Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman - Season 1, Episode 1-2
Medium: television series episode
Original airdate: 12 Sep. 1993Publisher:
10 characters in this story:
(Click links for info about character
and his/her religious practice, affiliation, etc.)
|Kryptonians; Super Friends...||13,409|
[Superman's girlfriend, then wife]
|The Legion of Super-Heroes
|[Superman's (Clark Kent's) boss; Daily Planet editor]||1,574|
|[Superman's adoptive father]||816|
|[Superman's adoptive mother]||827|
|Injustice League; Secret Six...||1,508|
|[police commissioner; police detective]||123|
|[Daily Planet gossip columnist; co-worker of Clark Kent]||140|
|[Lois Lane's sister]||226|
Note that the two-hour pilot episode is one continuous unbroken story. It is identified variously as "Episode 1" (such as on the DVD release) or as episodes 1 and 2 (such as in various reference works). On this website, we use the latter system, meaning that the second episode (actually the third hour of the series) is referred to as episode 3. Thus, our numbering, in an attempt to follow standard convention in writing about this series, is off by one from how the episodes are numbered on the DVD release. But we provide story titles, so it is easy to determine which episode is being referred to.
Timecode: 4 minutes, 8 seconds: A Greyhound-style bus arrives in downtown Metropolis and pulls up to the curb on a busy city street. A handsome bespectacled man carrying a well-worn decades-old suitcase steps off of the bus (Timecode: 4 minutes, 21 seconds) and looks around. The camera zooms in on the initials imprinted on the suitcase: "CK." This is the series introduction Clark Kent (Superman), played by Dean Cain. (Timecode: 4 minutes, 28 seconds)
BELOW: Clark Kent arrives in Metropolis by bus with old suitcase:
Source: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman - Season 1, Episode 1-2 (12 Sep. 1993). Written by Deborah Joy LeVine. Directed by Robert Butler.
Timecode: 4 minutes, 42 seconds: Just seconds after stepping off of the bus, Clark sees an impending crisis. The bus he had been riding has pulled away from the curb and is now swerving as it heads down a steep hill. Apparently there is a problem with the brakes and/or steering. It appears that the bus will certainly crash into people, killing or injuring both pedestrians and bus passengers. Clark (probably with the help of his super senses) notices the predicament of the bus.
Timecode: 4 minutes, 56 seconds: After seeing the worried faces of the bus passengers and driver and then Clark's concerned face, we cut to a small crowd of pedestrians crossing the street not in the path of the bus. Two traditionally-garbed Catholic nuns stand out among the crowd.
BELOW: Catholic nuns cross street before being saved by Superman:
Source: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman - Season 1, Episode 1-2 (12 Sep. 1993). Written by Deborah Joy LeVine. Directed by Robert Butler.
This scene, less than 5 minutes into the first episode of the series, is the first glimpse of nuns in the series. Catholic nuns, as well as representatives and clergy of other churches and religions, will be a recurring motif throughout the Lois & Clark TV series.
The scene with Catholic nuns appearing after 4 minutes in the first episode of Lois & Clark recall the very first comic book in which Superman appeared: Action Comics #1. In that comic book, a white-robed Christian clergyman prominently wearing a cap and a cross around his neck appeared on page 4.
Timecode: 5 minutes, 10 seconds: With the out-of-control bus about to careen into the pedestrians crossing the street (including the two nuns), Clark Kent uses his super speed to run to the intersection. Clark steps in front of the bus and uses his super strength and invulnerability to stop the bus from hitting the nuns and the other pedestrians. His hand print is left on the metal grill of the front of the bus. Clark Kent rushes away, hoping to go unnoticed.
The next scene cuts back to the newspaper offices of the Daily Planet, where Lois Lane watches a news report about a delay in the launch of the space station Prometheus, a story central to the plot of this two-part pilot episode.
Timecode: 6 minutes, 55 seconds: Lois drops some papers on the floor and is on her knees gathering them up when we see Cat Grant for the first time. We first see only her legs. Cat's slit-style dress reveals one nearly leg all the way to the hip.
Cat Grant: Morning, Lois. On your hands and knees again, I see.
[Cat intends for this comment to be insulting to Lois, by suggesting that Lois is in a degrading, servile position, perhaps a tact that she uses regularly to further her career.]
BELOW: Lois Lane and Cat Grant trade barbs:
Source: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman - Season 1, Episode 1-2 (12 Sep. 1993). Written by Deborah Joy LeVine. Directed by Robert Butler.
Lois Lane: Isn't it a little early for you to be in, Cat? I thought ladies like you only work nights. [Lois here openly suggests that Cat is akin to a prostitute, a comment that Cat seems not to be bothered by. She has probably heard comments like this from Lois Lane and other co-workers countless times before.]
Cat Grant: Part of my job as society columnist--
Lois Lane: Mudslinging rumor-monger.
Cat Grant: --is to maintain an active social life . . . You remember what that's like. Or do you?
[Based on her tone and mannerisms, it is clear that Cat's inference here when she mentions her "active social life" is that she promiscuously sleeps with many people, including many of the people she writes about in her society column. She goes on to taunt Lois with this fact, suggesting that Lois Lane has no "social life." Lois merely grits her teeth, shakes her head and says nothing more as Cat exits. Lois Lane's friend, photographer Jimmy Olsen walks up and stands next to her. Jimmy has a broad, admiring smile on his face as he sees the suggestively-attired Cat Grant strut away.]
Lois Lane: What do men see in her, anyway? Don't they know she's just looking for another notch on her garter belt?
Jimmy Olsen: Pathetic . . . Have you actually, uh . . . seen this garter belt?
[Jimmy was probably just joking, but Lois Lane turns and gives him a disapproving look and then slaps his chest in a chastising manner. Lois lets out an exasperated sigh.]
