Return of the Prankster

Written by Dusty Kay

Transcribed by amberlea

We open at the hallway of Lois's apartment. She is carrying groceries and a bouquet of flowers she's purchased at the store. Keys in one hand, she swiftly unlocks her door, pushes it open, and turns to flip on the light switch. When nothing happens, she hits it a few more times, then turns to look around her apartment. With growing apprehension, she surveys the living room, which has been ransacked. Lois pushes the door to let it swing closed as she moves further into her apartment. The camera continues to pan around the room, and we see the Prankster, Kyle Griffin, and his sidekick Victor lying in wait behind the door. Griffin lifts up a modified camera, readying for Lois to turn around. The door closes with a “click,” which causes Lois to turn around. Simultaneously, Griffin activates the camera and points it at Lois. A yellow light shines across her face and shoulders with an accompanying buzzing noise. Lois is immediately frozen in place.

Griffin: Hi, honey. Welcome home, you're home early. And look, she brought me flowers. (Sets the camera down and moves toward Lois.) How was your day...my busy little reporter? (in a baby talk voice) My busy, busy little reporter. (lifts hand to make Lois's mouth move as if she's talking) Yeah. How about a picture of her where she's not so, you know...

Victor: (interrupts,eagerly) Clothed?

Griffin: Grow up. I meant smug.

Victor reaches for camera in preparation to take a picture.

Griffin: (impatiently) Excuse me. Would you mind switching it from freeze to photo flash?

Victor sheepishly does as told.

Griffin: (poses next to Lois, using his fingers to push her face into an exaggerated smile) Say freeze, baby.

Victor: (takes picture) Very nice.

Camera whirs and spits out a Polaroid, which Griffin grabs. He pulls a marker out of his jacket and signs the bottom of the picture. Meanwhile, Victor poses for his own picture with Lois, making noises of appreciation of her attractiveness and his crush on her.

Griffin takes the flowers from Lois's hand with a grunt, substitutes the Polaroid, and moves her hand up closer to her face with an exaggerated grunt of exertion.

Griffin: Alright, come on, let's go.

Victor: B-but we didn't find what we came to look for.

Griffin: (in his Lurch voice) Maybe that's because, um, it's not here... heh.

Victor: (looking in Lois's grocery bag and picking up a Double Fudge Crunch Bar) Oh! Ooh, ooh, can I have one of these, please? I love these. Oh come on. She has another one. Can I have one please? Just one?

Griffin uses Lois's flowers to bang Victor on the head.

Victor: (giving up) Okay.

Griffin: Out.

Victor exits. Before leaving, Griffin turns and gives Lois a kiss with a growl.

As soon as they've left, Lois starts to blink, look around, and notices the polaroid in her hand. Taking a closer look, she frowns. Realizing what's happened, she sighs in resignation and disgust.

Fade to: Opening Credits

Interior of the Daily Planet. The elevator dings, and Lois steps out with determination in her stride.

Clark: Lois, where've you been? I've been trying to get a hold of you. You won't believe this. The Prankster broke out of jail.

As they descend the ramp, Lois holds up the polaroid for Clark to see.

Lois: I know. Griffin and his beady-eyed friend were waiting for me when I got home.

Clark: They were in your apartment?

Lois: They must've been looking for something. The place was a mess. Nothing was missing.

Clark: Are you all right?

Lois: Yeah, I guess so.

Clark: Chief! Chief, you better take a look at this. (hands polaroid to Perry)

Perry: (examines polaroid, asks quizically) What is this?

Lois: (nods, understanding his confusion) It was the weirdest thing. I walked into my apartment, and there was this intense yellow light...

Clark: (interrupts) And you don't remember a thing that happened after that.

Lois: How did you know?

Clark: The same thing happened at the state penitentiary. That's how Griffin and Victor broke out of jail. They froze a guard in a laundry room and left him in his underwear in a dryer.

Lois: What is with me and people breaking into my apartment and flashing lights into my eyes?

Perry: Well, you know Lois, this doesn't bode well for your interview with the President.

Lois: (defensively) Why?

Clark: The White House probably won't be too excited about exposing the President to the Prankster.

Lois: Clark, the President is coming to Metropolis to present the city with an award for the lowest crime rate in America. I think it would be embarrassing for him to cancel his trip because there's one criminal loose in the street.

