Superman on Television
Superboy: Episode Reviews
Season 1 - Episode 26: "Luthor Unleashed"Reviewed by: Jim Bennett (lastson78)
"You're gonna pay for this Superboy... you're gonna pay" - Lex Luthor
This episode starts with Lex and Leo breaking into a military base and top secret lab. They are dressed in army fatigues with a sonic gun so that they can steal a prototype weapon, the 'Thermatron 14'. This is a heat-seeking laser which they can sell to a weapons dealer to make money.
Clark and TJ are called in to help with the investigation of the theft; the police suspect a Shuster U student and they immediately suspect Lex.
Lex is in the chemistry lab working on an experiment and talking to Leo about who they are going to sell the weapon to. Lex doesn't pay attention to what he's doing and there is an explosion of Chemicals! Clark sees what's going on from below, changes into Superboy and he flies into where Lex is. There is chemical gas everywhere and Superboy blows this away from Lex and out the window. He then grabs Lex and flies him to safety where Lana makes sure he's alright; this is where we begin to see a change in Lex.
It seems that the niceness of Lana has had a positive effect on Lex and he begins to shower her in gifts; he seems happy to be alive. Clark and TJ warn Lana about Lex, but she seems to think he has changed for the better and agrees to go on a date with him.
In the morning after the date Lex wakes up and heads to the bathroom. It's then that we see he's totally bald! He goes crazy screaming and blaming Superboy for it, saying he blew the gas into his hair on purpose. His hatred for Superboy greater than ever, Lex goes to find Lana to give her a message for Superboy. During this interaction he loses his temper and to make his point he hits her! She heads back to the dorm to find TJ and Clark and tells them that Lex wants to meet Superboy in a field at the edge of town. Off Clark goes to 'tell' Superboy.
Lex is in the field along with three men. He says he will sell the 'Thermatron 14' to the first one who kills Superboy. Superboy arrives and Lex uses the sonic gun to give the three assassins an advantage. One by one they fight Superboy and one by one they are defeated; during the struggle Lex manages to escape and Superboy recovers the 'Thermatron 14'.
Lex and Leo are in a ring of people dressed as monks praying to get revenge on Superboy; it looks like Lex has finally been pushed over the edge.
Rating - 5 (out of 5): This episode was excellent! Finally we get to see the proper birth of Lex Luthor and it was in the same vain as the Superboy comics. Awesome!
This was the last episode of the season and the last one to feature John Haymes Newton as Superboy and Scott James Wells as Lex Luthor. It was nice that they finally got round to introducing us to the proper Lex Luthor. Lex was truly pushed over the edge in this episode, from the crazy facial expression and scream when he lost his hair, to the moment where he set assassins on Superboy and killed one in the process. This is what you'd expect from Lex and I can't wait to see where they go with it in the next season.
With that said, I do hope they let Leo (Michael Manno) go; his acting is truly appalling and the character is terrible. I know they're going for a dumb sidekick, a la Otis from the original Superman films, but I think they went too far and he comes across as one step up from an ape.
Newton's run as Superboy was pretty good and there was a definite distinction between Clark and Superboy, which is quintessential to the character. If you can't pull off portraying two people then the entire illusion is lost, so it will be interesting to see how our new Superboy (Gerard Christopher) handles it.
I only had the fortune of reviewing 3 episodes for this season, so I am really looking forward to seeing what "The Adventures of Superboy" - Season 2 has in store for me.
Join me for the next thrilling episode "With This Ring I Kill Thee".
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