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Lois & Clark:
The New Adventures of Superman
Season 3, Episode 21
321-throughaglassdarkly
Air date May 5, 1996
Written by Chris Ruppenthal
Directed by Chris Long
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"Through a Glass, Darkly" is the first episode of a four-part story arc informally referred to as the Krypton Saga, the longest story arc of the Lois & Clark series. While discussing buying a house with Lois, Superman is put through various tests by the mysterious Zara and Ching.

Plot

A newly launched space station is turned onto an out-of-control course towards Earth, leaving only minutes before it will burn up in reentry. Superman flies into space and pushes the space station to safety. He confides in Lois that even using all his strength, he almost failed to stop it.

Perry assigns Lois and Clark the investigation. They consult Dr. Klein, who hacks an NIA satellite to trace the signal which sent the space station out of control to a house in Metropolis' suburbs. Visiting the house, which is up for sale, Lois and Clark are both fond of the decor. They find a satellite dish in the backyard, but no transmitter. A man introducing himself as Dave Miller, a real estate broker, approaches them. They ask if he has seen anyone suspicious, and he claims ignorance.

Dr. Klein calls The Daily Planet to inform them that after further studying the signal sent to the space station, he found it was programmed to make the station reverse course if Superman didn't save it. Lois and Clark call Dave Miller's company to question him further, only to be told that the company has no brokers by that name, making Miller their prime suspect. Meanwhile, Miller telepathically contacts Sarah, a new employee of the Daily Planet, keeping her appraised of his doings. They address each other as Ching and Zara.

The Daily Planet receives an anonymous tip of a bomb hidden at a school. Superman flies to the scene and follows a series of obscure riddles in a voice recording from Ching to find the bomb. It explodes seconds after he hurls it into the air, revealing that unlike the space station, it was not a bluff. He spies Ching watching him from an alley, but when he flies there, Ching is gone. Dining together, Ching and Zara argue, with Zara upset at his endangering of innocent lives, while Ching is bitter at her apparent admiration for and physical attraction towards Clark.

Revisiting the suburban house, Lois finds the transmitter. When Clark proposes putting a down payment on the house, Lois becomes upset. While Clark has always dreamed of getting a house and "putting down roots", especially in light of the chaos his life has been of late, Lois has always moved from place to place and has a deep-rooted fear of settling down in one spot.

Dr. Klein examines the transmitter and finds it to be beyond cutting edge technology. Looking at it microscopically, he sees the words "Ching Ltd." Lois and Clark look up the company's location and find Ching and Zara waiting for them with another "test". They reveal they know Clark is Superman and show video feeds of two bombs: one set to blow up all of Metropolis, the other tied up to Perry and Jimmy, who are on a fishing trip. The bombs are linked so that disarming or moving one will cause the other to explode, thus forcing Clark to choose between saving Metropolis or his friends. When Lois remarks that he "would have to split himself in two" to stop both bombs, he is inspired to borrow a beam refraction device from STAR Labs and fire heat vision into it while positioning himself in outer space such that his heat vision destroys the two bombs simultaneously. Meanwhile, Lois tries to stop Ching and Zara from leaving, but he slams her against the wall with a casual flick of his arm.

Ching argues with Zara that Superman still hasn't proven himself, since he wouldn't have passed the last test without Lois' prompt. He telepathically summons Superman to Clark's apartment roof. He holds him at bay with a Kryptonite force field and draws a high tech weapon, proposing to kill himself if Superman doesn't break through the field and stop him. Zara pleads with Ching to stop, implicitly exposing her feelings for him, but he insists he must kill himself to prove he is right about Superman being unworthy. Superman breaks through the field to save Ching, who then shuts off the field before it can kill them. Ching admits that "he is the one" and he and Zara fly away. Lois and Clark try to understand who Zara and Ching are given their powers.

Zara and Ching are Kryptonians. In their spaceship, they discuss how best to tell Clark that he has to leave Earth forever for their people's future. An unidentified telepathic voice tells Zara and Ching that he has followed them to Kal El, and will now kill him.

Cast

Main cast

Recurring role

Guest starring

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