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Tight Squeeze
Review and Media by Stu

Episode #11:18 03/04/2005 - Tight Squeeze
Original Airdate July 25, 2003

When Pterodax take Empire 1 hostage, they demand only one thing - Spider-Man. With Peter trapped inside with the hostages how will Spidey save the hostages without revealing his secret identity?

Screenplay By: Morgan Gendal
Directed By: Aude Paden
Music By: John Digweed, Nick Muir and William Anderson
Animation By: Mainframe
Guest Starring: Angelle Brooks as Indy, James Marsters as Sergai

Review: This episode came as something of a shock to me, because I thought the whole season would build up to Peter finally confessing his love to MJ, but the relationship took an interesting turn here. Whilst it was a nice attempt for the writers to throw some something at Peter and Mary Jane, rather than the simple “will they, won’t they” that has been annoying Smallville fans for years now, a lot of it simply is too out of character for Peter.

Whilst he doesn’t sleep with her in this episode, it’s believed he did in a later episode. Whilst some fans complained that Peter wouldn’t sleep with a woman (?!) I didn’t. What I didn’t understand however is that if he is willing to have a relationship with Indy then why isn’t he willing to with MJ, who he’s loved for like, ever. It was arguably the show’s most confusing plot point!

Going back to this episode, I was impressed, if for only because this time 'round we're actually getting more of a Peter Parker episode than a Spider-Man one, which I actually like from time to time. Spider-Man is barely in it. I find this works well from time to time, as long as it doesn’t pull a Lois and Clark and have Clark do all the work for 40 minutes and then Superman comes in a minute before the end credits roll and saves everyone. Ugh.

The main focus, as said above, was to introduce the foil for Peter and MJ. The main problem, in this episode at least is that Indy came off as incredibly annoying. Her voice alone left most of the viewers cold on the character. Considering Peter has arguably some of the most interesting love interests of any superhero, one wonders why they didn’t use one of them. I realise Indy is supposed to be this shows answer to Betty Brant, but still Indy is a bit too over the top for my liking.

Pterodax, the villains, weren't anything particularly great, but they weren't supposed to be, again this was Peter's story. They didn’t come across as totally two-dimensional, like Shikata for example; they basically did what was needed of them, and nothing more. A special mention simply must go to their leader Sergai as he was masterfully portrayed by James Marsters (Spike from Angel). Despite the fact the other 2 goons had heavy Russian accents and he didn't wasn't all that important. He, like nearly of the VA in this show are perfect for their respected characters.

Also, a special note simply has to go to the storyboarding team. The flight sequence in which Spider-Man and Sergai fly through the city was absolutely stunning. The backgrounds, the models, the animation, it was all beautifully crafted.

While you have to wonder how he kept his identity in at least 2 occasions, after I was left wondering how he is going to make Spider-Man appear in less than 8 minutes, whilst Peter is still hostage without revealing himself. He got around it in a pretty clever way, not resorting to something cheap that I was actually expecting, it was a nice surprise. It was nothing diabolically clever, but good all the same.

Indy kissing Peter in front of Mary Jane was a little predictable, but proved to be a turning point in the series. C ertainly an entertaining episode that helped set up a lot of the future episodes.