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Guilty is the first episode of season four and the first episode in a season long arc called Partners in Danger. Spider-Man must prove Joseph Robertson's innocence after he is framed for a crime he didn't commit.

Plot

Anna Watson is lying in a hospital bed with May Parker and Peter Parker in her room. Anna is angered over the disappearance of Mary Jane Watson and blames Peter. May tells Peter that Anna didn't mean what she said. However, Peter knows that Mary Jane's disappearance was his fault as he remembers back to when he fought Green Goblin and Mary Jane vanishing after falling off of the George Washington Bridge. Peter also remembers back to when Harry Osborn found out about both his father and Mary Jane disappearing and how devastated he was. Peter then thinks that if he wasn't Spider-Man none of this would have happened and decides to quit.

Meanwhile, at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson is telling Joseph Robertson that they need pictures of Spider-Man linking him to Mary Jane's disappearance. However, Robbie defends Spider-Man by saying that he would never hurt an innocent person. Robbie then tells Jameson that he has to leave to watch his Randy's basketball game. As Robbie leaves, Jameson tells him that he is a lucky man and to cherish this time with his family. As Robbie leaves the Daily Bugle he hails a taxi and gets inside. However, the taxi speeds off and a sleeping gas is released in the back seat which knocks out Robbie.

The next morning a group of criminals are gathered on a cargo ship at the docks. As Spider-Man arrives the gangs leader, called Mastermind, shoots Spider-Man and he falls into the ocean. When Spider-Man gets back onto the ship all the criminals easily give up. Spider-Man then removes Mastermind's ski mask and is shocked to see that it is Robbie.

A few days later Robbie is put on trial for his crimes. Robbie tries to explain that someone kidnapped him. However, the prosecuting attorney argued that everything he was saying was totally unbelievable. The jury later finds Robbie guilty of his crimes. Peter, who is in the courtroom, believes that it was his fault for ruining Robbie's life. As Martha Robertson and Randy exit the courthouse they are bombarded by reporters. Randy defends his father saying that he is a good man. Jameson gets in front of the reports and tells them that Robbie is the most honest man he's ever known and that he will use all of his resources to prove his innocence.

Later at the Daily Bugle, Jameson calls the governor and tells him that Robbie has been framed. However, the governor doesn't believe him, because of lack of evidence, and hangs up. When Peter arrives, Jameson tells him to look into Spider-Man because he is sure Spider-Man set Robbie up. However, Ned Leeds believes that Robbie and Spider-Man were working together and that Robbie betrayed Spider-Man, and that Robbie is really guilty. However, Jameson quickly dismisses Ned's idea.

Sometime later, Martha and Randy visit Robbie in prison. Randy blames Spider-Man for his father being in prison. However, Robbie defends Spider-Man and tells Randy that Spider-Man was doing what he thought was right. At that moment Peter develops the pictures he took at the docks and sees that Robbie was not pulling the trigger when the gun fired. Peter then realizes that Robbie has been set up.

Meanwhile, at Crime Central, Kingpin hacks into the Department of Corrections computer and changes the prison Robbie is going to be sent to from New York State Penitentiary to Rooker's Island Penitentiary.

Peter goes to the Daily Bugle and tells Glory Grant that he needs to speak with J. Jonah Jameson. However, Glory tells Peter that Jameson isn't in a good mood because he just got word that Robbie had been sentenced to fifteen years at Rooker's State Penitentiary. As Jameson walks out of his office he scolds Peter for showing his face around the Daily Bugle without any evidence to help Robbie. However, Peter shows Jameson the photo of Robbie with the gun and shows him that the gun fired even though he wasn't pulling the trigger. Peter tells Jameson that he will continue to investigate. However, Jameson replies that Peter is an amateur and that he will handle this himself. J. Jonah Jameson then proclaims that "Jigsaw Jameson is back", which was a nickname Jameson was given during his days as an investigative reporter. Peter thinks to himself that he should keep an eye on Jameson just in case he gets into trouble.

