Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice - PART 1 - Discussion & Analysis


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By Adam David Collings. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Batman V Superman was an incredibly divisive film. People tend to love it or hate it, and always with passion. I'm excited to look back on this movie as part of my journey through the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Love it or hate it, there's one thing we can all agree on with this movie - there's plenty to talk about. So much, in fact, that I had to split this discussion into two podcasts. So today we cover part 1, up until the explosion in the senate building. Next week (yes, just one week) we'll continue with the rest of the film.



Welcome to Nerd Heaven

I’m Adam David Collings, the author of Jewel of The Stars

And I am a nerd

This is episode 28 of the podcast

Today I’m continuing my look at the DC extended universe with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

And I am, of course, talking about the ultimate edition.Because what other version would you watch?

The description on IMDB reads

Fearing that the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the Man of Steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs.

The movie was written by Chris Terrior and David S. Goyer.

It was directed by Zach Snyder

And it first released on the 23rd of March 2016.

As always, this podcast contains full spoilers for the movie, So let’s talk about Batman v superman

The poetic voiceover that opens the movie tells us right away that this is going to be a more literary movie than we might have been expecting.

This movie starts in a familiar place. With the murder of Bruce wayne’s parents. As all movies that introduce a new Batman do. While we’ve seen this many times before, this was totally the right way to start. Because this moment in Bruce’s life is what this movie, thematically, is all about.

The intercutting between the murder itself and Bruce running away during the funeral and finding the cave beneath his family’s estate, while the incredible music by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL plays, is very very effective.

Yes, just like the last one, this movie has an incredible soundtrack.

As young Bruce is carried upward by the bats, it’s clear that this is very symbolic. Another indication that this is going to be a deeper movie than the average popcorn superhero flick.

Bruce is carried upward toward the light, a light that he refers to as a beautiful lie. Perhaps because Bruce lives his life in darkness and isn’t really capable of believing that there is any light in this world.

Then we jump forward to the climactic battle during Man of Steel, and see those terrible events from Bruce Wayne’s perspective, which I think was a truly inspired choice.

And already, I’m loving this version of Bruce Wayne. This is a Billionaire CEO who runs headlong into danger because his employees are at risk. He cares about his people. Having seen so many examples of the stereotypical evil business manager, I love this!

This scene is an important counterpoint to the equivalent scene in Man of Steel, because we get to see it all happen from the perspective of a normal person, well, as normal as Bruce Wayne can be.

He’s seeing an alien invasion.

He’s seeing two inhuman creatures of incredible power having a fight which is destroying the city. Brue is seeing the human cost firsthand. He’s seeing the ordinary people that are getting hurt as a consequence of the conflict between Kal-El and Zod.

Man of Steel did a good job of demonstrating consequences, but this scene takes it orders of magnitude further.

Seriously, the devastation of this attack must have bankrupted the economy of Metropolis.

Bruce is truly heroic. And he comes within millimetres of death when he dives under the falling metal to save that little girl.

When he asks her where her mum is, and she points up at the destroyed building, Our hearts break.

But as Bruce looks up, from the rubble of the destroyed lives, he sees those two aliens, still gripped in battle, smashing through buildings, his eyes burn with righteous anger. Earth never asked for these aliens to come here. Look at all the devastation they’ve caused. But we see that devastation most strongly, not in the skyscrapers, one after another that continue to fall, but in the eyes of one little girl who will never again see her mother.

This is powerful stuff.

And I have to say that Ben Affleck’s acting is wonderful in this moment. That look he gives Superman and Zod. It says so much.

A lot of people were concerned about Ben Affleck playing Batman. This is nothing new. People seem to doubt every new actor that gets announced to play Batman.

Well, it didn’t take long for Mr. Affleck to put aside people’s doubts. He was a fantastic Bruce Wayne, and he was a fantastic Batman.

But we’ll talk more about that as we move through the story.

18 months later.

It’s not surprising that the wreckage of the world engine in the Indian Ocean would be an area of great interest to tourists. Especially divers. But also to those hoping to find advanced technology. And that’s how we are introduced to Kryptonite. There was some present on the ship. Makes sense. This alien mineral probably played an important part in the terraforming process, or maybe it powered the ship.

Now we’re in Nairomi Africa. And we meet the DCEU’s version of Jimmy Olsen. He’s not in the movie for long. In fact, his identity was never even established in the theatrical cut, but I had my suspicions.