In this first scene and throughout this episode we can see that Cat Grant is being portrayed far less sympathetically than in the comics. Rather than being a friendly supporting character and realistic rival for Clark Kent's affections, Cat is portrayed in this episode more one-dimensionally, cast almost more as an antogonist in the developing romance between Lois and Clark. Cat's overriding personality trait seems to be her shallow promiscuity. This was a prominent aspect of the character in the Superman comics in which she first appeared, but here this trait is amplified. In sharp contrast to the modestly and professionally dressed Lois Lane, Cat Grant in this TV series is portrayed as a tramp.
While Lois Lane in this series is not portrayed as particularly "devout" in a church-going sense and she does exhibit a number of character flaws and moral failings, she is genuinely concerned with ethical and social issues. Cat, on the other hand, is overtly non-religious and uninterested in ethics and morality. She is driven entirely by baser motivations, principle among them being her physical passions, as well as he cattiness and her willingness to jostle for power and position among men while attacking and undermining the women around her.
This scene which introduced Cat Grant serves to establish her character, but it also illustrates a number of points about Lois Lane's character. Lois can be something of a moralist. She can be judgemental and disapproving of immorality. Perhaps most importantly for the sake of the series, she appears to not be in any serious relationship and is apparently not dating regularly. Her uber-professional, aggressive manner has probably been off-putting to the men around her. Cat Grant here and later seems to suggest that Lois is not particularly sought after by men. But this is only Cat's perspective (or intended slight). As indicated by a later conversation between Lois and her sister Lucy, Lois does, in fact, seem to attract some men, but she never establishes any close relationships.
Timecode: 8 minutes, 30 seconds: In the next scene, in the office of Perry White, Chief Editor of the Daily Planet, Perry is meeting and interviewing Clark Kent for the first time. Despite Clark's recommendation from one of his college professors (an old friend of Perry's), the editor is not particularly impressed by Clark. Perry White takes a phone call and ends up yelling about a food order. After he slams the phone down he complains to Clark about his blood pressure.
Perry White: Can you believe I had to buy a blood-pressure monitor last week?
Clark Kent: Paava leaves.
Perry White: I beg your pardon?
BELOW: Clark Kent suggests Perry White try paava leaves of Yolngu tribe of New Guinea:
Clark Kent: The Yolongu tribe in New Guinea eat paava leaves to relieve stress. It puts them in a meditative state. Maybe you should try it.
[Clark pronounces the name of this tribe as "Yolongu," but in the subtitles the tribe's name is spelled "Yolngu," which is the actual correct spelling of an aboriginal tribe in Australia - but apparently not one in New Guinea.]
Perry White: Oh, well . . . I see you've done some traveling.
Clark Kent: Well . . . This is my first trip to Metropolis.
This exchange establishes a key difference in how the character of Clark Kent is portrayed in this series. It was important to writer Deborah Joy LeVine to establish Clark as more sophisticated than simply a farm boy arriving in Metropolis straight from Kansas. The writer felt that if Clark Kent had such fabulous powers and allowed him to fly and go anywhere in the world, he would have used these abilities to do so. Clark thus arrives in Metropolis with his rural Kansas values and upbringing, but also with experience derived from travels all over the world. In his first demonstration of this experience, Clark demonstrates an awareness of and interest in the religious ritual and/or ethnic customs of a tribe of people considerably different from the culture he came from in Kansas.
Timecode: 10 minutes, 46 seconds: After Perry White politely but firmly turns Clark Kent away during their interview, citing Clark's lack of big-city newspaper experience, Clark returns to the low-rate hotel room he has rented in Metropolis. We see the sign above the hotel entrance: "HOTEL APOLLO." This name is an intentional reference to the character of Clark Kent and his Superman persona. Apollo was the Greek god of medicine, healing, light and truth. In Hellenistic times and especially in modern times, Apollo became identified as the god of the sun. Much of this applies to Clark Kent/Superman, who is traditionally a representative of light and truth, and certainly remains so in this TV series. Superman derives his powers from the sun, so his subtle association with Apollo in this scene is particularly appropriate.
BELOW: Clark Kent rushes to his room in Hotel Apollo:
Timecode: 13 minutes, 34 seconds: From the inside of an apartment, we see four deadbolt locks on a door being unlocked. Lois Lane, having finished using her keys to open the door, pushes the door open and enters her apartment carrying a bag of groceries. She soon talks to her sister Lucy, who was already in the apartment they share. Their conversation further illustrates how Lois, despite being attractive and talented, seems unable or unwilling to establish a lasting relationships with a man. Lois initially attracts some men, but her forceful behaviors and attitudes scare men off.
Lois Lane: Lucy? Are you home?
Lucy Lane: Hi, Sis. I thought you were going out tonight?
Lois Lane: Oh, I've got to work. I can't. [Lois knows that Lucy will disapprove of her sister once again disrupting he social life by excess work, so Lois points to her and preemptively warns her not to bring up the subject.] Don't start.
Lucy Lane: Did you find an escort to Lex Luthor's White Orchid Ball yet?
Lois Lane: No, I did not.
Lucy Lane: Lois, it's tomorrow night. What about Mitchel? I thought you liked him?
Lois Lane: Mitchell is a hypochondriac.
Lucy Lane: They can't all be bad, Lois. They can't all be boring or stupid. What are you waiting for?
[Lois's problem is apparently not an ability to attract men, but an extremely high standard that none of the men she meets aspire to.]
Lois Lane: Fine. I'll ask Mitchell to take me.
BELOW: Lois Lane uses Christian-based profanity with her sister Lucy: Jesus, you sound like Dad:
Lucy Lane: I'm not just talking about the ball, Lois. You've got to get out more.
Lois Lane: Will you stop? Jesus, you sound like Dad.
It is worth noting that Lois here uses specifically Christian-based profanity, rather than a more generic profane expression such as "God."
Lois Lane: I'm only twenty-six.