Perry: Now, Lois, I know you're the only reporter to get an interview with the President, and I'm proud of you. But I think this has gotta be the White House's call.

Lois: But, Perry...

Perry: Lois, it is the President of the United States.

Her lack of enthusiasm obvious in her movements, Lois acquiesces and picks up the phone.

Cut to interior of Griffin's workshop. Victor is working on the camera, and Griffin is supervising.

Griffin: All we have to do is figure out a way to make this thing work on Superman...and we're home free.

Victor: Do we have to go up against him again? Why can't we just use this thing to, you know, rob a bank or something?

Griffin: (stops working and eyes Victor condescendingly) Victor, I'm gonna teach you how to use something I'm sure you don't use each and every day, and it's called your mind. The mind helps us see the big picture, Victor. Now, if we were to rob a little bank we'd get a few measly little dollars. But imagine the big picture. Big picture, Victor. Millions of dollars. Picture yourself making history. Because how much money do you think the government of the United States of America would pay to ransom the President?

Victor: (smiles in sudden enlightenment) A lot.

Griffin: (mocks the understatement) A lot. You know, Victor, you, um...you have a, uh, sweet and, uh, and, and ultimately irritating knack for understatement. Would you mind handing me the photoconductive cell?

Victor shuffles around for the cell on the workbench but when he attempts to drop it into Griffin's hand, he drops it on the floor instead. He pushes up his sleeve and reaches down to the floor to retrieve it. As he nears the floor, a rat scurries by.

Victor: Ah! Ah! Oh, oh, whoa, oh! (At Griffin's impatient look) Did you see it? A rat, a huge rat! I mean, a whole nest of them under the floor!

Griffin: Victor. I'm not interested in hysterical fantasies from your screwed up childhood in that day care center basement. Now, may I have the photoconductive cell, please?

Victor makes noises of disagreement, but Griffin ignores him.

Griffin: Do not make me ask again, or the consequences will not be pretty.

Victor lets out a breath to gather his courage, drops down to the floor, quickly spots the cell, and pops up. He triumphantly places the cell in Griffin's upturned palm.

Griffin: (mocks) That wasn't so hard, was it?

Victor: (chuckles with relief) I guess not. Whoo!

Griffin: (drops cell on the floor) Now, I want you to pick it up once again, but rather slowly this time. 'Cause you gotta face those fears, Victor. Gotta get right down there and you gotta...(Victor grunts) Not a word, not a word. (Victor grunts all the way down to the floor.) Down you go. Face those fears. (Victor jumps up with a cry of relief, having found the cell again.) Good boy, Victor. He's a good boy. You're a good boy.

Victor: (sits on a stool, pulls his knees to his chest, and whimpers) Why do we have to stay here? Why can't we hide out in a place that's, you know, a little nicer?

Griffin: Well, I'll tell you what. This is a condemned building. No one can find us here, which I find to be a pretty good ingredient for a hideout. (places photoconductive cell into modified camera) All right. (swings around and points camera at Victor) All new and improved. All we have to do now is come up with a micro step-up transformer. Did you locate one?

Victor: Uh, yes. Yes...yes, I did.

Griffin: And where is it?

Victor: Uh...at the Metropolis Department...

Griffin: Of?

Victor: Light and Power.

Griffin: Yeah. And do they have one?

Victor: Uh, yes. They just installed them in their master switcher.

Griffin: Oh, goody. Hehehehe. (looks down, as if he sees a rat) Ah!

Victor: Aaah!

Interior of the Daily Planet. Jimmy and Lois are walking together across the bullpen to Lois's desk.

Jimmy: Well, when Griffin's father got out of jail, he sold the toy store and disappeared. And that, uh, warehouse you caught Griffin in, they turned that into a Buddhist temple.

Lois: Thanks, Jimmy. Keep searching.

Jimmy: You got it. (walks off)

We see a man leaning against a pillar in the bullpen, wearing sunglasses, folding up the newspaper he was reading.

Carrigan: Miss Lane?

Lois: (looks around to see who's addressing her) Yes.

Carrigan: Carrigan. Secret Service. (holds up his badge) You phoned our office.

Lois: Oh, yes. Uh, you didn't have to come down here. You could've just called me back.

