After successfully repelling the Klyntar invasion, Max Modell faces the music for his continued secret experiments with the V-252 Symbiote. During their quest to clear their principal and mentor’s name, the Spider Team run into the villain Swarm, who has ties to the Jackal and his genetic experiments and serum. Peter and company try their best to defend their principal at his school board hearing but to no avail. Modell is fired and Doctor Connors takes over as the head of Horizon High. If that weren’t bad enough, Spider-Man’s secret identity is compromised.
[Slight Spoilers for 3.5 Ahead!]
Doctor Connors wastes little time in changing Horizon High to match his vision. It seems more like a prison with multiple robot monitors keeping an eye on students and a new drab uniform policy. Also, part of the curriculum involves secret sketchy projects with no clear motive. The only welcoming news is that Anya’s step sister, Maria, has joined the faculty. Still, the Spider Team sense something’s not right and investigate. Miles and Anya shadow the new principal while Gwen, because of her familial ties, pursues the Jackal angle with Peter.
As they all delve deeper, the nefarious plan becomes clearer. Jackal has been performing genetic experiments extracting DNA from the Venom seed. Meanwhile, Doctor Connors has a secret laboratory within Horizon High and has been reporting to a mysterious boss in the shadows. The Spider Team eventually uncover who their main adversary but he’s assembled his own squad of villains to confront them. What follows is an all-out battle where each team member must confront some very personal foes.
The fifth episode of Spider-Man: Maximum Venom effectively combines the two main storylines of the season with the Venom arc in the first half and the Jackal mystery of the second. The convergence of the two parallel scientific experiments is all the master plan of the big bad and you can imagine how frightening he can be combining the Symbiote with the Jackal’s serum (if you watched the teasers, you already know who it is). However, there are nice little clues to foreshadow the reveal like Jackal’s minions early on.
There is plenty of great action from the fight between the previously mentioned minions and Gwen and Peter but the best sequences occur near the end in the super-powered rumble between heroes and villains. We see some familiar faces show up such as Jackal and Swarm and Peter even calls in an old friend for reinforcements knowing the type of threat they are facing. It’s fun to see the full team reunited.
Although the links between the Spider Team and their respective foes are specific to each member, some work better than others. The mounting conflict between Gwen and Jackal develops organically and makes logical sense but ones between Anya and Miles and their opponents seem more forced and sudden. There’s no proper build up and the reveals lack any real impact or significance. It seems more an afterthought and a means to get those characters involved.
In addition to all the action are pleasant lighter moments. The series always ties in STEM principles considering the target audience and it always comes with ingenious devices and toys. Peter’s spider-dust this episode is a clever contraption. Then there’s the lovable Grady Scraps. A kid who served as a minor character last season has really come into his own. He steals many of the few scenes he’s in and provides comic relief, levity, and warmth.
Though some plotlines can feel forced, “Generations” is an exciting episode filled with action and surprising bombshells (if you don’t watch the teasers).
Watch Spider-Man: Maximum Venom Episode 5 tonight at 9pm (EST/PST) on Disney XD.