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

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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.
    Jimmy: We've got to find Mr. Kent.
    Perry: Are you saying Kent can do something I can't do?
    Jimmy: Well, no, except sometimes Mr. Kent can get in touch with Superman —
    Perry: Are you saying Superman can do something I can't do?
    Jimmy: Well, I guess you're gonna fire me, Chief, but yes.
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  • Armor-Piercing Slap: At the end of the episode, 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.
  • 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 / Emotionally Tongue-Tied: Jimmy has a difficult time saying "I love you" to his date.
    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.
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  • 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.
  • I Have Your Wife: Butler takes Lois hostage, specifically noting to her that "Superman always seems to turn up when you're in trouble."
  • Improvised Weapon: Jimmy takes up a golf club to confront Villain of the Week Butler and save Lois.
  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • Secret Identity Change Trick / Some Nutty Publicity Stunt: Clark pretends that he believes the Hostage Situation is a publicity stunt so he can go change.
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