Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Episode Fourteen: The Prometheon

Superman, the army and STAR Labs accidentally free a monster chained to an asteroid, which shockingly does not burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.  After learning that it is an artificial construct that powers itself using heat, Superman and Dr. Hamilton hatch a plan to lure it to the reservoir for some chemical-induced freezing.  They cut the power to the city, and in the darkness Superman uses a red-hot girder to lure the monster into the reservoir where it is frozen.  The day is saved!

Evan:  The episode was very simple, and really had no tension as the monster was only threatening due to its size.  I never really bought into the fact that Metropolis was in danger, and judging by the total lack of Lex Luthor and the cast, neither did Metropolis.  And one would think the giant alien monster would have at least garnered a check-in from LexCorp, but no one cared.  Lex didn't even bother to appear in this episode.  This one was a snoozer, with Superman being largely useless until everything comes smoothly together and the monster is frozen without any real problems.  For a giant alien monster episode, this lacked conflict and tension to an absurd amount.

I will mention one redeeming quality, the Kirby monster itself.  Sporting the white eyes, strange proportions and gaping mouth of a classic Kirby monster of the Silver Age with a childlike, sad mind to match I felt like I was reading a Fantastic Four comic from the early 1960s.  There was no evil in the being, only confusion.  I thought the open ended conclusion, with the monster frozen but not destroyed, to be an appropriate ending in that regard.  I felt legitimately sad for the monster, although that really distracted me from the whole "Metropolis is doomed" thing that the episode was going for.

I once called the season over prematurely.  I'm glad it was premature because we got the Intergang episode, which introduced new concepts to the series.  While I don't know why this was the final episode of the season, we have established an interesting premise for the next.  What worries me is the degradation of the cast.  Lex and Lois are either absent or relegated to single lines.  Forget about someone like Jimmy, who we haven't seen in any meaningful way since the first Parasite episode.  And especially forget about that lame reporter named Clark Kent that always seems to beat Lois to the story, even though he's just a hayseed from Smallville.

This series needs the glasses.  Bad.

Kristin: At the risk of sounding repetitive, I will say again that this series needs to go back to the characters. It feels to me like the creators are trying to jam as much nostalgia and minor villainy into the show as possible. Much like Lois needs to get on the front lines of reporting these things, this show badly needs an editor. It needs someone who is not an adoring comic book nerd to come on board and say "Look, I know you want to show how much you know about every minor entity that has ever appeared in Superman's long and glorious history - and long may he prosper yet - but you need to have a central focus and an overarching story in order for the audience to feel the need to tune in next time." Clearly, this hasn't happened. So maybe my wish for season two has evolved since our little blunder earlier on! My wish for next season would be the gift of a good director.

Otherwise, the show was fairly lacklustre once again. The annoying police department was gone to be replaced by the incompetent army. Superman was just himself, using his powers in slightly more creative ways than previously but not so creative that it could be considered noteworthy. The monster was non-threatening and dull... I could drone on, but I'll save you the boring details on a boring episode. Way to end the season with a bang, team. At least Lobo made me want to vomit with hatred.

Final Thoughts: How are they going to get that thing out of the reservoir?

Evan's Episode Rating: 3/10 (Lois Lane Ratio: 0 incompetent / 0 insane) - How does such an epic story have zero stakes?

Kristin's Episode Rating: 2/10 - Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman was better than this.

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