Superman on Television

Lois & Clark: Episode Reviews

Lois & Clark

Season 4 - Episode 22: "The Family Hour"

Reviewed by: Nathan MacKenzie

Originally Aired: June 14, 1997
Directed by Robert Ginty
Written by Brad Buckner and Eugine Ross-Leming

Guest Cast:
Beverly Garland as Ellen Lane
Harve Presnell as Dr Sam Lane
Brian George as Misha
Jane Morris as Constance Bailey
Rick Lawless as Carter Clavens
Harry Anderson as Dr Fat Head Mensa
Michael E. Bauer as Guard
Eric Fleeks as Lieutenant
Denise Ryan-Sherman as Female Cop


Dr Mensa, aka Fat Head has just been released from prison and he has one thing on his mind, revenge. Dr Mensa was head of a corporation called Dynomonics and its goal was to gather the best and brightest to develop their mental abilities to the maximum and together achieve greatness. However, as no one came to his defence when he went to prison, it is time to take revenge on those who betrayed him, including the kidnapping of Lois and Clark's parents.

This was the final episode of the season and you can tell at the conclusion, no one knew it would be its last episode of the series. Even though the main plot of this episode focused predominately on Dr Fat Head Mensa, there was still a continuation of if Lois and Clark could have children. We finally find out that answer in this episode but we are also left on a cliff hanger that unfortunately leads to more questions. We see Sam and Ellen Lane back together as Sam is now working in Metropolis. Sam is working with a scientist called Misha and unfortunately, doesn't know what he got himself in for as we find out later in the episode. Sam gets invited over to Lois and Clark's place for a coffee and finds out a big secret and Ellen feels like she is the only person to not know what that secret is.

3Review Rating - 3 (out of 5): This episode introduced a new villain not only to the series but to DC as there is no mention of a Dr Mensa in the comics throughout its history. He was introduced with a short but sweet backstory as he was in prison for five years, gained telekinetic powers over time and had nothing but revenge on his mind, with a hint of murder and thievery thrown in (what's a little gold worth these days). During his time in prison, he also learned about Superman who didn't exist prior to being sent to prison. The continuation of the ever knowing question of can they or can't they is answered in this episode revolving Lois and Clark's ability to have children, which is a good conclusion which has been going on throughout the season. Sam and Ellen back together is a completion of that story plot as we have seen going on since Season Three.

The story as a whole can be absolutely picked apart from what we know now as this was the last episode of the series and it left us on a cliff hanger. We got to see a lot of plot points answered during this episode and it was good to see, but it also had many by asking more questions. We get to see everyone in this final episode, Martha and Jonathan who I love and I still believe to this day to be my favourite versions of Clark's parents. We see Jimmy wearing the same old grey shirt that he always wears and we see Sam and Ellen for one last time. However, a big missed opportunity was there was no sign of Perry. I guess as he made up with his wife in the previous episode, maybe they were off on a second honeymoon.

Harry Anderson did what he needed to do as Dr Fat Head Mensa, he wasn't too over the top which could have made the character worse then I believe he already was. It was good to see a familiar actor in Brian George in this episode, feel like he was in a lot of shows during this time period. Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher hit it out of the park in this episode, had a lot to do and both showed as always a lot of great chemistry between the two and lots of emotion. Eddie Jones and K Callan were at their usual best, Justin Whalin was great again as Jimmy and Beverly Garland and Harve Presnell looked like they had lots of fun with their roles in this episode. It was sad not to see Lane Smith for one last time, he was a big part of this series.

In this series as a whole, it had its highs and its lows but I will always remember it. There were changes throughout the series with losing Kat Grant after Season One, a new Jimmy Olsen in Season Two, a new Sam and Ellen Lane from Season Three and a lot of interesting plots including an abundance of children claiming to be the son of Lex Luthor, New Krypton, the introduction of a multiverse and duh, Tempus. So long Lois and Clark and from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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