This is a very different take on Jimmy. We quickly learn that he’s not just a photographer. He’s actually a CIA agent.

There is a civil war in this country. America is neutral. But men of power obey neither policy or principal, the terrorist leader says. No one is neutral.

Jimmy is discovered. He’s here to propose something to the terrorists, but before he can make his offer, he’s shot.

So much for Jimmy Olsen.

You couldn’t dream up a more unconventional version of the character. I did notice Jimmy’s absence from Man of Steel. I wonder if they thought he just didn’t fit in with this more serious version of Superman. I mean, the problem with Jimmy is, he’s even more nerdy than Clark.

This version is a tough as nails spy.

I don’t mind that change, but I’d have liked to have seen a lot more of him.

Apparently, the Americans were planning an attack on these terrorists, but the surviving guys on the ground are trying to call it off because there are civilians in the area. Not just Lois, but locals.

This whole sequence is an exciting way to re-introduce us to Lois, and show us just how tough she is, and maybe how fearless, even reckless, she’s becoming since she met Superman, but it is very important to the story later on. The teactrical cut majorly dropped the ball on this. So much was lost that none of it made sense.

For some reason, the attack wasn’t called off, but Superman prevents the missile, saving Lois and the other civilians in the area.

But in saving these innocents, Superman allowed the terrorists to live. And a lot of other innocents got killed in the crossfire of the subsequent battle.

A woman named Kahina Ziri is raising awareness of this.

Senator Finch says, The world has been so caught up with what Superman can do, nobody has asked what he should do.

And that’s a very valid question.

She’s holding Superman responsible for these deaths. He took it upon himself to intervene in this situation, but did his actions make things better or worse?

Superman has incredible powers. That’s a huge responsibility. He can’t know what all the consequences are of every action he takes. Yet taking those actions is so easy for him. It’s a dangerous position to be in. Quite a scary one, to be honest. There’s a LOT riding on his shoulders. He can’t afford to make a misstep. Can you imagine living with that kind of pressure?

In the next scene, we get to see Batman in action. This movie presents a Batman who is older and more established. He’s been Batman for a long time. We’ve never seen a Batman so established on screen before, and I was all for it. We’d just come off the Dark Knight trilogy. A series that showed us Batman’s early career. There was no need to go and re-visit all that again.

This was something new and interesting.

And it made sense that Batman had been active as a small-time vigilante for a long time. Not yet famous. He hasn’t yet made a major impact on the world.

This movie takes Batman up to a whole new level. By the end, he’ll be a hero concerned with the fate of the world, not just local crime in Gotham.

We also get to see that this older hardened batman is quite harsh. He brands crooks with his mark. Ouch! This is not a Batman you want to be on the wrong side of. This is the classic Batman who is pursued by the police just as much as the villains he battles against.

Lois finds a bullet embedded in her notebook, from the terrorist attack.

I like how this movie gives all our characters their own quests. It takes a while, but they all link up and weave into one story.

Lois and Clark are well established as a couple that are very much in love. When I first saw this I was surprised by that. In the previous movie, we saw Clark and Lois kiss for the first time, after they’d been through a lot. They were at the very beginning of a mutual attraction that might lead to a relationship over time.

I thought we’d see that relationship develop. Instead, it all happened off screen.

Looking back, I realise this was the right decision. It’s been 18 months. This wasn’t insta-love. We just didn’t see it all happen. And we don’t need to see the angst of Clark slowly wearing Lois down over time. Been there. Done that. Much better to just have them together so we can tell a story about two people in an established mature relationship.

Clark doesn’t care what people say about him. He did what he believes was right to protect the woman he loves. Despite what people are saying, he didn’t kill anyone.

Lois is concerned. Something doesn’t add up and she wants to know the truth. Because she’s Lois Lane.

There’s a cute moment where they’re all serious and then Clark gives Lois a look, and she gives him a look, and he jumps in the bath with her. It’s a fun moment between a loving couple. To those critics who say this movie was devoid of anything light, happy, optimistic, or humorous, I would just point you straight to this scene.

At this moment, Clark and Lois are very happy. And yes. Superman smiles.

Honestly, I don’t know when it became gospel that the way to judge a Superman movie was how much the man smiles, but this movie has him smile when it’s appropriate.

