Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman "We Have a Lot to Talk About"

By the end of its second season, Lois & Clark was becoming more of a ratings hit. One reason for this was that the title characters were starting to become more romantic with each other by this point. The only snag was that Clark had to tell Lois the tidbit about him and Superman being the same person.

In the second season finale, the Man of Steel had to contend with a bad guy who knew he was Clark, and to that end he kidnapped Clark’s parents and even ordered him to kill Lois. Of course, things worked out and the villain ended up in jail. But Clark still had yet to reveal his super-identity to Lois. The episode and the season ended with the lovebirds walking, but rather than tell Lois that he’s Superman, Clark instead pulls out a diamond ring.

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Not surprisingly, this gave fans much to digest over the following summer. Many were actually clamoring for Lois and Clark to take their relationship further, and indeed, the comics by this point had them in a relationship, with Lois in the know about Clark’s penchant for wearing a cape and tights when trouble arises. So why couldn’t this series follow suit?

The third season premiere “We Have a Lot to Talk About” (which, I must note, is also when we started seeing the episode titles on the screen) begins with Lois responding to Clark’s proposal by asking if it’s he or Superman who’s asking the question, and taking off his glasses. After the title sequence, the two get out of the pouring rain, with Clark drying Lois off with his heat vision, and he asks how she figured it out. She says that she put two and two together in the previous episode when Clark touched her cheek and Superman later on did the same thing in the same way. The rain stops and Clark continues to pour his heart out, explaining why he kept Lois in the dark in the two years they’ve known each other.

Lois says she understands, but still feels the need to vent. That’s when they hear a cry for help. In a nice touch, Clark smiles as he turns into Superman in front of Lois before darting off.

He goes to where the screams are coming from and asks some guys (who are dressed like the title characters in Men in Black) to let go of the guy they have pinned down. But another guy nearby tells him that the guy on the ground actually tried to mug him until the gentlemen wearing the suits showed up to subdue him. As the mugger is carted off, they identify themselves as members of the Church Group, headed by former criminal Bill Church (Peter Boyle). They say that Church is now trying to make Metropolis safe.

After they leave, Lois tells Clark that she needs time to think before they take the next step. Clark is a tad miffed at this and goes off to make sure there’s no more trouble, while Lois sulks on her way home.

At his house, Church greets his arriving son Bill Jr. (Bruce Campbell, after Evil Dead but before Hercules and Xena). Father tells Son that his recent heart surgery has given him a new lease on life. This includes getting a new wife, as Bill Sr. introduces his son to his nurse/wife Mindy (Jessica Collins). Junior is naturally taken aback by this, but Senior says he wants to scrap Intergang, the organized crime syndicate he built, and make the world a better place now. Junior understandably hits the booze when he realizes his old man is serious.

At the Daily Planet the next morning, Lois attempts to smooth things over with Clark. But he brushes it off by focusing on the Church Group, and to her annoyance, he heads off when he tells her he hears a police siren. Lois watches the news reports coming in that say the Church Group is becoming more popular by not only fighting crime but doing other good things, like setting up fundraisers and making sure food is good enough for people to buy.

Bill Jr. sees Mindy crying at Church’s house. He asks what’s wrong, and she says that she’s tired of her hubby always darting off to places like art exhibits. They both express their desire for things to return to how they were before, which (that’s right) leads to them kissing.

Meanwhile, Perry White is bummed out that the Church Group’s activities are basically depriving the Planet of any juicy news they can report. Lois says that she’s still suspicious, and Perry says that since he knows Church, he can arrange a meeting between him and Lois and Clark to see if they can find out anything. When he and Jimmy wonder about Clark’s whereabouts, Lois assures them that they’re just trying to get their facts straight… about the Church Group.

Another broadcast asks the obvious question: With the Church Group so prominent, is there any need for Superman? As it turns out, Superman is being an umpire for a group of kids playing baseball. Alas, their annoyance with him being a stickler for the rules leads to even the kids telling the Man of Steel to piss off.

At an art auction, Bill Sr. is still giving his son an earful of the good he plans to do. Junior feigns his approval, informing his dad that Mindy has helped him see the light about this new agenda. After Senior darts off, Mindy tells Junior of her plan to frame Senior by planting a bomb at a museum where Church has planned a fundraiser. Her stepson is naturally all for this.

On their way to their meeting with Church, Lois and Clark continue to express their frustration with how different their relationship is now. Church greets them and quickly tells them about his plans. The googly eyes he and Mindy make at each other annoy Lois and Clark, but this doesn’t stop Mindy from asking if they’re an item. Afterward, Lois is frustrated that she and Clark didn’t find out anything interesting, although Clark says that he x-rayed the place and saw machinery being taken apart, suggesting that Church could be honest about his intentions.

