This seems like a good idea.
Superman prefers to fly crotch-first into danger.
The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire! No, seriously, there's a building on fire. It looks pretty serious. The Metropolis fire department is working hard to put out the blaze, the sixth in the last twenty-four hours, according to the handy TV news reporter/expository character who is on hand. Superman arrives on the scene and rescues a man who was trapped in the building. Mr. Exposition asks Superman if he has any idea who's behind the fires, saying they're rumored to be gang-related. Gang-related fires? Let me be the first to say: what the hell? Some cities have drive-by shootings, but apparently Metropolis has middle-of-the-day arson. Before Superman can respond to the reporter, he hears on the police band that there's another fire across town and flies off.
Elsewhere, Johnny, an obvious Sopranos reject, is holding auditions for chorus girls in a night club. Is he a 1920s gangster? If he is, he is sorely lacking in the pinstripe suit department. The auditions are interrupted by Ms. Exposition, who needs to tell Johnny right away that there was another fire, and that the owner of the building pays "The Metro Organization" for protection. I assume that she is referring to the gang that Johnny runs, and not the series of interconnected railways in the Washington DC area. Johnny calls for the next auditioner, and who should walk out but Lois Lane, lookin' fiiiiine. Johnny takes one look at her and hires her. He didn't even make her tapdance! That's just not fair to the other applicants.
Back at the Planet, Lois is defending her decision to go undercover to Clark and Jimmy. She explains that she needs to go undercover to find out why the West River area, which is Metro Gang-controlled territory, is on fire. Honestly, yeah, it's dangerous, but I have to side with Lois on this one. If she really wants to be an investigative journalist, she's got to be willing to take risks like this, and there's really no other way to get this story than to infiltrate this gang. Good on you, Lane. I hope this works out for you. Perry agrees and says that he will back his reporters 100%, even if Clark were to go up to the roof and say that he could fly. Get it? Because Clark is Superman, so he really can fly. Anyway. Clark tells Lois that she should have consulted with him first, and Lois condescends to him with what amounts to "you win some, you lose some." She goes on to say that she would never do anything to compromise her safety or her journalistic integrity, at which point Jimmy walks up to her desk carrying a dry cleaning bag that had been delivered for her. He says the cleaners had some problems with the feathers, and pulls out what appears to be a skimpy chicken costume. Lois hides the outfit in disgust, but I'm sure she could pull it off.
Lex Luthor is holding a press conference regarding some urban renewal projects that he is investing in that just happen to be in the West River area. He doesn't seem worried about the fires, and delights in the fact that not even Superman can keep up with them. He refers to the area is a blight on Metropolis, and says that the newly-rechristened Lex Harbor will be the crown jewel of the city. Clark, who is in attendance, asks Lex about allegations of coercion made by city council members, and Lex brushes him off before abruptly leaving. Clark watches him leave and looks back at the model of Lex Harbor pensively.
"Costa Del Lex. Luthorville. Marina del Lex. Otisburg... Otisburg?"
Meanwhile, at the Metro Club, Lois is being trained as a waitress. The trainer warns Lois to watch out for the wandering hands of the men in this club. A group of suited men enter a back room of the club, and Lois offers $20 to the woman training her to let her serve the men their drinks. In the back room, the gambinos are stressing about the fires, but Johnny reassures them that he'll take care of them. Ms. Exposition interjects, asking how he plans to take care of them, and Johnny looks pissed as Lois enters with some drinks. Johnny grabs Lois's butt non-chalantly, being sure to get a really good handful there.
"Yeah, that's the stuff. That is nice, kid. You must work out.
He then goes back to berating Ms. Exposition (whom Johnny refers to as 'Ms. MBA', so I think that will be her name from now on), saying that the old-style gangster tactics that they're using now worked just fine for his father (their father? the implication is that they are siblings), and that if their father were here he would "be the first to tell you to get a good husband, start having babies, and leave the real work to the men". Ms. MBA shoots back that that's what their father did tell her, not realizing that Johnny would ruin everything. BURN! Johnny pulls a gun and fires three times at the wall, proving that he is the more level-headed of the two. Ms. MBA strolls out, and everyone else gets up from off of the floor, having hidden there when the gun made its appearance.
