Follow TV Tropes


Recap / The Adventures of Superman S1 E21 "The Human Bomb"

Go To

Gambler Bet-a-Million Butler bets that he can control Superman for thirty minutes. To do it, he straps a bomb to himself and takes Lois Lane hostage. What can Superman do to save her?

This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Antagonist Title: The episode is named after Butler.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Averted. Jimmy's response when Perry makes a foolish comment is not remotely snarky.
    Perry: Are you saying Superman can do something I can't do?
    Jimmy: Well, I guess you're gonna fire me, Chief, but yes.
  • The Bet: The Hostage Situation was set off by Bet-a-Million Butler making a gamble with another man that he could control Superman for thirty minutes. Of course, he lost.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Jimmy remains Emotionally Tongue-Tied even when trying to make a potential pre-death declaration of love to his girlfriend Miriam.
    Jimmy: Miriam, I may not be able to keep our date tonight. No, not the next night either. Maybe never — but I want you to know...Miriam, you know what I mean.
  • Catch a Falling Star: Superman swoops in to catch Jimmy after he falls off the ledge. Jimmy is absolutely fine, despite having been falling very fast.
  • Hanging by the Fingers: Jimmy ends up hanging from the ledge by his fingers. Butler steps on his hand to speed up the process. Then a cop tries to grab him, but he falls and has to be caught by Superman.
  • Hostage Situation: Butler handcuffs himself to Lois and threatens to blow them both up if his demands aren't met.
  • "I Can't Look!" Gesture: Lois covers her face and turns her back when Jimmy Olsen falls off the Planet building's ledge. She turns around again when Perry shows her that Superman arrived in the usual nick of time.
  • I Have Your Wife: Butler takes Lois hostage, specifically noting to her that "Superman always seems to turn up when you're in trouble." It fails; Superman insists on waiting out the thirty minutes in the office and then uses a recording and a silhouette to fool Butler while he goes and stops the robbery.
  • Improvised Weapon: Jimmy takes up a golf club to confront Villain of the Week Butler and save Lois.
  • Indignant Slap: After being held hostage, Lois marches up to Bet-a-Million Butler, declares, "Now it's my turn to blow up!" and slaps him hard enough to jolt his head backwards.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: Lois loses a shoe when Butler drags her further out on the ledge.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Butler knocks Jimmy off the building's ledge, and steps on his fingers to make sure he dies rather than trying to escape once there's no one on the ledge who might get in his way.
  • The Precarious Ledge: Butler drags Lois out onto the Planet building's ledge, which seems barely a foot wide.
  • Pre-Sacrifice Final Goodbye: Jimmy Olsen calls his girlfriend Miriam to tell her he loves her and he may not be able to make their next date before trying to save Lois from the Villain of the Week.
  • Recorded Audio Alibi: To fool Butler into thinking he's leaving the robbers alone as ordered, Superman insists on sitting out the thirty minutes in the office, claiming that he's nervous seeing Lois in her current predicament. He adds a recording of "No comment until the time limit is up" to the shadow on the wall (Officer Henderson draped in a coat). Butler falls for it completely and is flabbergasted when he finds out the hero "double-crossed" him.
  • Secret Identity Change Trick: Clark pretends that he believes the hostage situation is Some Nutty Publicity Stunt and criticizes it for endangering Lois before striding out. Of course, he just went to change.
  • Villain Ball: After finding out that his plan failed and being forced to release Lois, Butler knocks Jimmy, who's standing in his way, off the ledge. That makes some sense if he wanted to escape, but then he pauses to make sure the young reporter loses his grip rather than just scramming now that there's no one in the way.