We meet Alfred. And once again, this is a very different interpretation of the character than what we’ve seen on screen before. Jeremy Irons plays a strong battle-hardened Alfred who is equally capable of keeping up with Batman in the fight against crime as he is in serving drinks to Bruce Wayne. I really like this Alfred. Not just because he’s capable, but he serves as Bruce’s moral conscience. At least, he tries to.

So very different from Michael Caine’s portrayal in the Dark Knight Trilogy (which I also loved). That was more of a father figure. You don’t mess with perfection. You do something different. Something equally cool.

And Alfred speaks gibberish into Batman’s voice distorter to test it. Again this is a nice comedic moment. See, this movie DOES have humour in it. This moment made me laugh out loud. It’s …. Such a British moment. We aussies appreciate the British sense of humour, but I suspect the American critics who trashed this movie don’t.

But this is how I like my humour. Fitting naturally into the story, where and when it is appropriate. It doesn’t feel forced or fake.

Bruce is investigating someone called the White Portugeuse.

Alfred is concerned that Batman is becoming too violent. Too cruel, after seeing the branding in a newspaper article.

Brue points out that they’re criminals. They always have been.

And this is true. Batman is a vigilante. He operates outside of the law. That’s a crime.

Now you can argue that in a city like Gotham, where a corrupt police force is incapable of protecting the citizens from especially heinous crime bosses, that Batman is necessary. But we do need to acknowledge that Batman is a criminal.

I kinda like the way Bruce owns this reality here.

But things have changed. Alfred has seen the way Bruce has hardened since Superman appeared. Since the battle over metropolis. He talks about the rage that is slowly building in Bruce. That turns good men cruel. This line is thematically important to the movie.This whole idea of good men becoming bad is a major idea explored by the story. Here, Alfred is specifically talking about Bruce. There’s no denying his anger is making him more cruel than he used to be.

And now we meet our new Lex Luthor.

And yet again, this is a very different interpretation of Lex. And while many people, even some who liked this movie, hated Jessie Eisenburg’s Lex, I have to say, I’m with it.

This is a modern Lex Luthor. This is a young millennial business tycoon. This Lex has often been likened to Mark Zukerberg, the creator and CEO of Facebook. It’s a version of Lex that works in today’s world.

But it doesn’t take long to see that Lex, while brilliant, is a little unhinged.

And scarily, he’s the one in possession of the Kryptonite that was discovered in the wreckage of the world engine.

They tested the Kyptonite one General Zod’s corpse. They know it is lethal to Kryptonians.

Lex has some reasonable things to say here. They’ve just survived an alien invasion. The only reason that humanity isn’t extinct is because Superman saved them. Now what if there’s more Kryptonians out there? What if there are other powerful beings or meta-humans, as he calls them.

To be honest, humanity would be insanely foolish not to be looking for ways to defend themselves after their last encounter.

Yes, Superman has proven himself a friend to earth (although Lex doesn’t believe this) but you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If they have a weapon of their own, they don’t have to rely on “the kindness of monsters” as Lex puts it. And it’s hard to argue with that.

What if something happens to Superman and he can no longer protect us? Or what if, God-forbid, we need to be protected from HIM?

Can we rely on the goodness of Superman? Some fans are offended that we’d even ask that question. But I think this movie does a great job of examining the goodness of Superman, and we’ll talk lots about this as we go,because I have some things to say.

Lex wants access to the crashed Kryptonian spaceship. He wants Zod’s body.

And we get another iconic piece of music - The red capes are coming.

We meet a man, Wallace Keefe, who has lost both of his legs,his wife, and his child, in the Kryptonian invasion.

I love the monument with the names of all those who died in the attack, and the big statue of Superman.

Wallace climbs the statue and desecrates it with spray paint.

He paints the words False God on Superman’s chest.

This is an interesting statement.

Is Superman a God?

Is he a false God?

He is a being of immense power. But he is not a perfect being. He has flaws. He has the same human brokenness that exists in all of us.

It could be argued that he IS a false god, but then, Superman has never claimed to be any kind of god.

We see journalist Clark Kent at work in his office at the daily planet. Perry has assigned him a sports story based on a recent football game between Metropolis and Gotham.

We learn that Gotham is over the other side of the bay from Metropolis. I had never expected these two iconic fictional cities would be so close to one another. But for the purposes of this story, it works. And the interesting thing about this is that Metropolis is the place where the well off live. The professionals. Gotham is the darker seedier place. The wrong side of the train tracks, so to speak. I find this very interesting.

