Friday, October 29, 2010

Episode Fifteen: Blasts from the Past - Part 1

Superman and Dr. Hamilton discover the Phantom Zone projector in Superman's childhood rocket.  Superman hears the cries of Mala, a disgraced Kryptonian criminal who was second-in-command of the military coup of Jax-Ur.  Superman uses Brainiac's orb to learn of Mala's past, and decides to release her as her sentence had been served.  As a Kryptonian on Earth, Superman teaches Mala to use her quickly developing powers in the hopes that she might join him in fighting crime.  Unfortunately, her fear and ambition make her far too unstable for the role of Superman's partner.  When she discovers that Superman is not, as she had believed, a benevolent emperor of a lesser race, she decides to bring in someone who is willing to be: Jax-Ur.

Evan:  Still no Clark, but for once our cast managed to react to an alien arriving on Earth.  The best scene in this episode, bar none, was Lex Luthor's inflammatory press conference held on the news of Mala's declaration that she is Superman's second-in-command.  Luthor has never had issues with harnessing the public's xenophobia to harass Superman, but the episode never really pushed this side of things.  I wanted to see the public wary of Superman's role in bringing to them a super powered criminal.  I'm hoping that the ramifications of his very questionable decision are front and centre in part two.  I'm also hoping for Lex to take a more active hand, as there's suddenly two other beings on Earth that could crush Superman, and with easily exploitable personality problems to boot!

Superman is apparently the judicial system of his dead world now, administering the justice system in their absence.  Not only does he release a prisoner based on what Brainiac tells him in a two-minute bio, he considers returning her when she turns out to be every bit the crazy person she appeared to be!  This is a very awkward role for Superman, and one that I hope the show is careful in portraying.  This is a fairly grey zone for the Man of Steel.

As for Mala, I appreciated her militarism and she was a nice contrast to Superman's power.  I enjoyed her imperialistic speech.  That was pretty much it, however.  Now that she's released Jax-Ur, and she isn't a lost cause trainee, I'm hoping to see something interesting outside of the dark side of Superman.

Lois made a brief appearance in this episode to interview Mala, as part of her reoccurring role of introducing new Kryptonians to Metropolis.  She smirks off Mala's attempt to kill her, which makes her my hero forever.

This was mostly set-up for the next episode's two-on-one Kryptonian fight.  Doesn't seem too hopeful for character development, but things will hopefully explode nicely?  Maybe Lois and Lex get involved somehow?  This could either go in the boring fistfight direction or actually try.  I'm hoping we see a little effort.

Kristin: All right, take three on season one! I really need this show not to strike out on me or this could be a long blog project...

This episode in particular did show some signs of turning up. We saw a crack in Superman's mask during Lois' interview of Mala after she probes into the relationship between the reporter and the hero. It was nice to see the show create some drama using interpersonal tension instead of dumb alien menace and senseless fighting. By no means do I feel that we saw enough of Lois (or Clark, for that matter), but it feels like the show is recovering from what was a cripplingly poor mid-season lineup. It was certainly nice to see that Lex had not perished in a tragic yachting accident.

I would like to take another moment to reflect on some of the fashion choices made in this series. Being that we saw more of the Kryptonians, I think it only appropriate to bring it on back to Lady Gaga. In the first episode of the series we saw the appearance of the McQueen shoulder pads beloved by both space council members and the pop star. This time Mala was sporting a black spandex unitard with optional bathing cap hood, not unlike Gaga's number from the "Poker Face" video:

Having just emerged from the Phantom Zone.
We can come to only one conclusion given this trail of evidence: Lady Gaga is from Krypton.

Final Thoughts: Jor-El is a total badass! How is it that he is the most interesting and fully developed character in the series about his son?

Evan's Episode Rating: 6/10 (Lois Lane Ratio: 0 incompetent / 1 insane) - Lois is back on the big board! Way to laugh at death, you crazy bitch!

Kristin's Episode Rating: 5/10 - It's nice to see the writers not steeping the show in 90s cliches...

No comments:

Post a Comment