Superman: The Animated Series

Season 2 Episode 22

The Late Mr. Kent

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Aired Saturday 10:00 AM Nov 01, 1997 on The WB

Episode Recap

We open at a funeral. As the preacher gives the eulogy, we see Lois Lane, Perry White, and Jimmy Olsen among the mourners. Superman even stands on a hill watching the scene from afar. Finally the preacher reveals to us the name of the recently departed-Clark Kent!? In a flashback, Superman narrates how Perry White assigned him, in the identity of Clark Kent, to interview a man on death row named Ernest Walker. Walker was a small-time crook convicted of murdering a woman in a botched robbery five years ago. He has used up all his appeals and is going to be executed soon. He swears to Clark that he is innocent, that he only found the woman's necklace outside his apartment door and was caught fencing it at a pawn shop. He says that yes, he was a crook, but that he never harmed anyone in his whole life. Clark's hearing and vision powers note that Walker's heart doesn't skip a beat and neither do his eyes waver. Clark is beginning to believe him. Clark goes to see Detective Bowman, the man who was in charge of the investigation. He gives Clark all the records and tells him to decide for himself, but that Walker is guilty as sin, and to not lose any sleep over it. At the Daily Planet that night, Clark has gone over all the evidence and agrees that it looks bad for Walker. Lois and Jimmy try to talk Clark into giving up and coming to dinner with them, as everyone knows Walker is guilty, but Clark refuses to quit. After they leave, Clark spots some leftover pizza and decides to help himself. He remembers that in Walker's testimony, he says he was at home, eating pizza and watching TV alone at the time of murder, a pretty weak alibi. But then Clark realizes that the pizza delivery man was never questioned, and that if he can remember giving Walker the pizza, it would prove Walker was at home when the murder was committed. Clark goes to the pizza place, only to find that pizza delivery men don't last long. But he does get their computer records for the last five years, listing every delivery, which takes up over 50 disks. Late that night, Clark calls Lois at home, waking her up and telling her that he has managed to prove Walker's alibi. When Lois asks how, Clark says she can read about it in tomorrow's paper, and that he's off to see the Governor to ask that Walker be pardoned. The records show that Walker received his pizza at the exact time the murder was being committed, proving him innocent. Clark gets in his car and begins driving to the Governor's Mansion. He reflects that he could have just flown there as Superman, but that may have raised some tough questions, since Clark was the one investigating this case, not Superman. Also, Clark admits to himself that he wanted this to be his victory, not Superman's. But on the way, Clark's car explodes, and drives off the road into the ocean! The car and the disk are destroyed, and what's worse, there is a fisherman nearby who saw the whole thing, and is sure to report the incident Later, Superman pulls Clark's car out of the ocean for the cops, but no one can find Clark's body. Lois is there with Bowman, saying that this must prove Walker was framed, since only the real killer would have murdered Clark, since he was getting too close. Bowman dismisses her theory, saying that Clark could have tons of enemies as an investigative reporter. Lois asks if Clark might still be alive, but Bowman again discounts the idea, saying no one could have survived that blast. What's more, there was a fisherman who saw the whole thing and never saw Clark or anyone swimming away. Lois goes over to talk to the fisherman. That night, Bowman talks with Martha Kent on the phone and is rather confused that she doesn't seem all that upset that her son was killed. The reason is that he is sitting in her kitchen. Martha hangs up and says that this is a fine mess. Jonathan Kent says it's not too bad, it just means that Clark has to stop being "Clark Kent" from now on. Superman finds that hard to take, saying that "I need to be Clark. I'd go crazy if I had to be Superman all the time." But there maybe no way around it. Also, there is still the matter of Ernest Walker, an innocent man that is going to be executed, to deal with. Back in the present, Superman watches Lois leave Clark's funeral early, lamenting that she doesn't seem all that upset to see him go. Superman decides to go to the Governor anyway and tell his story, the whole story if need be, to get him to spare Ernest Walker's life. He returns to his apartment and finds Lois snooping around. Still as Superman, he appears and asks her what she's doing. She says the same thing he is, and that's looking for clues. Clark mentioned a disk when he called her the night he died, and she is looking for a back-up, Superman says "I wish I'd thought of that" but Lois misses his real meaning. She shows him a tiny listening device that she found in Clark's phone, and says that Clark's computer is missing, meaning that someone's been there. Lois finds a picture of herself and Clark that he had framed and begins to cry. She says she may have teased him, but that she deeply respected him as a reporter, and that she really did like him, and that she wished she had told him so. Superman comforts her and says that Clark may still be alive. Lois agrees, saying that the fisherman who was the witness has such poor vision that he is practically blind, and wasn't even wearing his glasses at the time. As they continue looking, Lois finds a time bomb that is about to go off. Superman grabs her and flees the apartment as it detonates. He sets her down and punches a whole in a water tank to put out the fire. After he's done, his super vision spot Detective Bowman in the crowd, calmly fleeing the scene. At the police station later, Lois tries to asks Bowman some questions, but he rebuffs her, saying that he is too busy. She says he must be the busiest cop on the force, since he was the first cop at the scene of the murdered woman, the one who caught Ernest Walker trying to sell her necklace at the pawn shop, the first person at the scene of Clark's accident, and in the crowd outside Clark's apartment fire. As they enter a stairwell, Bowman says that was all just good detective work. Lois suggests that Bowman killed that woman and framed Walker for it, then killed Clark for getting too close, and Bowman threatens to sue her. Lois then reveals the listening device that was placed in Clark's phone saying that it is the same kind used by the police in stake-outs, and wonders who's fingerprints will be on it. Bowman tries the get the device away from Lois and manages to push her off the stairs. Superman crashes through the wall to save her and her tape recorder. Bowman escapes to the roof and into a police helicopter. He attacks Superman with its artillery but the Man of Steel eventually puts Bowman down. Superman and Lois go to the Governor's Mansion, only to find that he has gone to view the execution himself. Superman arrives just in time to stop Walker's death. At the Planet, Lois and Jimmy are admiring Lois' story about Walker being pardoned. Lois says it leaves a bitter taste, since Clark lost his life to save Walker's. She then gets a call and after a moment screams "What!?" She goes the to home of Lana Lang to find Clark, badly "injured" but still alive, recuperating with her. Clark says that he can't remember what happened, but that he must have got to shore and managed to call Lana. Lois says that Clark couldn't remember his own name, but he remembered Lana's and her phone number? Lana smirks and says that she and Clark are very close, and asks if Lois is jealous. Lois says "Yeah, of his endless luck!" Lana and Clark smile at each other as Lois leaves. In jail, Bowman reads about his own arrest and conviction in an article written by Clark Kent. Bowman is then taken to the gas chamber where he is strapped in and sits awaiting his time. He mutters to himself that he still can't figure out how Clark managed to survive that car bomb. As the executioner pulls the lever to let in the lethal gas, the answer finally hits Bowman, "He's Superman!"
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