Lucy Lane: Twenty-six today. Thirty-six tomorrow. And I know why that dentist, Alan, never called you back. Dragging him to that Women in Journalism seminar? "Weam Men, and the Wise Women who Love Them"? You've gotta stop scaring them off. You've got to stop being so smart al the time, so intense.
Lois Lane: Look, I'm just being myself. If they're not man enough to handle it, then I guess I'll just wait for someone who is.
Lucy Lane: I just hate to see you sitting at home.
Lois Lane: I get out plenty. I have dates.
Lucy Lane: You have interviews. It's not the same thing . . . Lois, I just want you to meet a super guy.
[Lucy says this in a very compassionate, sisterly way, and Lois is visibly touched by her sister's concern.]
[End of scene. Timecode: 14 minutes, 58 seconds.]
Despite Lois Lane's outwardly hard-shelled personality, she remains a romantic at heart. In the next scene (Timecode: 14 minutes, 59 seconds), we see Lois Lane sitting in her bed, reviewing work papers and eating popcorn while watching television. Lois openly weeps as she sees an old-fashioned romantic scene in the soap opera she tapes: Ivory Tower.
Contrast between the cynicism of Lois Lane and the optimism of Clark Kent is demonstrated in one of their first scenes working together on a story. After talking to Dr. Toni Baines (played by Kim Johnston Ulrich), an attractive woman who heads up the Space Station Prometheus program, Lois and Clark have different impressions of the woman.
Clark Kent: She seemed cooperative.
Lois Lane: I don't trust her.
Clark Kent: Very attractive. Young for a woman in her position.
Lois Lane: Typical.
Clark Kent: What?
Lois Lane: That's a typical male response.
Clark Kent: Lois, trust me on this. I am not a typical male.
Lois Lane: No? Just because she's okay-looking--
Clark Kent: Very okay-looking.
Lois Lane: --you automatically assume she's telling the truth.
Timecode: 26 minutes, 0 seconds:
Clark Kent: And you assume she's not? Does everyone have an angle? No honest people left in the whole world? That's pretty cynical, Lois.
BELOW: Lois Lane the cynic, Clark Kent the optimist:
Lois Lane: It's realistic, Clark. At least I don't go through life disappointed.
[End of scene.]
In the next scene, Clark Kent meets Cat Grant for the first time. Jimmy Olsen is showing Clark Kent the different sections of the DailyP Planet newspaper offices. Jimmy and Clark walk by the coffee machine where Lois Lane is pouring herself a cup of coffee and Cat Grant is reading the newspaper. Cat notices Clark as he walks past and then away from her. Cat pointedly stares at Clark's posterior and whistles.
Cat Grant: Who's the new tight end?
Lois Lane: [Visibly disgusted by Cat's behavior and innuendo.] Why don't you throw your usual forward pass and find out?
[Cat shimmies out of her jacket, revealing an almost hooker-like black-strapped, red-cupped spandex halter top. That anybody would actually wear something like this to a professional office is shocking, but that's Cat. Lois Lane, wearing a modest and professioal business jacket, vest, and white shirt, stares at Cat. Cat touches up her makeup. Timecode: 26 minutes, 27 seconds. Clark, finished with Jimmy's tour, turns back and approaches the coffee machine. Cat turns around to face him and strikes a seductive pose, looking Clark in the eye.]
Clark Kent: Uh, excuse me, I--
Cat Grant: Catherine Grant. Cat's Corner?
[Cat holds her hand up to Clark's face, expecting him to kiss it. Clark gingerly and awkwardly shakes Cat's outstretched hand. A few feet away, Lois Lane stares at the scene disapprovingly.]
BELOW: The promiscuous Cat Grant meets Clark Kent for first time:
Clark Kent: Oh, yeah, I've read your column.
Cat Grant: Oh, ho. Then my reputation precedes me.
Lois Lane: Among other things.
Cat Grant: You know, I know what it's like to be new in town. Lonely. I'd be happy to show you around.
[Cat is really throwing herself at Clark here. There is no mistaking her amorous intentions. Clark is mostly unmoved by these aggressive advances, however.]
Clark Kent: Uh, that's very nice of you, Ms. Grant.
Cat Grant: Cat.
Clark Kent: Cat . . . Um, maybe when I get settled in.
Cat Grant: It's a date.
[As Cat Grant walks away, Lois slams a file cabinet drawer closed and frowns at Clark.]
Timecode: 29 minutes, 35 seconds: The potential religious symbology inherent in the Superman character in this TV series is clearly demonstrated in scene that takes place after Clark leaves work at the Daily Planet office on Friday after his first week in Metropolis. Anxious to get to dinner at his parents' home, Clark hurries into an alley so he can launch into the air without being observed. Just after launching himself into the air, but before he can gain altitude, Clark hears the plea of a beggar who is sitting in the shadows of the alley.
BELOW: A homeless beggar sees Clark Kent as an angel:
Homeless man: Hey, buddy, you got a buck?
[Clark's feet are already about a feet above the pavement when he hears the homeless man. Clark continues hovering and floats over to the homeless man, perhaps hoping that the man won't notice that his feet aren't actually touching the ground. Clark moves his legs as if he is walking. The man is looking at Clark's face, and actually seems to not nice anything unusual. Hovering in front of the homeless man, Clark pulls out his wallet and hands the man a five dollar bill. The man acts as if he is in awe and he refers to Clark as an angel. He does this not because Clark is hovering (he hasn't noticed yet), but because Clark gave him $5.00 instead of $1.00.]
Homeless man: Oh, ho, ho! You must be some kind of angel, brother.
[Having answered the petition of the beggar, Clark ascends into the air. The homeless man watches Clark fly skyward and disappear out of sight.]
Homeless man: Some kind of angel.
[Clark flies over the city of Metropolis. In the next scene we see him land in the front yard of his family home in Smallville, followed by a scene of Clark eating dinner with his parents.]