That evening, a mangy sailor enters the Metro Club. He wears a stocking cap, mustache, chin beard, and glasses. Yep, it's Clark. Just soak this in for a minute:
Honestly, it's a better disguise than just putting on a pair of glasses and slouching, but still. That's just damn ridiculous. Anyway. Let's move on. Clark strolls over to the bar, orders a beer, and peruses the club, immediately finding the head gangsters. He moves along the back wall of the club when, from behind a curtain, a feathered hand grabs him. Naturally it's Lois, in full skimpy chicken getup.
"You look ridiculous!"
She yells at Clark for even being there, but Clark doesn't magically disappear for some reason, probably because he wants to protect Lois. He asks her how she plans to get close to Johnny, to which Lois replies, "He's a man, I'm a woman. Do you want me to draw you a diagram?" So...she's going to have sex with him? I've seen diagrams like the ones she's talking about, and I'm pretty sure that's what she's implying. Lois gets a call to the stage, and Clark heads back out to watch the show. He strolls back up to the bar and orders two double Whiskeys, which he downs immediately, then starts to complain to the bartender about how he got thrown off of his ship today. Wow, Clark, you are a convincing sailor. Maybe you should throw in a couple of 'gash darnits' just to really drive it home. As Clark whines, the show starts, and Lois dances around in her chicken costume. It's the most not-hot thing I've ever seen. Clark asks the bartender if the club has any job openings, and the bartender says that Clark isn't the type. Clark acts all indignant, and the manager - Ms. MBA - approaches, saying they don't have any openings and that he'll need to leave, as he is violating the club's dress code policy. It is at that point that these four enter the club:
Oh my God! It's DEVO!
One of the guys in silver screams at Johnny that he's a dead man, and all four of them open fire with their flame throwers. Clark leaps across the room and knocks Johnny out of the way of the flames as the four set the place ablaze. Several gangsters shoot at the silver guys, and the four run away. Clark helps Johnny to his feet, then sees that Ms. MBA is trapped behind a wall of flames. He leaps through them and saves her, then rushes everyone else, chicken-suited Lois included, out of the club. As they all leave, he uses his super-breath to put out the fire. As the fire dies down, Lois rushes back in and asks Clark who those guys were. Clarks points to the wall, where the word 'TOASTERS' has been burned. This gang is called The Toasters. Or they really hate appliances. Either way, wow is that awful.
The next day, the club is being cleaned up. They try to paint over the burn marks, but to no avail - the word TOASTERS is still plainly visible. You know, if they renamed the place Toasters, that might actually work to their advantage. But then their club wouldn't be named after their gang, and that would just be silly. There's a secret meeting going on in the back room, and no waitresses are allowed in, so Lois can't get in to spy on them. She does the next best thing, though: she sneaks into the room adjacent and spies through the bullet holes that Johnny shot earlier, which apparently afford her a clear view of the whole room. Nice shootin', Johnny. In the meeting, Ms. MBA has organized a coup against her brother. She orders Johnny removed from the room, and tells everyone else that she plans to take their organization "out of the back room and into the board room". Corporations are evil. Throw rocks at them.
Lois rushes back to the Planet and tells Clark what she heard about Johnny's sister, Toni, taking over (finally, she has a name!). Lois sets to work on the story, and Clark tells her that Toni asked him to meet her at the club later that day. She is shocked and asks why, to which Clark replies, "I'm a man, she's a woman. Do you want me to draw you a diagram?" Again, is Clark planning on having sex with this woman? What kind of reporters are these two? The sexy kind, that's what.