Carrigan: (ominously) I never use the phone. Commies can tap phones. Now what is all this about?

Lois: Well, I...I'm the reporter that's going to be interviewing the President.

Carrigan: We know that.

Lois: Course you do. Um...well, I just wanted to make you aware of the fact that we have a minor situation that's developed with a small-time criminal.

Carrigan: If it's about the Prankster, we know about it.

Lois: Oh, you do. Oh, then there's no problem.

Carrigan: There's always a problem.

Lois: There is?

Carrigan: See, no one thought there was a problem when Carter went fishing till that killer rabbit came out of nowhere and charged his rowboat...

Lois: (chuckles, as if she gets the joke) Killer rabbit. (makes bunny ears on her head) Yeah, I get it. (still chuckling as Carrigan begins telling the tale)

Carrigan: Twenty-first April, '79. I should've been there, but I took the day off that day. I went to the dentist. Impacted tooth. If you wanna take care of the president, you've got to take care of your teeth. (wide smile accompanies ding of a triangle)

Lois: (nervously) I see. Well, I...I can see that with you and your men protecting him the President has nothing to worry about. (spots Clark, who's just come in and is approaching his desk which is behind Carrigan) Clark! Uh, huh...I want you to meet Mr. Carrigan from the Secret Service. He says that,uh, he and his men have everything under control.

Clark: (who has moved to stand next to Lois) Oh, good. So then you're not worried about this freezing weapon...

Lois: (places hand on Clark's chest to interrupt him) Weapon. It's not a weapon. It's an invention. It seems to freeze people in place very temporarily. It's really harmless. Sort of a '90s version of that kid's game freeze tag. Huh, uh, oh God, what am I saying? Anyway, um, I get nervous, you know, the presidential...

Clark: Lois, that's not exactly...

Lois: (interrupts, babbling) What? You weren't there. I was there. He wasn't there. He doesn't know. Mr. Carrigan is a trained professional. And, and the police are looking for the Prankster. And Superman, I'm sure, is on the job. So, the President would probably be safer here in Metropolis than he would be in the White House.

Carrigan: (unamused by anything that has been said) And what do you know about the White House, ma'am?

Lois: N-nothing. Nothing. I, it was just an example, you know. I could've said safer than a bug in a rug, or two peas in a pod...

Carrigan: Are you on any type of medication, ma'am?

Lois: (shrugs shoulders and gives a little laugh)

Interior hallway of Metropolis Light & Power. We see a painter, carrying a bucket of paint and whistling as he walks toward and into the office of Mike Carney, Manager of Operations. Just before he opens the office door, the camera pans to reveal that the painter is actually Kyle Griffin's father, Edwin.

Carney: (looks up from his work, impatiently) Who are you?

Edwin: (looks down at his attire, holds out his paint can and roller as if the answer is obvious) The painter. The city decided this place needed a little sprucing up.

Carney: Let me see your work order.

Edwin: (as he's handing the work order over, he swings the long-handled roller around and nearly knocks over Carney) Oh, yeah, oh, oh, oh, I'm, I'm sorry. Right here, there you are. (as he turns back around, he nearly knocks Carney over again) Oh, I'm sorry.

Carney: You know, no one told me anything about this.

Edwin: Well, that's your bureaucracy for you. You're gonna get a nice fresh coat of Navajo White.

Edwin begins to spread a tarp over Carney's desk.

Carney: (gathers his papers, trying to rescue them before everything is covered up) Oh, okay. Wait, hold on. Just wait a second. Hold on. Okay, okay, okay. I'm going. I'm going. I'm going.

Edwin: (speaks over Carney's last words) All right. This won't take long.

Carney leaves, shutting door behind him. As soon as the door closes, Edwin pulls out a cell phone, flips it open, and dials a number.

Edwin: I'm in.

Cut to later in Carney's office. Edwin tosses a paintbrush next to an empty paint can. He pulls out a rag to wipe his hands as he surveys his work. Griffin and Victor come rushing down the hall.

Griffin: (puts his hand on his dad's shoulder) Hey Dad.

Edwin: (barks at the hand on his shoulder) Hey!

Griffin: Nice job.

Edwin: Oh, stuff it. You know I hate suck ups.