Many core aspects of Clark Kent's character, as well as his relationship with his adoptive father, are illustrated in the scene that takes place after his dinner with his parents. Clark and his father stand outside the family barn looking up at the stars having a heart-to-heart talk. This scene reveals Clark's desire to live a normal life yet also use the gifts he has "been given to do some good." Implicit in this conversation is the notion that Clark has been raised to believe (and continues to believe) that his powers are a gift from God and that he has a responsibility to use them for the benefit of others. Also, Clark's desire to someday get married and raise a family is especially clear. Timecode: 31 minutes, 49 seconds.
BELOW: Under the night sky by barn, Clark Kent talks to his father about what is most important in life:
Clark Kent: I forget how beautiful it is here. The only stars you see in Metropolis are riding around in limos.
Jonathan Kent: You're the one who wanted the rat race. I couldn't live there. Not for a minute.
Clark Kent: There's something about the city. The pace. Everyone going somewhere.
Jonathan Kent: Impatient. Like you . . . Well, I guess you finally found your niche . . . and stopped living out of that old suitcase.
Clark Kent: I hope so, Dad . . . Being in Metroplis, working at the Planet . . . it's a dream come true, but--
Jonathan Kent: But you still feel like you don't fit in.
Clark Kent: Because I don't. I don't fit in. I have to control myself all the time. Never use my powers . . . because I don't want to jeopardize my chance to lead a normal life.
Jonathan Kent: Whatever that means.
Clark Kent: Just being human, like you and Mom. Living, working, meeting someone. Having a family.
Jonathan Kent: Clark, we don't know if that's possible. And you can't risk anyone finding out about you. If they knew you came from another planet--
Clark Kent: I can't hide forever, Dad. There has to be a way that I can be Clark Kent and still use what I've been given to do some good.
Jonathan Kent: You'll find a way, boy. You'll find a way.
[End of scene. Timecode: 33 minutes, 45 seconds.]
The next scene introduces Lex Luthor for the first time. In this series, as in most other incarnations of the Superman character, Lex Luthor is Superman's ultimate arch enemy. Lex Luthor is portrayed in this series as clearly evil. In the first instant that he is shown, Lex's entrance into the party he is hosting is accompanied by ominous thunder and multiple flashes of lighting. (Timecode: 34 minutes, 5 seconds.) Lex's entrance is very dramatically lit. The flashes of light from the outside sky somehow completely engulf him as others look on. This visual and audible accent underscores the character's power and also his evil persona. He is a character whose actions tempt the symbolic wrath of God via a traditional lightning bolt, and he is also a man who would, if he could, seek to wrest the very power of Zeus himself. Emerging from the lightning-lit doorway, Lex affably greets party-goers as he descends a staircase. Lex thinks of himself as a god among men, and with his entrance he condescends to mingle with his guests who, despite being billionaires, senators and other elite, are but commoners compared to him.
Before Lex's dramatic entrance, we see Jimmy Olsen and Clark Kent, both wearing tuxedos while they talk about their as-yet unseen host.
Clark Kent: Have you ever met him? Lex Luthor?
Jimmy Olsen: No, but I read all five of his unauthorized biographies. Rags to riches. Wrong side of the tracks. Self-made billionaire. Owns dozens of companies, employs thousands of people. Many of the Year, every year. Has his finger in every pie. But rarely appears in public. He won't give personal interviews. Hey, there he is!
[As described above, thunder and flashes of lightning accompany Lex Luthor's entrance into the room at the top of a staircase. Lex Luthor greets party-goers as he descends the stairs.]
BELOW: Lex Luthor's dramatic entrance accompanied by lightning:
Lex Luthor: Good evening. Nice to see you. Hi. Good evening. Good evening. How are you? Salam Alaikum. [Lex utters this traditional Muslim greeting, which is Arabic for "Peace be unto you", as he shakes the hand of a Muslim guest who is wearing traditinal Arabic Muslim garb.] You're on my phone list, Margaret. Harry, congratulations on the bio. I liked that editorial on the ozone. Senator Washington. Hi, how are you? Nice of you to come. Gentlemen. Senator Morales.
After Lois Lane and Clark Kent finally meet Lex Luthor in person at the party, Lois leads Clark into Lex Luthor's study. Timecode: 36 minutes, 59 seconds. Clark looks at the impressive shrine behind Lex Luthor's desk. Lex has on display an array of antique weapons, including swords and guns, alongside a few statues of generals that he admires.
As Clark turns away from the shrine, he finds a sword held to his throat. The sword is held by Lex Luthor.
BELOW: Lex Luthor holds sword of Alexander the Great to neck of Clark Kent:
Clark Kent: Macedonian.
Lex Luthor: It belonged to Alexander the Great. A brilliant tactician. Alexander's strategy was simple. Always seize the high ground. It was with this sword that he defeated Darius--
Clark Kent: Darius the Third, and was proclaimed King of Asia.
Lex Luthor: You surprise me, Mr. Kent. I'm not often surprised.
Lex Luthor admires many powerful and ruthless men from the annals of history, but he has a particular fascination with Alexander the Great. This fascination with Alexander the Great was later recapitulated in the TV series Smallville.
[Lois Lane re-enters the office/study, after having been snooping in an adjoning room while Lex spoke with Clark.]
Lois Lane: I hope you don't mind us looking around. You have a beautiful home, Lex.
Lex Luthor: Have you seen the view from here?
[Lex Luthor leads Lois and Clark to the a glass door that opens onto a balcony. Rain continues to pour from the sky as they step outside under an awning.]
Lex Luthor: The tallest building in Metropolis. I must confess that I love the fact that everyone in the city has to look up in order to see me. But let's get back to the party. I think you'll find my announcement will interest you.
