Monday, October 10, 2011

Spectacular Spider-Man: "The Uncertainty Principle"

Premiered May 10, 2008

"'Twas the night before Halloween, and all through Manhattan... not a criminal was stirring, not even the Green Gob... lan."

"We all wear masks, Spider-Man, but which one is the mask?  The one that hides your face, or the one that IS your face? "
-Green Goblin

This episode opens with Spider-Man attempting a Clement Moore-esque Halloween poem while patrolling the streets for bad guys.

Elsewhere in the city, the gangster Hammerhead is attacked and captured by the Green Goblin.  He tells "Hammy" he wants info on his boss Tombstone, AKA "The Big Man".

Hammerhead meets the Green Goblin

At Midtown high school, Gwen Stacy notices Harry Osborn get a test tube of green liquid from his locker.  He passed out the night before, she figures the liquid caused that to happen.  Gwen says he needs help. Harry tells her the green stuff (some form of steroid) "is the help" and it's helped him become a football star and maintain a 4.0 GPA.. As he puts it "a few blackouts are a small price to pay."

Green Goblin visits Tombstone and tells him Hammerhead gave him a jump drive full of incriminating evidence.  Gobby tells Tombstone to meet him later that evening.

Peter Parker (in his Spider-Man costume) goes to talk to Harry about his problems, but runs into the Goblin on the way.  He tells Spidey about the jump drive and tells him to meet him later that night. Goblin flees the scene, but Spider-Man notices him enter the Osborn penthouse.  When he goes inside, he finds no trace of the Goblin.

Peter phones Harry, wanting to talk about his problems, he says to meet him at the Bleecker Street Halloween Carnival.  At said carnival, Mary Jane shows up dressed in a vampire costume.  She runs into Gwen and they ask each other where Peter is.  Neither knows the answer.

Note the people in the "home-made" Spider-man costumes in the background on the left of the above picture!

We see several of Peter's Midtown classmates in Halloween costumes (pirate, genie and cheetah) working at the carnival's concession stand. Midtown's football team, led by Flash Thompson, shows up dressed as cheerleaders (perhaps they lost a bet in a previous episode - something MJ says seems to indicate this).

Peter arrives at the Halloween Carnival in his Spider-Man costume.  He runs into Gwen and unmasks, pretending it's just a Halloween costume.  Mary Jane tells him he "fills out that costume" nicely, Liz Allan says "you can web me up any time, Petey!"  Flash (still dressed as a cheerleader) gets jealous, Peter tells him "don't worry Flash, you fill out your costume nicely too."

Flash goes to attack Parker, when suddenly, jack-o-lantern shaped fireworks light up the sky above the carnival. Peter knows this is Goblin's cue to meet him, he traces the fireworks back to a waterfront refinery.

Spidey and Tombstone show up at the refinery, both knowing they're walking into a trap.  They find Hammerhead, suspended over a vat of molten steel.  He tells Tombstone there never was jump drive, it was all a trick by the Goblin to get Tombstone and Spider-Man.  A fight ensues, Hammerhead and Tombstone get away and Spidey pursues the Green Goblin.

Meanwhile, back at the Halloween carnival, Flash flirts with Mary Jane, saying he's available since he & Liz recently broke up.  MJ spurns him, saying she's a free agent, nobody's "replacement girl".  Gwen is angry that Peter disappeared from the carnival and Harry never showed up.
Green Goblin once again leads Spidey to Osborn's penthouse. When he gets there, he watches the Goblin unmask...

J.A. Morris says:

A very good Halloween episode of a great and (sadly) short-lived series.  The Green Goblin (with his jack o'lantern bombs and scary mask) is a natural villain for a Halloween episode.  I like the way this series uses real New York locations too.  It's not just the "Halloween Carnival", it's the "Bleecker Street Halloween Carnival".  And the "Halloween" portions of the story don't feel shoehorned into the episode either.

If you want to know who is under the Goblin mask, this episode is easily available.
'The Uncertainly Principle' can be found on 'The Spectacular Spider-Man:The Complete First Season' and also on a standalone dvd called 'The Spectacular Spider-Man' Vol. 3. It's also available for streaming on Netflix.

My rating: 3.5 jack o'lanterns

Rigby Mel says:

An excellent Halloween themed episode. It doesn't hurt that it features one of my favorite superheroes, either.  I've always liked Spidey/Peter's sense of humor and this is used to good effect.  I also like the way the costumes are used - we even get a glimpse of another Spider-Man villain/hero, the Black Cat, in passing (Whether it's actually her or just someone in a Halloween costume is open to interpretation, I think.).  Spidey even gets to come to the party as himself, so to speak.  This ep is perhaps not a "classic" Halloween show, but it's certainly a lot of fun!

My rating:
3 jack o'lanterns

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