The original Spider-Man trilogy is a pretty good allegory for that awkward time in adolescence when two friends begin to drift apart after one of them kills the other's father while dressed in a Candyland bondage suit.
"He forgot the safe word."
At the end of the first film, Harry Osborn's dad is in a battle with Spider-Man and accidentally kills himself. But, his dying wish was for Harry to never know the truth (note: Harry's dad was a supervillain), so Spider-Man doesn't say anything about what really happened. Instead, he just brings the body back to Harry's house, at which point Harry bumbles into the room. Spider-Man, obeying his father's wishes, just sort of gallops out the window like the tooth fairy, allowing Harry to assume that Spider-Man did the killing. But of course, we can't blame Spider-Man -- he's honor bound to keep the secret, apparently even if it means that Harry will now bear a lifelong grudge against him.
Unfortunately, as a result, Harry is driven steadily insane as the series progresses, eventually taking up his father's mantle as a flying Power Ranger villain with a stroke-frozen face. It's Harry's personal hatred for Spider-Man that fuels the majority of the villainy in these films -- in Spider-Man 2, Harry commissions Doc Ock to capture Spider-Man for him, telling him to kidnap Mary Jane to get the job done. And in the third film, Harry forces Mary Jane to break up with Peter, leading him to embrace the black suit. While indulging his dark side, Peter gets Eddie Brock fired, thus creating Venom. If only Harry knew the truth, it could have saved both him and Peter a lot of pain and anguish (and it could have saved us from Spider-Man 3).
Goddamn it, Harry.
Finally, with about 30 minutes left in the final film, Harry's butler -- a man who has spoken maybe 19 words up to this point in the series -- is somehow able to convince Harry to forgive Peter with a meandering emotionless speech. The butler explains to Harry that he cleaned his father's wounds the night Spider-Man dropped the corpse off like a Papa John's driver, and (evidently drawing upon a vast well of medical knowledge and expertise that is never referenced in any way) he was able to determine that the fatal wounds were caused by the man's own goblin glider.
"I dragged the glider upstairs and plunged it into your father's stab holes. It was an exact fit."
It's enough to cure Harry's vengeance-fueled insanity, and he shows up at the last minute to save Peter's life. But we have to ask, why the hell didn't the butler mention any of this before?
Seriously, what possible reason could there have been for him to keep this from Harry up to that point? He's watched Harry toil away in his father's office soaked in whiskey and revenge for two whole movies, driven mad over a murder that the butler knows never took place. And he knew the whole time. And it's not like he was afraid to say anything reproachful to Harry, because he does, several times. He tosses out his disapproval in passing, saying things like, "Your father only obsessed about his work!" He clearly doesn't enjoy watching Harry waste away -- and yet he says nothing about how his father was an evil man who engineered his own destruction? He didn't make a deathbed promise like Peter did -- he's just an asshole.
You can follow David on Twitter or check him out over at Film School Rejects, where he is a staff writer.
For more things movies tried to slip by us, check out 8 Classic Movies That Got Away With Gaping Plot Holes. Or learn about 12 Classic Movie Moments Made Possible by Abuse and Murder.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out Why ALF is the Most Tragic Fictional Character Ever.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn the truth about Inception's ending. [He's dead the whole time. Spoiler alert!]
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