BELOW: Lex Luthor shows Lois Lane and Clark Kent view from his office:
To his assembled party guests, Lex Luthor announces that with the troubles with NASA's Space Station Prometheus program, he will build "Space Station Luthor," which he promises will launch a new age of space exploration and medical research. It seems like a benevolent gesture on Luthor's part, but in later scenes we learn that it is Lex Luthor himself who is behind the various acts of sabotage that have been thwarting NASA's attempts to get Space Station Prometheus started. Luthor and his partner in villainy, Project Prometheus project chief Dr. Toni Baines, arranged for the sabotage of the space shuttle launch the previous day. Their act of sabotage killed the astronauts aboard the space shuttle and destroyed the shuttle. Luthor isn't truly concerned with sick children who he says his station's research will help cure. Lex Luthor wants to sabotage NASA's revolutionary space station colony and medical research program so that he himself can control the research and wealth-bringing medical patents.
In keeping with the re-imagined Lex Luthor of the post-Crisis Superman comics written by John Byrne, Lex Luthor in this TV series maintains the appearance of a benevolent philanthropist when in fact he is a criminal and an evil villain. The fact that Lex Luthor is a "snake in the grass" or a "wolf in sheep's clothing" is illustrated very visually in the scene that takes place immediately after his announcement at the party.
Timecode: 40 minutes, 15 seconds: After the party, Lex lounges on the floor of his study before a roaring fireplace. The thunderbird symbol of Alexander the Great is seen in a number of places in Lex Luthor's home, and is seen here once again on the bass relief mantel of the fireplace. A snake slithers in through the doorway, which has been pushed ajar by an unseen person. This scene is used to illustrate both Lex Luthor's villainy as well as his power. The scene connects Lex Luthor to Satan (or Lucifer) in the Biblical story in Genesis in which the devil appears as a snake in the Garden of Eden. This scene is accompanied by yet more thunder and lightning.
Who released this poisonous serpent into Lex Luthor's study? The answer is soom clear: A South Asian man, probably from India, appears in the doorway, looking on as the snake approaches Lex Luthor, whose back is turned to the doorway. The man wears his hair in a turban, but has no beard. He is apparently not a Sikh, but a traditional Hindu snake charmer.
Just inches from Lex Luthor's back, the snake rears its head into the air. Flaps around its neck make it clear that this is a cobra. It hisses and Lex turns around to face it. Lex stares at the snake as it prepares to strike. Lex locks his eyes onto the eyes of the snake with a look of great intensity. A tear drips from Lex's eye as his face remains placid. The snake backs down, lowers its head, and slithers back to the doorway. Lex Luthor smiles triumphantly. The Indian man uses a metal hook to pick up the snake and put it safely in a bag.
BELOW: Cobra snake released by South Indian Sikh or Hindu attacks Lex Luthor:
Asabi (snake charmer): Will that be all for this evening, sir?
Lex Luthor: Yes, Asabi, thank you. That will be all.
Asabi: Pleasure, sir.
So we see that the snake was not part of an attack by an enemy, but was in fact part of a strange ritual of training or proof of his mettle that Lex willingly engages in with the help of his assistant, Asabi. Lex Luthor continues lounging on the floor, smoking a large cigar as smoke twirls around his head, clearly thinking evil thoughts as one last thunder clap is heard and the scene ends. Timecode: 42 minutes, 8 seconds.
Timecode: 43 minutes, 42 seconds: Clark Kent is entering the offices of the Daily Planet to start his day at work. Cat Grant approaches him from behind.
Cat Grant: Morning, handsome.
Clark Kent: Oh, hi, Cat. Uh, if you'll excuse me, I--
BELOW: Cat Grant flirts with Clark Kent:
Cat Grant: No, I don't think I will excuse you. I've asked you to have dinner with me two times. That's two times more than I've ever had to ask any man to do . . . anything.
Clark Kent: I'm sorry. I've been really swamped. Lois and I--
Cat Grant: Poor Lois. All work and no personality.
Clark Kent: Well, if I can take a rain check on that dinner . . .
Cat Grant: Sure. But . . . don't wait too long.
Clark Kent: Okay.
[Clark walks away.]
Cat Grant: Hmmm... Love it when they play hard to get.
[Cut to new scene. Clark enters an office and sits down at a desk next to Lois, who is looking over a report.]
Lois Lane: Catnapping?
[Clark Kent smiles at Lois Lane's joke, but says nothing. He asks Lois about the story they are working on.]
Clark has largely been avoiding Cat Grant, and he has certainly been avoiding her obvious sexual advances. Clark simply isn't interested in meaningless dalliances with a strumpet. In fact, as the series progresses, it becomes clear that Clark Kent is committed to reserving sexual intimacy for marriage, a committment that he really does fulfill by remaining a virgin until after he is married in the 4th season.
In the next scene (Timecode: 46 minutes), we see Dr. Toni Baines and Lex Luthor, both wearing bath robes. It becomes clear that they are working together to sabotage the Space Station Prometheus project (which Dr. Baines is in charge of) and it is also clear that they are sleeping together. They discuss how they have sabotaged one shuttle so far, uncaring about the deaths their crime caused, and Dr. Baines says she wants to send an assassin to kill Lois Lane and Clark Kent, who have been investigating the shuttle "accident." At one point Dr. Baines suggests that Lex Luthor seduced her, but Lex says it was she who seduced him. This is unlikely. Whatever Dr. Baines may think about their relationship (she appears to have been smitten by Lex Luthor), Lex is using her as a means to an end. Lex Luthor, we see, is not above using sex and his own body to further his criminal endeavors. It is doubtful Lex Luthor has any genuine romantic feeling for Dr. Baines. Furthermore, not only is Lex Luthor quite willing to engage in extra-marital sex, he has no qualms about killing his "lover," which he does later in the episode.
