each of the supporting cast is split up into pairs because of Captain George Stacy setting up a ride along for the cast in his criminology class. The pairs for the ride along were: Peter and Sally; Gwen and Liz; Flash and Harry; Randy and Sha Shan and; MJ and Mark Allen. The only one that we did not see is Randy and Sha Shan’s ride along. Other than that each one of the pairs shared an interesting dynamic.

MJ and Mark’s scene was short and sweet as the writers quickly develop them as a couple and should be interesting since Mark is the Molten Man in the comics and I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns into his villainous persona later on in the season. Certainly builds some future dramatic moments if that happens as it can affect not only Liz but also MJ.

The Peter and Sally one probably offered the most humor with Sally came off as a bit of a cold hearted you know what she usually is to Peter at the beginning. Her reaction to how she would break it to Liz when she thought Peter was dead was very funny and her hugging Peter when he showed up alive was a nice little character moment for her.

Also it is interesting to see Capt. Stacy continue to show signs of knowing Peter is Spider-Man. It gives Capt. Stacy more of a Commissioner Gorden role as it is more obvious that he knows Peter’s secret than he showed in the comics.

Gwen and Liz’s pairing added some nice tension as the two girls talk about Peter. Liz was a bit on the bitchy side with how she acted around Gwen as she is obviously jealous of Gwen and her friendship with Peter. This scene added to the love triangle and it should be interesting how the whole romance thing works out for Peter at the end of the season as there is some serious drama being built up.

The best pairing out of the five was Flash and Harry’s. The scene helps to humanize Flash a bit more. So far he has come off as the bully jock and it is nice to see that even though he may act like a jerk Flash is an athlete and respects the sanctity of the sports he plays. His reaction to Harry admitting to taking some form of steroid was great and I liked that he shows some character by telling the principle what Harry did even if it alienates him from his friends. Plus it helped him finally get with Sha Shan which is an unexpected bonus for him.

One of the surprising scenes we got in this episode was in the same Flash and Harry ride along. Stan Carter comment in that scene to Jean DeWolff about Spider-Man not going far enough with the villains may not hold traction to the kids watching it but for long time Spider-Man fans, like myself, it is an interesting comment. In the comics Stan Carter is Sin-Eater whose first murder victim turns out to be Jean. It is one of my favorite Spider-Man stories and though I know that we probably won’t get an adaption of “The Death of Jean Dewolff” story since this is a kid’s show afterall, it is still a fun little comment for long time Spider-Man fans to catch.

Now this wouldn’t be a Spectacular Spider-Man episode without getting some good action and that is what we got here with Spider-Man taking on the new and improved Enforcers. I continue to enjoy the little tweaks the creators to some of the villains as they give Fancy Dan and Ox some power suits. I liked that Fancy Dan decided to call himself Ricochet, one of the identities Peter used during “Identity Crisis,” and how his power suit gave him the powers similar to a super ball. It was funny that Ox kept his name when asked what he wanted to be called.

The addition of these power suits along with Montana already being Shocker made the fights they had with Spider-Man very fun and a bit unpredictable. The animators continue to do a great job with all the action sequences in this show and really liked the animation in this episode as Spider-Man had to fight Shocker while dodging the Ricochet bouncing of the walls and Ox trying to crush him. It is fun seeing how they make each fight unique and never dull making the viewer feel like they’ve seen these fights before.

I like the ending with Hammerhead ruining the escape of the Enforcers. With the gang war looming Hammerhead looks to play a wild card like role as he seems to want to break out on his own from his interactions with Tombstone and Norman Osborn.

Overall this was another great episode. From the ending with Harry it looks like we will be seeing Green Goblin back soon. With the Green Goblin returning it should only mean more trouble for Peter both as Spider-Man and his personal life.

Episode Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10