Superman: TAS – S1 – Two’s a Crowd

Characters: Maggie Sawyer, Professor Hamilton, Dan Turpin, Superman, Parasite,
First Appearance: Earl Garver

A disgruntled ex-STAR Labs employee reveals that he has planted a bomb somewhere in Metropolis, but is knocked unconscious before giving away the bomb’s location. Concussed, Garver is not expected to wake up before the bomb goes off, leaving Superman no choice but to enlist the aid of Parasite in locating the bomb. How does the Parasite fit into this? Superman and Captain Sawyer want Parasite to access the memories of the unconscious Garver in the hopes of obtaining the bomb’s location.

Parasite surprisingly makes one of the best arguments for not helping Superman or the police force. Superman and Captain Sawyer should not have tried to appeal to any heroism in him, as it does not exist. As far as villains go, he is one to usually follow more base instincts, so it was a pretty futile effort to start. Perhaps that goes a bit further to show that dichotomy between pure and impure, good and evil by playing up Superman’s boy scout status to Parasite’s more benevolent intentions. A deal is eventually struck though, but that is not before an attempted double-cross

While this episode may not go into the depths of psychology and psychoanalysis like Batman: The Animated Series did, this episode still sets up some challenging notions, and does some excellent exploratory work with the characters. In fact, the episode is more about Parasite than it is Superman, the Man of Steel being more of a foil for the villain.

As far as season finales go, there is a pretty standard episode. No major cliffhanger like there was in “Tool’s of the Trade” (perhaps it would have made a better finale, what with the big Darkseid reveal at the end, and all?), but this episode still has quite a bit going for it. For one, they got Brian Cox (yes, renowned actor Brian Cox) to voice Earl Garver, but that seems to be the only really ‘big’ thing about this episode. I doubt Cox would have even known which episode he was recording for, and your average cartoon watching individual would not know who he is anyways.

So, while it may not be season finale type material, “Two’s a Crowd” still ends up being a surprisingly solid episode with an excellent character study on a sorely underused Superman villain. Definitely one of the shining moments of the first season.

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