Timecode: 48 minutes, 6 seconds. After Clark Kent has obtained delicious Chinese food (from China itself, although he let Lois believe it was Chinese take-out from somewhere in Metropolis), Lois opens her fortune cookie.
Lois Lane: It's in Chinese.
[Clark Kent reaches over and takes the fortune from Lois Lane's hand, so he can read it.]
Lois Lane: Oh, don't tell me that you read--
Clark Kent: "A good horse is like a member of the family."
Lois Lane: I hate that. That is not a fortune.
Lois Lane: You are a strange one, Clark Kent.
Clark Kent: Am I?
Lois Lane: Yeah. But I think I've got you figured ou.
Clark Kent: Really?
Lois Lane: Uh-huh.
Clark Kent: It didn't take you very long.
Lois Lane: Well, it's my business, looking beyond the external.
[Clark says nothing, but looks at Lois affectionately, admiringly.]
Lois Lane: Don't fall for me, farm boy. I don't have time for it.
[The look on Clark's face shows that he feels utterly shot down.]
BELOW: Lois Lane to Clark Kent: Don't fall for me, farm boy:
After telling Clark not to fall for her, she takes him to Dr. Platt's home to interview him further about the space shuttle story. When they arrive, they find that Dr. Platt has been killed by electrocution. Dr. Toni Baines or Lex Luthor arranged for Dr. Platt to be killed, but the scene was staged to look like a suicide. Clark Kent reacts strongly to a joke made by one of the police officers who comes to the scene after Lois and Clark call the police. Timecode: 50 minutes, 29 seconds.
police officer: Hey, if the man's gonna barbecue himself, he ought to use sauce.
Clark Kent: The man's name was Samuel Platt. he was brilliant. A scientist, and someone who cared about others. Under the circumstances, I don't believe that kind of humor is appropriate.
BELOW: Clark Kent chastises police officer:
police officer: Sorry, buddy. Really, I'm sorry.
Lois Lane: Are you okay?
Clark Kent: We should have know. We should have protected him.
Lois Lane: How?
Clark Kent: I don't know, but we should've done something.
Lois Lane: Look, Clark, all we can do now is try and prove him right. We have a lot of work to do.
In the next scene, Clark calls his parents and says, "I can't help it, Mom, I feel responsible."
This exchange further illustrates the deeply idealistic, moral and ethical nature of Clark Kent. Clark also feels personally responsible for Samuel Platt's death. Even thought Clark isn't to blame, he blames himself for not arriving sooner so he could prevent this murder.
Timecode: 54 minutes, 46 seconds: In the Daily Planet offices, Lois and Clark see a news flash on TV. Representatives from the United Nations announce that they will be going forward with the Space Station Prometheus launch, despite the earlier disaster with the preparatory space shuttle. Interestingly enough, the U.N. representative making the announcement is a Hindu woman. A Muslim man stands slightly behind her.
BELOW: Hindu woman represents United Nations:
After hearing Jimmy Olsen's report that STAR Labs' investigation into Dr. Platt's theory about the shuttle explosion confirmed that the explosion was the result of sabotage, Lois and Clark are jubilant. Timecode: 56 minutes, 1 second.
Clark Kent: Now we can write the story.
Lois Lane: I can write the story.
Clark Kent: With my help.
Lois Lane: With your help. And if we can convince people there was sabotage and who was behind it--
Clark Kent: --We can stop him.
Lois Lane: [Cheering] Oh God!
[Lois impulsively gives Clark a hug, throwing her arms around his neck, smiling broadly at this successful turn in the big news story they have been working on. When they release their embrace Clark's face turns serious as he looks into Lois Lane's eyes.]
Clark Kent: Uh, why don't we have dinner?
Lois Lane: Oh, I don't know.
Clark Kent: We should celebrate.
Lois Lane: Okay. Dinner.
[Lois and Clark chuckle lightly, still exultant about the news Jimmy brought them, and a little bit uncomfortable about their budding closeness.]
Lois Lane: Wait a second, what am I talking about? I-- I can't. I have plans tonight.
Clark Kent: Luthor?
Lois Lane: Yeah.
Clark Kent: Tell me something. How far are you willing to go to get this interview?
[Clark's tone seems a bit accusatory. He seems to be a bit jealous, as well. Is he asking Lois if she will sleep with Lex in order to get this interview?]
Lois Lane: [Coldly.] Not that it's any of your concern, but as I told you before, this is business.
Clark Kent: What is your problem, anyway? You've had a chip on your shoulder since the day I met you. You resented the fact--
Lois Lane: --Perry foisted an inexperienced--
Clark Kent: Snob.
Lois Lane: What?
Clark Kent: You are a snob, Lois.
Lois Lane: Well, coming from Mr. Green Jeans, that's really . . . I live by three rules. I never get involved with my stories, I never let anyone else get there first, and I never sleep with anyone I work with. This is business.
BELOW: Lois Lane: I live by three rules:
[Clark opens his mouth but can't think of anything to say. Lois Lane storms away.]
Timecode: 57 minutes, 8 seconds In the next scene we see Lex Luthor dining alone with Lois Lane.
Lois Lane: Your mother and father both died when you were 14, correct?
Lex Luthor: Why don't I just have my office send you a biography?
BELOW: Lois Lane dines with Lex Luthor:
Lois Lane: Because I don't want the standard line. I wanna know the real Lex Luthor. What makes you tick, what you strive for . . . what you want.
Lex Luthor: Pleasure. The pursuit of pleasure.
Lois Lane: Hmm.
Lex Luthor: Does that surprise you?
Lois Lane: I would have guessed you'd say power.
Lex Luthor: Power is a means, not an end.
Lois Lane: You took over your first big company when you were twenty-one. There were rumors that that buyout was coerced. Is it true that the board of directors were--
Lex Luthor: Now, was the food not to your liking?
