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Return of the Green Goblin is the eighth episode from season four. Harry Osborn becomes the new Green Goblin to get revenge on Spider-Man for his father's disappearance. Meanwhile, Punisher searches for Peter Parker because he believes he was somehow involved in Mary Jane's disappearance.

Plot

In a strange world Harry Osborn is being pursued by the Green Goblin. As Harry runs away he trips and falls into a puddle. When Harry looks up he sees his father Norman Osborn. Harry begs Norman not to leave him. However, Norman floats away into a building that resembles OsCorp but with a giant goblin head as the entrance. As Harry enters the building he falls into a giant spider web and gets stuck. Harry is approached by Spider-Man and Harry begs him to save his father. However, Spider-Man transforms into the Man-Spider, grabs Harry and hands him to the Green Goblin. Green Goblin then pushes Harry into a bottomless pit. Just then Harry wakes up in his bedroom realizing that it was just a nightmare. Harry walks into the bathroom and splashes water on his face. However, when Harry looks into the bathroom mirror his reflection transforms into the Green Goblin. Harry is startled by this and Green Goblin tells Harry that there is much they have to do together.

Green Goblin has Harry drive to OsCorp. Inside OsCorp, Green Goblin leads Harry into a janitors closet and they enter a secret room that contains goblin weapons. Harry wonders how they are able to communicate. Green Goblin tells Harry about how Spider-Man trapped him in limbo and how he believed he would be alone forever. Green Goblin has Harry walk over to some oxygen tanks and orders him to turn the valve. Harry refuses and asks why he should take orders from him. Green Goblin answers that he knows where his father is and that he will only tell Harry if he does as he says. As Harry turns the valve the tanks release a gas and when Harry breaths it in it causes his muscle mass to increase.

Elsewhere, Frank Castle is visiting his wife's grave. Frank talks to Maria and says that no matter how many thugs he takes off the street there are always more. Franks says that he wants to make a real difference in at least one person's life. Just then Frank hears crying at a nearby tombstone. The woman crying is Anna Watson. Franks walks over to Anna and tells her that it is dangerous to be in the cemetery this late at night. Anna tells Frank that she needed to visit her late husband's grave. Anna continues to tell Frank that she knows a crime has been committed but she can't prove anything. Frank tells Anna that she can tell him about what happened. Anna then takes Frank back to her place and tells Frank about Mary Jane's disappearance and how she believed that Peter Parker was somehow involved. However, she has no proof. Remembering what he told his wife about actually wanting to make a difference in someone's life, Frank agrees to help Anna.

At that moment Peter Parker and Liz Allen are walking together down as sidewalk. Peter tells Liz that he is finally starting to believe that Mary Jane might be gone for good. Liz asks Peter how Harry has been doing since Mary Jane's disappearance. Peter answers that all Harry wants to do anymore is sleep. Liz then suggests that they cheer Harry up with a light night pizza. After getting the pizzas Peter and Liz go to Harry's apartment. As Liz is unlocking the door Peter's spider sense goes off. Peter grabs Liz and runs off before the door explodes. Peter runs outside carrying Liz who is unconscious but uninjured. As Peter look up to Harry's apartment window he is shocked to see Green Goblin flying away on his glider. Peter runs into an alley, quickly changes into his Spider-Man costume, and web slings after Green Goblin. Spider-Man is able to force Green Goblin to land on a rooftop and tackles him. Spider-Man is ready to get revenge on who he believes to be Norman Osborn for what he did to Mary Jane. However, when Spider-Man removes he is shock to see that it is Harry. Harry is able to escape Spider-Man grasp and escapes on his glider. Spider-Man is left wondering how Harry got the Green Goblin's powers. Nearby, the real Green Goblin is scolding Harry for not going after Spider-Man. Harry tells the Green Goblin that he needs more bombs.

A short while later Punisher pulls up to the burning apartment building in his Battle Van. Punisher is listening to a J3 Communications news report and learns that Harry Osborn is the only person that lives in the apartment building that has not been accounted for. Microchip tells Punisher that he found another address for Harry Osborn and gives it to him.

The next morning Peter goes to Harry's mansion. Peter breaks into the mansion and finds a secret room with Harry's Goblin equipment. Peter discovers Harry's laptop and sees and sees that there is a map with locations for six Goblin hideouts across New York City. Peter makes a printout of the map and hopes that he will find Harry at one of these locations. As Peter exits the mansion, his spider-sense warns him that he is being watched. It's Punisher that is watching him and he decides to follow Peter to find out what he is up to.

