We have reached the conclusion of Adventures of Superman, season 5. With only 13 episodes to go, we’re giving a full five thoughts to the season finale, “Whatever Goes Up.”
1. Since when does Jimmy have money to rent a lab?
One of the weirdest parts of this series is how they decide to give various members of the cast interests, specifically in science, that have never been mentioned prior. Last season, Perry White was seen having a major scientific breakthrough, seemingly out of the blue. Well, now we’re here with Jimmy all of a sudden being an amateur chemist. But more shocking than his sudden interest in chemistry is his budget. Not only does the person who not long ago was sleeping on Clark’s couch have enough money to buy a serious chemistry set, but also to rent a lab to do his experiments?
It’s silly enough that Jimmy knows of a ‘chemical store’ downtown, but to have him just be haphazardly mixing chemicals and not kill himself is even sillier. Not that he doesn’t come close, mind you, but it seems like his death would’ve been imminent from the second he opened up that set.
2. A proactive Superman?
Twice in this episode, Superman just happens to be flying around and, therefore, able to help people out. This is, quite literally, the first time we’ve seen Superman not be reactive to a situation. His casual flying helps both Jimmy escape getting his ass kicked by a crook whose pants he ruined by spraying a new soft drink that accidentally is caustic out of his window, helps rescue the floating bottle of anti-gravity material.
Of course, who does he help in these proactive moments? Jimmy and Perry. He’s still a homer, even when he’s a more caring one.
3. Cold as ice, Supes
Early in this episode, Superman takes a rubber ball that Jimmy made and shields Jimmy from the blast of it exploding. This is classic Adventures of Superman shit, as something blows up in his hand in every other episode from season 5 onward. But later in the episode, when it turns out that Jimmy’s anti-gravity mixture explodes when mixed with water, Superman throws the beaker of it, mixed with coffee, right at the crook, allowing it to blow up in his face. Now, maybe Superman knew it wouldn’t be lethal, but all the information we hear him get is “this shit will explode.”
So, tl;dr, Superman nearly killed a dude instead of shielding him. Cool cool cool.
4. Oh, Jimmy
Leave it to Jimmy Olsen to invent an anti-gravity liquid, something that would make every day life infinitely easier and better, and not know how he did it. Not only does he not know how he did it, He didn’t even take the steps, as prescribed by Lois, to attempt to recreate it scientifically. Instead, he just mopes around and hopes to have it somehow show up in his brain. It’s an incredibly frustrating episode, in part because if Jimmy just came clean to the government, and worked with them, they could likely solve it.
But no, instead he wastes all that’s left in an attempt to save it from the thug, and everyone just laughs as if Jimmy threw out an old recipe for bundt cake instead of, as Perry calls it, the greatest scientific advancement of our time.
5. The end of an era
Season 6, which will we pick up next week, begins the endgame of the series, although it remains unclear if the series was actually planned to end after that season. A series of unfortunate deaths meant the series could not continue past 1958, though there were some signs that the show was starting to wind down. But the one thing that is often said about its final season was that it lost some of its silliness. Now, if they keep the weirdness but lose some silliness, I’m fine with that.
What I’m not fine with is if the show reverts back to its dull first two season. I know that at least one episode, “The Perils of Superman,” is considered among the show’s best. So, let’s take the week, relax a bit, and we’ll see you here next week, on a special day, for our kick-off to season six.