Recap / Superman The Animated Series S 2 E 22 The Late Mr Kent

Clark Kent is believed to have been killed while trying to clear the name of a thief who claims to be innocent of the murder he's about to be executed for. Now he not only has to find a way to save the innocent and catch the real culprit but also find a way to explain his survival without revealing that he's Superman.


  • Angst? What Angst?: Invoked when Superman spots Lois leaving the in-progress funeral.
    "Well, so much for sentiment."
  • Attending Your Own Funeral: The episode begins with Superman off in the distance watching a funeral. That's when it's revealed that the funeral is for Clark.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Fortunately, it turns out that the fisherman who saw Clark's bombed car fall into the ocean has extremely poor vision and wasn't wearing his glasses, thus providing a plausible explanation for Clark to turn up alive. Lana Lang, who knows about his dual identity, claims that she'd been taking care of him while he recuperated.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': The one time Clark tries to do something for himself ("I wanted this to be Clark's victory, not Superman's"), he ends up trapped as Superman for a while.
  • Clear Their Name: Clark is trying to do it when someone "kills" him.
  • Death by Secret Identity: Happens to Detective Bowman in the end.
  • Easy Amnesia: How Clark explains away his survival in the end.
  • Eureka Moment: Detective Bowman figures out that Clark Kent is Superman but is unable to use this for anything since he's seconds away from being executed by then.
    • Also for Clark Kent himself. At the newsroom, just before he was about to eat the pizza a co-worker left behind, he remembered that the thief claimed to have eaten pizza at the night of the murder, which he could use as evidence to clear his name.
  • Faking the Dead: Clark survives a murder attempt but initially has no way to explain his survival without revealing that he's Superman.
  • Frame-Up: Ernest Walker was framed for murder by Bowman. He was the case's lead investigator, which was how he was able to plant the evidence and make the accusation stick.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you look closely at the figure in shadow as Clark drives out of the parking lot you'll notice that it's Bowman.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Lois is clearly displeased that Clark (according to his cover story) remembered Lana's name and phone number rather than hers when he (supposedly) needed help.
  • Honor Before Reason: Had Lois not been in Clark's apartment at the time, Superman was fully prepared to go to the governor and reveal his secret in order to save Ernest from execution.
  • How We Got Here: The episode starts with Clark's funeral and then it goes back to the beginning of the events that led Detective Bowman to want him dead.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: Nearly happens. Ernest comes within seconds of being executed for a murder he didn't commit.
  • Living Lie Detector: As Ernest pleads his innocence, Clark notices the steadiness of his heartbeat. Based on that, he's certain he must be telling the truth.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Clark Kent clearly would have been killed if he were a normal human, and can't reappear until Superman finds some way to explain his survival without revealing his secret.
  • Noir Episode: It's essentially a noir mystery with Superman. He even engages in a Private Eye Monologue throughout.
  • Noodle Incident: Bowman's motive for committing murder is left open for the viewer to speculate.
  • Oh, Crap!: "He's Superman!"
  • Returning to the Scene: Superman spots Detective Bowman on the street right after Clark's apartment is blown up, which points him toward the real killler.
  • Revealing Cover Up: Bowman's attempt to prevent Clark from digging up evidence to exonerate Ernest leads to him being implicated as the real killer and the perpetrator of the frame-up. There's no real indication that he would have been in danger if he's simply let Clark prove Ernest's innocence, even if this led to a new cold-case investigation which he could have sabotaged if necessary given his position in the police department.
  • Secret Identity: Discussed.
    Martha: Well, this is a fine mess.
    Jonathan: It's not like he's really dead, Martha. He just can't be Clark anymore.
    Superman: But I am Clark. I need to be Clark. I'd go crazy if I had to be Superman all the time.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Discussed.
    Lois: [looking at a picture of Clark] I always teased him, but I had so much respect. [cries] And I liked him too, I really did. I wish I'd told him.