Superman on Television
Lois & Clark: Episode Reviews
Season 3 - Episode 15: "I Now Pronounce You..."Reviewed by: Rob Ó Conchúir
Originally Aired: February 11, 1996
Directed by Jim Pohl
Written by Chris Ruppenthal
Tony Curtis as Dr. Isaac Mamba
Fred Willard as President Garner
Beverly Garland as Ellen Lane
Harve Presnell as Dr. Sam Lane
Brad Garrett as Reverend Bob
Wesley Mann as Phil
Lois and Clark's wedding is just around the corner and tensions are high - Lois is extremely worried that something terrible is going to happen. Her fears are worsened when she receives a box of dead flowers.
The couples' relatives fly in, but all of their hotel rooms are double-booked because of the arrival of the President. Jonathan, Martha, Ellen and Sam are forced to stay with Lois and Clark, much to Lois' chagrin.
Perry assigns Lois and Clark to a story about the theft of valuable genetically engineered frogs.
Two frog-eating clones working for an evil Doctor Isaac Mamba are responsible for the theft of the frogs - the clones are identical copies of President Garner and his chief of security. The following morning, the two clones kidnap the real president and his chief of security Agent Roberts and take their places.
Dr. Mamba continues to be berated by his mysterious superior. Clone-Garner takes over and announces a tax decrease.
Clark tracks down the frog-thief using CCTV footage from an ATM across the street from the pet shop - it's President Garner's chief of security. Jimmy tracks down Dr. Mamba using the registration plate on the car in the footage.
Lois receives another sinister gift - a broken wedding cake. A note tells her that marrying Clark will be the beginning of the end.
Lois visits Dr. Mamba and questions him regarding frogs and his interest in them - he makes a series of inappropriate advances on her, but she gets enough out of him to suspect him of the theft.
The clone of Agent Roberts arrives at Lois' apartment to abduct her and her mother, but Ellen manages to neutralize him with a tranquilizer dart. Lois discovers a frog on his person and deduces that he must be a clone. Lois then discovers that Mamba works for a subsidiary of LexCorp - Luthor is trying to kill the President. Lois discovers soon after that the President has already been cloned. She and Superman apprehend the clones and Dr. Mamba.
On the morning of the wedding, a number of problems arise - Lucy doesn't arrive and the Reverend cancels at the last minute. Lois begins to expect that Lex Luthor might be behind the sinister gifts. Perry offers his services as minister - which delights Lois and Clark. The couple marry, but that evening, Clark realizes something is terribly wrong.
Lex Luthor is at large, having received a Presidential pardon from the phony president. Lois has been replaced with a frog-eating clone.
Review Rating - 2 (out of 5): After the triumph of "Tempus Anyone?" this episode falls a bit flat - setting up the most infamously infuriating fake-out of the entire series. In fact many regard the "frog-eating clone" story element as the moment the series well and truly 'Jumped the Shark' and while the execution isn't terrible, it does feel a little rushed and more than a bit cheap. As is often the case with "Lois & Clark," grand events are hurried into effect rather than given a smooth fanfare - the involvement of a LexCorp subsidiary should be a panic-inducing moment; instead it's just another part of the episode. When Lois tells Jonathan and Martha that Lex Luthor is planning to kill the president, Jonathan just chuckles and wonders when her and Clark will ever be able to have children. Similarly, Lois and Clark's (admittedly fake) wedding comes out of nowhere - it's kind of just tacked on at the end of the episode, but perhaps that was the point - the fact that it feels like such a non-event indicates that something is terribly wrong.
Tony Curtis plays the insufferable Isaac Mamba in this episode - if I'm not mistaken Curtis is likely the series' highest-profile guest star, and yet he's wasted on a fairly generic villain who once again asserts his evilness early on by making an awkward pass at Lois. The whole episode seems to coast along on the obvious stunt-casting.
Fred Willard makes his first of three appearances as quirky President Garner and spends most of the episode playing a childlike evil clone. It is a nice touch by the writers that LexCorp clones in the "Lois & Clark" universe all share the distinct character flaw of childlike innocence - harkening back to The Man who would be Bizarro in "Vatman". In the context of the episode, Willard is suitably fun and memorable and I'm glad he made a repeat appearance.
Very little to say otherwise - if not for the arc-building elements this would be an entirely forgettable episode. Here are a few small things I noticed:
- Brad Garrett played the annoying Reverend Bob in this episode - Superman fans may also recall that he played Lobo in "Superman: The Animated Series" (to greater acclaim).
- "They eat your brains! They kidnap women and use them for bizarre sexual experiments!" - Beverly Garland is delightful as the naive Ellen Lane.
- "Oh look, there's Elvis...and Jimmy Hoffa, and the plot to 'Showgirls'" Heh.
- Clark does an impressive 'spin-thing' transformation to Superman while talking to Lois. Typically when we see him do it, it's only him in the shot (presumably to make it easier to film) so this was probably a fairly ambitious undertaking. Well-accomplished.
- On the morning of the fake wedding, Jonathan says to Clark - "I haven't straightened your tie since you were a little boy." Eddie Jones' lip trembles just a bit. A very nice bit of poignancy and weight to an otherwise vacuous sequence (again, it may have been the point).
- When Clark is talking to Lois about Hawaii, he tells her "We'll eat coconuts everyday" - what a laughably clichéd, sheltered thing to say. As Chloe Sullivan once said "You can take the boy out of the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the boy."
I'm glad to get this one out of the way - the next few episodes are of varying degrees of quality, but they have one consistent saving grace - Lex Luthor. Join me for John Shea's triumphant return in "Double Jeopardy".
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