This week, Peter is forced into an identity crisis when Spidey becomes the focus of a school play.

I have a bone to pick with this episode and it has nothing to do with the writing or animation or anything. The thing is this: they went an entire episode without a single ‘Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark’ joke. Okay, okay, maybe it’s not good to do much ribbing within the brand, but considering that the musical was such an unmitigated disaster, and this is an episode about the perils of putting on a Spider-Man musical, I expected at least one running joke about having to replace actors because of grisly wire accidents. Man, nothing.

But the big dilemma here is not that the musical will have to sell out every night for the next ten years to make back it’s returns, it’s that Peter isn’t even allowed to play himself. Coulson thinks its too big of a security risk. Coulson is also writing, directing and producing the whole ordeal, with MJ writing the book, aka the script for a musical. “It’s gonna be bigger than that one about all the cats.” Meanwhile, the Trapster insists on being the worst supervillain ever and try to go after Spidey again. As if things couldn’t get any worse, Coulson decides to cast Flash Thompson as Spidey, because he’s the only one who looks good in the suit. Flash takes ‘method’ to the next level by refusing to take off the costume, forcing Peter to follow him wherever he goes and having to make it look like Flash is the one who stopped the Trapster from robbing an art museum.

There is one genuine moment in the episode when Flash tells Peter that he doesn’t want to play him anymore for fear of screwing it up, because he idolizes Spider-Man too much and doesn’t want him to look like a joke. Ironic, of course, considering that Flash picks on Peter all the time, and Peter even manages to point this irony out without revealing his identity. It’s a nice moment, showing that Flash isn’t a total meathead and providing a good opportunity to show kids that sometimes its best to take the high road, even when it comes to bullies.

Of course, Peter ends up fighting the Trapster onstage, having to make it look fake while keeping him away from his fellow students, and, in the end, ends up revealing his identity to MJ and some of the others. Its a somewhat… downplayed moment, considering the more memorable historical version of Peter’s unmasking (in Marvel Civil War). I have no idea what this means for the future of the show, storywise, or if it’ll even make that much of an impact, save for a few less poundings from Flash.

Stray Observations:

  • MJ wrote herself a part in her own play: a nod to her comic book counterpart’s acting career? Also, Peter calls using MJ as a hostage “counterintuitive” which Trapster learns via a kick to the crotch.
  • Peter’s suggested idea for musicals: Mutant and the Beast, The Thing and I, and Hulk School Musical
  • The shot of Coulson in a beret made me laugh. Clark Gregg sounds like he has a blast with some of these line readings.
  • I tried to come up with a list of things that rhymed with “arachnid” and got about as far as Coulson.

Did you miss an episode? Check out our recap of last week’s ‘Run Pig Run‘.