Peter goes to the first location on the map which is in an old rundown apartment building. As Peter searches the apartment he finds a hidden room filled with Goblin weapons. However, Punisher comes in and hold Peter at gunpoint. Punisher says that he is looking for Mary Jane and three names keep coming up in his investigation: Green Goblin, Spider-Man, and Peter Parker, and he wants to known how these three are connected. However, Peter grabs a pumpkin bomb and throws it on the ground and it releases a smoke screen. In the confusion Peter tries to escape but is caught by Punisher. Punisher tells Peter that he thinks he's the Green Goblin and that he became the Green Goblin when Mary Jane decided that she like Harry better and kidnapped her. As Punisher throws Peter against a table, he picks up a pair of goblin gloves and puts them on. Peter then uses the gloves to shoot Punisher with electricity which temporarily stuns him. Peter then gets on a Goblin Glider and uses it to fly away. However, Punisher fires a missile at the glider which causes Peter to crash in a playground. Punisher walks up to Peter and picks up a CD that Peter dropped that contained the map of the Goblin hideouts. Just then Green Goblin flies up and drops a bomb near Peter and Punisher. Peter sarcastically tells Punisher that that must be him in the sky and runs off. As Punisher drives off in the Battle Van, he emails a copy of the map to Microchip who deduces that the locations marked on the map are Goblin hideouts. Microchip then plots to fastest route to each base for Punisher.

When Harry returns to his lair he sees the real Green Goblin's image in a mirror. The Green Goblin scolds Harry for allowing himself to be chased through the city by Peter and the Punisher and for ruining his reputation. Harry loses his temper and yells at the Green Goblin. This makes Green Goblin happy and tells Harry that there is a little of the Goblin spirit in him after all. Green Goblin then tells Harry to go to OsCorp where he will find a new glider that he can use to defeat Spider-Man and the Punisher. As Harry flies off, Punisher shoots a tracking device at the glider and it sticks to it.

At that moment Spider-Man is web slinging through the city. Spider-Man is wondering why he is letting Punisher beat him to the punch especially when he has the benefit of knowing that the Green Goblin is really Harry Osborn. Spider-Man then deduces that Harry will be at OsCorp.

A short while later at OsCorp, Harry is preparing to use the Battle Glider. Green Goblin tells Harry that with this new glider he will be invincible. Harry tells Green Goblin that he doesn't care about being invincible, he just wants to see his father again. As Spider-Man enters the room he hears Harry say this and tells him that his father is gone. Green Goblin reveals to Harry that Spider-Man is really Peter Parker and tells him that he can not be trusted. Spider-Man then sees Harry talking to the Green Goblin. However, Harry is the only one that can see Green Goblin and Spider-Man believes that he has gone crazy. Spider-Man then reveals to Harry that his father was the Green Goblin. Harry asks Green Goblin if Spider-Man is lying. Green Goblin then removes his mask revealing to Harry that he is Norman Osborn. Harry realizes that he is the only one that can see the Green Goblin because he is his son. Harry then goes totally insane. Harry realizes that he is the only one that can see or hear him because he is his son. Harry then decides that he will finally earn his father's respect by becoming the new Green Goblin. As Harry flies away on his glider, Punisher enters the building. Punisher wants Spider-Man to answer his questions, but Spider-Man gets away. Punisher follows after them in the Battle Van.

Green Goblin leads Spider-Man on a chase to the George Washington Bridge. Spider-Man realizes that the George Washington Bridge is where he ended Norman's career so Harry wants to end Spider-Man there. Spider-Man tried to talk Harry down by saying that they are still friends. However, Harry doesn't listen. Just then Punisher fires a missile at Harry. Punisher misses and Green Goblin goes after Punisher. Spider-Man tells Punisher he won't be able to stop Green Goblin. Punisher listens to Spider-Man and runs for safety. Spider-Man then tackles Green Goblin and they both fall into the Hudson River. Spider-Man searches for Harry in the river but is unable to find him and fears that he has lost Harry the same way he lost Mary Jane. However, unknown to Spider-Man, Harry washed up on shore and was carried away by the Punisher. From limbo, Green Goblin watches as Harry is carried away by Punisher and is furious that his son failed. However, Norman witnesses Mary Jane walk up to the shore of the Hudson River and questions how it is possible that she is there.

