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TurningPoint
Series Spider-Man
Release Date November 23, 1996
Episode Number 41
Writer John Semper, Jr.
James Krieg
Robert N. Skir
Marty Isenberg
12 images

Green Goblin is still alive and well with one last plan for revenge against Spider-Man. After discovering his secret identity he kidnaps Mary Jane Watson. Has the day come that Spider-Man fails?

Story

Back From Limbo

MWebTwoHeadedMonster

Talking to Madame Web, Spider-Man wants to end their relationship. Since he and Mary Jane are in love he does not have time for this "big battle" that she's preparing him for. He has everything he wanted, his life is complete. She then warns him that he will need her advice when the "two-headed monster returns from the netherworld."

OsbornSplitPersonality

At Oscorp, Norman Osborn is making another one of Time-Dilation Portal devices for the Green Goblin, who is observing this from his mind, though Osborn can't guarantee it's stability. Green Goblin doesn't care. Green Goblin promises to crush Spider-Man and Kingpin. Osborn is worried because Spider-Man knows the truth of his existence. But the Goblin goes off through a portal to make him suffer dearly for that.

In the streets of New York City Green Goblin attacks a bank vehicle in order to attract Spider-Man's attention. Spider-Man falls for it but Green Goblin slips away. Spider-Man searches at Oscorp and Osborn's mansion but there's no sign of the Goblin. Swinging through the city Spider-Man's Spider-Sense goes off but no sign of what did it. Unbeknownst to Spider-Man Green Goblin has been appearing and disappearing behind Spider-Man without him seeing. Spider-Man's Spider-Sense goes off again but without seeing anything he thinks it's just acting up. Spider-Man still wants to meet with Mary Jane whether his Spider-Sense is acting strange or not. Green Goblin manages to sneak up on Spider-Man just as the wallcrawler takes off his mask.

Keeping Secrets

SpideyRevealed

Spider-Man's Spider-Sense goes off once more causing him to turn around allowing Green Goblin to finally see who he is. Green Goblin is stunned that a mere boy could cause him so much trouble. Norman recognizes him as Peter Parker, his son's best friend. Green Goblin convinces Norman that Peter must have been using Harry to get to him. Green Goblin plans to play that game too and disappears. Peter's Spider-Sense stops going off and he thinks it's over.

At the Coffee Bean Liz Allen is commenting on how amazed she is that Mary Jane and Peter finally got together. Liz asks Mary Jane how Harry Osborn is handling things. Mary Jane believes that Harry didn't realize that she wasn't happy in their relationship and he thinks Peter betrayed him. Liz begins to show interest in Harry when Peter arrives. Peter asks if he's late and Mary Jane tells him it's right on time for him, one of the things she loves about him. The two begin talking about Harry's birthday party that night. Given the situation Peter doesn't want to go. But Mary Jane wants to because Harry made a point of inviting both of them, and his father's throwing this big party. Peter doesn't know whether Norman is back to normal or not.

OverlyFriendlyOsborn

Arriving at the party Peter thinks about how he can observe Norman without him realizing Spider-Man is watching. Peter and Mary Jane try to be nice to Harry, but Harry isn't very pleasant. Harry remarks how he only invited the two because his father insisted, telling him to "show a little backbone." Harry storms off and Mary Jane goes to talk to him. Norman Osborn enters the room and seems overly happy to see Peter, much to the confusion of Peter. The two shake hands but Norman's grip is so great that he would have crushed Peter's hand were it not for his exceptional strength. Norman then announces that dinner is served and again seems far too happy around Peter.

At dinner, Norman comments on Peter and Mary Jane's new relationship and that they must have "been conspiring to get together for some time". Before Peter can respond Norman comments on another one of Peter's famous Spider-Man photos in The Daily Bugle. He then asks how he gets those wonderful angles but Mary Jane comments that not even she knows his trade secret. Norman tells the party that he and Peter share a little secret and neither Mary Jane nor Peter seem to know what he's talking about. Norman plans to tell everyone their secret over dessert. Peter realizes that Norman does know his secret. Peter excuses himself and goes into the living room. He needs a distraction quick so he throws some of his web cartridges into the fireplace. Peter returns and Debra Whitman inquires into their secret.

