Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Season 1 Episode 4

Neverending Battle

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Oct 03, 1993 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
89 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Is Superman faster than a speeding bullet? Is he more powerful than a locomotive? Can he leap tall buildings in a single bound? Lex Luthor wants to know, so he manufactures his own major disasters to determine the extent of Superman's abilities. Meanwhile, Clark learns exactly how far Lois will go to get a story.moreless

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  • How fast is Superman? Faster than a speeding bullet? How strong? Stronger than a locomotive. Luthor puts him to the test.

    Lois and Clark continues to incorporate Superman mythology creatively--not parodying but paying homage to. In Neverending Battle, Luthor puts Superman to a series of tests that establish he his faster than a speeding bullet and stronger than a locomotive. But this episode goes beyond that. It also establishes the limits of Superman. He cannot be everywhere at once. It is debatable whether an episode with Clark doubting if he should be Superman would have been better now after he has only been Superman for two episodes or later in the series, but for better or worse, the producers put it here. Clark's limitations weren't physical but mental. He was concerned for the people he could not help.

    Paralleling Clark's struggle in this episode is Jimmy. Jimmy wants to be a journalist, but Perry seems to view him as the kid to fetch donuts and fix his foot massager. His limitation isn't intellectual--he can do the job of a journalist--but mental. It is Clark who encourages him to stand up to Perry. This series isn't content with Perry as a stereotypical editor who yells a lot. We peer into his character and find that he is an Elvis fan.

    The Lois and Clark interaction in this episode is what was disappointing. Lois' sister Lucy makes another appearance and again seems useless other than delivering a line about Lois crying over stealing a story from Clark. Lois' cutthroat chase after the Superman story seems in character for her, but Clark's rather vindictive practical joke on her seems out of character for this mild-mannered reporter. Is that it's okay to play mean-spirited practical jokes on people to get back at them a message Superman really wants to portray to children? It doesn't seem to fit with Jesus' command to turn to the other cheek either.

    Neverending Battle returns to the formula that made the pilot so great. There is a mystery for Clark to solve. Who is testing Superman? Super strength can't help you solve a mystery. The theme of Clark yearning to be average is revisited. Clark insists to Lois that "except for the flying and the uniform, he could be any ordinary guy." If it wasn't for Clark's out-of-character vindictiveness, this episode would have rated much higher than its 4 out of 10. One question that bugged me the whole episode, "Why does the Daily Planet restroom look like a supply closet?"

    -Matthew Miller

    Find this review and more at tv.swingthesickle.commoreless
  • Lex Luthor puts Superman on several test to know the kind of adversary that he is

    It's an episode that a Superman can't miss. The very title is a classic phrase "The Neverending Battle". Later, on the tests that Luthor puts Superman, you get to hear a lot of the classic phrases of Superman, like "Able to leap tall buildings with a single bound", "Faster than a speeding bullet", "More powerful than a locomotive". Also, it has one of the coolest fx scenes of the first season where Superman saves a little girl from a falling letter sign.moreless
Elizabeth Barondes

Elizabeth Barondes

Lucy Lane

Guest Star

Brent Jennings

Brent Jennings

Inspector Henderson

Guest Star

Roy Brocksmith

Roy Brocksmith


Guest Star

Shaun Toub

Shaun Toub


Recurring Role

Tony Jay

Tony Jay

Nigel St John

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Goof: The hang of Superman's cape is completely different in various scenes. In some, the cape ends in a long, rectangular section several inches down his chest. In others, it ends in a point, laid back over his shoulders, higher up on his neckline.

    • Nitpick: For someone trying to maintain a secret identity, Clark certainly is careless in this episode! He changes clothes in The Daily Planet, and he completely fixes up his apartment in the few minutes between his landlord's two visits!

    • Clark seems to have quite a bit of difficulty changing into his suit in the beginning, so apparently he hasn't started wearing it under his regular clothes yet, and he hasn't yet perfected the "spin and change" that he later does so easily.

    • Clark's apartment address of 344 Clinton actually was Clark's (and later his clone Superboy's) apartment in the comics until his marriage to Lois Lane.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Lois: I stole it. I have never stolen a story before in my life. How could I do that? It's him. It's Superman. I mean, ever since he held me in his arms, there's something between us, Lucy. I know it. There's this connection.
      Lucy: You should be ashamed of yourself.
      Lois: I am ashamed of myself. I'm ashamed of myself.
      Lucy: And you'll never do it again?
      Lois: I won't. Never again.
      Lucy: And you'll apologize to Clark Kent?
      Lois: Not in this millennium.

    • Monique: Let me hire a couple of shooters and I'll turn Superman into a large wet spot. Testing won't be necessary.
      Lex: Have you ever read Sun Tzu's The Art of War?
      Monique: I'm waiting for the Reader's Digest version.
      Lex: Sun Tzu was a general od ancient imperial China, and he teaches us, paraphrasing, of course, 'Knowledge precedes victory, ignorance precedes defeat.'
      Monique: Really? Well, an Uzi precedes a bloody mess, even in China.

    • Cat: 'We' sounds good to me. We, isn't that French for 'yes'?
      Clark: Ahem, not in Smallville.

    • Lois: I should have the exclusive on the follow-up. Those are the rules.
      Perry: The rules are off. This is too big.
      Lois: But he's mine! He's mine! (realizes she's sounding desperate) As in my story, story mine.

    • Martha: Clark, is it a dirt stain or an oil-based stain?
      Clark: (trying to clean cape) I dunno, mom... It's a bomb stain.

    • Lois: What we've got here is an example of human evolution. Clark is the before, Superman is the after. (Glances at Clark, who is eating a doughnut and looking disheveled) Make that the way, way after.

    • Perry: I love the smell of fear in the newsroom.

    • Lois: (About Superman) He has no reason to hide. Especially from me.
      Cat: Wait a minute. I get it. You and Superman joined the old zero-gravity club up on the space station, didn't you?

    • Lex: (To his staff) So, what do we know about Superman?
      Jules: That he can really jump... for a white guy.

    • Lois: (To Clark) How long can you hold your breath?
      Clark: (after Lois leaves) For a very long time.

  • NOTES (4)


    • Lex's falcon is named Faust. Dr Faustus is a well known fictional character who sells his soul to the Devil in order to get the woman he wants.

    • Lex Luthor: Have you read The Art Of War?

      Written by Sun Tzu, The Art of War is one of the oldest and most famous studies of strategy and has had a huge influence on military planning, business tactics, and beyond.

    • Lex Luthor: We know Superman can jump high but is he, say, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Is he more powerful than a locomotive?

      Starting with the Max Fleisher cartoons Superman is described as being "Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

    • Lois: Sure, Clark, and when you run across Jimmy Hoffa and the Easter Bunny, why don't you reel them in, too.

      Jimmy Hoffa, president of the Teamster's Union, disappeared without a trace on July 30, 1975.

    • Title: Neverending Battle
      The title is a reference to the opening narration for the radio serial and the opening of the George Reeves TV series: "And who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a neverending battle for truth and justice."