Episode 5 Review
In the fifth episode "You Will Believe a Man Can Lie," Jimmy Olsen can't wait to go on a camping trip to look for Bigfoot but a hit on more stolen military tech draws Clark Kent's attention from the trip while Lois Lane is dead set on confirming the secret Kent has been hiding from her. As their friendship hangs in the balance, Agent Wilson and his compatriots take a shot at Superman.
Jimmy can't hold his excitement for the camping trip but he discovers, to his horror, that someone is trolling Flamebird. Running to work alone, Jimmy gets Clark on the phone to remind him about the trip but he's more distracted by helping people as Superman and planning to tell Lois he likes her. Jimmy gets a hold of Lois on the phone but she, too, is busy trying to figure out how to corroborate her discovery. Jimmy finds himself having to cover for both but finds out he's been assigned to sports journalist Steve Lombard for the day. A small-time gang armed with stolen military tech plans to rob a pawn store but they are soon ambushed and overwhelmed by an unknown assailant. Lois brainstorms in the newspaper morgue but Clark arrives and asks her to write a story with him about the stolen tech weapons. Clark wants to focus on finding out who made the weapons and presents one of the Daily Planet's old dispatch scanners so they can monitor any reports of the tech and investigate right away. Lois pressures Clark into the two of them getting into a room to interview Superman but they are interrupted with a report of a runaway bus on Main Street. Clark excuses himself to get a bagel. And so begins the cat-and-mouse between Clark and Lois.
Steve Lombard attempts to mentor Jimmy about the pitfalls of being a reporter but Jimmy refuses to accept they are similar to each other. To Jimmy's horror, he discovers Steve is the one who is trolling Flamebird. Lois manages to get a lead on the some stolen tech and cuffs herself to Superman. A brief fight breaks out, but to Superman and Lois's surprise, Heat Wave begs him not to kidnap her. Meanwhile, Steve tries to break it to Jimmy that friendships don't always last and people get left behind but Jimmy refuses to agree this is happening to him and heads off for the bus depot to wait for Clark and Lois. It turns out the person that attacked Heat Wave's gang was Agent Slade Wilson, who is on a mission to recover more stolen tech and in contact with his allies Amanda Waller and a military general. They are dead set on Superman's guilt but in the process a highway full of civilians are endangered. The villains retreat while Superman repairs the damage done. Back on the Daily Planet roof, Lois tries to get Clark to confess the truth but he continues to play dumb. She takes the ultimate risk and jumps off the roof! Things get heated. Clark blurts out his fear about his secrets being published yet Lois states she would never have done that to him. She can't get over being lied to, what she hates the most, and declares whatever they were going to be is all over. Meanwhile, Jimmy is off on the trip by himself and stumbles upon a monster...
With season one reaching its midpoint, it's a given we're starting to see a lot of story threads coming together. Thankfully, the episode doesn't hit the audience over the head with recapping the past events of the season with Livewire, Intergang, and Dr. Ivo and instead works it in naturally. Nor do we get inundated with reveals and shockers, just enough to satiate our curiosity and spur on our fan theories. Lois confirms the truth about Superman. Task Force X reveals itself and for some reason thinks Superman is the enemy. The bond between Lois, Clark, and Jimmy is being tested. But on the flip side, kudos to the producers not revealing its full hand just yet and we're given more clues about the tech, some vague notions of what's up with Task Force X and their opinion about Superman, and the general has some past encounter with the tech in the past but we don't yet know his identity. Perhaps somehow a bunch of Kryptonian tech got sent to Earth along with baby Kal-El but the U.S. military mistook it for an alien invasion and begun preparations to defend themselves against the next attack sort of like in the style of the ID4 sequel and adapting the tech into their arsenal? It's certainly intriguing that the big bad of the show is going to be DC's big black ops military operation and not some classic Superman villain. Or is this all a red herring and we've yet to encounter the big threat just yet and the two sides will eventually be forced to team up in the season finale? Rewatching all the flashbacks/memories again, the Krypton one from episode 2 in particular shows not only Krypton in its final moments but also what appears to be a Kryptonian fleet in space fighting someone or something. Plus, there's that every clear statement that Waller and Wilson don't care about casualties (even though the latter once again states they are the good guys) as long as the mission is completed but they answer to the General, who refuses to endanger any civilians. Hmm. The other big plot point is the schism between our three best friends. Suffice to say it's a foregone conclusion the show is going to milk this drama for, hopefully, just one episode and the trio forgives each other and it's all good again by the end of next week. If the ending this episode is any indication, the impetus will be Jimmy going MIA and Clark and Lois setting off to find him.
While the reveal of Task Force X and presence of characters like Slade Wilson and Amanda Waller connotes the presence of the greater DC universe in this show, it's interesting to see a few more references such as Jimmy's stream about Sub-Diego being proof of the existence of Atlantis. Or once gain referencing the Gazzo Crime Family which has ties to Batman comics and an even more direct nod to the Bat-Family, a highway sign name dropping Bludhaven. It was also nice to see a brief "cameo" from Flip Johnson, tipping Lois off about another Superman sighting. And the so-called "Bigfoot" who Jimmy encounters did seems a bit more of a gorilla. Diehard DC fans knows there's a small circle of gorilla villains like Monsieur Mallah, Gorilla Grodd, Gorilla Boss, and Ultra-Humanite. Wilson's full suit was also a great if not a little spooky look. Very much a further nod to his Deathstroke suit in the comics but definitely taking design inspiration from anime mecha.
The only nitpick I had with this episode was inconsistency with the show's timeline. The pilot established the show takes place in May and starts around May 9. At the start of the episode, Jimmy's calendar has the 17th and 18th circled. But Jimmy's phone is stuck on Monday May 9th. And Lois asks Jimmy about the day of August 3rd.
"You Will Believe a Man Can Lie" puts the friendship between our main cast at its breaking point as the recurring mystery of the stolen tech becomes just a little more clear and the antagonists reveal themselves. Rightfully so, there are still many more questions left to answer as we find ourselves at the midway point of the season. But before we can get those answers, Jimmy needs saving or does he even need it? And can Clark and Lois move past the secrets and lies and find a common ground? The story of the century is getting a lot more complicated and that's just how I like it!
DCAU Resource's rating: 9.3/10