Norman is about to tell them all when the fireplace explodes and the place fill with smoke. Everyone runs out onto the front lawn but Peter goes back in with everyone believing he is saving Norman, who is not with them. In the house the Green Goblin confronts Peter for pestering him as Spider-Man and hurting his son as Peter. Green Goblin knocks him out into the back yard and Peter tries to retaliate but doesn't have his webshooters on. Peter is outclassed by Green Goblin and is tied up to be dragged behind the Goblin Glider. Peter remarks that Madame Web was right, the two-headed dragon was really someone with two identities.

GGdragsPeter

Green Goblin takes Peter to the George Washington Bridge. Peter manages to pull one of his webshooters out and crashes the glider on top of one of the towers. Having to be precise, Peter uses the glider's thruster to cut the rope tying up Peter and finally manages to change into Spider-Man. After a brief scuffle Green Goblin pulls out the Time Dilation Accelerator and uses it to escape. Green Goblin doesn't think he made Spider-Man suffer enough and since Peter came into Norman's home he's going to return the favor. Spider-Man races off to Aunt May's knowing the Green Goblin could be there in microseconds.

GGHomeInvasion

At the Watson home Mary Jane is explaining to her aunt what happened. The firefighters found something strange smoldering in the fireplace. The party goers assumed Peter took Norman to the hospital but don't know why he wouldn't call. Anna Watson says it's because Peter is thoughtless and irresponsible and again Mary Jane says how wonderful he is and that she loves him. Spider-Man returns home and finds that Aunt May is perfectly fine. His Spider-Sense goes off and Green Goblin appears from a portal above her bed. Green Goblin says that she's sleeping so peacefully he shouldn't disturb her. He says that he'll go after his other co-conspirator. Aunt May wakes up just as he disappears and Peter, minus the mask, tells her everything's fine.

Spider-Man wonders what Green Goblin meant my "co-conspirator" and realizes that he means Mary Jane. At the Watson home, Anna says that Mary Jane is asking for trouble by dating Peter, to which Green Goblin appears and says she doesn't know the half of it. He knocks the two out. Spider-Man arrives and find Green Goblin leaving with the unconscious Mary Jane in his arms.

Kidnapping

Spider-Man follows Green Goblin back to the George Washington Bridge. Spider-Man tries to reason with Norman but Green Goblin is in control. Spider-Man then reminds him that he's about to hurt the only people Harry really cared about. Norman briefly gains control and attacks him while distracted and knocks away the time dilation device. Spider-Man and Green Goblin fall over the side onto one of the suspension ropes. Norman calls for help and Spider-Man saves him but Green Goblin regains control and attacks Spider-Man. Mary Jane wakes up and trips over the side and Spider-Man quickly comes to her rescue.

MaryJaneFalls

Spider-Man comforts her and while waking up Mary Jane briefly thinks she's talking to Peter. Green Goblin uses his remote control for his glider to attack the two. The glider launches a missile and cracks the tower. The tower becomes unstable and the time dilation device falls over the side opening a portal.

Mary Jane also falls off the tower. Spider-Man leaps to the side to save her but his webs hit nothing. Try as he might, Spider-Man is unable to find her so he leaps into the water below. Back on his glider, Green Goblin graps the time dilation device. Spider-Man desperately searches the water but can find no trace of Mary Jane.

Revenge

Spider-Man surfaces where the Green Goblin teases him about not having any quips or comebacks now. Spider-Man snags a webline onto the Goblin's glider and begins climbing. Green Goblin tries to knock him off but his weaponry is damaged and Spider-Man is too fast. The glider is losing fuel and going down. Spider-Man vows to take Green Goblin down even if he has to go down too. Green Goblin tries to use the time dilation device but it too is not working. Green Goblin lands and tries to fix the device. Spider-Man swings down yelling "You'll pay, Osborn!" Green Goblin activates the device but there is a gravitational imbalance and the portal begins sucking everything in sight. Green Goblin tries to run away but Spider-Man lands and stops him.

Green Goblin slips and almost falls into the portal. Spider-Man is fine because he can stick to the ground thanks to his powers. Green Goblin begs for Spider-Mans help when his mask falls off and Norman regains control. Norman then begs for help to which Spider-Man almost refuses, but he knows he can't stand by and let this happen despite what he's done. Revenge is never justified. Spider-Man tries to grab Norman but Green Goblin surfaces and uses his remote to call his glider. The glider doesn't save Green Goblin but instead knocks him into the portal. With the Green Goblin and the time dilation device inside the portal closes, including any chance Peter may have of saving Mary Jane.

