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Welcome back to Maid of Steel! We are here discussing Season 2 Episode 12 “Luthors”, which originally aired on Monday February 13, 2017. The reactions to this episode were surprisingly mixed! While Karen and myself rather enjoyed it, in spite of the perceived holes, many feedbackers did not. After a thorough discussion of the events in this episode, which held strong parallels to a game of chess, we were still in agreement that this was one of the better episodes of the season.
This Little Luthor
Some much needed and well-timed back story was provided in this episode around the character of Lena Luthor. With the trial of her mother underway, for crimes against humanity (definitely a Luthor), Lena is struggles against the media and the police to maintain her innocence as damning evidence arises. Though she testifies against her mother, unashamedly, the police and media seem to think that it is all part of the masterful Luthor plan.
This is a game of chess, after all.
Karen and I dig into the underlying agenda in this story, which, for once, is not as overt as most of the agenda-based storytelling has been this season. I don’t know if they could have planned how incredibly relevant the story in this episode was in terms of what is going on in the real world, but in spite of portraying James as an ignorant toe-rag masquerading as a wounded rabbit, he helps expose an inherent media bias. Intentional?
One of the reasons I personally distrust and prefer not to watch National news is due to their prioritization of entertainment over presenting facts; as dull as facts may be to some people, they are hard to come by without a lot of opinion-baggage attached to them. Luckily, in 2017, we have other means to get accurate news (podcasts). The news would rather tell a non-story, because they can make it entertaining, rather than objectively tell something the way it is. The news needs to exist in order to keep society accountable, I am a firm believer in that, but delivering news that people want to hear in order to sell magazines, newspapers or increase viewership is a blatant misuse of that very important responsibility.
However, I make the point on the podcast that both James’s and Kara’s reasoning for landing on opposing sides are built on a house of cards. While most of us, in the real world, don’t make friends like Lena Luthor every day, a healthy dose of skepticism on Kara’s end would be useful. Not suspicious, of course, to the extent that it doesn’t allow trust to be built. The fourth wall has a better conceptualization of this happening in real-time than the character does, so from Kara’s perspective, trusting Lena isn’t ridiculous: she has continuously stood in opposition to Lex, she’s been a target of Lex, she turned against her mother, she was framed, and she testified against her mother. All those facts, together, would absolutely lead innocent, trusting Kara to believe her.
James isn’t totally wrong, though. In spite of these evidences, Luthors are masters of the long-game. Kara has a bigger responsibility than friendship in this world, superheroes are prone to being sucked into the ploys of mere men and thus becoming distracted by something that has been under their nose for a long time. In the words of Mad-Eye Moody: “Constant vigilance!”
What’s In the Box?
“Oh, my beautiful boy. I had no idea…. You finished it.” — Lillian Luthor
By far one of the most intriguing throw-away lines of the episode. What did he finish? The bigger, over-arcing question is what Lillian Luthor’s end game is, but in the mean time, I’m chewing on the possibilities of what’s in the box. Amongst the black mercy, the battle ax, and Lex’s war suit (all things Lillian claims are essential to eradicating the Earth of aliens), there is this little metallic box.
What’s in the box? Any thoughts or theories?
Cougar’s Comic Corner
Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? By Alan Moore and Curt Swan
From Karen: Sometimes lauded as one of the best comic stories of all time, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Is contained in the volume to which we link in the show notes. It’s told completely in flashbacks with a young reporter interviewing a future Lois “Elliott,” who has since moved on after the death of Superman. A few twists and turns worthy of a mystery novel later and we’re left with some comedy, some tragedy, some love, some tears, and even some weirdness. There are so many DC characters that make appearances in this story I can’t list them all, but it does tie into next week’s episode… and that’s all I’ll say.
From Amazon: This volume also includes Moore’s classic early collaboration with WATCHMEN illustrator Dave Gibbons, “FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING”, in which Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman find Superman held captive by the villain Mongul in the Fortress of Solitude and dreaming of an idyllic life on Krypton courtesy of a wish-fulfilling parasitic plant known as the Black Mercy. Both tales are considered two of the top five all-time best Superman stories among fans.
- Episode 13: Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk
- Episode 13: Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk (Extended Promo)
- Episode 13: Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk (Promo Photos)