Just wanted to write a bit on this week’s episode.
This is my personal favourite episode of the series. Perhaps it’s not the first time we’ve seen crazy Evangelion-style introspection with Peter Parker, but I doubt there’s a better way to execute it. While TSSM was fairly free of creative decisions influenced by merchandising interests, the decision to include the symbiote in the first season was likely steered a little bit more by marketing. Even if the writers hands weren’t actively forced into integrating that storyline as early on as they did, I doubt Hasbro would’ve been too happy if there wasn’t a Venom figure in their initial roll-out of toys. They could’ve fought against that expectation or simply shoe-horned the whole thing in a dismissive fashion like Sam Raimi did in Spider-Man 3, but instead they took the route that would best justify including the character this early on and made him integral to Peter Parker as a character. Not just with Eddie Brock as a childhood friend, but by tying Peter’s bond with the symbiote with the most thematically important aspects of his character. Virtually every iteration of the Venom story up to this point has been cynical in its conception, and fixing that is no easy task. It took guts to elevate the story to a point that not only justified the perceived significance of the symbiote, but also justified it as part of the foundation being set in the first season of a television series. The staff took an enormous risk by going this route, and man did it pay off.
It goes without saying that this surpasses the original bell tower scene from the comics and exposes its missed opportunities. I’d take it a step further and say that the scene is elevated to the same thematic and narrative significance of “If This Be My Destiny” from the original Lee-Ditko run of the comics, and it is definitely a worthy successor of that story. In fact, if there’s one negative thing about this episode (apart from its sub-par animation - that scene of the symbiote bonding with Eddie makes me cringe every time!) it’s that the actual adaptation of that pivotal scene from ASM #33 in “Shear Strength” winds up losing a lot of its thunder, despite the fact that it’s probably the show’s best episode from a technical standpoint. But that’s exactly the type of bold shift that will make it pretty much impossible to ever top this series.
Episode 12, “Intervention”, is now streaming in HD here: http://myvortexx.com/episode/intervention