Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Episode Ten: The Main Man - Part 2

Superman and Lobo escape the Preserver's enclosures and fight off the security droids attempting to keep them there.  Superman uses the dodo enclosure to power up using a yellow-sun lamp, and fights off a trio of bounty hunters attempting to capture Lobo.  Eventually, Lobo and Superman defeat the Preserver by depressurizing  a hanger and sending him into space.  Lobo collects his bounty and Superman relocates the intergalactic zoo to his arctic hideaway.

Evan:  This episode gives us a team-up between Superman and Lobo.  While the writers still didn't seem to really care about this one (spatially, Superman is in about ten different locations in the first few minutes while he's supposed to be in jail and the Preserver gives him his Superman costume for literally no reason) they didn't go about deconstructing and mocking the show's core.  This episode was very boring, because it was built entirely around mindless action and had no characters in it to play off of each other (Superman was alone in this one because Lobo was a cypher and all the other characters were one-note jokes).  However, by saving the day with yellow-sun radiation the writers gave us a recognizable, if bare-bones, Superman story.  They continued to give us the story about 50 / 50 with Lobo, which still makes me think this was supposed to trigger a Lobo series that never happened.

There is one saving grace to this episode.  Superman puts the intergalactic zoo, including a dodo, in his Fortress of Solitude (the show has no interest calling it that, but I do!)  That makes this whole stupid episode worthwhile, because suddenly Superman has silver-age insanity in his ice fortress while living a modern, grounded retelling of the Superman mythos.  There is a dodo in Superman's arctic retreat.  How can anyone not like that?

I'm looking forward to the next season.  I'm missing not only our cast, but our usual settings.  I'd like to see Superman in his apartment that we've only seen once.  I want to see Luthor somewhere other than his office, maybe at home?  The newsroom is an interesting place where we rarely get to see Lois, Jimmy and Clark (maybe even Perry?) interact.  I really didn't like these episodes that seemed so divorced from the show's reality, but the fact that I legitimately miss a nightly fix of this universe means they really did something right in the other eight episodes of the season.

On to greater things, Superman: The Animated Series!

Kristin: Despite the fact that enduring this episode through illness while knowing what was awaiting me was something that made me want to throw myself off the roof, Evan needed a break from reading and decided that Lobo would be distraction enough to suffice but yet not fun enough to become too long an interruption. At least it's over with and we can all move on to something far better (we hope).

Superman literally saved the episode by being not falling prey to the schtick going on around him. The fact that he adopted all of the now-homeless endangered space species and plunked them down in his arctic Fortress of Solitude is entirely endearing to me. I hope that we get to see more of this side of all the characters next season. It would be nice to be able to develop deeper interpersonal connections between them all, if not at the very least see more attempts by the writers to reach out to the audience in a more personal way. What I would really like to do is care about what happens to Superman. I need my relationship with the cast to build enough for me to feel the stakes rise when a character is threatened. If the stakes never rise, the show never becomes interesting. Interest, for me, is then a direct product of relationships. So far, there is only a vague rapport between Clark and Lois, a superficial acquaintance between her and Superman, and a passing reference to Luthor as an ex-boyfriend of Ms. Lane in addition to his sexy parties on a yacht. He has a kick ass bodyguard... what's her deal? Do we get to know? Jimmy is supposed to be Superman's best friend, so why don't they ever have an actual conversation? This is the kind of stuff I want to see.

I don't want boring episodes filled with fluffy fight scenes that have little to no bearing on the overall arch of the story. That is what today's episode was. It broke the flow of the series and that was a disappointment. I feel like we took steps backwards in terms of learning more about Superman and his world. Episodes like this are bound to happen in any show about superheroes. I just don't want it to become a crutch.

Final Thoughts: Thank God that's over! Season two... don't fuck with us.

Evan's Episode Rating: 2/10 (Lois Lane Ratio: Does Not Appear.) - Can we bring Lois next time we have to go into space?

Kristin's Episode Rating: 1/10 - What a snooze fest. I have higher hopes for next season, so we'll see what direction this goes.

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