The next next day, Toni is furious that the story of the Metro Gang's power shift is in the Planet. She fumes and wonders where the leak came from, as this information could only have come from inside the organization. She orders one of her lackeys to find the leak, and as she does Clark arrives in his sailor disguise. Toni offers him a bartending job, as a token of appreciation for his having saved her life. She also gives him some money to buy better clothes and to shave. Well done, Toni. Whatever that thing is on his face was really driving me crazy. As they talk, another of Toni's lackeys approaches her and tells her that the club's singer just quit and that they need to find a new one.
Later that evening, a clean-shaven Clar...er, Charlie King (That's his alias. CK, get it?) is tending bar. Lois spies him and is outraged that he is there. Toni approaches the bar and advises them against fraternization, and Clark gives Lois a nice pat on the butt as she walks away. Clark fixes Toni a drink, using his powers to freeze up some ice, and asks if she heard about The Toasters' latest hit: burning a police station to the ground. He asks Toni how she plans to stop them, and before she answers Toni turns and looks across the room, where Lex Luthor is entering the club. She tells Clark that they will talk later and she and Lex get a table. Clark listens in with his super-hearing as Toni tells Lex that everything is under control. She says that she's worried about The Toasters, and before Clark can hear more, the music starts and the announcer introduces Ms. Lola Dane - a sequin-dressed Lois Lane. As they listen to her sing, both Clark and Lex look at her with that TV show look that you know means they're both falling in love with her. The song she sings is called "I've Got A Crush On You," which finally explains the title of the episode. Lois makes eye contact with Lex and smiles, and Clark notices and gets jealous. The song ends, everyone applauds, and Lex throws Lois a rose. Clark abandons his post at the bar and meets Lois backstage. He warns Lois to get out of there, but Lois insists that she and Lex are friends. Suddenly they're ambushed by Toni, and Clark says that he found their leak: Lois Lane, reporter for the Daily Planet. Toni tells him to throw her out, which he does by slinging her over his shoulder and carrying her out of the club. He approaches two dumpsters and uses his x-ray vision to see what's in them. One has straw and other soft materials in it, while the other has rotten vegetables in it. So Clark tosses Lois into the dumpster full of rotten vegetables. Clark, I forgive you for the horrible disguise from earlier in the episode. This was the most badass thing you've ever done.
I'm sure that, some day, when they're in couples counseling,
Clark and Lois will look back on this and laugh.
Back at Clark's apartment, Lois storms in, still wearing the dress and presumably stinking like rotten tomatoes. She yells at him about blowing her cover, and Clark explains that at least now Toni won't be looking for a leak, and his cover is still safe, so la-di-frickin'-da, Lane, get over it. Before Lois can yell at him some more, there's a knock at the door. Clark sees with his x-ray vision that it's Toni, and he shoos Lois away, forcing her to hide behind a pillar in the apartment. Lois resists, and Clark accuses her of being jealous, which she denies.
I'm mostly showing you this because that pillar in Clark's
apartment looks just like Plastic Man in disguise.
Clark opens the door, and Toni enters with a bag of groceries, offering to cook Clark some homemade lasagna. According to Jennie, 'lasagna' is code for 'vagina'. Use your imagination, kids, it's totally true. Toni and Clark have some sexually-charged banter about each getting what they want, and Clark grabs Toni and kisses her, giving Lois a chance to make her exit. Lois gets home and scoffs at the idea that she is jealous of Toni. As she scarfs down ice cream from the container (just like a woman!), she realizes that she actually is jealous.
I know that women do this because I've seen it on Lifetime.
Just then, a knock comes at the door, and it's Lex Luthor, tux-clad and dashing as ever. His first words to her: "Let's do it." Apparently he's referring to the song she sang earlier, but we all know he really just wants to get on her. Lois invites Lex in and explains to him that she was undercover at the club and that she was fired. She asks Lex what he was doing at the club, and Lex explains that he was meeting with the new leader of the Metro Gang. They both have plans for the West River area, and Lex says that he doesn't trust Toni. He warns Lois to be careful, kisses her cheek, and leaves.