Despite his brief from Perry, Clark has no interest in pursuing this football story. He’s got more important fish to fry. In Gotham.

He’s looking for Kahina Ziri. He wants to talk to her about her accusations against Superman.

It seems some people, even good people, are afraid of Batman. There’s a new kind of mean in him, one man says.

Perry’s sarcasm regarding Clark’s newfound interest in the Batman vigilante was pretty funny.

Clark takes his role as a journalist just as seriously as he takes his role as Superman.

He says to Perry “when you assign a story, you’re making a choice about who matters, and who’s worth it.”

Perry is much more pragmatic about it. He just wants to sell newspapers.

Lois has been investigating that bullet. Turns out it’s from an advanced military weapon, so how did these backyard rebels get the latest high-grade military equipment. She thinks the US government are arming the rebels while claiming to support the elected government. She’s on her way to Washington to investigate.

Senator Finch comes to see Lex. She’s blocking the import license for the kryptonite.

She sees it as a weapon of assascination, not a deterrent.

He fails to convince her that “the red capes are coming.” Demons come from the sky.

I think he really believes that. I think in his own way, he thinks he’s right in what he’s doing.

Bruce dreams of visiting his parent’s tomb. We get our second reminder that his mother’s name was Martha. Yeah, we’ll get to that.

Bruce doesn’t live in the Wayne family manor. He lives in a modern home. And he’s connected the White Portugause to Lex Luthor.

And luckily enough, he’s been invited to a charity event at Lex’s place.

And that’s where we see Robin’s suit, with “The Joke’s on you Batman” painted on it.

This was a cool little set-up that we’re sadly unlikely to see ever payed off at this point.

Most people assumed this suit belonged to Jason Todd, who was killed by the Joker in the comics. Zack Snyder has since confirmed that it was actually Dick Grayson.

David Ayer actually had some nice little backstory regarding this, that never really made it into Suicide Squad.

Clark is covering the same charity event that Bruce is attending.

We get our first glimpse of Wonder Woman, who is also there. I love the look she gives Lex as he tells the story of Zeus. It’s priceless. Lex, of course, think Zeus was just an ancient legend. Woman Woman is thinking, ‘that’s my dad you’re talking about.’

Alfred is guiding Bruce through the building, looking for information to connect him to the illegal weapons imports, and Clark, of course, can hear it.

Clark basically knows, from this point, that Bruce is Batman.

Alfred is like a worried father, wanting Bruce to settle down and provide some grandchildren. His comments have elicited yet another audible laugh from me.

Lex isn’t a good public speaker. Being rich doesn’t necessarily make you eloquent. But money does allow the unhinged to be re-classified as eccentric.

Then we finally see Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne meet. I think it’s kind of cool that their first meeting is in their secret identities.

This scene nicely demonstrates the vast ideological difference between these two men.

Clark is taking a very righteous, almost self-righteous stance against Batman.

Bruce sees this is hypocritical, given the way they praise Superman - an alien, who, if he wanted to, could burn the whole place down.

Bruce and Lex have something in common. They’re both nervous about somebody with Superman’s powers being out there. It’s a theme that was explored a lot in the previous movie, but that doesn’t mean it’s fully resolved. Oh, Superman has proven himself, don’t get me wrong. But it’s completely believable to me that people would still be nervous about him. This movie does a good job of exploring why.

And I love the joker reference where Bruce points out Gotham has a bad history with freaks dressed as clowns. I never thought to compare Superman with the Joker, but I get it.

Clark isn’t able to see what Bruce is really up to because Superman is needed to help save people from a factory fire in South America.

So Superman saves the day, to the wonderful Man of Steel theme by Zimmer.

And we see the veneration these people have for him as they reach out to touch him. This is another little Jesus metaphor. Reminds me of the woman who wanted to touch Jesus’ cloak so as to be healed. Superman doesn’t look overly happy about this veneration.

Dianna has stolen the data that Bruce extracted from Lex’s computer.

We get a segment with a bunch of talking heads. Most, if not all, are real life personalities. It jumps between them all, with a whole lot of different opinions, and I think that’s the main takeaway here. Everyone has their opinion. As one puts it, “is it surprising that a man of this power would be a topic of controversy?” Another points out, “maybe he’s not a devil OR a Jesus figure. Maybe he’s just a guy trying to do the right thing.”

