Home Blog My Adventures with Superman: “Two Lanes Diverged” Episode Recap

My Adventures with Superman: “Two Lanes Diverged” Episode Recap

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Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen dressed up

Previously – Sam Lane was freed from Task Force X’s secret prison and went into hiding in Clark and Jimmy’s apartment. Superman recovered a beacon that could help him locate his cousin, but he was unable to tell Lois because everyone was busy dealing with Amertek’s new facility in Metropolis and its dangerous and unstable fusion core. John Irons became Steel, but he quickly lost his armor when Amertek was acquired by Lex Luthor, who added their resources to Task Force X’s growing arsenal.

Clark and Jimmy are called back to their apartment by Sam Lane, who has been worried about a van parked outside. Sam has barricaded the apartment and jumps when someone arrives at the door. It turns out that it’s a delivery man who has something for Jimmy. S.T.A.R. Labs has sent a talking holographic orb to him inviting him to their 23rd symposium as a keynote speaker. Being Superman’s best friend, Jimmy is considered an expert on alien life. Sam gets a text warning “they’re on to you.”

Outside the apartment, Clark leaves a voicemail for Lois. He has the beacon in his hand and says he needs to talk to her at 8pm on the Daily Planet rooftop. Jimmy shows up in a limo and invites Clark to the symposium. He doesn’t want Superman, he wants his friend Clark.

Sam Lane holds young Lois LaneLois gathers up her courage and enters Clark and Jimmy’s apartment. She notices Sam outside, running away, and thinks back to when she was 10-years-old and in the woods. Sam teaches her about The Big Bear, the Little Bear, and the North Star that can help her find her way when she’s lost. Young Lois doesn’t care and is upset that her mother, who is always tired, can’t join them. Lois comes out of the memory and follows Sam’s trail.

Jimmy and Clark, all dressed up, enter S.T.A.R. Labs, which displays an assortment of the latest technological inventions. A man from NASA takes a picture with Jimmy, who says he saved Superman’s life a dozen times. Jimmy tells Clark he was counting all the times he had to cover for Superman/Clark.

Sam makes his way to a hidden weapons cache and arms himself. Lois finds him and sets off a security alarm. Sam doesn’t want Lois anywhere near him, and another alarm goes off. Damage has found them. Sam uses a freeze weapon on him, and he and Lois run. Sam assures Lois that he has a plan but doesn’t want her mixed up in it. Lois is upset because he never lets her in on anything. Lois proves that she is useful by helping Sam evade Damage when she shows him an entrance to some underground tunnels.

Clark and Jimmy try a S.T.A.R. Labs energy field that enables a person to fly like Superman, and Clark tells Jimmy that he saved Superman’s life 13 times. Clark considers Jimmy announcing they’ll be friends the day they met in college helped Clark realize he doesn’t need to feel like an outsider or be ashamed that he’s an alien.

Clark and Jimmy hug, and it’s a great moment for the two of them. Clark’s relationship with Jimmy tends to be secondary to his romance with Lois on the show, so it’s great to see an episode that deepens the bond between the two of them. Unfortunately for Jimmy, he learns that the topic of the keynote speech is “The Superman Problem” and he will be joined by Lex Luthor.

Teenage Lois Lane and Same Lane in woodsIn the tunnels, Lois notices that Sam’s arm is injured. As she patches him up, she thinks about another time in this woods. In this flashback, she is 13, and Sam is calling her “cadet” and putting her through some serious military training. Lois complains that she keeps losing friends because she has to move every time Sam is deployed. She alludes to the fact that her mother has passed away and that Sam is the only one she has. She feels distanced from her father because everything he does is classified.

Pairing off Clark and Jimmy meant this episode could take the time to explore Lois’ relationship with Sam. After putting a bandage on Sam, Lois reiterates her problem of feeling that Sam was more of a drill instructor than a father. Sam admits he would have done things differently but doesn’t regret teaching her survival skills. Atomic Skull interrupts their moment, and they have to run.

At S.T.A.R. Labs’ lecture hall, the moderator poses the question of whether or not Jimmy Olsen and Lex Luthor at S.T.A.R. Labs symposium's The Superman ProblemSuperman is a threat. Jimmy quickly defends him, pointing out that Superman chooses to help people. Lex offers the counterpoint that some day Superman might choose not to help. He raises some legitimate concerns. What if Superman gets involved in a war and has to decide who the bad guys are? Superman already destroyed AMAZO tech, so what if Superman believes that humanity shouldn’t have certain technological wonders? Metropolis used to be safe until Superman showed up and super villains followed. Lex concludes that knowledge is power and power is security and that they need security against Superman.

