Monday, November 17, 2014

Recap: Ultimate Spider-Man "Snow Day"

Yeah, I know I promised another Doctor Who Character Study today. But the Polar Vortex was kind enough to show up uninvited again, so I decided to post this while everybody's googling for snow day information, I mean, so I can remain topical. No, you're being shifty.

So let's take a look at an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man named after what every kid wants right about now.

It's called "Snow Day," not "X-Box One." Just FYI.
We open up on the Parker residence, where we see one of the Parker residents sleeping in bed, complete with drool. Peter's 6:30 alarm goes off. He gets an alert from Nova that there's some kind of threat at the school, and he quickly (and clumsily) suits up. He opens his window to spring into gear, but gets pelted with snowballs. Yep, it's a Sandwich Club prank. And Nova's got footage.

White Tiger: "Copy me? It'll be an early Christmas present."

Yeah, I bet Nova wishes he had a copy of you for Christmas. Oh, wait. You want him to get you a copy of that video he just took. Do kids actually say "copy me"? I didn't think I was old enough to be confused by what the kids these days say. I'm barely old enough to drink alcohol, how am I already a crotchety old man?

Anyway, it's a Snow Day. Agent/Principal Coulson orders them to go to winter survival training, but Nova gets a different idea. One scene transition later, and the team's all aboard a hijacked S.H.I.E.L.D. plane headed for some deserted island he found in the S.H.I.E.L.D. database filed under "Classy." Remember that. It'll hurt.

Anyway, the bathing suit-clad team disembarks and haaaaaaa....

Since I don't actually know how old Ava is, I'm going to err on the side of caution when it comes to ogling her.
And don't judge me for thinking that she's a nice-looking set of lines and pixels; I've seen the Google searches that bring you people to my blog. How about you let me have this one, and you can go back to searching for Harley Quinn porn?

Harley Quinn, She-Hulk farting, Zatanna, Porky Pig and Bat-Mite.... To each his own.
Bikinis aside, our heroes have a splash fight in the water. I'm just wondering why Ava continues to wear that towel around her waist when she's messing around in the ocean. Shouldn't she be saving it for when she needs to dry off? More than likely, the animators are trying to make sure people watch the show for the right reasons. Like paying less attention to how much skin Ava's showing and more attention to the sand golem forming behind the heroes. In typical monster fashion, it disappears as Peter turns around.

Peter: "It's paradise. What could possibly happen?"

You could eat the wrong fruit and be kicked out? It could turn out to be an illusion caused by a powerful energy being who can't come up with a good lie for why he needs a starship?

After the titles, our heroes are just now wondering why this island was in the S.H.I.E.L.D. database. Nova surmises that this is Fury's private vacation spot while he starts sculpting sand with the Nova helmet. Okay, remember when I skipped ahead and recapped that episode where we learn that Sam's helmet is the most powerful weapon in the universe and an alien tiger-man slaughtered hundreds, if not thousands, to try to get his paws on it? Well, now it's being used to shovel sand.

But they all have a good time. Nova sculpts a model of his helmet with his helmet, Danny makes a Zen garden, and Ava secretly reads her Thor romance novel, Thundering Hearts. Also, I'm not making that last part up. Also, I honestly have half a mind to write Thundering Hearts and pitch it to Marvel.

I would become stinking rich, and that kind of saddens me.
Anyway, Peter's spider-sense goes off, but he ignores it. So they all play volleyball. Ava calls for no powers before running up a tree and spiking the ball.

Ava: "I said 'no powers.' Not 'no skills.'

It will later be revealed in Season 2 that White Tiger does have powers. And she was probably using them. Cheater. Speaking of cheating, when play resumes, Danny kicks the ball. I was going to call him out on that, but kicking is apparently a legal volleyball move. And sepaktakraw is a variant of volleyball done with only the feet that is very popular in Southeast Asia, right around where Danny trained to become Iron Fist. Well played, show. Well played.

Hey, Danny? I don't think that web was obstructing your view.
Thanks to Peter, the ball rolls into the creepy jungle. He goes after it, but gets creeped out by the wind and runs out. Following him is a little boy carrying the ball. This kid has no eyebrows and has the face of Bobby from King of the Hill. I'm not sure why.

That boy ain't right/
Man, Bobby Hill should play every supervillain.

"I wondered what would break first! Your spirit... or your body!"
His name is Sandy and, like all creepy kids, he wants to play. Peter's spider-sense is going nuts, and Sandy runs off into the jungle and the sand starts clinging to the club's feet. Sam wants to run off, but goes with the others to find the kid.

The Sandwich Club suits up, but they can't find Sandy. They do find an older teenager named "Flint," though.