Senator Finch has some real concerns over Superman, and the way he’s making decisions and interventions that affect the whole world. He’s not controlled by any government. He’s a god-like alien with no accountability. But what do you say to those whose children Superman could have saved, but we told him not to? Finch isn’t saying Superman shouldn’t act, but that he shouldn’t act unilaterally.

And Clark is watching all of this, taking it in. Just like everyone else, he’s trying to figure out where he fits in the world. To what level should he act?

So he does what any wise person would do. He calls his Mum. He’s not looking for specific advice, he just wants to talk.

We get to see that Lois also has a sense of idealism, though maybe not as strong as Clark’s. The scientist testing her bullet is “this is why you’re a great reporter. Stuff like this still shocks you.”

Meanwhile, Clark is learning that batman’s brand is a death sentence in jail. Many feel Batman is going too far.

To be honest, I’m not sure why the crooks in jail kill anyone with a bat brand. What obligates them to do Batman’s dirty work for him?

Lex comes to visit the Wallace. Now, in a nice suit and an electric wheelchair, he goes to meet Senator Finch. He blames Superman for his situation and he wants to face him.

And now we get to see General Swanwick, from Man of Steel.

His opinion is that Lois went where she shouldn’t have. Superman acted like a rogue combatant to rescue her, and some people died. Don’t invent a conspiracy to put back his halo, or yours.

But this doesn’t address Lois’s evidence.

She admits that she made a mistake going into the desert. She got people killed. It keeps her awake.

But she doesn’t believe Superman is bad, and she doesn’t think Swanwick does either.

He agrees to take the bullet and pursue this himself.

Clark really doesn’t care what Perry instructs him to do. He’s refused two stories he’s been assigned. Clark is on a crusade for justice against the Batman. He thinks the Daily Planet should stand for something. Perry’s perspective is that principles don’t exist anymore. It’s not 1938 anymore. The world is a harsher place. It’s all about the money now.

This is an interesting little meta-commentary on the fact that Superman has changed. Superman was created in 1938. The character has certainly changed from then to now. This appears to be a not-so-subtle statement from the filmmakers that this is a different type of Superman for the times. Deal with it.

Turns out Dianna wasn’t interested in all Bruce’s data, she just wanted a photo that Lex had. She returns the drive.

And as Briuce starts to look at the data, he has a vision.

This is the nightmare sequence, the source of much confusion in many a movie-goer.

I’m not going to pretend to fully understand all of it myself. I’m not a comic book expert, but the more you know the comics, the more you’ll understand.

We’re clearly seeing a dystopian future.

The music and the visual make that clear very quickly.

Batman is trying to secure some Kryptonite from Lexcorp.

But it’s a trap. A bunch of storm-trooper style soldiers with Superman logos on their arms try to kill Batman.

In this future, Superman has gone evil, he has neo-nazi thugs working for him, and flying aliens rule the world.

Once he’s captured, Bruce is visited by Superman. The soldiers bow in reverence to him.

And he’s looking pretty mean.

He ruthlessly murders people with his heat vision.

“She was my world, and you took her from me.” Superman says before he kills bruce.

And then Bruce wakes up. A weird bearded Flash warns him that Lois Lane is the key. You were right about him, you’ve always been right about him.

This is the Flash sending a message back through time from the future. Trying to prevent that nightmare future. But the message has gone back to a point in time too early. Before Bruce even knows The Flash.

Honestly I don’t think you need to understand all this to appreciate it. It’s a tease. It’s setting up cool stuff for the future. Now you can criticise this “evil Superman” all you want, but this stuff is straight from the comics. Superman hasn’t just decided to go bad. From what we’ve heard, Zack Snyder intended that this was a Superman who was being mind-controlled by Darkseid using the anti-life equation. He hasn’t just abandoned all reason because the woman he loved died.

I have zero problems with this stuff.

But I wonder if we’ll get a decent payoff to all of this in the Snyder Cut of Justice league coming out next year?

The data on the drive reveals that the white portugeuse is a ship. Turns out Bruce has known more about this than he’s let on to Alfred. This is the ship that is smuggling the kryptonite to Lex. Bruce wants to intercept it. To use it. He’s actively considering killing Superman with it.

