Ultimate Spider-Man "Me Time" Review

Posted by Spiderfan001 04 July 2012

Spidey finally meets Doc Ock.


The Story

The episode opens with Spider-Man fighting Whirlwind while Doctor Octopus observes the battle in his lab.  After a dizzying battle, Spider-Man captures Whirlwind and... pukes in his helmet (yep, they went there).  Nick Fury arrives and expresses his dismay at the amount of property damage Spidey's battle with Whirlwhind caused and asks him to report back to S.H.I.E.L.D. for training.  Spidey refuses, saying that he's earned a little "me time."


At home, Peter finds a note from his Aunt May saying that she'll be out for the weekend.  Peter uses this opportunity to walk around the house in his underwear and play videogames all day, but his fun is spoiled when he discovers that Fury has planted cameras all over his house.  When Spider-Man confronts Fury about this, Fury explains that the cameras are to make sure his Aunt is safe when he's not around.  Annoyed about the privacy violation, Spider-Man hands Fury his communicator and tells him to get the cameras out of his house.

Meanwhile, Doctor Octopus gets a call from Norman Osborn, who scolds him for making no progress with regards to Spider-Man.  He threatens to detonate Octavius' lab if he does not get results soon.  Ock decides to try and capture Spider-Man himself.

Doctor Octopus attacks Spider-Man at an amusement park (while Spidey rides a roller coaster... in costume... weird).  Their battle (during which Spidey coins the name "Doctor Octopus") takes them into the hall of mirrors where Doc Ock is able to knock Spidey unconcious.

At his lab, Ock informs Norman that he's captured Spider-Man and that he'll deliver more information when it suits him.  Spider-Man wakes up just as Ock is about to cut him open and escapes, resuming their battle.  Spider-Man is eventually able to put Ock down by webbing the breathing apparatus on his chest.  Watching all this, Norman decides to cut his losses and detonate Octavius' lab, which as it turns out is under water.  As water starts to flood the lab, Spider-Man contacts Fury via one of Ock's computers and asks for help, apologizing for what happened earlier.  He's cut off as Doc Ock resumes his attack.  Octavius eventually passes out, allowing Spider-Man to take him and swim towards the surface.  Sadly, Spidey passes out before he can reach the top.


Peter awakens on the Helicarrier, where Fury informs him that they found no trace of Doc Ock when they found him.  Peter again apologizes for handing over his communicator and agrees to allow Fury to place a camera outside of the Parker household as a compromise.  Peter also requests that Fury delete the footage he had taken of him in the house.  Fury does this, but not before showing some of Peter's more embarassing moments to the team.

Thoughts

Doctor Octopus has so far been this show's best villain.  The character's hermit-like design combined with Tom Kenny's creepy portrayal has made him the most successful reimagining of a Spider-Man character this show has done.  Needless to say, I was looking forward to an episode where the good doctor would take centre stage and "Me Time" looked to be the one to scratch that itch.  Sadly this episode was pretty disappointing.  It got off to a bad start when Spider-Man threw up in Whirlwind's helmet.  Things got worse as we were then forced to witness a montage of what Peter does when he's home alone.  It brought up that awkward feeling I got when first watching Spider-Man 3, seeing Peter strut down Manhattan with an emo haircut as James Brown music played in the background.  It was one of those moments where things get so silly you start to question why you're watching in the first place.  Then there was the bizarre scene with Peter as Spider-Man riding a rollercoaster with a bunch of little kids.  This is how he spends his time as Spider-Man?  What happened to "with great power comes great responsibility?"

Then we have this show's version of Aunt May, who seems to be defined by her absence.  There's not much to her and Peter's relationship; she's never around, she can take care of herself, and she doesn't seem to worry about money (yet another classic aspect of Spider-Man this show jettisons).  Hopefully we can get an episode that fleshes her out a bit more.  I don't know about you, but I think this show is the perfect place for an animated adaption of the Doc Ock/Aunt May wedding!  If you're going to go over the top, you might as well go all the way!

Do we need an "Ultimate" version of this?  Yes, yes we do.

Despite my ranting the episode wasn't all bad.  Doc Ock's design was great; the way the character moves, with his body hanging lifeless while his arms do all the work, is pretty cool and suitably creepy.  Ock's relationship with Osborn is fun to watch, and some of the jokes were actually funny.  Unfortunately a lot of these aspects get lost in a sea of lame jokes and odd characterization. 

It's probably a coincidence, but this is the second Spider-Man series in a row to feature Spider-Man fighting Doc Ock at an amusement park.  The Spectacular Spider-Man version was better. 

"Me Time" was probably my least favourite episode of this show yet.  Hopefully it can get back on track next week.       

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