PeterAngryAtMW

With no other option Spider-Man calls out for Madame Web. Spider-Man asks for her to bring them back, in exchange for anything. Madame Web refuses. This is the path he's chosen, to do things for himself. It is just another thing Spider-Man must learn. Spider-Man has had enough! He is tired of Madame Web's arrogance, her riddles, and her lessons. Spider-Man doesn't want her in his life ever again. Madame Web complies, for now. But Peter is still the chosen one and she will return for the ultimate battle. It is his destiny.

SpiderManFails

Peter is transported back to the bridge. Mary Jane Watson is supposedly dead. Harry Osborn wants nothing to do with Peter. And Madame Web has stopped offering any help or advice. The perfect life he thought he had is now in ruins. Peter then comments on the recent events by stating that he tried to protect everyone and that he failed the people who needed him most. He also laments that Mary Jane is now gone forever.

In the interdimensional limbo Mary Jane desperately calls out for help, but no one is there to hear her.

Quotes

"For so long now I've tried to be there for everyone, tried to live up to the responsibility that comes with this great power but when push came to shove, I failed the people who needed me most. The woman I love is gone. Gone forever."

-Spider-Man

Trivia

Goofs

Continuity

  • Norman Osborn/Green Goblin discovers Spider-Man's identity.
  • Final appearance of real Mary Jane Watson. In later episodes a clone of her was created. She was, however, mentionted several times in subsequent episodes and also appeared in few flashbacks.

Background

The death of Gwen Stacy was one of the most significant events in Peter Parker's life since Uncle Ben was killed. At the time Spider-Man's nemesis was Doctor Octopus but thanks to the story Green Goblin took the lead. In the aftermath Mary Jane went from just a carefree party girl to a responsible supporting character that would eventually become Peter's wife. The story also presented the first time a major comic book character was killed and stayed dead. It would be long remembered as one of the biggest examples, along with the death of Uncle Ben, of when Spider-Man failed to save the day.

When the show first started Fox Kids' Standard & Practices forbid any character from being killed. Because of that restriction Gwen Stacy was not included as they felt they could not include a character who was destined to die. This episode essentially serves the same purpose as the comics. Up until this point Kingpin was predominantly Spider-Man's biggest threat. Most if not all the following episodes would be affected in some way by these events. Also, Felicia Hardy aka Black Cat would become Peter/Spider-Man's main interest until Mary Jane's clone would appear. Gwen Stacy would appear as a character from an alternate universe.

In the comics, Green Goblin died at the end of the comic by impaling himself on his own glider, and long after Gwen died. Here, he is sucked into a portal right after.

The title is taken from the cover of the comic where Gwen died. Although the comic did not state the name until the end it contained the words "Turning Point' in large bold letters as part of a sentence.

This is the last episode in which Linda Gary provides the voice of Aunt May as she would pass away. For the rest of the series, she would be followed by Julie Bennett though is still credited in "The Return of Kraven".

Reception

"Amazing Spidey" of Marvel Animation Age called it easily his favorite episode of the series, and possibly of any cartoon. The animation was beautiful throughout, and one of the better in terms of visuals. Christopher Daniel Barnes and Neil Ross were said to have given their best performances with outstanding lines. It was just a shame since the series never managed to live up to this episode again. Overall the episode was executed well. "Amazing Spidey" was also grateful to see Peter get angry and Madame Web. "Amazing Spidey" felt Madame Web was overly arrogant and was constantly making Spider-Man look stupid, and was glad to see her finally disappear for a while. The only drawback was that several episodes would keep repeating the bridge scene in flashbacks which became monotonous. "Amazing Spidey" felt that the episode could have benefited from pushing some of the censor boundaries, much like Superman: The Animated Series did in the episode "Apokolips... Now!"

Comic Book Resources ranked this as the fifth greatest episode of the series. They noted it was dark, taking inspiration from the comics. They found it appropriately titled as it changed the series afterwards. They noted how Spider-Man had to really struggle for the first time to do the right thing, fighting his feelings to get vengeance and instead try to save the man who took Mary Jane away from him. They found the ending memorable having them on the edge of their seats.[1]

On TV.com the episode has a 9.2 Superb rating.

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