Victor: (senses a chance to get in a jab at Griffin) Whoohoohoohoo.

Griffin whacks him in the stomach with the bag he's carrying. Victor coughs and moves off.

Griffin: Uh, did you find the keys?

Edwin: (pulls keys out of pocket, smiles, then grimaces) You and your stupid questions! (pinches Griffin in the side)

Griffin moves to Victor's side, behind the desk. Edwin tosses the keys to Victor, who misses the catch. The keys fall into the not-so-empty paint can. Griffin and his father look at Victor and then each other with impatient disgust. Victor pulls up his sleeve and sticks his hand in the paint to retrieve the keys, making grossed-out noises the whole time.

Victor: (pulls out keys) Ewww.

Griffin and Edwin: You idiot!

Interior of equipment room at Metropolis Light & Power. Victor is using a key to open a panel, out of which he pulls a small component.

Victor: Micro step-up transformer. This little baby will increase the weapon's power twelve-fold by coupling itself with the multiplex (Griffin closes the panel door on Victor's hand, who finishes his sentence with a grimace of pain) negative ohm resistor!

Griffin: You're boring me. (stands up and moves over to a table) Come here. Now...

They both bend down to look at the freezing weapon. Victor's hard hat bangs into Griffin's head. Griffin grabs the hard hat and throws it on the ground. He then yanks the transformer out of Victor's hand.

Victor: Okay. (Griffin places the transformer in the weapon and it begins to hum.) See...

Griffin: Shut up. Go get the contact lenses.

Interior of Daily Planet. We are looking over Clark's shoulder to Lois. Both are working at their desks.

Lois: This isn't fair. I put him away twice before.

Clark: Lois, are you gonna stay at your apartment tonight?

Lois: Well, I didn't want to. (gets up to walk over to Clark's desk) Every hotel room in town is booked because of the President. Perry offered, but Alice has the flu, so I didn't wanna impose.

Clark: Well, you know, you...you could...

Lois: Oh, no, I...I just think, you know, with us dating...or almost dating...that, um, I would feel uncomfortable.

Jimmy: (walks by) Night guys.

Clark: Hey, Jimmy. You have a pull-out couch, don't...

Lois: (tries to interrupt) Oh, Clark...

Jimmy: (changes direction and walks over to Clark's desk) Yeah, why?

Lois stands to include Jimmy in the conversation.

Clark: Well, it's just that Lois needs a place to stay for a few nights until this whole Prankster thing is resolved.

Jimmy: Oh, um, well, I mean, are you sure you wanna stay there? I mean, it's just a hole-in-the-wall bachelor pad...

Lois: You know, Jimmy, if it makes you uncomfortable...

Jimmy: No, no, no, no, no, no. I mean, as long as you don't mind roughing it, it's okay with me. That's what friends are for.

Lois: (smiles) Thanks. I promise, you won't even know I'm there. (walks back to her desk)

Jimmy: (goes wide-eyed with realization, heads for the elevator) Uh, you know what, maybe I'd better get home, straighten things up a little bit before you get there, all right? Hold the elevator!

Lois: That was sweet of him.

Suddenly, the electricity goes out, with the sound of everything powering down.

Clark: What the heck?

Just as suddenly, everything powers back up. Lois's phone rings.

Lois: Lois Lane.

Intercut between Lois at the Daily Planet and Griffin at Metropolis Light & Power.

Griffin: Hi, Lo. Great to talk to you again. Listen, I know you've been wondering where I am...

Lois: (motions to Clark to pick up the phone and whispers) It's Griffin.

Griffin: ...and uh, I didn't want you to be kept in the dark. (points to Victor, who fiddles with some switches and causes the power to fluctuate again)

Lois: You're controlling the lights at the Daily Planet.

Griffin: (uses scissors to trim the nose hair and eyebrow of a frozen city worker) Oh, well, uh, I'd say I'm, uh, pretty much controlling the whole darn city. Take a look. (points at Victor, who fiddles with more switches)

Lois points at Clark, then gets up to look out the window. The lights of nearby office buildings spell out a flashing “Hi Lois.” Lois returns to her phone.

Lois: What do you want now, Griffin?

Griffin: Well, since you're my favorite reporter, I thought I'd give you a scoop on an electrifying story.

Victor: Ha! Ha ha.