A little eye-candy for the people not interested in Ava, basically.
He suggests that Sandy's at the old ancient ruins. The team protests that there are no ancient ruins, but Flint quickly disappears as ruins pop up out of the sand. They resolve to get the heck outta Dodge, but Sandy doesn't like that. Not. One. Bit.

Sandy: "You're supposed at play with me!"

Sandy turns into sand and makes a giant fist to grab the jet and put it at the top of the new old ruins for them to get. He also begins attacking.

Power Man: "Did the file say anything about this place except 'classy'?"
Nova: "Um, yeah, it said 'fied.'"
Spider-Man: "As in classy-fied?"
Nova: "Um, it also said we're in Bermuda! Bermuda's nice."
White Tiger: "So you're saying we're in the Bermuda Triangle."

Statistically speaking, the number of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle are no higher or lower than any other part of the ocean of similar size and weather. You should know better, White Tiger. I thought you were supposed to be the smart one?

Sandy and Flint's voices taunt the team before a sand vortex nearly sucks them in. After fighting sand for a bit, they get trapped in a spiked wall room made out of sand. A sand trap, if you will. It envelops them and dissipates, doing little more than getting sand in their hair.

Flint makes a maze for them to solve, and gives them incentive by becoming a giant and attacking them. While Nova distracts the giant-size Sandman, Power Man and Spidey spot some inexplicable hieroglyphics in the maze. Odd, to say the least. They look at the pictures and figure out the meaning. Apparently, Sandman here escaped from prison, but got caught in a nuclear blast that gave him super powers. After being chased by Nick Fury in an Afro and Coulson in a ponytail, Sandman was captured and dumped on an island in the middle of nowhere. Unbeknownst to Spidey and Power Man, the hieroglyphics also show the Sandwich Club getting crushed.

The club escapes the maze and manages to board the jet, despite Sandman's interference. With a little boost from Nova, they manage to take off in the general direction of New York. With a little luck, they can put the jet back and Fury will never know anything about this. But the jets that fly alongside the club let them know that their luck just ran out. Fury signals them and they quickly apologize before Fury proceeds to let them know that Flint Marko, the Sandman, could theoretically control all the soil in Manhattan if he was let back into the country, so all the Sandwich Club members are going to be given a scrubdown. On an unrelated note, Spider-Man has sand in his costume. A lot of sand.

Spider-Man: "That's not sand, is it?"

The not-sand swarms over the console, and shorts it out. The jet responds by beginning to fall. Spidey jumps out and webs the wings, steering the plane into Ellis Island. Sandman emerges as a sand monster and begins walking to the shore over the frozen water. Thanks for nothing, polar vortex.

Spider-Man webs up Sandman and... it works for a second? Why doesn't Sandman just ditch the grains of sand stuck to Spidey's webs? But Spidey comes up with the plan of having Nova heat Sandman into glass, and it quickly and anti-climactically works.

So, how come the ice and snow didn't melt? Is this more of that alleged "chemical snow," or whatever the conspiracy guys said?
Later, on the helicarrier, Sandman's body has been put in a vibrating hourglass that keeps him from solidifying as the Sandwich Club stands mostly undressed behind a curtain, awaiting their scrub down. Peter takes this opportunity to spin today's lesson about responsibility onto Fury, and he convinces Fury to try and rehabilitate Sandman instead of just sticking him on a desert island again.

Nick Fury: "Truth is, the Sandman was a problem I'd swept under the carpet for too long."

And by that, Fury probably means that he should have gone all Molecule Kid when taking care of Sandman. What? You don't remember the Molecule Kid's appearance in Ultimate Spider-Man? Exactly.

Fury then leaves the kids to their scrub as he walks away with Coulson.

Agent Coulson: "There is no need for a scrub, is there, sir?"
Nick Fury: "Course not. Just want to make sure they think twice about skipping out on us next time."

Cold water shoots out onto the Sandwich Club. Honestly, it doesn't seem so bad. Until you realize that, realistically speaking, the second part of this "scrub down" will probably be a cavity search. Because since when has Fury cared about personal rights? As it is, the team's lucky to be wearing bathing suits during their scrub.

Now let's review this epis... Hey! I made it all the way through without referencing Frozen! How the heck did I manage that?


  1. I feel like it is my duty to reference Frozen, so here it goes:

    "Do you wanna make a Sandman? It doesn´t have to be a Sandman"

    "Flint should have just let it go"

    "Oh, Sandy if only someone loved you"

    There, is that enough?

    BTW, this whole thing wouldn't have happened had Fury just GOTTEN MARKO SOME THERAPY!!!

    1. And there was a Thor reference in here too, which I find even more fitting.

      - That One Anon