Superman on Television
Lois & Clark: Episode Reviews
Season 4 - Episode 7: "Dead Lois Walking"Reviewed by: Rob Ó Conchúir
Originally Aired: November 10, 1996
Directed by Chris Long
Written by Brad Buckner, Eugenie Ross-Lemming
Alan Rachins as Professor Jefferson Cole
Granville Van Dusen as D.A. Michael Clemmons
David Kriegel as Wolcott
Kim Tavares as Sheila Danko
Kenneth Kimmins as Dr. Klein
Michael Krawic as Dr. Bains
Christopher Titus as State Trooper
Ken Thorley as Lou
Perry is confused and heartbroken by the result of Lois' trial. Clark is understandably depressed, but he believes Perry when he tells him that it wasn't him who testified against Lois. Superman makes the decision to break Lois out of prison while they try and figure out who has framed her.
Cole discusses his plans for revenge against Lois, Superman and Doctor Klein, all of whom led to his incarceration.
Lois and Clark escape by car and hear a radio broadcast reporting that Lois has escaped and that Superman is suspected of aiding her. The police set up roadblocks, forcing Lois and Clark to stay in a rundown motel. Lois and Clark run through a list of all the people Lois has sent to prison.
A colleague of Doctor Klein's, Dr Bains discusses Cole's attempted technique of creating 'hybrid Kryptonite' - a substance as lethal to humans as Kryptonite is to Superman. Bains is revealed to be a hologram controlled by Walcott. The real Bains captured by Cole.
Sheila Danko records a video confession but is murdered off-camera by Cole. Clark finds the tape at the crime scene and manages to sketch an image of Cole by using his micro-vision to spot a reflection of Cole's face on a shard of glass in the foreground of the video frame.
Lois and Clark guess that D.A. Clemmons is probably hiding the real bullet used in the shooting of Sykes close to his person. Clark feigns clumsiness to trip over the D.A. at a press conference and retrieve the bullet. Meanwhile, Walcott kidnaps Lois and hands him over to Cole's clumsiness.
Cole generates a hologram of Superman that orders Klein to hand over the hybrid Kryptonite. The real Superman arrives at STAR Labs shortly afterwards and discovers what has happened. Klein gets a call stating that Metropolis is about to be destroyed courtesy of Superman and Doctor Klein.
The skies blacken and crack with glowing green lightning. A monsoon of rain pours down on the city, disrupting traffic. Gale force winds blow over newsstands and telephone booths. Globs of a green substance splat into citizens causing them great discomfort. Luckily, Superman creates a vacuum by spinning around the harmful clouds, neutralizing them. Cole realizes that the hybrid K had no effect on Superman. Lois activates a mechanism in the clocktower wherein she is captured, setting off church bells that alert Superman to her location. Superman apprehends Cole and Walcott; Lois is cleared of charges and the D.A. stands down.
Alone at last in their new home, Clark carries Lois over the threshold.
Review Rating - 3 (out of 5): Another decent if unremarkable episode which only reserves as a reminder that the series is past its prime. The revenge plot has been done well before in previous episodes and Jefferson Cole's 'shtick villain' feels like a clone of countless other Lois & Clark gimmick antagonists.
This concluding episode is subject to some weak writing and plot contrivances as well. When Superman breaks Lois of prison, we get a standard super speed 'zoom' effect as they leave the frame. We cut to a scene of Lois and Clark escaping by car, with Clark explaining that he couldn't fly her out of there at supersonic speed or she'd be vaporized...but that doesn't make sense! We saw him fly her out of there at super speed! The writers were obviously trying to explain away why we got Lois and Clark in a car instead of flying away (presumably the former was cheaper to film) but that's a sloppy explanation. Later on in the episode, 'hybrid Kryptonite' (certainly not the most original concept, but not the worst threat to Metropolis this series has provided) is said to be capable of wiping out 'all life' in the city, including Superman's. However, the green blobs that splat all over the city (reminding me by the way of B-Movie spectacular 'Troll 2') prove completely harmless to the Man of Steel. And we never find out why! Was Cole's research faulty? Did the department of defense not want Superman to be susceptible to its effects? Was it really just a mad coincidence? I found it very irritating.
Special effects-wise, 'Dead Lois Walking' has some very satisfying visual effects, particularly during the monsoon scene, where a newsstand is blown over and citizens cling on to telephone booths for dear life - this is obviously very reminiscent of 'Superman II' and I hope the show-runners were intentionally paying homage to it. The hologram effects are nice as well - there's no visual break in the quality of the picture when they crackle out of existence.
The final scene of 'Dead Lois Walking' shows the two newlyweds in their new home, able to enjoy the mundanity of wedded life at last. This gag is reminiscent of the honeymoon episode and again, feels a bit tired. With any luck, the series will begin to pick up a bit more steam before the end.
Some small considerations:
- How does Superman break the lock on Lois' cell? We see his hand hover over it for a second, and then the camera pans up and suddenly the cell door is open. Did he break it or did he pick the lock with his pinky?
- Clark makes a reference to 'The Fugitive' - animated Superman Tim Daly starred in a short-lived reboot of the series in the early 00s. This is supposedly why he was unavailable to voice the character in the 'Justice League' cartoons
- A cute, if cheesy scene with the diner owner who lets Lois go free because he appreciates the work she and Clark do for small business owners like him.
- "You ARE upset, your suit is showing!" Come on, CK!
- Lots of 'Cape out' in this episode, unfortunately. There's one small landing scene where Superman jumps into frame and I'd be willing to bet it's not Dean Cain at all, but his stuntman.
- "Have you seen a bullet? You know...kind of bent...like it's been used?"
- There's a small goof where Lois and Clark pop a bottle of champagne in the final scene - when Clark pours the liquid, there's a very visible head of fizz sitting on top of the champagne in the flutes, which has disappeared by the next shot
- Cole writing scientific gibberish on the white board is fun.
Back to the "Lois & Clark - Episode Reviews" Contents page.