Peter is secretly able to put a Spider-Tracer on Jameson who hails a taxi. However, the taxi driver is the same man that was driving the taxi that kidnapped Robbie. The driver uses his radio to inform the other criminals of where he is taking Jameson. However, he pretends he is talking to the base of the taxi business. The first person Jameson visits is a beat cop named James Mills. Jameson asks Officer Mills about where someone could obtain high-tech weapons. Mills tells Jameson to talk to Joey Nails. Jameson recognizes the name Joey Nails as one of his informants during his days as a reporter. However, Mills tells Jameson that Joey is a successful businessman now not own a high-class restaurant called Baby Joe's.

Sometime later, Jameson arrives at Baby Joe’s. As Jameson gets inside he sees an old friend of his, Nora, working as a waitress. Jameson tells Nora that he needs to talk to Joey Nails. Nora has Jameson sit in a chair. However, Nora presses a button which straps Jameson to the chair so he can't move. Jameson is then lowered through a secret elevator in the floor into Joey Nails’ office. Joey lets Jameson out of the chair and Jameson quickly grabs a warehouse storage record that is on his desk. When Joey tries to get the record back, Jameson is able to trap Joey in the chair. Jameson then leaves Baby Joe's. Outside of Baby Joe's Spider-Man sees two armored on a rooftop that are about to shoot Jameson. However, Spider-Man webs them up. When Spider-Man asks who they are working for one of the thugs answers that he won't talk because if he did his employer would kill him.

Jameson then goes to the warehouse that was listed on the records that he got from Joey Nails and Spider-Man follows him. As Spider-Man enters the warehouse he is attacked by a group of armored thugs. One of the thugs arms a bomb to explode in one minute and thirty seconds. One of the thugs nearly kills Jameson. However, Jameson is saved by Spider-Man. When Jameson sees Spider-Man he believes even strongly that Spider-Man was responsible for framing Robbie. Jameson then grabs a laser gun and points it at Spider-Man. However, the bomb explodes which causes the warehouse to catch on fire. Spider-Man is able to get him and Jameson to the warehouse's basement before the ceiling can fall on them. Spider-Man quickly finds the same gun that Robbie shot him with at the docks. Jameson also finds a remote control for the gun and realizes that this is the proof he needs to prove that Robbie was framed. Jameson tells Spider-Man that he will immediately take the evidence to a judge to prove Robbie's innocence and leaves. As Spider-Man looks around the basement he sees that there are several high-tech computers in there. Spider-Man deduces that the only person with enough resources to purchase all those computers is the Kingpin. As Spider-Man tries to access the computer's files on Robbie he sees that the computer is password protected. Spider-Man then starts to try and hack into the computer.

At that moment Robbie arrives at Rooker's Island. Spider-Man is also able to hack into Kingpin's files by using the password "progeny" and learns that Robbie was supposed to be transferred to New York State Penitentiary but Kingpin changed it to where Robbie would be sent to Rooker's Island. Spider-Man knows that progeny means offspring and realizes that Kingpin's son, Richard Fisk, was at Rooker's Island. Spider-Man deduces why Robbie was sent to Rooker's and realizes that Robbie may be in real danger.

Meanwhile, at Rooker's, Richard Fisk and Tombstone enter Robbie's cell. Tombstone then revealed to Robbie that he had Fisk frame him as repayment for Tombstone helping Fisk in prison. As Spider-Man arrives at Rooker's he is quickly spotted by the guards. As Spider-Man breaks into the prison a security guard named Butch, who is really a spy working for the Kingpin, escorts Robbie, Richard and Tombstone to the courtyard where a helicopter is waiting for them. Spider-Man follows the three of them and attaches a webline to the helicopter as it takes off. As Spider-Man gets onto the helicopter the pilot tries to shoot Spider-Man. However, he accidentally shoots the helicopters engine which causes it to go down. Tombstone and Richard accidentally fall out of the helicopter and are quickly recaptured by the guards. Spider-Man also gets himself, Robbie and Kingpin's spy to safety.