Back at Clark's place, he and Toni are on the balcony, having finished eating Toni's
It's not DEVO, it's the Red Hot Chili Peppers!
Toni gives them $100,000, and berates them for botching the attempt on her brother's life. She tells them that she wants the toasters back, and I assume she's talking about the flame throwers and not about a bunch of household appliances that they borrowed from her. The gang refuses to give them back to her and instead takes her hostage. They tell her they're planning to set a string of fires leading from the wharf all the way to the Metro Club, and that she'll just have to wait until then to burn to death. Lois, having followed Toni and hidden herself inside the building, hears the whole thing.
She then proceeds to fall asleep, and is awoken by one of The Toasters trying to catch a rat. She takes this opportunity to leave and head to Clark's place. She tells Clark everything she heard the previous night, and Clarks turns on the TV to see that the wharf is already on fire. Lois runs out to head to the scene, and Clark takes off his glasses, instantly becoming Superman! He also takes off his shirt, presumably because he needs to put the rest of his costume on.
Burn it! Burn it good!
Down at the wharf,
Inside the burnt-out building, Lex Luthor finds Toni. Lex gloats about how he and Toni had a plan to reshape West River, but how Toni got careless and Lex made out like a bandit buying cheap, burnt-out real estate. As he's talking, he takes out a handkerchief and lays it on a chair so that he can sit down. He's so casually awesome that it makes my head explode. Toni threatens to reveal Lex's connection to The Toasters, but Lex scoffs, saying that no matter where she goes he has connections and that she'd better keep her mouth shut. He welcomes her to the world of big business, and leaves her tied up there. You're the man, Lex. Seriously, you're the best character on this show.
Superman flies over the area that is ablaze and uses...some sort of powers to make it rain. I'm not sure what he does, honestly. He blows some clouds around, and it starts to storm. He's Superman, just go with it. Back at the abandoned building, Clark enters and unties Toni, telling her that she let him down. She explains that she had to take control of the Metro Gang somehow, and Clark explains that he's a reporter for the Daily Planet and not Charlie King, hired goon. Toni asks what happens now as sirens approach. If this had been any other show, she would have shot herself in the head rather than go to jail, but Toni just shrugs and accepts her fate.
Back at LexCorp, Lex is celebrating his victory with a cigar. Lex Luthor, you magnificent bastard. Even when you lose, you win!
He also celebrates by talking on his Zach Morris phone.
Back at the Planet, Clark and Lois are wrapping things up on their end. There are a bunch of sports metaphors thrown around about quarterbacks and receivers and the sexual tension is palpable between the two of them even though they're at each other's throats about who actually got the story, and eventually they agree to drop the metaphors thank you baby Jesus because it was annoying. Clark smiles smugly and asks Lois again if she was at all jealous of he and Toni Taylor (her last name was Taylor! Good to know, here at the end of the episode). Lois again scoffs, saying that he just wishes it were true. The two smile longingly at each other, and they should just kiss already because they're clearly in love with each other. THE END.
REVIEW: This episode was extremely entertaining. Aside from the cookie cutter gangster characters, the main villainess was a fairly interesting character, and her plot with Lex Luthor just made it all the better. I'm a big fan of the idea that Lex Luthor is somehow involved in every criminal dealing in Metropolis, and I think that was used perfectly in this episode. The showdown between Superman and The Toasters lasted all of 30 seconds, so there wasn't very much super-powered action at all in this episode, but it was great to see Lois and Clark being journalists. Lois in particular hasn't really had a chance, in my opinion, to show why she's such a highly-respected reporter - she's mostly, up until this point, been portrayed as an impulsive, stubborn, hapless buffoon - and I really enjoyed her story in this episode (and not just because she wore skimpy outfits throughout, though that certainly didn't hurt). Plus we get the beginnings of Lois having feelings for Clark, which is definitely a big milestone, as well as some foundation being laid for the Clark/Lois/Lex love triangle, which is great because anything that features Lex prominently is enjoyable. Man, this episode was enjoyable. Bring on more like this.