Monday, November 1, 2010

Episode Sixteen: Blasts from the Past - Part 2

Superman takes Dr. Hamilton to his arctic fortress to learn how to build a replacement Phantom Zone projector from Brainiac.  Meanwhile, Lois is kidnapped by Mala and Jax-Ur to lure Superman out of hiding.  Superman arrives in his lead suit with kryptonite in tow, but Jax-Ur surprises him and sends him to the Phantom Zone.  Just like that, the Earth is powerless against the two renegade aliens as they perform acts of intimidation in an attempt to get the U.N. to surrender.  Unfortunately for them, Dr. Hamilton has completed his projector and saves Superman.  The Man of Steel lures Mala and Jax-Ur into a trap, where Lois is able to send them back to their shadowy prison.

Evan:  This is the big fight promised by the first part, and it was pretty much as you would expect.  I liked that Lois was left to tell the story of Superman's defeat to the world, but was less happy with the complete lack of resistance the world put up afterwards.  Also, the impact on Lois of Superman's essential death was completely lost... I expected to see more than just her steely resolve for revenge.

One thing that really, really bothered me was the absence of Lex, but I'm going to default to Kristin because I know she hated that too.  What I am going to mention is that this was a terrible waste of an opportunity to develop his character.  He got everything he wanted.  Superman was gone.  Now faced with Superman's defeaters, he had to either fulfill his destiny or admit he was wrong about Superman's place in his world.  We got none of that.  I was very disappointed.

Dr. Hamilton basically just sent science ahead a billion years, so hopefully he can buy some new locks for his doors.

Lois was in this episode, so that's a start.  She had to be rescued twice, but wasn't ridiculously incompetent to have either seem too contrived.  When kidnapped, she mostly seemed annoyed and that was fun.  She also got to fire the finishing blow, which was a nice touch.  As I said, I was hoping to see some feelings be crystallized under extreme circumstances, but we didn't get that.  A reasonable second place, however, is the ass-kicky Lois.

And Perry White even showed up to get thrown across the room!  People... Perry is not the type who can take that kind of abuse.  Think of how much physio he's going to need.

Overall, one of the more fun pure beat-em-ups in the series so far, but a serious miss as far as characterization goes.  Also, Superman is basically resolving his moral dilemma in being a jailer by being a total badass about it, which is pretty solid as far as I'm concerned.

Kristin: So the world is about to be signed smoothly over to the two power-hungry Kryptonians who have presumably defeated Superman... and Lex Luthor is nowhere to be found?! I guess he was too busy having another one of his sexy yacht parties to realize that a very opportune series of events was taking place right underneath his not-so-watchful eye:

1. Two more alien beings arrive with the same super human abilities as Superman. They, however, are apparently not worth Luthor making a tasty offer for their help in dominating Metropolis (nay, the world!) as he did Superman in episode three. Maybe it's their silly outfits. They just haven't branded themselves as effectively as Superman has and that matters to Lex. I guess.

2. They betray and defeat Superman. I repeat, they defeat Superman. And it's not like this is a huge secret harboured only by Jax-Ur, Mala and Lois. No, the entire world knows Superman is "dead" (or at least gone forever) and Lex Luthor has his shiny bald head shoved up his linebacker ass?! We do not hear so much as a press release about this, let alone see a scene in which Lex realizes how much more useful these two newcomers could be to his evil enterprise.

3. So useful, in fact, that the U.N. is going to sign over the entire world to the pair. The Earth. The whole planet including Mr. Luthor himself. To the two vagrants from Krypton. I would expect to at least see one of two things from our buffed-up brain in the suit: a) He goes on a public tirade about the mess Superman and his alien friends have sunk the globe into or b) He joins forces with the two Kryptonians and becomes part of the Earth's ruling triumvirate! He could even...

4. Show up and try to defeat them using his many Superman-killing technologies to claim the worldwide public glory for himself!

... Nothing?

At least Lois was back, that hardened bitch. Not even a tear was shed as Superman was forever banished to the Phantom Zone. Although, it does lead her to threaten the duo with legions of armed forces lead by herself... Not that we ever saw any of that because I guess the surrender of the planet is as simple as causing some news-worthy disturbances in various countries. But at least we saw her at all.

Final Thoughts: Is Les not a part of the main cast? Because he seems kind of important. He either runs Metropolis or he doesn't.

Evan's Episode Rating: 6/10 (Lois Lane Ratio: 1 incompetent / 2 insane) - Maybe Lex was digging tunnels to lead the resistance.

Kristin's Episode Rating: 7/10 - Far more interesting than past episodes... but still craving a little bit more attention to detail from those writers.

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