A few days later Jameson testifies in court and presents the evidence he found while investigating Robbie's case. After hearing all the evidence the judge acquits Robbie of all charges. At the Daily Bugle a party is thrown for Robbie welcoming him back. Robbie thanks Jameson for all he did. Robbie then tells Peter that he had never been more convinced in his life that Spider-Man was a true hero. Peter at that time had been contemplating not being Spider-Man anymore, but after hearing Robbie say that decided that the world really did need Spider-Man after all.

Cast

Actor Role
Christopher Daniel Barnes Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Majel Barrett Anna Watson
Julie Bennett May Parker
Gary Imhoff Harry Osborn
Ed Asner J. Jonah Jameson
Rodney Saulsberry Joseph Robertson
Iona Morris Martha Robertson
Alfonso Ribeiro Randy Robertson
Bob Bergen Need Leeds
Roscoe Lee Browne Kingpin / Wilson Fisk
David Warner Herbert Landon
Nell Carter Glory Grant
Frankie Crocker Jimmy Mills
Lois Nettleton Nora
Stanley Ralph Ross Joey Nails
Nick Jameson Richard Fisk
Dorian Harewood Tombstone / Lonnie Lincoln
Ken Chandler Additional voices
Sara Ballantine Mary Jane Watson

Cameos

Locations

  • Manhattan
  • Cargo ship
  • Upstate New York
  • Prison
  • Rooker's Island Penitentiary

Items

Continuity

  • Spider-Man has flashbacks to the events of Turning Point.
  • Spider-Man mentions that Richard Fisk has been at Rooker's Island Penitentiary ever since that time he tried to frame his alter ego, Peter Parker, for treason. This happened in the episodes Framed and The Man Without Fear.
  • When Robbie sees Tombstone, he remembers the events of the episode Tombstone.

Trivia

  • This episode is based on The Spectacular Spider-Man #150 (May, 1989), The Spectacular Spider-Man #151 (June, 1989) and The Spectacular Spider-Man #155 (October, 1989).
  • Starting with this episode May Parker would be voiced by Julie Bennet. Linda Gary who originally voiced May Parker passed away from cancer on October 5, 1995.
  • Throughout the first three seasons, Ned Leeds name can be seen on the byline of various Daily Bugle newspapers. However, this is the first time that Ned Leeds physically appears in the show.
  • When Kingpin hacks into the Department of Corrections computer the names of the inmates on the computer are Richard Allen, Matthew Edelman, Joseph Robertson and Brooks Stonestreet. All of these names, except for Joseph Robertson, are members of the production staff of Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • Richard Allen was a supervising editor on Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • Matthew Edelman was a production executive on Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • Brooks Stonestreet was a production assistant on Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • When J. Jonah Jameson is talking to Officer Mills about Joey Nails, Jameson says that Nails "used to stooly for me years ago." Stooly is a slang word that means a person employed or acting as a decoy or informer, especially for the police.
  • A computer file on Robbie reveals that his full name is Joseph R. Robertson and that he was born on March 20, 1965.
  • When Spider-Man uses his webbing to create a parachute he acts surprised that it worked. However, Spider-Man used his Web-Shooters to create a parachute two episodes prior in Goblin War!.
  • The beat cop that Frankie Crocker voices is called Jimmy Mills in the episode. However, the credits mistakenly list the name of Crocker's character as Jimmy Dugan.

Episode review

A review by Amazing Spidey from Marvel Animation Age

Guilty was an interesting episode, taking place a short time after Turning Point and featured our hero grieving over the loss of Mary Jane. A wise choice, to simply see Spider-Man fighting another villain after the revelation of Turning Point would have been confusing.

The beginning was handled very nicely, showing that the loss of MJ was obviously torturing him inside. Whilst it would get really tedious seeing the Turning Point flashback every time someone mentioned Mary Jane, it was well done here.

The other main focus of the episode was to show a little more of Robbie Robertson and Jonah Jameson. I could see it was Tombstone who set him up coming, but it executed in an enjoyable way, it kept me guessing up until the last second. I thought this series did a great job with Robbie and Jonah, they had reasonable designs, good lines and absolutely brilliant voice actors.

