Superman on Television
Lois & Clark: Episode Reviews
Season 1 - Episode 11: "Honeymoon in Metropolis"Reviewed by: Rob Ó Conchúir
Originally Aired: December 12, 1993
Directed by James A. Contner
Written by Dan Levine
Charles Cyphers as Thaddeus Roarke
Charles Frank as Congressman Ian Harrington
Richard Libertini as Sore Throat
Much to the disbelief of the Daily Planet staffers, Lois decides to go to the Lexor Hotel Honeymoon Suite for a weekend of total relaxation. Completely coincidentally, while she is there, she spots Congressman Ian Harrington accepting cash, in a building directly across from her suite. After showing Perry, Cat, Jimmy and Clark photographic evidence of this, Perry decides to set Lois and Clark up as honeymooners in the suite, so that they can set up a spy operation on Ian Harrington's further meetings with the men bribing him.
Lois and Clark discover the man bribing Harrington to be a man named Roarke and that his plans are possibly greater than either of them had previously imagined. Using secret sources, Perry reveals that Thaddeus Roarke is an international arms dealer in charge of a company called Apocalypse Consulting, which owns the building they are spying on. The reporters suspect that perhaps Harrington is selling secrets to him.
The next night, Lois and Clark play boardgames to pass the time between the activities of Roarke and Harrington. At one point, Clark super-hears a maid on her way into the room with fresh towels, he quickly hides the surveillance equipment and passionately kisses Lois, so as to create a diversion. Later, Roarke is telling Harrington the full extent of his plan and is about to show him via a video presentation, but he closes the shutters so that light won't creep in. Unfortunately for Clark, the shutters are lead-lined and he can't use his x-ray vision on them.
Jonathan and Martha call the suite some time later and mistakenly think that Lois and Clark are actually married. Meanwhile, Clark spots Lois creeping around the Apocalypse Consulting offices they've been spying on. When he sees Roarke walking into the room, he quickly goes to the office as Superman, stealthily uses his heat vision on the sprinklers, saving Lois from a confrontation with Roarke.
The Daily Planet staffers meet and go over their information, discussing a project known as 'Shockwave' that Roarke and Harrington have been discussing, as well as Roarke's repeated mentioning of a 'vote'. They go to Perry's secret source "Sore Throat" and discover that 'Shockwave' is a coastal defense system created by Luthor Technologies; they suspect Roarke is trying to sabotage it and develop his own version.
Lois and Clark return to their suite, only to discover that the room has been trashed and all of their equipment and recordings destroyed. Clark manages to secretly contain a bomb that explodes quietly in the room.
Later, when Lois has gone missing and Clark has exhausted all leads as to how to find her, he contacts Lex Luthor, asking for information on 'Shockwave'. Luthor arrives at the Daily Planet and discusses Shockwave with everyone present. They deduce that Roarke may be using the system to create a tidal wave, so that the Navy will abandon the system. Clark finds Lois and Harrington tied up at the docks, just as a massive tidal wave is about to level the docks. Superman creates an underwater trench and neutralizes the wave.
Later, Lois spends another night in the suite, at the expense of the hotel, as an apology for anything that might have made their stay less than comfortable. She calls Clark and after a strained silence, they both wish each other a good night.
Review Rating - 4 (out of 5): Truly one of the best, most definitive episodes of the entire series. The only reason it doesn't get the full 5/5 is because of the unnecessarily complicated plot. But all of that is rendered moot by the wonderful character moments throughout this episode, shared by the two leads. Many people point to "Tempus Fugitive" as to why "Lois & Clark" works so well as a Superman series. Honestly, I'd argue that "Honeymoon in Metropolis" is the key example as to what the show can be at its very best, and why it's leagues ahead of all of the other live-action Superman series (I'd go as far as to say that it's leagues ahead of ALL other television incarnations of Superman, but let's not go there again). The creator of the excellent webcomic/actual comic Thom Zahler has cited "Lois & Clark" as an inspiration to his comic, but bemoans all of the superhero elements to it, asking why there couldn't just be an episode where Lois and Clark get stuck in an elevator and Clark can't turn into Superman, so they just have to talk. Well, I don't personally agree that the show didn't excel at its more superheroic ambitions (NEXT EPISODE!) but regardless, "Honeymoon in Metropolis" is the closest possible thing to Lois and Clark getting stuck in that elevator.
Among the great moments Lois and Clark share together in this episode include Clark telling Lois how nice she looks first thing in the morning, the excellent montage where they're playing board games, their discussion about living together and finally their show-stopping "fake" kiss. Funnily enough, the board game scene is a tiny bit dated, as Clark asks Lois a Trivial Pursuit question related to "The Nutty Professor" and it's the Jerry Lewis version and Lois doesn't know the answer. This is obviously long before the release of the Eddie Murphy version (which admittedly, Lois still not might know the answer to).
I often wonder why adventure/drama series such as this one (although 'comedy' should probably be thrown into its genre subtitle somewhere) don't have episodes that are entirely devoted to showing the characters sitting around and just hanging out and talking. This is a consistent problem I've had with many shows such as Star Trek, Supernatural and especially Smallville. Perhaps the ratings-system rely too much on casual viewers who demand consistent episode-types.
If one was to examine the 'atmosphere' of Season One as a whole, the laid-back style of this episode probably sums up the season better than any other single episode.
There's not much to say about guest-stars for this episode. Richard Libertini is probably the most memorable, as the ridiculous "Sore Throat", a role that again, would have been a lot campier in later seasons. Actors Charles Cyphers and Charles Frank play Thaddeus Roarke and Congressman Ian Harrington play their respective roles in a manner that's understated enough to go mostly unnoticed, but also not become irritating.
The plot, as I mentioned before, is convoluted and hard-to-follow and similar to many second, third and fourth season episodes in that regard. A lot of exposition, name-dropping and details that are hard to keep track of. It never negatively impacts the overall experience, but it does make you wonder what exactly is going on in the finale and how the characters even know what the danger is (up until they SEE a giant tidal wave, though!).
Ultimately though, this episode is iconic in the history of "Lois & Clark" and stands proud as one of the finest episodes of the entire series. Join us next week as the good times continue, as we look at what is in my opinion, one of the greatest stories in Superman history.
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