Peter introduces to his post-supervillain-beatdown power nap, which is always crushed by the 6:30 alarm for school. However, this time, he wakes up to Nova on his SHIELD-video-watch, asking for reinforcements because something something robots attacking, with a “GAME OVER, MAN” thrown in for dramatic effect. Peter stumbles out of bed, trying to get into costume, in a kind of dance known to anyone who has woken up five minutes before class starts, and leaps out into the snow. Instead of finding the killer robot apocalypse, he just finds his teammates laughing at him. Apparently there’s no school today, so Coulson wants them to do some sort of snow-survival team building exercise. However, Sam has a better idea and programs one of the jets to take them to a tropical island. Sam says he found it in the SHIELD files under “classy” (classified) and they all shrug it off- better to be on a sandy beach than freezing away in New York. Peter wonders aloud about ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ and in the sand behind him, a figure materializes, then disappears.
The gang settle in for some beach time merriment, even though they’re all still wondering why this place was in SHIELD databases. They start playing beach volleyball, in which Ava insists: no powers allowed. Of course, a bunch of teens at the height of their athletic prowess do pretty well- especially Ava. “I thought you said no powers!” Peter protests. “I said ‘no powers’, not ‘no skills.” she replies with a smirk. The ball gets lost in the jungle, and when peter goes to retrieve it, his spidey-sense goes off and he comes clambering back out. In the clearing, a creepy little kid in a green and tan striped shirt shows up, asking to play. Ava aks where his family is, to which the kid replies “Oh they’re around, they’re everywhere.” Ava wants to help out, but the rest seem hesitant. “That kid looks like every half of every set of freaky twins from every scary movie I ever saw in my life.” Sam says. But they go looking for him anyway. The kid seems to be all around them, but they can’t see him. The team, now in uniform, are closed to giving up when they run into someone dressed in the same outfit as the kid – but much older. He calls himself Flint (yeah), and he thanks the team for playing with the kid, named Sandy. “Ever consider moving where there’s people?” Sam sensitively asks.
The team agrees to make a run for it, but before they can, the sand shifts beneath them to make it seem like they’ve changed locations. They try to escape back to the jet but Sandy cuts them off, furious that the team won’t “play with him” anymore. He evaporates into sand and turns into a giant fist, putting the jet in a nigh-unreachable location. So yeah, Flint appears to be Flint Marko, aka Sandman, except this time he’s got a creepy little child doppelganger to help him out with his evil schemes. And seeing that the entire island is made of sand, there’s plenty of trouble for Flint to cause, take the whole team and trapping them in a maze. Inside the maze, Peter and Luke find some (HIGHLY CONVENIENT) hieroglyphics that seem to explain Flint’s origin story for the kids at home. Pretty standard – Flint broke out of prison and was trapped in an atomic explosion (Peter: “There’s always an atomic explosion.”) which turned him into the Sandman. Then, Luke spots a certain glyph with an eyepatch and an afro, and another glyph that resembles a certain SHIELD agent, except with a ponytail. “Copy me.” Peter takes a picture with his cellphone. “Copied. To everyone.” According to the picture, Fury just left Flint on the island as a sort of prison. They catch up with the rest of the gang, basically sand-logged and they fight Sandman in order to get to the jet. Sandman’s a different breed of villain thus far – he’s not after destruction or power or anything like that – he just doesn’t want them to leave, no matter what it takes.
They manage to get inside the jet and fly away from the island. Fury redirects them and keeps them from landing, scolding them about going to the island without permission. He gives them the rundown on Marko – way too dangerous to be kept in a normal prison. Surrounding him with a huge body of water was their only option, because if he found his way to the mainland, the destruction could be severe. Of course, Sandman’s stowed away in Peter’s shoe, as sand is wont to do, and they find themselves stuck on an in-flight jet with Marko. They manage to crash-land the jet in the Hudson river and try to stop Marko from getting to the city. They pull out all the stops in fighting him but nothing seems to work. “How do you stop someone’s who’s made of glass?” Ava says. Then Peter gets a genius idea and tells Nova to hit him with a heat wave. Before Sandman reaches the city, he’s turned into pure glass. “Sand turns to silica when heated. Sometimes it pays to be a science geek.”
Aboard the helicarrier, Coulson has Marko contained in a constantly spinning hour-glass to keep him from solidifying. Fury criticizes the team for their irresponsibility but admits that leaving Marko on that island was a problem he ignored for too long. But nevertheless, the team is subject to a “scrub” to make sure Sandman won’t be coming back. “There is no need for a scrub, is there sir?” Coulson monotones as the two agents walk away. “Of course not.” Fury says as the team is blasted with a power-sprayer.
My passing thoughts? We’re gonna try something new: bullet points
- It’s never really made clear where the little version of Flint came from, although I guess he’s some kind of clone? Or some kind of projection made by Flint to keep himself company? Either way, its about 70% more character development the villain’s gotten in weeks.
- Some of the one liners were actually brilliant. The voice talent on this show has excellent comedic timing. Admittedly, Drake Bell usually grates the nerves, but he’s gotten better. Definite favorite: ‘I said ‘no powers’, not ‘no skills”
- This show’s strength really is the superteam. When the show is about just Peter and Peter-related activities, it’s not nearly as interesting, so the fact that the last few episodes have heavily featured the rest of the gang have definitely spoiled me for the future. Individually, I’m actually starting to favor Luke as someone for Peter to play off of. He’s got a cool no-nonsense demeanor. Or maybe I just really love all flavors of Luke Cage. You know, that’s probably the case.
- Speaking of, they worked in a “Sweet Christmas.” Bless.
- New favorite running gag: Ava loves trashy romance novels. The last one was about Hellcat, this one, called “Thundering Hearts”, obviously featuring Thor.
- But seriously, who hieroglyphs their downfall into a sand wall? There had to have been a better way. Complete with pictures of Afro-Fury and Ponytail-Coulson.