Lois Lane: It was delicious. It's just that when I work I--
Lex Luthor: Hmm. All work and no play. Is that your credo, Lois Lane? [Lex Luthor moves his chair closer to Lois.]
Lois Lane: I don't think that we should--
Lex Luthor: Why don't we just enjoy the evening . . . enjoy each other . . . Let down your hair, loosen the tie.
Lois Lane: I'm not wearing tie.
Lex Luthor: But your so tense here. Why don't you just let your defenses down?
Lois Lane: I think you've gotten the wrong idea about this dinner, Lex.
Lex Luthor: Look, I hope you don't think we're here merely because you're a beautiful young woman. That wouldn't speak very well, for either of us. Look, you want an interview, right? A scoop. I understand that. Quid quo pro. Let me tell you what I want. My talent in life is not making money. It's not juggling companies. It's character assessment. And I sense things about you. Possibilities, potentials. You have the intelligence, the spirit, and the vision to transcend the mundane. And just so there are no misunderstandings . . . you are beautiful.
[Lois is momentarily speechless and she is clearly moved and impressed and flattered by Lex Luthor. While speaking Lex has taken Lois's hand in his. But finally she asserts herself and speaks up.]
Lois Lane: Lex, I have a story to write tonight. I should get going.
Lex Luthor: No dessert?
Lois Lane: Um, no. I never have dessert.
Lex Luthor: Really? You don't know what you're missing.
[Lex and Lois are not really talking about "dessert" here.] End of scene. Timecode: 59 minutes, 32 seconds.
Cut to the street outside Lois Lane's apartment building. A limousine pulls up. Lex Luthor and Lois Lane get out. Timecode: 59 minutes, 46 seconds: Asabi, the South Asian servant who released a snake to attack Lex Luthor earlier is the driver of their vehicle. Apparently Asabi is a close and significant servant of Lex Luthor, in much the same mold as Punjab was the principle manservant to Daddy Warbucks in the Little Orphan Annie comic strip, musical and movie. Punjab was also beardless, despite being a Sikh.
BELOW: Lex Luthor drops Lois Lane off, with help of South Asian assistant Asabi as driver:
One scene implies that Jimmy Olsen has a criminal background, or was at least a bit of a juvenile delinquent. Timecode: 1 hour, 3 minutes, 58 seconds: While sneaking into the installation that is doing work on a space station for the Prometheus Project, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen encounter a locked door. Jimmy Olsen pulls lockpicks out of his pocket and easily opens the door.
Lois Lane: You're amazing. Where'd you learn to do that?
Jimmy Olsen: Reform school. It was a bum rap.
BELOW: Jimmy Olsen picks lock, explaining to Lois Lane that he was in reform school:
Timecode: 1 hour, 10 minutes, 13 seconds: Clark Kent and Lois Lane are chained to a steel post in a deserted part of the installation that is handling a shuttle for Project Prometheus. Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen were captured by Dr. Toni Baines while sneaking around looking for clue. Clark came to rescue them but when Dr. Baines and her henchman pointed guns at him he let them capture him and chain him up too, as he did not want to reveal his super powers to anybody. Lois is starting to feel bad about their predicament and takes some of the blame, although she was initially angry at Clark for the way he barged onto the scene without police or other backup.
BELOW: Lois Lane tells Clark Kent she broke her own rules and slept with a co-worker:
Lois Lane: Do you remember when I told you about my three rules? Well, I've broken every one of them. I somehow manage to always get involved with my stories.
Clark Kent: You slept with someone at work?
Lois Lane: Yeah.
Clark Kent: It wasn't Jimmy, was it?
Lois Lane: Don't be ridiculous! It was a long time ago, when I first started at The Daily Planet. Claude. He was French. I must have been in love with him, or thought I was, anyway. One night I told him about my story . . . and the next morning when I woke up he was gone. So was my story. He won an award for that. Didn't even thank my for my input.
Clark Kent: I guess . . . when you're in love with somebody, it doesn't matter how smart you are or how many rules you set for yourself . . . you're still vulnerable.
Lois Lane: We're only human. Oh, what difference does it make now anyway. We're just gonna die.
Clark Kent: Lois . . . You know what you said about respect? I just want you to know that everybody at the Planet - everyone - thinks you're just about the best reporter they've ever met. Perry told me that the day I interviewed.
Lois Lane: [Crying audibly.] He did?
Clark Kent: Yeah. And not that it really means anything coming from a hack from Nowheresville, but . . . I think you're pretty terrific, too.
Lois Lane: Oh, Clark. I'm sorry . . . about everything. I know it's too late for apologies, but I never meant--
Lois Lane's apology is cut short when Dr. Tony Baines returns to kill Lois, Clark and Jimmy. Clark manages to free himself, Lois and Jimmy from an explosion set by Dr. Baines - all without revealing his powers to anybody. After they are outside the building they had been trapped in they look up into the sky and see a helicopter taking off. On the helicopter are Dr. Tony Baines and her henchman. The helicopter explodes, killing Dr. Baines and her henchman instantly. The explosion was caused by Lex Luthor, who was the partner of Dr. Baines in his scheme to sabotage Space Station Prometheus. Lex had also been Dr. Baines' illicit lover for a brief time, but this didn't prevent him from killing her.
Timecode: 1 hour, 14 minutes, 3 seconds: Cut to Lex Luthor's office. Luthor watches footage of the helicopter explosion on a television.
Lex Luthor: Good night, Antoinette. Sweet dreams.
BELOW: Lex Luthor says Good Night to his lover after killing her:
Clark Kent makes his public debut as "Superman" - wearing his now-familiar costume for the first time - when he saves the day by preventing the space shuttle with dozens of colonists from being blown up. The bomb on the shuttle was planted as part of Lex Luthor's scheme. After making this very public appearance, Superman flies to Lex Luthor's office for a private chat.
