Thursday, July 16, 2009

"The Haunted Lighthouse"

Spoilers follow.

In the second episode of the "Adventures of Superman," "The Haunted Lighthouse," Jimmy Olsen vacations on Moose Island, an island off the coast of Maine, where he visits his Aunt Louisa. Jimmy explores the island and hears a woman's ghostly voice crying out that she is drowning. Jimmy encounters a stranger named Mac who tells him to go get his cousin Chris because they have something to load. When Jimmy gives Chris the message, Chris is enraged at Jimmy, accusing him of spying. His aunt calms things down and encourages him to forget about the encounter.

Later that night, Jimmy sees the lamp in the lighthouse lit, despite the fact that it's supposedly been shut down for 20 years. Being the good reporter, he investigates. Unbeknownst to Jimmy, Chris is following him. As Jimmy tries to open the door of the lighthouse, Chris throws a knife into the door, over Jimmy's shoulder. Chris threatens Jimmy, who goes back to his room. In his room, he finds a note from his aunt, asking for his help. Jimmy's cousin finds him knocking at the door to his aunt's empty room and leads him outside. Aunt Louisa surprises them and sends them back to their rooms.

Jimmy calls Clark Kent, back at the Daily Planet, and tells him to come right away. The call is disconnected, and Clark takes to the skies through the window of the storage closet. Arriving at the door of Aunt Louisa's house in his guise as Clark Kent, he runs into Jimmy, who tells him the whole story. Jimmy leads Clark to a cave, where they find the tide coming in. Kent clearly suspects something as fog starts rolling in. As Jimmy goes back to the house, Clark changes to Superman and flies out to a Coast Guard boat where he enlists the commander to help.
Meanwhile, cousin Alice brings Jimmy a note from Aunt Louisa which makes Jimmy go to her aid. He makes his way into the cave, followed by Chris and Mac, who he spots too late. They knock Jimmy out and turn a hidden lever, trapping Jimmy behind bars in the cave. He comes to, but can't escape as the tide is rolling in. He then hears the voice again.

Back at the house, the horn of the Coast Guard cutter is heard. Mac and Chris leave with a gun, hoping to hold them off. Back on the cutter, Superman spots Chris and hears Jimmy. He rushes to his aid, bending the steel bars aside. As they exit the cave, Mac tries to kill them by pushing a large rock down, then tries to stab Superman with a knife. Mac finally tried to crush Superman's head with a large rock, but Superman sidesteps, and Mac misses, him, falling to his death off the cliff.

Superman explains to Jimmy what's really going on as Jimmy compares a note written by Aunt Louisa to an old recipe she had sent him and finds out that the Aunt Louisa he had met was an imposter! The real Aunt Louisa is freed from the lighthouse, and captures the imposter, now revealed as Mrs. Carmody, her former housekeeper. Chris is brought in by the Coast Guard, and the smuggling operation is revealed to the Coast Guard by Clark Kent, as he joins them in the house. Then the secret of the drowning crier is revealed has Aunt Louisa's parrot, who's been shut outside all the time. A good laugh is had by all. Well, all except Mac.

A couple of interesting things about this episode: Superman allows a man to simply fall to his death by sidestepping an attack that would not have harmed him. I'm not quite sure how this fits Superman's current code against killing, but I thought it was based on the idea that life is sacred. This must have been more of the 1930s Superman, who routinely did such things.
This episode is also narrated by Superman/Clark Kent. I don't remember that being a common device in this series, but we'll have to see as we go through more episodes.

1 comment:

KC Ryan said...

Maybe Supes thought Batman was guest-starring and needed something to do?
Supes: "That's OK, Batman will catch him."
Jimmy: "Batman? Who the hell is Batman?"
Supes; "Uh oh."