One of the highlights of the episode was seeing Jigsaw Jameson. It was some interesting character development for Jonah, who had another side of his character shown, not one that just shouts at Parker. One of the series best one-liners came from this, as the judge who is talking to Jameson on the phone hung up on him after he stated he'd stake his reputation on it!

Overall, it was an enjoyable episode. Not an especially brilliant one, but it's nice to get a small episode focusing on the characters every once and a while. And let's face it, who doesn't love a bit of J. Jonah Jameson every now and then?

Quotes

Spider-Man: "Anna Watson was closer to the truth than Aunt May realizes. It's Spider-Man's fault they're both gone. This costume's gotta go. It's the only way I'll ever be able to live with myself."

Harry Osborn: "My father's vanished. I'm sure the Green Goblin's kidnapped him again. Now the Goblin's taken Mary Jane, too! Why? How can I live my life without the two people I love the most?"

J. Jonah Jameson: "We need Spider-Man right here on the front page. Pictures of Spider-Man at the scene of that Watson girl's disappearance."
Joseph Robertson: "Jonah, Spider-Man would never hurt that girl. He protects people."
J. Jonah Jameson: "I've never felt protected by him. We need those photos. Call Parker."
Joseph Robertson: "I did, but he said he doesn't want his career tied to Spider-Man anymore."
J. Jonah Jameson: "What?! The nerve of that kid! In my day, you did what your editor told you to do and you liked it! Those were the days. When I was a reporter, I'd have solved a mystery like the Watson disappearance before lunch. Did I ever tell you about the time. . ."
Joseph Robertson: "Sorry, Jonah, but I've gotta run. My son is starting in the all-star game in less than an hour."
J. Jonah Jameson: "You know, I miss those days with my own son. You should cherish this time with your family. You're a lucky man."
Joseph Robertson: "That's one thing we can agree on, Jonah. I am a lucky man."

Spider-Man: "If I'm gonna quit, it looks like they're gonna throw me one heck of a party. And what's a party without snapshots?"

(Spider-Man is shot by a laser.)
Spider-Man: "I feel like I was kicked by a mule."

Spider-Man: "Mastermind? Your name's as hokey as your costume."

Spider-Man: "You've gotta be one heck of a leader to have so many men wanna take the fall with you. Who are you?"
(Spider-Man removes Mastermind's ski mask.)
Spider-Man: "Robbie?!"

J. Jonah Jameson: "Robbie Robertson is the most decent man I've ever known. And I intend to use every resource available to me to overturn this verdict."

Spider-Man: "Ned Leeds is right about one thing. Spider-Man did betray Robbie. After all the times he stood up for me, I helped put him behind bars."

Randy Robertson: "Why should we have to hold it together? It's Spider-Man's fault you're in here!"
Joseph Robertson: "Randy, Spider-Man was just doing what he thought was right. He's a good man at heart."
Randy Robertson: "Oh, yeah, Dad? If he's so good, where is he to help you now?"

Peter Parker: "The gun's firing but for no reason. Robbie's been set up! And whoever's behind it is a master of deception."

Kingpin: "Yes, all is going according to plan. Now, what remains is for Robertson to be sentenced to the proper correctional facility."
Herbert Landon: "And how on Earth can you control that?"
Kingpin: "You forget, I am a man of unlimited resources. I have my methods."
(Kingpin hacks into the Department of Corrections computer and changes the prison Robbie is going to be sent to.)
Kingpin: "You see? All it takes is a little ingenuity and $25 million worth of digital equipment."

J. Jonah Jameson: "Parker, how dare you show your face around here without bringing in some hard evidence. Why, in my day. . ."
Peter Parker: "Actually, Mr. Jameson, I do have something."
J. Jonah Jameson: "What?"
Peter Parker: "Look! That stun blaster that Robbie fired, he's not pulling the trigger."
J. Jonah Jameson: "Good start, Parker! You're not as lazy as everyone around here says."
Peter Parker: "Thanks, Mr. Jameson. I'll get right. . ."
J. Jonah Jameson: "This is too important a clue to leave to an amateur. I'm going to investigate this myself. Just like the good old days. Jigsaw Jameson is back, and he's gonna get to the bottom of this puzzle."
Peter Parker: "Jigsaw Jameson? JJ, something tells me I better keep an eye on you."