Timecode: 1 hour, 27 minutes, 29 seconds:
Lex Luthor: [Clapping his hands.] An astonishing debut, "Superman." [Responding to the blank look on Superman's face.] Well, haven't you heard? That's what they're calling you. It's international news. So, to what do I owe this honor?
Superman: I came to tell you that I know who you are. Who you really are. I suppose, on its face, it was a good plan. Destroy Prometheus, so that you could put your own space station in its place. Then, not only would you make billions from the patents of the vaccines developed, but you would also be the supposed savior of the space program.
Lex Luthor: Well, it's an interesting theory, Superman, but I'm afraid that's all it is.
Superman: You were also responsible for the deaths of at least three people. Commander Laderman, Samuel Platt, Dr. Baines. Those probably aren't the only skeletons in your closet.
Lex Luthor: So you've become both my judge and executioner?
Superman: Like any citizen of the planet, I must obey the law. I am not above it. You, it seems, believe you are.
BELOW: Superman: I must obey the law:
Lex Luthor: I hold a certain position in this city.
Superman: Yes. And there is nothing that would please me more than to see you dethroned and behind bars like any common criminal. That day will come.
Lex Luthor: Well, I trust not. But, as they say, let the games begin.
Superman: Oh, one more thing. If you ever need to find me, all you have to do is look up.
Superman flies away.
Timecode: 1 minute, 25 seconds (after the opening credits).
Deborah Joy LeVine: Do you know that I wrote a script that had 25 pages before this scene [referring to the very first scene in the pilot episode]. I actually started in a fire ceremony on an island where you [speaking to Dean Cain, who plays Clark Kent/Superman] were put on fire. And then I went to an oil taker . . .
Dean Cain: All that is implicit. It's all implied.
Deborah Joy LeVine: And then I had Lois Lane in the red rocks of Utah, and she was doing this story . . . Well, there was a story leading up to this [the pilot's opening scene, which introduces Lois Lane]. She [Lois Lane] was supposed to be posing as a guy buying Indian artifacts and they cut out the whole thing because it was very expensive. They told me to write an expensive pilot, and I did.
Timecode: 2 minutes, 33 seconds:
Deborah Joy LeVine: I really think that pilots are all about character and less about story. Um, I think that what I wanted to set up is, you know, Lois's personality and Clark's personality, and who they were as human beings, or as aliens, and what their relationship with each other was. Because I think what the basis of this show for me was really . . . It was really sort of a Romeo and Juliet story. It was: Are they going to be unrequited lovers for their life, or are they ever gonna get together, and I think that's what I really wanted to set up in the pilot. Not so much, "I'm a he-man and I can burst through walls." But I wanted to set up the sexual tension between them and their personalities, who they were, and what their goals were. She's looking for a man. She's looking for love. He's looking for a woman. He's looking for love. But he's an alien. She's an Earthwoman. And, Oh my God, what are we gonna do? That was sort of what I wanted to set up in the pilot. Which I think really worked.
Timecode: 5 minutes, 1 second:
Dean Cain: It's a nice touch to have the nuns crossing the street.
Robert Butler: I love that! If Clark Kent is not pure [enough already], he just saved nuns!
[Dean Cain and episode director Robert Butler both laugh.]
Timecode: 8 minutes, 42 seconds:
Deborah Joy LeVine: That's where I started the show [in her original script]: In New Guinea. The fire ceremony got cut out. I wanted to create a different kind of Superman. I didn't want someone who was in the Fortress of Solitude. I wanted to create a character, uh, someone who realized that he could fly and then spent time traveling all over the world, learning different cultures. I wanted him to be more sophisticated and less a country boy from the farm.
Timecode: 24 minutes, 40 seconds:
[The commentators are discussing a scene in the pilot in which Dean Cain appears shirtless.]
Dean Cain: And no hair on his chest. [referring to himself in this scene]
Deborah Joy LeVine: And no hair on his chest. You probably ripped it off five minutes before we started.
Dean Cain: No. Japanese. No hair on my chest. Still no hair.
Deborah Joy LeVine: You know, I just wanted to talk to you about your Japanese heritage a little bit, because I knew you were a quarter Japanese. And there was something about your eyes that I remember during the audition, and I remember thinking, not that it was "alien-ish" or a little other-worldly, but it gave you a different sort of look. And that look was so appealing, because it wasn't like you were the "All-American Boy." There was something deep in your eyes that was sort of interesting and spiritual. And obviously is still there. But I think that it was something that we really noticed during the audition process. It was something that sort of gave you an intelligence, not that it's not there, bu the eyes helped.
Dean Cain: I thought it was wonderful that I got to play this role, not being the traditional "All-American" guy, though he really is the traditional All-American guy. Being a quarter-Japanese never meant much to me growing up, because I didn't have any contact with that part of my family, but it certainly has a lot to do with how I look. And I'm glad, I'm really glad that you guys took that chance.
Timecode: 34 minutes, 27 seconds:
Dean Cain: There he is, John Shea.
Deborah Joy LeVine: John Shea. You know, I am so glad that I went with this different persona for Luthor. I-- I didn't wan the old bald man with the sinister look. I wanted a handsome, young, viril worthy opponent for Superman, and someone who could also, you know, get the affections of Lois Lane.
Dean Cain: Well, then what the heck did you cast John Shea for?! [Cain is joking. Cain, Butler and LeVine all laugh.]
Deborah Joy LeVine: And John Shea was so into this role. He was, like, reading Nietzsche. He was, like good versus evil. He had all these theories.
Timecode: 1 hour, 1 minute, 28 seconds:
Deborah Joy LeVine: So I changed the personality of Perry White because when Lane came and he was a Southerner, I just didn't think he would say "Great Caesar's Ghost!" So we changed him and he was saying "Great Shades of Elvis!" And he became an Elvis fan. So sometimes I think a writer has to change the way they envision a character based upon whose playing the part, and that's exactly what happened with Lane Smith.