Friday, April 3, 2009

Opening Night

Season: 1
Episode Number: 25
Season Episode Number: 12
Production Number: 212

Writer: Greg Weisman
Director: Mike Goguen

Voices: Josh Keaton (Spider-Man), Lacey Chabert (Gwen Stacy), Allana Ubach (Liz Allan), Joshua LeBar (Flash Thompson), Vanessa Marshall (Mary Jane Watson), Grey DeLisle (Sally Avril, Voice of Oscorp), Cree Summer (Glory Grant), Charles Duckworth (Hobie Brown), Andrew Kishino (Kenny Kong), Kelly Hu (Sha Shan Nguyen), Jeff Bennett (St. John Devreaux, Bernard Houseman, Montana), Daran Norris (J.Jonah Jameson), Clancy Brown (Captain George Stacy, Rhino), Alan Rachins (Norman Osborn), Tricia Helfer (Black Cat), James Remar (Cat Burgler), Phil LaMarr (Fancy Dan), Miguel Ferrer (Silvermane), Eric Lopez (Molten Man), Steve Blum (Green Goblin, Matthew Resnick).

Plot: It's opening night of the school play, but Spider-Man is too busy testing out a new jail cell inside the Vault, a maximum security prison, to take in the show. The Green Goblin sets all the inmates free in an attempt to destroy Spider-Man, leaving Spidey and the Black Cat, who has broken into the Vault looking for her father, to team up and bring down all the villains!

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): We're gearing up to the end of the season here, but it doesn't quite seem like the stakes are as high as the last season. Opening Night is a great episode, but it is a fun, stand alone episode rather than a big set up for a grande finale.

Producer and Story Editor Greg Weisman actually puts his pen to paper for this episode and snags the writing credit. And boy, does this episode have a Gargoyles feel to it.

The obvious Weisman element in this episode is the use of Shakespeare, which often seemed to creep its way into episodes of Gargoyles. Here, we see it in the student play which the students have been preparing over the course of the season. We finally get to see their hard work pay off as they perform A Midsummer Night's Dream before a packed house. In case you were wondering, here is the cast:

  • Oberon - Kenny Kong
  • Titania - Sha Shan Nguyen
  • Puck - Hobie Brown
  • Cobweb - Glory Grant
  • Hermia - Mary Jane Watson
  • Helena - Liz Allan
  • Nick Bottom - Flash Thompson

  • Hobie speaks! After two seasons of being interrupted, Hobie makes his vocal debut by playing the jovial Puck. And he does a darn good job of it too. Weisman does a brilliant job tying the story together with scenes from the play. And the analogy of Puck referring to the Green Goblin is a nice touch.

    By the way I'm writing, you would think that there was no more to this episode than the play. While in fact, there is much more! The Black Cat breaks into the Vault to rescue her father, who is in the shadows for most of the episode.

    When Spider-Man joins the pair, the man steps out of the shadows to reveal...someone we're supposed to recognize? The man is Walter Hardy, the Cat Burglar, but we are supposed to recognize him as the man who shot Uncle Ben whom we saw briefly in the flashback scene in the one episode Weisman wrote for season one, Intervention. I don't know about you, but I didn't recognize him until Spidey put it in context for me.

    Making the Black Cat's father the Burglar that killed Uncle Ben doesn't make a huge difference to Spidey's origin, but it does make the Cat Burglar a more interesting character and it give another side to the Black Cat, distancing her from all the Catwoman similarities.

    Opening Night is a nice episode, full of action and humour. It is well written, well animated and it was great to see all those villains again. However, it feels like the calm before the storm for what will probably be a showdown between Spidey and Gobby.

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    1 comment:

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