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:

  • 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.
  • Bittersweet Ending / Downer Ending: Lex is rescued and Superman saves Mercy, but she goes back to Lex in spite of his behavior.
  • Bodyguard Crush / Ignored Enamored Underling: 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.
  • 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.
  • Hologram: Brainiac makes a hologram of Lex so that no one initially realizes he's gone.
  • Jerk 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.