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Religious Imagery in
Lois & Clark, Season 4, Episode 7:
"Dead Lois Walking"

The title of Lois & Clark Season 4, Episode 7 is "Dead Lois Walking." The episode revolves around Lois Lane being on death row after being convicted (in the previous episode "The People vs. Lois Lane") of a murder she didn't commit. This episode depicts Lois's husband, Superman, visiting her in prison and actually breaking her out of prison because he knows she is innocent and he will not stand by and watch her be executed. (The world of fictional Lois & Clark apparently has a much faster justice system and far fewer appeals than the real world... Either that, or a two-episode story arc limit.)

The title of this episode pays homage to the 1995 movie Dead Man Walking, which is based on the true story of a Catholic nun (Sister Helen Prejean, played by Susan Sarandon) visiting an convicted murderer (played by Sean Penn) on death row in the Louisiana State Penitentiary. This film, which was written and directed by Tim Robbins, conveys a strong anti-death penalty message.

This episode of Lois & Clark briefly shows a Catholic nun in one scene. This may have simply been a symbolic comment or visual gag connected to the plight of the soul of the corrupt district attorney who wrongly prosecuted Lois Lane and called for her to be sentenced to death. It seems like that this nun is also part of this episode's homage to the film Dead Man Walking.

[Timestamp: 38 minutes, 55 seconds. District Attorney Clemmons (played by actor Granville Van Dusen) is a corrupt elected official who is running for governor. He has in his possession evidence that Lois Lane is innocent of the murder she was framed for. But because D.A. Clemmons wants the publicity that comes with convicting a famous individual such as Lois Lane of murder, he pursues the case against her and doesn't tell anybody about this evidence (the bullet casing from the gun that shot the victim Lois is wrongly accused of killing). In a previous scene, Superman (Lois's husband Clark Kent) figured out that D.A. Clemmons might carry the missing shell casing on his person at all times, to keep it safe. With his X-ray vision, Superman confirms this is the case. As Clark Kent, he pretended to bump into D.A. Clemmons, at which time to took the shell casing. Meanwhile, the episodes principle villain ("Professor Jefferson Cole," played by actor Alan Richins) has used cloud seeding to cause a storm cloud to form over Metropolis. The cloud is laced with hybrid Kryptonite K, which he hopes will kill thousands of people in the city as part of his mad revenge scheme. We see D.A. Clemmons crawling on the grass near the steps of City Hall, where he believes he dropped the bullet casing. D.A. Clemmons combs through grass, looking for the bullet casing.]

D.A. Clemmons: It's gone. It can't be gone! It's gone!

[D.A. Clemmons looks up from his search, startled to see a Catholic nun sitting on a park bench, reading a newspaper. He lets out a gasp indicating he is startled and frightful. His fear at losing control of this piece of evidence (and thus being caught in his corruption) is mixed with his religious guilt and fear of divine retribution. Perhaps he recognizes the nun as a symbol of God of watching him.]

D.A. Clemmons: Hello? Excuse me sister... Have you seen a bullet? Uh... Kind of bent, you know, like it's been used?
Lois and Clark Season 4 Episode 7: Catholic nun

[Thunder can be heard. The nun and D.A. Clemmons both look up to the sky simultaneously. Out of the corner of his eye, D.A. Clemmons looks back at the nun. A look of greater fear passes over his face as he heard thunder once again. The sky is shown. Ominous storm clouds fill the sky. Rain begins to fall. A flash of light can be seen in the sky. Vocal music of a choir can be heard on the soundtrack, along with repeated thunder claps.]
Lois and Clark Season 4 Episode 7: Catholic nun
Lois and Clark Season 4 Episode 7: District Attorney Clemmons fears God
Lois and Clark Season 4 Episode 7: stormy sky above Metropolis

It is interesting that a few minutes later, a captured Lois Lane uses the church bells of an old cathedral to bring about her rescue from the villain, Professor Cole.

Professor Cole has set up his hide out in the bell tower of a massive cathedral. He tells his henchman that the bell tower has been abandoned for thirty years, so he knows no one will find them there. Lois is tied up. Professor Cole approaches her to shoot her dead. Lois manages to kick a nearby lever that triggers the chiming of the church bells. A swinging bell knocks Professor Cole over, but this only momentarily slows him. Professor Cole is about to kill Lois when, fortunately, Superman arrives on the scene and stops him. Superman had not known where to find Lois, but the chiming of the church bells revealed Lois's location to him.

Lois and Clark Season 4 Episode 7: Cathedral in Metropolis
Lois and Clark Season 4 Episode 7: Lois Lane kicks lever to trigger church bells
Lois and Clark Season 4 Episode 7: Lois Lane kicks lever to trigger church bells
Lois and Clark Season 4 Episode 7: Church bells in cathedral help Lois Lane be rescued by Superman

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Webpage created 19 May 2007. Last modified 19 May 2007.
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