CREDITS: Written by Stan Berkowitz; directed by Hiroyuki Aoyama (one of the animators on Akira).
REVIEW: The Parasite back already? I'm surprised at how well it works out. Because Rudy by himself is, for all his power, kind of a loser. He's been bullied all his life and is naturally submissive. And he has no real ambition. And they use those traits to good effect, bringing in the brainy and willful Dr. Garver as the real villain who, naturally, bullies Rudy into sharing his body, and laughing at his simple ambition of getting cable TV in his cell. Garver's own ambition is to hold the city ransom with a hidden bomb, one he can't give the location of in time when his fight with Superman puts him in a coma.
Superman is a physical powerhouse, so to create an interesting challenge, you really need test his wits. This episode creates a series of conundrums that can only be dealt with mentally (even for Rudy, when you think about it), and while Superman has help from the S.C.U. and Emil Hamilton, he's an active agent in the story. Not keen on taking the Parasite out of his cell, he's forced into it by Garver's ultimatum, and when it all goes pear-shaped, the focus is still on finding the bomb, not on beating on the Parasite. And it's Superman who finds the right trigger that allows Rudy to fight back inside his own mind at the end as well. Garver has all sorts of contingencies, which makes him a real contender in the mastermind category; too bad the "name" villains aren't all so sharp.
Which isn't to say there isn't any action in the episode. Superman fighting a high-tech safe room of a house has a sort of absurd loopiness, while the underwater sequence (which makes Maggie Sawyer something of an action hero too) looks great. It ends with a nuke going off under the city - jeepers! - and the epilogue with Garver waking up in an ambulance, opening the door and realizing it's in flight is pretty fun. And Rudy? Got what he wanted. Sometimes lowballing is a good idea.
SOUNDS LIKE: The great Brian Cox plays Dr. Earl Garver; his best-known comic book role is as William Stryker in X2.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - I thought reusing the Parasite so soon would lead to a dull story, but I was wrong.