Bruce says, look at the dead. This guy brought the war two years ago. If there’s even a 1 percent chance that this guy could turn on us then we have to take it as a 100% certainty and take him out.

Bruce doesn’t want to see Superman become a threat, and look back, wishing he’d done something to prevent it. He has the means to stop Superman. And honestly, that vision the Flash sent him, has only served to make him even more fearful of Superman. Because he’s seen a glimpse of that future. He HAS to prevent it from becoming a reality.

That’s why the nightmare sequence is important to the movie. It directly impacts Bruce’s motivations.

Alfred is convinced Superman is not our enemy.

Not today, Bruce agreed, but what about the future?

How many good guys are left? He asks. How many stayed that way.

This line is interesting. I think this might be the reason for some theories that were popular, at one point, in the internet, that rather than being killed by the joker, Robin actually became the joker. That would make the message “The joke’s on your Batman” even more powerful. But it seems this wasn’t actually the plan.

Somebody has sent photos to Clark of the victims of Batman’s brand. And it makes him angry.

The police won’t tell Clark what happened to the inmate who died, but a sympathetic cop nods him in the direction of the inmate's widow. “One man decides who lives and who dies. How is that justice?” She asks.

But that’s what others are asking about Superman. He has the power to influence our lives, but does he have the moral right to make those decisions for himself?

Clark’s cover for never being where he’s supposed to be, in this version, is simply that he’s not a good employee. He’s always pursuing his own stuff against orders. This makes it work. It’s more believable than versions where he’s one of the paper’s star reporters, Perry’s golden boy. It’s hard to show true dedication to your job and be Superman at the same time.

We really do get some decent Clark stuff in this movie. There’s been surprisingly little Superman. Most we’ve seen of the character has been as Clark, investigating the Batman.

Batman goes to the ship to steal the kryptonite.And we get to see the new batmobile in action for the first time. This new batmobile is a tank of a thing. Armoured and armed with machine guns. Super high tech. It’s the perfect vehicle for this older more established Batman.

It’s really cool.

But superman is there to interfere. Makes sense. He’s been investigating batman this whole time. Now he sees Batman is out and about causing mayhem. So he goes to stop him.

And he gives Batman a verbal warning. “Next time they shine your light in the sky, don’t go to it. The bat is dead. Bury it.”

Batman failed to get the kryptonite, but he managed to put a tracker on the truck. Now he knows where Lex is holding it.

Finch asks the question “How do we determine what’s good?” and she invites Superman to come and meet the people who say they suffered in that desert. The world needs to know what happened. To know what he stands for. How far will he take his power? Does he act by our will or by his own?

These are not totally unreasonable questions.

Meanwhile, Martha encourages him with her perspective.

“They see what you do and they know who you are. You’re not a killer, a threat.”

Superman’s actions speak for him. The fruit of his life, if you like. He may not be perfect, but he’s not an enemy of this world.

She tells him to be this world’s hero, or don’t be. You don’t owe this world anything. You never did.

It’s not out of some kind of obligation that Superman does the things he does. He doesn’t help others because he owes them. He does things out of love. Love for humanity. Love for strangers, because he sees value in people and he chooses to help them. That’s what love has always been. A choice.

At this point the truth starts to come out. First of all, struck with a guilty conscience, Kahina Ziri goes to Finch and reveals that she didn’t tell the truth. She lied to set Superman up.

Then General Swanwick confirms to Lois that It’s a setup. Someone wanted Superman to look guilty. The bullet Lois found was developed by a private company. Lexcorp. He had private contractors at the desert compound.

Lex Luthor is setting Superman up. Trying to destroy his reputation.

Lois wants to run the story immediately. Superman needs to know he’s being set up because it might affect what he says to the senators. But Perry is afraid of litigation. And I don’t blame him. As he says, without proof, Lex could sue the Daily Planet out of existence.

Wallace is an employee of Bruce Wayne. Bruce has been taking good care of him, because he cares about those who work for him. But the cheques are all returned with aggressive messages.

Lex keeps saying that the oldest lie in America is that power can be innocent.

He truly believes in the old saying that power corrupts. Therefore, a being with Superman’s power cannot be good.

And he has Ziri murdered so she can’t tell the truth.

Lex is conspicuously absent from his seat in the hearing. Finch finds a little message he left behind for her, referencing an earlier conversation. And then the wheelchair explodes, taking out the senate building.

56 episodes