|Well, the drawing thing and the fact that the locker room smelled like Axe body spray and hormones.|
|Yeah, if that's what I'm thinking about when this episode starts, that should be red flag for episode quality.|
Anyway, Taskmaster studies the footage, using his photo-reflexive memory to learn every move Spidey knows. And judging by how the fight with Batroc goes, Taskmaster is quickly learning how to get dragged into obstacles on a webline.
White Tiger: "Nick Fury says get back to S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ for training."
Way to help against Batroc, White Tiger. No wonder Spider-Man tells you no.
Spider-Man: "Besides, Fury would be the first to say going solo on B-listers like Batroc is good training."
This will be our main conflict for the episode: Spider-Man makes his own rules, while White Tiger is a stickler for Fury's rules. As we shall soon see, the conflict between them will prove to be just as full of mutual hatred and loathing as we've come to expect from members of the Sandwich Club.
After Spidey gets a "boot to de face," White Tiger actually joins in the fight against Batroc... after taking a second to berate Spider-Man on the importance of training, and rules, and blah blah blah.
With a little teamwork between the two, they manage to defeat Batroc by flinging him into Jameson's face on the Bugletron.
JJJ: "Is Spider-Man a student at Midtown High?"
Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
Back with the villains, Taskmaster tries out a flip he learned by watching Spidey.
Taskmaster: "High school, huh? Can't wait; I'm great with kids."
Congratulations, J Jonah Jameson. Your hate-filled ramblings have just put a high school in harm's way. How have you not been sued by the end of this season?
The next day, at Midtown High, Principal Coulson is addressing the cafeteria about the "high alert" that all high school campuses are on. The reason for this is not given, but it's pretty much implied that it has something to do with JJJ's ramblings. Seriously, why is JJJ still allowed to broadcast?
Peter shows up late to sit with the Sandwich Club, and he and Ava have the mutual loathing-filled exchange you'd expect. Remind me again why I should be rooting for any of these characters?
Switching tables, Peter sits next to Harry and Mary Jane, the only people who talk to him like he's a human being. Harry wants to get chicks by spreading the rumor that he's Spider-Man, and Mary Jane is locked in her perpetual "investigator" mode.
Mary Jane: "It probably is you, Harry. Who else could afford all those webs he squirts all over everything?"
Peter: "Spider-Man doesn't squirt, MJ. He shoots."
Hmm... do I go with the double entendre, or do I make a "How do I shot web" joke?
After Flash comes over to bully Peter, Coulson stops him while making another special announcement. Apparently, Coach Moleskine suffered a "freak accident" the other night. Said accident, as we see in flashback, being shot by a Looney Tunes-esque spring trap over the football field by Taskmaster. As it is, the replacement gym teacher will be Mr. Yeager, a thinly-veiled, costumeless Taskmaster. Also, he's dressed like a dork.
|"Yeah, just wearing the headband to keep my hair out of my eyes."|
Mr. Yeager: "I look forward to the challenge of unlocking your hidden... talents."
Peter: "Awkward phrasing, or veiled threat? You be the judge."
Maybe he's trying to hide the fact that he's a supervillain by pretending to be a pedophile?
We cut to gym class, where they all play dodgeball. Peter does terribly on purpose to keep his identity secret and all
Ava: "Geez, Parker. A little overkill just to maintain your cover?"
Geez, Ava. A little overly-aggressive just because?
Anyway, "Mr. Yeager" creepily peptalks the students in his creepy Clancy Brown voice before having them run an obstacle course for some state evaluation or something that probably doesn't exist. Because Taskmaster just wants to see them in action. ...to figure out which one's Spider-Man, not because he's a creepy creeping creeper.
Ava: "You could learn something from him."
Peter: "How to creep people out?"
Flash goes first, and he catches Taskmaster's eye with his performance.
Not like that.
Ava, Danny, Harry, and Luke ace it, but Peter fails on purpose to protect his secret identity.
Mr. Yeager: "I'll see three of you tomorrow her for the final cut. Rand, Osborn, Thompson."
And I'm sure there's nothing suspicious about him wanting to see three strapping young men in a school all by themselves on a Saturday. Hmmm... maybe we should get S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Hansen to come by and ask him to take a seat.
That night, Coulson gets knocked out in his office by Taskmaster, who uses his clearance to view all of the security enhancements that S.H.I.E.L.D. made to the school. It's actually a tense moment as Clancy Brown delivers a creepy voice over for the scene. But the moment is ruined because we all know that under that skull mask....
|Is just some dude with a 'stache. Heck, Batroc's is bigger.|
Peter rushes over at the speed of editing, because he emerges from behind his half of the phone call split-screen.
Spidey and White Tiger infiltrate the darkened school, and rescue Stan the janitor from a robot arm pinning him to the wall, only to be unable to prevent him from falling through a trap door.
Stan: "Wow. There's a lot of wax buildup down here."
After more sneaking around, they find Principal Coulson. He's in his underwear hanging over a vat of acid.
Spidey: "Nice tighty-whiteys."
|Apart from the acid, this isn't too far off from what I expected Taskmaster to do to those young men.|
Coulson: "Don't waste time on me, and definitely don't go against Taskamster alone. He's a combat chameleon, do you understand?"
Combat-combat-combat-combat, combat chameeeeeleeeeooooon! ...I'm sorry for that.
Spidey recognizes Harry's scream in the distance, and he and White Tiger go to find him. They dodge exploding trophy cases, lasers, and meet up with Danny, Harry, and Flash while doing so. Danny gets separated from the rest, and goes mano-a-mano with Taskmaster himself. As you might imagine, Danny loses. Also, he uses his Iron Fist powers without a mask or costume. Taskmaster will never use this information to his advantage.
|Ultimate Alliance 2 called. It wants Nick Fury's attack effects back.|
The mere sight of the mustache is enough to send Harry running in fear, as White Tiger lets it sink in.
White Tiger: "So that test was only about finding Spider-Man? Now I don't feel so bad about getting cut."
And with that statement, Taskmaster should realize that Ava Ayala is White Tiger. But he doesn't. Because he's a moron, I'd imagine.
They fight, and Spidey wakes back up and joins the fray. After Taskmaster corners Spidey on a ledge, he makes a deal. Either Spider-Man can renounce S.H.I.E.L.D. and join Taskmaster, or Taskmaster will capture him and do the job he was paid to do.
|"Nick Fury never told you what happened to your Uncle Ben...."|
Spider-Man: "Amazing Spider-Man. Sounds pretty catchy."
Stan: "Amazing Spider-Man.... Hmm, let me write that down. That could be big!"
Well, some people like Sam Raimi's trilogy better, but I digress.
Spidey says no to the double-crossing madman, Taskmaster reveals that he was once a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent before he went rogue. Just like Spider-Man.
|He had tech from S.H.I.E.L.D.|
|He had a team from S.H.I.E.L.D.|
After stopping by his locker for supplies (without rescuing Flash Thompson), he turns all the lights off. He and White Tiger, wearing Spider-Man night vision masks and with swapped gloves, beat seven shades of crap out of Taskmaster with gym equipment.
|Wait, she still has the cat ears? She's wearing a mask over her mask? Who is she, Jason Todd?|
Taskmaster: "'Cause now that I know where he hangs out, that bug is mine."
Which is why you and Spidey won't become direct enemies until Season Three.
Back at the school, Ava compliments Peter's methods of hiding his identity by sucking at gym.
Ava: "Going solo paid off. Okay?"
After Peter makes fun of Coulson's briefs one last time, the episode ends.
Now let's review this episode quickly, because I'm tempted to make an underwear joke. I'll keep it brief. ...shoot.