This leads to them venting their frustrations about each other again, with Clark saying that he needs to know if Lois would be willing to actually marry him even if he didn’t have superpowers. They go their separate ways and Clark takes out his engagement ring and tosses it into space, although he quickly catches it before slowly making his way back to Earth.

Clark is soon calling his parents Jonathan and Martha, who tell him that all this is natural, because Lois has a lot to process. Clark also expresses that he’s basically bored, because the Church Group is doing his job for him. Martha tells her husband to pack their things, because they’re going to pay their son a visit.

Lois gets informed by her contact Bobby Bigmouth (Sal Viscuso) that people connected to Church have been talking with an explosives expert, and gives Lois the guy’s address. She decides it would be easier to investigate without Clark, given their current frustration with each other. Disguised as a maid, Lois gets inside and goes through the expert’s equipment, coming across a map of the museum. But she doesn’t notice the camera that’s photographing her. Sure enough, these pics are seen by Bill Jr. and Mindy. They decide to cause a nuclear power plant in Philadelphia to go crazy to keep Superman occupied, while rigging a workout mat at Lois’s apartment to blow up if Lois doesn’t increase her speed on it every 10 minutes.

Not surprisingly, Superman fixes the reactor and gets rid of the rigged mat just in time. I guess Lois’ frustration with Clark is greater than any exhaustion you’d think her extreme workout would’ve given her, because instead of thanking Clark, she wonders if she’s just another statistic now.

As Church finishes up his fundraiser, complete with balloons for the children, his wife and son take their failure to off Lois in stride by inviting her to the doomed event. Lois tells Perry that the explosives expert is no longer at the apartment, but she informs him of the map she found, and that she and Perry have been invited to the fundraiser. Perry says they should go, while he also invites the Metropolis PD’s bomb squad.

Martha goes to Lois’s place and they have a heart-to-heart, while Jonathan and Clark do the same.

At the fundraiser, Clark informs Lois that he’s found a bomb under a table. Unfortunately, a message only he can hear tells him that his dense molecular structure has activated the bomb, meaning it will go off if he moves. Fortunately, this doesn’t apply to Lois, who’s able to go under the table and whisper to Clark and figure out how to disarm it. At the same time, Bill Jr. lures his dad outside under the pretense of showing him a special painting; after all, his dad has to be alive in order for the cops to throw him behind bars.

Clark raises eyebrows when he has to shout Lois’s name in order for her to hear him, but eventually she disarms the bomb. They celebrate with a kiss, while Mindy ponders why there’s no boom.

Outside, Bill Sr. is admiring the painting as the police show up. Alas, both Churches are taken by surprise as the cops put cuffs on both of them, with Junior realizing that Mindy set him up.

As Mindy announces her own plans for Intergang (well, it can’t be worse than the current government in DC), Superman disarms the last member of the Church Group as he’s about to mug Lois, Jimmy, and Perry in an elevator.

Afterward, Clark takes Lois for a romantic flight. She tells him that he’s not alone anymore, as they kiss in the moonlight.

The episode was a great start to the season that introduced the dynamic that would distinguish this series from previous TV/movie incarnations of the Man of Steel. Later episodes would do a nice job exploring this further before some incredibly misguided decision-making behind the scenes would cause fans to become disenchanted with the show by the end of this season.

Rob Kirchgassner

Rob is a blogger, critic, and author. His latest novel is a western: The Search West is available now from Amazon.

TV Show: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

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  • I don’t like the characterization of Superman essentially wishing there was more mayhem to keep him entertained, but I guess I can chalk it up to his sour mood.

  • Michael Weyer

    Great points:

    * Pa Kent telling Clark he and Martha had a major fight years ago but “neither of us can remember what it was about.” Cut to Martha detailing every bit of it to Lois.

    * Just that great opening, subverting fan expectations of Lois having finally figured it out.

    * Her seeing Clark looking over his glasses with his x-ray vision and going “ah, THAT’s why you’ve been doing it.”

    * Mindy transforming from her bubble-headed voice to a tougher one when she takes over Intergang, revealing she’s been playing the bimbo all this time.

  • Greenhornet

    Some writers think that in order to challenge a superhero, you need a superDUPERvillian. Inter Gang proves otherwise. In several comics, movies and TV shows, super heroes have been threatened by ordinary gangsters who were simply smart, talented, or had some fancy gadget.

    If you keep throwing invasions by space aliens who can ignore shells from a 40mm grenade discharger at your hero, you’ll have to keep finding ways to top it until some mad scientist exploding the sun brings yawns instead of gasps.