Recap / Superman The Animated Series S 2 E 14 Ghost In The Machine

Superman's old foe Brainiac gets the jump on Lex and locks him in a lab to build a new body for him. When Luthor's disappearance is discovered, Superman and Luthor's Dragon Mercy Graves team up to rescue him.

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Asshole Victim: Luthor. Lois lampshades that it's not that plenty of people wouldn't want to kill Lex, but that they know better than to make the attempt.
  • Beam-O-War:
    • Mercy uses her laser pistol against Brainiac's beam, but is quickly beaten and knocked out.
    • Superman mans the Sky Sentry and counters Braniac's blast, eventually overloading him with so much Hollywood Magnetism Brainiac is crushed by the debris of the lab.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Superman saving Mercy from the drones.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Lex is rescued and Superman saves Mercy, but she goes back to Lex in spite of his behavior.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Mercy has a crush on Lex (which is completely obvious to Lois), but to him, she's just another employee.
  • Brain Uploading: Brainiac hid in Luthor's computers.
  • Break the Haughty: Lex is forced to slave away for Brainiac to point of sleep deprivation and aching hunger. When he's finally able to get some food, he gorges himself, but then he sees his reflection and winces at how pathetic he now looks.
  • Chekhov's Gun: After his defeat, Brainiac began a plan that took 8 real life years to bear fruit.
  • Ditch the Bodyguards: Clark finds the idea that Lex would try to fool Mercy as part of a scheme difficult to believe.
    Clark Kent: Granted, Lois, Luthor does a lot of strange things. But what reason could he possibly have for trying to fool his own bodyguard?
    Lois Lane: Maybe he just needed some space. Haven't you ever noticed how she hovers over him, everywhere he goes?
    Clark Kent: But Lois, that's her job.
    Lois Lane: It's no wonder why you're still single, Kent.
  • Enemy Mine: Superman and Mercy team up to fight Brainiac.
  • He Knows Too Much: After Clark forced his way into Lex's office, he and Mercy saw that Lex really isn't there. To try to cover his tracks, Brainiac fires a missile into Clark's apartment and sics the drones on Mercy.
  • Hologram: Brainiac makes a hologram of Lex so that no one initially realizes he's gone.
  • I Owe You My Life: Mercy says she was a homeless vagrant before Lex took her in, which is why she's unfailingly loyal. Too bad for her Lex doesn't return her loyalty.
  • No Sympathy Between Mooks: Mercy, trapped under a load of debris, calls to Luthor for help...and he abandons her.
  • Recruited from the Gutter: Mercy Graves explains to Superman that Luthor took her in off the streets, explaining her loyalty to him. Unfortunately, Luthor doesn't return the sentiments and abandons her when Brainiac makes the lab collapse.
  • Save the Villain: Superman's mission is to save Lex (and, after she's abandoned, Mercy), both of whom have been involved in attempts to kill him before.
  • Sequel Episode: Follows up on "Stolen Memories" and the code Brainiac left behind in Lexcorp's systems.
  • Spanner in the Works: Brainiac's plan to cover his tracks is derailed by Clark Kent being Superman.
  • Too Hungry to Be Polite: Lex Luthor is held hostage inside his own office by Brainiac, who forces him to build him a new robot body. When Brainiac finally allows Lex to take a dinner break, Lex gorges himself on a handful of candy bars from a nearby snack machine.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Brainiac had his new body designed with improvements to better fight Superman.
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