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Greg Bishansky writes...

"Shear Strength"

SPOILERS! (Gonna start marking them here)

And today, the Master Planner arc officially comes to a close. And what a close. As an old school Spider-Man fan, I've been anticipating this episode for a while. And it did not disappoint.

We open up with the identity of the Master Planner. None other than Dr. Octopus, and honestly, there is no way it could have ever been anyone else. And dammit, Ock was in top form in this episode. Loved him, and Peter MacNicol is terrific at making him sound so calculating and menacing.

So, Doc Ock's master plan, er, sorry, Master Plan, was to hijack the internet? The fiend! He wants to take away our access to free porn! That's just not right! Not right!

This episode rocked, and I mean more so than usual. Which for this show is impressive. This was straight Lee/Ditko, and I couldn't ask for any better. The action sequences were intense. The pacing was terrific, and the ending really pissed me off... and I mean that in a good way.

Nice to see George Stacy in the credits, and I liked his role in here. Yeah, he was cooperating with Ock, but I'd almost feel sorry for the good doctor if George got his hands on him first.

I really liked that Ock didn't get sent back to prison at the end of this. It gets tiresome when the villains constantly get thrown in prison and constantly escape. So Ock, Vulture and the Tinkerer are still on the loose. Electro and Mysterio are in custody. And where did Sandman, Kraven and Rhino go? For that matter, why wasn't Shocker among the Master Planner's "usual suspects" last time. Curious.

Spidey himself. It says something when I can both love and want to smack the protagonist. Loved him going Batman on Tinkerer. Really loved seeing him lift that huge weight, knowing that Gwen depended on him, and then... at the last moment in the episode. Oy. So close, so close, so close.

Peter, meet me at Camera 3

::Turns to Camera 3::

Look, I know Liz is hot, exotic and popular. But, four months ago this girl wouldn't even glance in your direction, and even if she was not an active participant in bullying you, she was definitely a witness. "Study with Petey, I'd rather fail." Remember that? Gwen is someone you've known for years, has always been your friend, and you know you care about. You've been such close friends for so long, you have a solid foundation to build upon. And yes, she's cute too. You have enough in common with her, and a history. You know you can trust her. Poor thing. Is there really any solid foundation with Liz? Really?

Okay, let's check in with our good friend, Stephen Colbert on this issue...


Thanks, Stephen.

::Turns away from Camera 3::

Okay, tangent over. It's the mark of great writing when a TV show can get a reaction like that out of me. Good stuff. Great stuff.

Little tidbits I enjoyed. Mary Jane suggesting Gwen take Peter to Times Square to "see the ball drop" with a wink... I love the innuendos on this show. I also cracked up at the good doctor's "Evil Genius" coffee mug.

The best episode so far this season. Maybe the best episode of the series to date. And we still have nine more to go.

Greg responds...

Thanks. Glad you liked it.

Response recorded on April 09, 2009