Spider-Man: "I hate being in this suit again, but there are a lot of dangerous creeps out there now, and he may be too rusty to handle them. Still, I have to admire your guts."

Jimmy Mills: "I still can't believe it! Jigsaw Jameson, but you're a big C.E.O. now! What are you doin' down here?"
J. Jonah Jameson: "Same as before. I need information. So the person I come to is Jimmy Mills, the best beat cop I ever knew."
Jimmy Mills: "Oh, baloney, I'm gettin' to old for this stuff. But since you're askin' about high-tech weapons, Joseph Nails is your man."
J. Jonah Jameson: "Joey Nails? He used to stooly for me years ago."
Jimmy Mills: "He's big time now, owns some fancy supper club on the Upper East Side. It's called Baby Joe's."

J. Jonah Jameson: "So do you still remember how to make a Newshound Float?"
Nora: "What?"
J. Jonah Jameson: "You shove him in the water and toss him a life preserver."
Nora: "Jigsaw, what are you doing here?"
J. Jonah Jameson: "Hello, Nora. I'm back on the crime beat, and I'm here to see Joey Nails."
Nora: "No, nobody sees Joey just like that anymore."
J. Jonah Jameson: "He'll see me. I want to talk about old times, and new."

Joey Nails: "Well, Jigsaw Jameson. You never write, you never call. You're too big for your old friends now?"
J. Jonah Jameson: "Only for two-bit crooks like you, Nails."
Joey Nails: "Hey, no fair. I'm strictly legit now."
J. Jonah Jameson: "Oh, yeah? Then what's with the fancy chair? This just for haircuts?"
Joey Nails: "Everybody's got enemies. But what do I got to fear from an old geezer like you?"
J. Jonah Jameson: "Plenty! For one thing, I can smell a warehouse storage record from a mile away."
Joey Nails: "Hey! Put that down! It's none of your business!"
J. Jonah Jameson: "Not bad for a geezer, huh? I always could get the drop on you, Nails. Thanks for the info."

Spider-Man: "Who are you working for?! Talk!"
Thug: "I'd rather go to jail than squeal on my boss. I like breathing."

(Spider-Man grabs a big pipe and throws it at some criminals that are shooting at him.)
spider-Man: "Guys, pipe down, will ya?"

J. Jonah Jameson: "Okay, Spider-Man, let's finish this once and for all."
Spider-Man: "Didn't you ever think that if Robbie Robertson thought I was okay, there might be something to it?"
J. Jonah Jameson: "That's just like the blaster Robbie was holding in the picture! This is a remote control unit."
Spider-Man: "And I'll just bet it operates the blaster. This proves that Robbie was set up."
J. Jonah Jameson: "That tunnel probably leads to the river where they secretly ship the stuff in. Spider-Man, I'd give anything to settle your hash right now, but I've got a judge to see and a man's life to save."
Spider-Man: "Well, I've gotta give old fuzz-head credit. He never gives up."

Spider-Man: "Hope I'm not too late. And I also hope it's easier to break into prison than out of one."

J. Jonah Jameson: "You see, Robbie? It wasn't Spider-Man who helped you when you were in trouble, it was me."
Joseph Robertson: "I'll never forget what you did for me, 'Jigsaw'."
J. Jonah Jameson: "I had to do something. It would've been too much work to replace you."

Joseph Robertson: "I hope you'll change your mind about taking pictures of Spider-Man, Peter. I've never been more convinced in my life that Spider-Man is a true hero. I know his job's not easy, but he's exactly what this city, this world, needs right now. I hope he never gives up."
Peter Parker: "Okay, Mr. Robertson, consider my mind changed."

Spider-Man: "Thanks, Robbie. I needed to hear that. More than you'll ever know."

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