Peter Parker walks to his home believing that now both Mary Jane and Harry are gone. However, when Peter enters his house he is surprised to see Punisher and Harry, who is tied up an alive, sitting on the couch. Punisher walks up to Peter and demands to know once and for all where Mary Jane Watson is. Just then the doorbell rings and Peter is worried that it might be Aunt May. However, as the door opens everyone is shocked to see that it is Mary Jane. Peter runs up and embraces her and asks where she has been. Mary Jane answers that she doesn't know where she's been, she only knew that she had to find Peter. Punisher walks up to Peter and says that he has a promise to keep. Punisher takes Mary Jane to Anna who is glad to have her back. May Parker is also glad to have Mary Jane back. As Punisher leaves in his Battle Van, he records a war journal entry saying that he doesn't known how everything with Mary Jane got started but for the first time in a long time he feels human again.

As the sun rises Spider-Man web slings with Harry through the city telling Harry that he is taking him somewhere he can get some help. Harry questions if it is Peter under the masks and says that he doesn't know what is real anymore now that he is completely insane. Spider-Man thinks to himself that Mary Jane is back and now maybe the nightmare is actually over.

Cast

Actor Role
Christopher Daniel Barnes Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Gary Imhoff Green Goblin / Harry Osborn
Julie Bennett May Parker
Majel Barrett Anna Watson
Marla Rubinoff Liz Allen
Sara Ballantine Mary Jane Watson
Neil Ross Green Goblin / Norman Osborn
John Beck Punisher / Frank Castle
John F. Beard Newscaster
Robert Axelrod Microchip

Cameos

Locations

  • New York
  • Upstate New York
  • Secret Goblin Lair
  • Manhattan
  • OsCorp
  • Cemetery
  • Pizza parlor
  • Harry Osborn's apartment
  • Punisher's base
  • Apartment building
  • Green Goblin's Lair
  • Queens
  • Forest Hills

Items

Continuity

  • Green Goblin tells Harry about how he ended up in limbo and in a flashback we see Green Goblin's fight with Spider-Man atop the George Washington Bridge.
  • Mary Jane's disappearance is mentioned several times.
  • A J3 Communications news report states that this episode takes place four months after Norman Osborn's disappearance.
  • Harry leads Spider-Man to the George Washington Bridge because that is where Spider-Man defeated Norman.
  • When Microchip is doing research to find out who Peter Parker is he comes across a Daily Bugle article with the title "Photographer Saves Philanthropist" with Peter and Kingpin's picture on the paper. This article is a reference to when Peter saved Kingpin from being shot by Hobgoblin in The Hobgoblin, Part I.

Trivia

  • This is one of only five episodes not written by John Semper Jr.
  • This episode is based on The Amazing Spider-Man #136 (September 1974) and The Amazing Spider-Man #137 (October 1974).
  • The pizza parlor that Peter and Liz go to is the same design that is used for the Coffee Bean.
  • When Peter throws the pumpkin bomb on the ground to escape Punisher, he says "trick or treat". Trick or treat is said by children when they go to people's houses and ask for candy on Halloween.
  • When Punisher wrongly deduces that Peter Parker is the Green Goblin, Peter tells him "Brilliant deduction, Holmes. But absolutely wrong." This is obviously a reference to the famous literary detective Sherlock Holmes.

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  • According to the map that Peter found the six Goblin hideouts are located in:
  • the Bronx
  • City Island
  • there is an underground lair located beneath the North Atlantic Ocean between Coney Island and Staten Island
  • Bayonne, New Jersey
  • Elizabeth, New Jersey
  • and Newark, New Jersey.
  • Harry sings a variation of the song K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
  • At the end of the episode Spider-Man tells Harry he is taking him somewhere he can get help. It is revealed in the episode The Wedding that Spider-Man took Harry to the Ravencroft Institute for the Criminally Insane.
  • John Semper Jr. said on his Facebook page that Harry's "insane" transition to the Green Goblin and him talking to Norman who was trapped in limbo reminded him of Norman Bate's in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho who would talk to his long-dead mother.
  • On his Facebook page John Semper also revealed that he is friends with actor Chris Cooper and when Cooper was cast as Norman Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, he sent him a copy of this episode as reference material to get a handle on Norman Osborn's character.

Episode review

A Review from Amazing Spidey from Marvel Animation Age

An enjoyable episode that proved far more entertaining than I originally presumed it would. I've always found Harry to be pretty annoying, whether it be in the comics or this TV series, and to be honest, I couldn't see a whiner like Harry becoming The Green Goblin and making any kind of impact like Norman did. Thankfully, neither did the creators.

Harry was utterly useless as The Green Goblin. If you're looking for Spectacular Spider-Man #200 here, you'll be disappointed. The character that appeared in that issue and the character from this show are worlds apart. The episode portrays Harry as being manipulated by the original Green Goblin. It does fit, but it's still a little weird seeing the young Osborn as a supervillain, especially as he's quite clueless at it.

