Superman on Television
Lois & Clark: Episode Reviews
Season 4 - Episode 4: "Soul Mates"Reviewed by: Rob Ó Conchúir
Originally Aired: October 13, 1996
Directed by Richard Friedman
Written by Brad Kern
Charles Fleischer as Dr. Voyle Grumman
Beverly Garland as Ellen Lane
Harve Presnell as Dr. Sam Lane
Ray Buktenica as Leo Nunk
David Doyle as Mike
Leann Hunley as Emily Channing
Delta Burke as Myrtle Beech
Billy 'Sly' Williams as Lamont
Jerry Giles as Head Paramedic
David Lewman as Messenger
H.G. Wells arrives at Clark's apartment just as Lois and Clark are hoping to consummate their marriage. He warns them that their love is cursed and if they consummate Lois will die of a mysterious illness. He explains that they must travel back in time to one of their past lives and remove the curse when it was cast.
They first travel back to medieval England where Clark is a noble prince who also moonlights as a vigilante known as The Fox. Tempus arrives - only in this time he is Baron Tempos. Clark narrowly avoids being beheaded when a group of villagers save him.
Lord Tempos instructs his sorcerer to put a curse on Lady Loisette and Sir Charles should he discover that they are in a relationship.
Tempos instructs Sir Charles to duel The Fox. Charles reveals his dual identity to Tempos and decides to die in battle in order to protect Clark's love for Lois. Lois won't allow him to do this and instead promises to marry Tempus.
Wells and Clark transport back to the Daily Planet hoping that everything will be back to normal, but they discover that Lois is married to Tempus.
Lois, Clark and Wells attempt to travel to the Wild West to try and solve the problem in a timeline closer to their own. There they learn that Clark must defeat Tempus in order to break the curse. Lois is almost forced into marrying Tempus, but Clark comes to the rescue as the Lone Rider.
The trio return to the Daily Planet once again and discover that everything is back to normal.
"Destiny has blessed you both with each other. There are many people who travel through their whole lives alone who envy what you have together. Try to remember that next time the gods try to test you!"
Lampshading: Lois highlights how strange it is that Tempus is behind the curse and not Lex Luthor.
Review Rating - 3 (out of 5): After the beige blandness of 'Swear to God,' Lois & Clark recaptures some of the high-concept charm that made much of Season 3 so enjoyable. It's not quite a 'great' episode by any great stretch and like some of the previous time travel-themed episodes, the pseudoscience does seem a little bit ill-conceived at times, but ultimately its heart is in the right place.
Terry Kiser cements himself as one of the best recurring characters of the series as H.G. Wells. It's hard to believe the man is better known for playing cinema's only Slapstick Corpse (he was 'Bernie' in the two "Weekend at Bernie's" films) when he is such a charming presence in roles like this. Lois and Clark get a bit too smoochy in this episode (a recurring problem in Season 4), so the constant interruptions of Wells are all the more pleasant as a result.
Lane Davies returns as the deliciously 'META-lomaniac' Tempus; constantly poking fun at the tropes and clichés of television years before 'Community' made it cool to do so. Technically he's not even playing Tempus in this episode - Tempus' various iterations through time as Lois and Clark's cosmic soul-antagonist means he is the only character oblivious to the pseudoscientific trappings of the plot - amusing considering in his other appearances Tempus is usually two steps ahead of the other characters.
Despite the showrunners' insistence that there constantly be scenes of Lois and Clark making out, Hatcher and Cain do a good job this week as well. It's clear Dean Cain had fun wearing different costumes for a change, not to mention being able to throw a punch for once. Slightly odd seeing Superman pointing a six-shooter at Tempus, but it's not like he actually uses it.
The production design is cheap and cheerful this week - the medieval England scenes look like something out of 'Medieval Times' - and there are few special effects to get excited about. Once again we get a number of awfully dated "effects cam" shots where the whole color balance and camera style of the shot changes due to the digital effect being super-imposed.
The greatest weakness of the episode however is the underproduced plot. Why is H.G. Wells fiddling with matters of the soul? If Lois and Clark have been cursed for all time, what happened to their descendants creating Utopia? I'm not usually one to advocate the mantra of not over-thinking a time-travel episode, but sadly I'm suggesting it in the case of 'Soul Mates'. But I had a good time. It's ultimately not as fun or meaningful as 'Tempus Fugitive' or 'Tempus, Anyone?' but it's still a fun, engaging episode and a neat exploration of bigger ideas.
Next week we get a rather ill-advised cameo from a super-veteran of yesteryear in 'Brutal Youth'.
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