Episode 9 Review
Lois, Jimmy, and the Newskid Legion search for the missing Superman. The General interrogates Superman and reveals what happened on Zero Day and how it led to the origins of Task Force X. However, one-sided obsession leads to chaos and a showdown with a monster!
Lois and Jimmy have gone through some parts of Metropolis but haven't found Superman. Flip Johnson convinces Lois to let the Newskid Legion help out. In Task Force X's secret base, The General demands intel on the next invasion to Superman's confusion. The General thinks Superman is an armored warrior code named Nemesis Omega that led the failed invasion 22 years ago that was dubbed Zero Day. Task Force X was created so Earth would be ready when the invasion resumed. When told he was sent to Earth to be a weapon, Superman is brought to tears. Even The General is taken aback. The search continues in the city but Lois is racked with guilt for doubting Superman. Back in his cell, Dr. Ivo is enraged he couldn't finish off Superman and believes he was cheated. The General begins to doubt Superman is Nemesis Omega and realizes the timelines don't match up. Waller reminds him of their slaughtered friends. The General states he wants information, not revenge. Waller disables the camera in Livewire's cell.
Livewire powers up, escapes, and frees Ivo. Ivo dons his Parasite suit and absorbs the energy powering the base then confronts Superman. Superman refuses to fight and is punched through a wall. Livewire issues some payback to Slade then the other villains flee the base in the chaos. Superman also manages to escape upon his super hearing picking up Lois. Flip finds him in an alley and arranges a meet up at the Newskid Clubhouse. Lois and Jimmy talk to Superman, who believes his purpose was a weapon sent to kill everyone. They refuse to accept that is true. Ivo rises out from underground in a massive new form and he drains power out of buildings, getting even bigger. He yells out for Superman to show himself. Even in his condition, Superman vows to try and stop Ivo. Jimmy gets an idea and reveals his true identity to his Flamebird followers on a live stream and begs the city to help Superman. Lois makes an impassioned plea as well. Everyone in the city turns off all the power. Ivo accuses Superman of cheating again and goes on a rant he is not a hero but a monster. Superman activates X-ray vision and locates Ivo within the Parasite then charges. Superman exits with Ivo and the Parasite turns to stone. He declares he is Superman. People around the city cheer. Superman and Lois kiss and state they love the other. Jimmy excuses himself into the stairwell but he accidentally turns on the datasphere in Lois's purse and sees the video on the evil alternate Supermen. Waller informs The General their superiors were displeased with the fallout and failures. They installed Waller as the new leader of Task Force X. She gives him Ivo's last invention, the Omega Cannon, and assigns him to track down and terminate Superman.
Love or hate the idea that Superman did not save the city by himself but "Zero Day Part 2" carefully set up the people of Metropolis paying it forward and smartly drawing on everything that happened in the past season to culminate in a meaningful and relevant resolution. From the start, the show has always been about Superman, Lois, and Jimmy. None overshadows the other. It's the bond between these three friends that is the x-factor of this series and what saves the city's collective butt this week. At the top of the episode, Flip Johnson convinces Lois to let her Newskid Legion help in the search for Superman. Flip admits when she thinks of helping Superman, like he helped her, she doesn't feel so small anymore. Cut to the final battle between Superman and Ivo. Jimmy utilizes his Flamebird and Lois is inspired by Flip's admission to make a broader appeal to all the people of Metropolis, challenging them to compare Superman to themselves. Both are capable of causing hurt and pain because of things like fear of the other, but both are capable of greatness. They all see Superman out there trying to fight. Despite Vicki Vale's hit piece last episode and collateral damage Superman caused chasing Mist, the people of Metropolis ultimately side with Superman and do the right thing. And in doing so, Lois and Jimmy take themselves to the next level in their character arcs. Flamebird is no longer just some recurring joke and Jimmy uses it as his greatest weapon to aid his best friend and in doing so, abandons his anonymity. Lois, battling even more self-doubt after seeing many more successful Lois Lanes in the Multiverse, starts acting like the determined award winning reporter who can reach into hearts and minds of all and convince them to work together and save their would-be savior and protector. Whereas, all those fears about Superman using his power for his own gain and hurting others and deciding he's above the law are manifested in the true antagonist of the episode, Dr. Ivo who is the epitome of this false projection of Superman. It wasn't an alien orphan with super powers that was the monster that threatened their existence, it was one of their own all along.