By far the weirdest aspect of the episode was Anna Watson. She invites The Punisher back to her place for tea. I mean, just look at The Punisher's design! Who invites a dude with a bandana, a skull on his shirt and a coat holding all sorts of weapons? The episode's conclusion gave us a nice, happy ending for a change. It was definitely a "What the hell?!" moment when MJ appeared at the bridge, but the thing I liked most about the ending was the final scene, with Spidey swinging Harry to Ravencroft to get him some help. I thought it was a great little scene, which unfortunately, this series didn't really get to do all too often, seeing as how everything got told at a breakneck pace.

A lame villain didn't diminish this episode at all. A solid effort!

Quotes

Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): "Hello, young Osborn. It's about time you got up. There's lots we have to do together."

Harry Osborn: "Where are you? How are you communicating with me?"
Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): "Good question, boy. I wish I had an answer. It's all Spider-Man's fault. He put me here. I thought I'd be trapped alone forever. I searched desperately for someone who could hear me, and I found you."
Harry Osborn: "M-m-me? Why me?"
Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): "Maybe subconsciously you were looking for me. All I know is that I need you to get me out of this limbo. Turn this valve, Osborn."
Harry Osborn: "No! Why should I do anything for you?"
Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): "Because I know where your father is, and I'll tell you if you do as I say. Turn the valve for his sake boy. Do it!"

Punisher: "Night after night, it's the same thing. I get one punk off the street and ten more take his place. After I lost you, I promised I'd make the world a better place. I just wish I could make a real difference in one good person's life."
(Punisher hears Anna Watson crying and walks over to her.)
Punisher: "Ma'am, it's dangerous to be out here this late. Let me get you a cab."
Anna Watson: "No, no, no, thank you. I need to be here right now with my late husband. I feel so alone, so helpless. I just know a crime has been committed, but I can't prove it."
Punisher: "Why don't you tell me about it?"
Anna Watson: "My friend May has been a dear to stay with me through all this, but she's asleep upstairs. I'm convinced her nephew, the one I told you about, knows where Mary Jane is. For some strange reason, my niece often confided in him."
Punisher: "what's the boy like?"
Anna Watson: "He's very secretive. Oh, and he's brought so much misery to poor May. Ugh, I wouldn't be surprised by anything he's do. But I can't actually accuse Peter of anything without proof."
Punisher: "Hmm, then let me see what I can do."
Anna Watson: "Wait, why are you helping me?"
Punisher: "Let's just say because I need to."

Peter Parker: "Liz, I'm finally starting to believe that Mary Jane is gone for good. And I don't think I'll ever get over it."
Liz Allen: "Me, neither. How's Harry been coping?"
Peter Parker: "Well, I tried to get him to come out with us, but he just wanted to sleep."
Liz Allen: "Hey, how about we cheer him up with a late-night pizza."
Peter Parker: "You know, that just might do the trick. Come on."

Peter Parker: "Hey, Liz, give me a hand. I can't carry the pizza and open the door."
Liz Allen: "And I thought you photographers had to be as coordinated as Spider-Man."

Peter Parker: "The Goblin, he's back! That maniac! I knew Norman had lost it, but would he blow up his own son trying to get back at me?"

Spider-Man: "I don't know how you got back, and I don't care, but I've been waiting for this for a long time. You're all mine, Norman."

Spider-Man: "Harry's the Goblin now? How did he get the Goblin's powers? And how did he find out that Peter Parker is Spider-Man?"

Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): "You fool! Why aren't you going after Spider-Man?"
Harry Osborn: "I ran out of bombs!"
Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): "Oh, we ran out of bombs, did we? Then go get more! Hurry!"

Peter Parker: "Norman set himself up to be a one-goblin crime wave, and now his son's inherited the arsenal. Lucky for me, Harry's a novice. This list will lead me right to him."

Punisher: "Okay, smart boy. Now you're gonna tell me everything. About Mary Jane Watson, about Harry Osborn, and about the secret identity you've been hiding from the world. I think I know who you really are Peter Parker. The way I figure it, Parker, you're really the Green Goblin."
Peter Parker: "What? That tranquilizer must have gone to your head, too."
Punisher: "You took all these pictures for The Bugle. You're obviously obsessed with Spider-Man, and I'm told you're in love with Mary Jane, too. When she decided she liked Harry better, your mind snapped and you became this Green Goblin character, and you kidnapped her."
Peter Parker: "Brilliant deduction, Holmes. But absolutely wrong."

(Peter flies away on one of Green Goblin's gliders trying to escape Punisher.)
Peter Parker: "No wonder Norman went crazy! Trying to steer this thing would make anyone nuts!"