Sam and Lois duck into a pawn shop operated by Sam’s friend, Winslow Schott. Schott was the one who texted Sam about Waller, and Sam gives him some alien tech in exchange for Schott helping Sam get out of the city. Lois is upset that he doesn’t trust her to protect him and argues that he needs to stay. Just as Sam agrees to stay, Agent Wilson appears. It turns out that Schott sent Sam the text to lure him out of hiding. Sam distracts Wilson, and he and Lois run, but Wilson calls in Damage and the Atomic Skull.

Superman, Sam, and Lois fight Agent Wilson, Damage, and the Atomic SkullSam and Lois run from their super powered pursuers and end up on the S.T.A.R. Labs symposium exhibit floor. They help themselves to some of the tech on display and fend off the villains. Clark hears them from the lecture hall, changes to Superman, and rushes in to help. Lois finds some stealth technology and uses it to turn herself and Sam invisible so that they can sneak away. Task Force X also makes their exit, which leaves Superman alone in a room full of damaged inventions. Lex points out to the gathered crowd that Superman destroyed the most cutting edge technology like it’s nothing and concludes that he is the biggest threat to humanity. Lex also thanks Jimmy for his pep talk a few episodes ago.

Lois takes Sam back to her apartment. Superman flies to the building and listens in from outside. Sam is relieved that he doesn’t have to put up with Clark any more, and Superman flies off before he hears Lois defend him. Lois goes up to her room and calls Clark, telling him she won’t be able to make it to the Daily Planet.

Superman, on the roof of the Planet, lets Lois’ call go to voicemail. He decides that he can’t wait for her any longer and uses the beacon to send a message to Kara. It’s a sad moment because Superman thinks he’s tired of being alone, but it kind of undercuts the earlier bits with Jimmy. It’s great that we’re finally going to get Kara, though.

Lois returns to her living room only to find that Sam has left. In the final flashback, an adult Lois uses the stars as navigation and finds a lost Sam. It turns out that Sam had been testing her, and she gets upset and decides that she doesn’t need him. In the present, she realizes that she’s again without her father.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Lex introduces some important people to Task Force X. Hank Hank Henshaw with CEOs and government agentsHenshaw says that Task Force X has the backing of S.T.A.R. Labs and the Pentagon. Lex assures them the Earth has never been safer, unaware that a caped figure is descending on Earth.

Lois’ three flashbacks were effective in showing how Sam was teaching her much needed skills while missing out on being there for her as a father. The idea of the North Star always being a part of the Little Bear constellation is contrasted by the distance that always develops between Lois and Sam. This episode does confirm that Lois is an only child, thus no Lucy Lane, and that her mother died sometime between Lois’ 10th and 13th birthdays. Jolie Hoang-Rappaport played the 10 and 13-year-old versions of Lois. Her Korean heritage was brought up, as Sam taught her that her mother’s name, “Eun-Byeol” means “Silver Star”.

This episode, and the show as a whole, has a frustrating tendency to heavily rely on conveniences. Lois and Sam are always interrupted, and they just happen to end up at the symposium so that the public can see Superman and blame him for the destruction. It’s also convenient that Superman only hears part of Sam and Lois’ conversation and finally sends off the beacon without Lois’ input.

Lex explains that Superman is a threat as Superman looks onWe all know Lex Luthor is the bad guy here, but he does make some reasonable points about Superman and aliens in general. He’s being smug about it, but it’s possible Task Force X will be needed to take care of some Kryptonian problems. He’s wrong about Superman, of course. Not only can Superman not go back to where he came from, he was raised on Earth and is an Earthling in all but place of birth.

Jimmy’s net worth drops from $3,574,082 to $3,204,002. Sam’s friend, Winslow Schott, is the villain Toyman in the comics. It’s interesting that Sam calls him “Win”, much like Winslow Schott Jr. was called on CW’s Supergirl TV show. When Clark reads off the list of symposium attendees, we are introduced to Professor Emil Hamilton (identified as a CEO), Pentagon General Wade Eiling, and Senator Sackett. These are probably the people standing with Hank Henshaw when Lex introduces them to Waller.

The ending was a bit of a downer, and the final shot in the end credits reflects that. Jimmy is alone on the roof of the Daily Planet building while Lois is out on the street and Superman is off hovering in the air.

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