Rewinding back to when My Adventures With Superman was first announced to the world, it was stated the show had a two season greenlight. With that in mind, it stands to reason the penultimate episode of the season does not leave everything tied up in a nice, neat bow. Task Force X alone goes through some stuff. Not counting Ivo, all the villains they rounded up are now back in the wild with the stolen tech. Waller engineered her ascension to leadership of the organization, ousting her own best friend from the top spot for the sake of the mission. Unlike The General, she's cold and lacks any empathy and is dead set on Superman being the ultimate threat that must be taken out. The General is now reduced to an assassin, troubled with the realization that Superman isn't the enemy he fixated on for the past 22 years. We'll see if he will be able to pull the trigger. Slade has lost an eye, just as his comic counterpart. While it's no surprise Task Force X is under the auspices of the U.S. government, it was a bit of an eye brow riser to hear "Checkmate" as well. Recounting the past 30 years of DC animation, this would be the first time Checkmate has come up. Whether that means we will see members of that group show up in future episodes to do what Task Force X fails to... we'll see. The main caveat is Task Force X is still around and doesn't look to be going away anytime soon on this show.
"Zero Day Part 2" also filled in a big gap in the mystery of what Zero Day was. So somehow, a Kryptonian scout ship found Earth and was on stand-by for three days then opened that portal we saw in previous glimpses. The lead Kryptonian, clad in armor, and the waiting armada attack with robots akin to the X-T 00 robots seen in the series premiere and on. But these original versions bear a very familiar symbol on their chests that DC fans instantly recognize. Brainiac. Oh, man. I think we got our big bad for season 2. Then something off-screen, the end of Krypton, disrupts the invasion and closes the portal, leaving a ton of Kryptonian technology on Earth in the U.S. military's hands. Sam, the man we knew as The General, and Waller are the only survivors of the skirmish. He founds Task Force X under the mission to utilize the technology to make sure they are ready when the armada returns to finish its invasion. A xenophobic general with the first name "Sam" on a Superman show? Things are going to get a lot more tangled and personal if he turns out to be Lois's estranged father, Sam Lane. As for the armored Kryptonian. Did he or she survive Krypton's end? Does it matter who his Kryptonian is? A military official leading an invasion seems to hint at Zod or Ursa. Or perhaps a twist is in store? Or it means squat and was a total red herring. We'll see. To me, it looks like the show is gearing up to force Superman, Lois, and Jimmy and Task Force X to ally against a common enemy next season.
Call it two crews being on the same wavelength but I definitely chuckled to see a gigantic kaiju Parasite show up. Almost three years to the day, Superman also dealt with a gigantic kaiju Parasite in the direct-to-video movie "Superman: Man of Tomorrow." Another borough of Metropolis is name dropped. At the beginning of the episode, Park Ridge is named. In the comics, Park Ridge is the oldest suburb and is usually in the northwest corner of the city. Also mentioned is Bakerline, teased in the opening flashback of the show, is in the top middle of the city and is home of Metropolis' middle class. As mentioned earlier in the review, the episode utilizes lot's of callbacks for its finale. Flip refers to when Superman saved her like in the opening of the third episode "My Interview with Superman" during the blimp accident. Lois is guilty about telling Superman not to fight the government, take a break from being Superman, and act normal in last week's episode. Ivo is angry about his deal being ignored, a deal verbally made at the end of "My Adventures with Mad Science" and claiming Superman took everything from him in "Let's Go to Ivo Tower, You Say" when in fact he was responsible for his company tanking long before Superman came into his life. Waller mentions the effectiveness of Project Cadmus's omega field, which previously weakened Superman in "My Adventures with Mad Science" akin to his red sun weakness in the comics. Livewire refers to Slade as "Black Ops," a callback to "Adventures of a Normal Man Part 2" when they meet at the cafe. Superman brings up to Lois when she first asked him who he was. She did so in the series premiere after all the robots were dealt with but he flew away without answering or showing his face. Jimmy's Flamebird followers bear some familiar names like last week's episode: Lori Lemaris, Peter Ross, Bibbo, and Lana. Jimmy sees the Superman File X video Lois accessed at the end of "Kiss Kiss Fall in Portal." Waller mentions Checkmate. In the comics, it started out as a small, quasi-independent branch of Task Force X under the command of Colonel Valentina Vostok (better known as Negative Woman of the Doom Patrol) to perform global operations considered vital to the security of American interest. And lastly, the Brainiac symbol on those robots. Suffice to say, Brainiac is one of Superman's greatest classic villains and him showing up eventually isn't a surprise and a connection to Krypton isn't unprecedented. In animation alone, he was also linked to Krypton in "Superman: The Animated Series" where he was an A.I. dedicated to monitoring the planet and serving multiple functions such as planetary defenses, aiding the High Council and cataloging information but chose to save itself over warning of Krypon's impending end.
"Zero Day" Part 2 is a near-perfect organic execution of a season's worth of story, arcs, and canon. Together, it is Superman, Lois, and Jimmy who saves the city from the real monster of the series, Dr. Ivo. The trio has stepped up, the whole city has seen it, and they are heading towards a new status quo but not everything is wrapped up. The villains who escaped, Task Force X, and a possible second alien invasion still looms over our three best friends. However, Superman's greatest enemy this season, The General, is now touched by doubt as he is tasked with killing Superman himself. And what timing, as there is after all, one episode remaining this season...
DCAU Resource's rating: 9.7/10