(Green Goblin flies overhead and drops a pumpkin bomb near Peter and the Punisher.)
Peter Parker to Punisher: "Well, what do you know. That must be me up there!"

Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): "You allowed yourself to be chased across the city like a stray dog? While I'm trapped in another dimension, you're out there ruining my reputation!"
Harry Osborn: "I'm not you! Can't you get that through your head?!"
Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): "Ah, you have a temper. I like it. It looks like there's a little of the old Goblin spirit in you after all. Maybe more than you realize. Now, go to OsCorp. There you'll find a new battle glider your father built. With it, you can defeat Spider-Man and that gun-crazy goon."
Harry Osborn: "Then you'll tell me where my father is?"
Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): "Yes, yes, just as I promised you. But I want Spider-Man destroyed first. Now, go, go, go, go!"

Spider-Man: "Why am I letting the Punisher beat me to the punch? All he can do is run down the list of Goblin hideouts. I have the benefit of knowing that the new Green Goblin is Harry. And like any good Osborn, ultimately he'll end up at his home away from home. . . OsCorp.

Harry Osborn: "I don't care about invincibility. I just want to see my father again."
Spider-Man "I'm sorry, Harry, but your father is gone. why are you doing this? This isn't like you."
Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): "Don't listen to Parker. He pretended to be your friend, but he really wanted to hurt you all along."
Harry Osborn: "Yes, yes. You betrayed me before Peter! You stole Maty Jane away! I can't trust you! The real Green Goblin's my friend."
Spider-Man: "Who is he talking about?"
Harry Osborn: "With his help, I have a chance to get my father back, see? See?"
Spider-Man: "Harry has completely flipped out. Harry, your father was the Green Goblin.
Harry Osborn: "He's lying isn't he?
(Green Goblin removes his mask revealing himself to be Norman Osborn.)
Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): "Your whining simp of a father doesn't exists anymore. I am the ultimate evolution of Norman Osborn. Smarter, stronger, able to be more ruthless than he ever was!"
Spider-Man: "There's nobody there, Harry. You're talking to yourself. Harry! I'm sorry I had to tell you, but you've got to snap out of this."
(Harry's sobbing turns to cackling.)
Harry Osborn: "Sorry? Sorry for what? For helping me find my true destiny as the new Green Goblin?!
(Harry puts on his Green Goblin mask.)
Green Goblin (Harry Osborn): "It all makes sense now. I'm the only one who could hear him, because I'm his son! At last, I can earn his respect!"

(Punisher leaves a bomb in OsCorp and it explodes causing a small explosion.)
Spider-Man: "You know, I'm really getting tired of that guy blowing things up around me."

(Green Goblin leads Spider-Man to the George Washington Bridge.)
Spider-Man: "No, not here again! But it makes sense. It's where I ended his father's career and where he wants to end mine."

Spider-Man: "Harry, we've been friends a long time. It doesn't have to end this way!"
Green Goblin (Harry Osborn): "Friends? It that what we were, Peter? You could have fooled. . ."
(Green Goblin is cut off when Punisher fires a missile at him.)

Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): "You know, Harry, I'm beginning to think you are a son of mine."

(Spider-Man and Harry fall into the Hudson River. Spider-Man searches for Harry but is unable to find him.)
Spider-Man: "No, not again. It can't have happened again!"

Green Goblin (Norman Osborn): "What? I don't believe it. How can she be there?"

Peter Parker: "I searched all over, but they're both gone. I can't believe it. It's the same way I lost Mary Jane."

Punisher: "Your friend Osborn here is a few pumpkins short of a full pie. So your gonna have to tie up a few loose ends for me, kid. Once and for all, where is Mary Jane Watson?"

Mary Jane Watson: "Peter?"
Peter Parker: "Mary Jane. I don't understand."
Harry Osborn: "It's you-ouuu."
Peter Parker: "Where were you all this time?"
Mary Jane Watson: I. . I don't know where I've been or what's happened. I just knew that I had to find you. I love you, Peter."
Peter Parker: "And I love you."
Punisher: "I have a promise to keep, kid."

Punisher: "War Journal entry 81498. Don't know how all this happened, maybe I never will, but for the first time in a long while, I feel human again."

Spider-Man: "Don't worry, Harry, I'm taking you to get some help."
Harry Osborn: "Is that you under there, Peter? I don't known what's real anymore. All I know is MJ is back, everything will be better again."
Spider-Man: "Will it, Harry? Oh, well Spidey, enjoy some good luck for a change. Mary Jane is back. And maybe this nightmare is over at last."

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