Spider-Man: Guess they don’t need my protection.
The two episode “good” streak ends with Sands Of Crime. I was hoping that this one would follow the story of Sandman’s first appearance in the comics, where he ends his initial caper by demanding that a teacher write him a diploma. But the writers of Spider-Man ’67 have standards. This isn’t a damn comic book. This is television. And on television, you have to show some class.
If Spider-Man is around police and something goes wrong, the police will immediately think Spider-Man was the cause of it. And Spider-Man is caught red handed pretty often, but to the police of 1967 NYC, catching Spider-Man in the act usually means walking into a room, seeing Spider-Man next to someone laughing and holding diamonds and a severed human head, and doing what any normal person would do: asking the maniac if he needs any assistance in carrying that heavy baggage and telling the guy who saves the city on a daily basis to freeze or they’ll shoot. That’s how this episode starts out, with Spider-Man not noticing that a mound of sand has infiltrated the area four feet to his right, and then getting framed.
That sneaky pile of minerals in the Sandman, a villain notable elsewhere for his ability to be sand and known here for the calm, raspy way he speaks. Every other bad guy on this show speaks in the same, wild tone. If you’re wondering what they sounds like, yell “GEYAHHH!” to yourself. There.
We see J. Jonah Jameson talking to the press about the diamonds, soon learning that Spider-Man just “stole” them. Spider-Man is shown swinging away from the police, which makes the “Spider-Man gets framed” arc of this episode last longer than any other continuous plot line in the series thus far, as it lasted longer than one scene. The Sandman demands one million to return the diamond, and when he is given a briefcase filled with scraps of paper, subsequently demands two million for its return. I don’t know the exact term for this type of storytelling technique, but it would be like if they invented a second Death Star in the Star Wars series, after the failure of the fir…oh. It’s the screenwriting equivalent of thinking about baseball during sex.
Jameson fears for his life, so he sends his photographer to die instead. Spider-Man goes to Sandman’s hideout in the rock quarry, and they do battle, a fight which is really oddly paced, considering that, at one point, Sandman disappears into the ground and doesn’t reappear in the time it takes for Spider-Man to get a bulldozer, mill around on it, and look like a complete moron. Sandman just turns into a giant block and runs into the piece of equipment, destroying it and ruining Spider-Man’s plan(?) of toiling the earth enough that Sandman gets mad about his lawn.
Sandman then, in a bizarre tactical display, operates two different kinds of cranes in order to kill Spidey. This yields embarrassing results from someone who could have ended the fight simply by telling Spider-Man to turn around and then bashing his skull in when the idiot wasn’t looking. Spider-Man ends up shooting a hose at Sandman, rendering him incapable of any defense, and so continues the theme of Spider-Man beating his foes through the power of sheer humiliation.
It seems someone hired a small child with no muscle tone to be Spider-Man’s cartoon body double for a few seconds.
Amazing Spidey Quote:
J. Jonah Jameson: It just goes to show you, you can’t send a teenager to do a man’s job!
Usually, the show ends with Peter Parker getting the physical/moral victory by muttering something under his breath. I choose this as my favorite quote of the episode if only because we don’t end the show on a bad pun created by our completely unlikable neighborhood Spider-Man.