This episode involves baseball and a diamond heist. "Diamond Heist". Clever huh? Not really.
Peter and his friend Artie are on the school baseball practicing. Peter is pitching and his friend Artie is surprised at the power behind his fastball. Artie suggests he save that for emergencies only. [Yeah, spider-strength and years of web-shooting practice, I know. But Peter's never been involved in organized sports.]
In the locker room they discuss the importance of playing today in hopes of making the team. [Wait. They have uniforms - indicating that they're on the team - and they're worried they might not make the team? What kind of weirdos try out for a team in full uniform?] Artie points out that girls won't go out with guys if they don't make the team. [Way to aim out of your league, Engelberg. Hopefully you'll find a nice girl that'll work you to death to keep her in furs and jewels.] Also Peter and Artie are shown taking a shower in the locker room. No comment other than "why"? Artie suggests that they go to the zoo for the next hour until the game starts. [Baseball, showering with your best friend, and going to the zoo. You know how to party, Artie. Is this an exhibition game or what? I'm very confused about their status on the team. They're on it, but if they don't play they're off? That makes no sense. I think they lost large segments of the voice recording session.]
Elsewhere a very verbose man named Shakespeare is planning to steal the Optimo gem with his gang of men dressed like purple apes[Grape Ape]. These costumes are part of the plan and I am not making this up. They plan to steal the gem from the Cosmopolitan Museum. Before that they're going to the zoo. [They're former method actors that turned to crime. They want to study gorillas in their semi-natural habitat]
Shakespeare unlocks the cage of a great gray ape and lets it run around terrorizing the zoo patrons. [It's as dramatic as you can get when the three main animated segments are the ape pounding its chest, the ape running in one direction, and the looped "crowd" of 10 people running away. Plus - sorry to say - the voice artist sounds like he's trying to work in a Tarzan yell or two. Undermines any tension whatsoever.]
Peter hears of the disturbance ,changes to Spider-Man, and heads to the zoo. [What happened to his shower buddy?] He arrives and confronts the ape directly, ultimately dunking him in the seal exhibit. Once they drain the pool, Peter returns for the baseball game already in progress. He's told to sit on the bench for being late.
"The Bard" and his boys arrive at the museum. They easily overpower the one remaining guard (all others were called away to help at the zoo). Their actions are noticed by the curator of the museum. When he runs outside to find help, he finds Peter looking for a home run ball from his game. He was sent to retrieve the ball so he could warm up and pitch in the game. The curator tells him what's happening. He finds an alley to change to Spider-Man and returns to the museum in an extended swinging sequence[This makes no sense, but this did happen. I know schools are hard up for money but only two baseballs? Also the distance between the stadium and the museum is poorly-defined to say the least. They had no intention of being consistent here.]
Spider-Man enters the museum and attacks Shakespeare and his gang (sans costume). He knocks out the gang quickly leaving only the leader. Shakespeare tries to escape from the roof, but is followed by Spider-Man. Shakespeare tosses the diamond to Spider-Man and uses this distraction to push him off the roof. This backfires when he is pulled off the roof by Spider-Man. Shakespeare lands in the firefighter's trampoline. [They were called at some point, but not on camera]
Peter returns to the baseball game and is put on the mound to throw the final pitch that could give them the win. When he checks his glove, he realizes that he still has the Optimo gem. He throws his special fastball that thankfully whizzes by the batter and wins the game.
This is such a convoluted mess, it makes my head swim to even attempt to explain it.
Peter is on the school baseball team, there's a gang wearing purple ape suits, they use the zoo as a distraction for their theft, and there's apparently an wormhole between his school's baseball field and the museum that can only be accessed when he's in his baseball uniform. When he's Spider-Man he has to swing across town to reach it. Peter wins the "big game" by devaluing a priceless jewel when he uses it as a substitute baseball.
None of this is entertaining or even tolerable. I have no choice but to assume that the writers and director were under the influence when they made this. It would explain the odd story elements and a resolution that makes little sense.
0.5 webs. I wish I could assign it less. This is the black hole of this season. It's so bad that it takes points away from any episode near it.
I made the comment in the previous review that I'm watching these shows on fast forward. That is not the case here. It was confusing enough at regular speed.
This was a simple story that was spun out of control and it failed miserably at every level.