Griffin: (smacks Victor's head, whispers) Shut up. (to Lois) I've accessed the computers for Metropolis Light & Power, and later on when I shut down the airport, it should be a real party. Talk about flying blind. Ta ta.

Lois: (hangs up, speaks to Clark) Where are you going?

Clark: (stands up and grabs his suit jacket) To the airport. In case the Prankster makes good on his threat.

Lois: Okay. I'll follow up on Metropolis Light & Power. (picks up phone and dials)

ML&P answering service: You've reached Metropolis Light & Power. Due to the high volume of calls, your wait time may be anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. Thank you for your patience. (terrible hold music begins)

Lois: (taps her pencil a few times, then tosses it on the desk and hangs up the phone) Oh, this is ridiculous.

Interior of Metropolis Light & Power. Lois walks around, waving her hand in the face of a frozen worker.

Griffin: Hey, Lois!

Lois: (whirls around) Griffin.

Griffin: I knew you'd come. Reporters are so predictable.

Lois: What's this all about?

Griffin: (mocks) “What's this all about?” It's about magic. It's about wonder. It's about power, lots of power.

Lois: If you give yourself up now...

Griffin: Shut up.

Victor: (sneaks up behind Lois) There's only two words we wanna hear you say.

Griffin: And those two words would be, “Help, Superman.” Come on, let me hear you say, “Help, Superman.” (at Lois's silence) Oooh, Victor, I think she's gonna need some persuasion. (Victor grabs Lois's arms) Ah, ha, ha, ha.

Cut to a large boiler. Lois is chained to the boiler.

Griffin: (condescendingly) Lois, this is a boiler. It's very hot. (grabs Victor's hand and holds it to a pipe)

Victor: Yeoww!

Griffin: See? And this is the gauge that tells us how much pressure's in the boiler. Now normally this old boiler could take this much pressure. (points to the top of the gauge, then opens a valve) But today, we're gonna turn the pressure all the way up to here. (points to the danger zone on the gauge) Thanks for playing along. Johnny, tell her what she's won. (exits)

Victor: A trip for one...into orbit. Don't get steamed. (follows Griffin, laughing the whole way)

Lois: (struggles with the chains) Oh, Superman, I could really use your help right now. Who am I kidding? Superman, help!

Cut to Superman flying over the city. With his superhearing, he hears Lois.

Lois: Help, Superman!

Interior of Metropolis Light & Power. Griffin and Victor are ascending a staircase.

Victor: Well, there goes my dream of living on a ranch with Lois, three kids, roping steer, deep-frying stuff...

Superman: (landing in front of them) You should've never come back to Metropolis, Griffin.

Griffin: (unfazed) I'll be out of your life. Just came back to pick up my CDs. Smile.

Griffin shoots freezing weapon at Superman, who is unaffected.

Griffin: Darn it.

Superman: (advances on Griffin and Victor) Don't you ever learn?

Griffin: Learn this. In about 15 seconds, a very big boiler's gonna blow up, and then Lois Lane will be just a memory.

Superman: Where is she?

Victor: (smugly) That's for you to know and us to find out.

Superman just looks at him and flies off.

Griffin: Victor, why haven't I killed you yet?

Victor: I...

Cut to boiler. Lois manages to free one hand. Superman flies around the equipment and locates Lois.

Lois: (relieved) Superman. I hope I never get laryngitis.

Superman frees her other hand and picks her up. As they fly off, the boiler explodes. He sets down in another part of the building.

Lois: Did you see Griffin?

Superman: He got away. You were his safety valve in case his weapon couldn't freeze me. Lois, you might wanna leave town until I can catch him.

Lois: Oh, I can't leave town. In two days, I have an exclusive interview with the President of the United States. And it's not that often I get to meet somebody with such incredible power. I...except for you. I mean, but, but you're different. I mean, not different in an obvious way, but you know, you're just sort of, more than a story, and I don't know, you know. You're, you're, well...you know what you are. Don't you?

Interior of Griffin's workshop. Victor is on the floor, searching for rats.

Griffin: This new transformer lets me modulate the intensity and duration of the blast. Allowing me to freeze someone for a minute, five minutes, an hour, or a day.

Victor: Yeah, except for Superman.

Griffin: That's right. That's right, Victor. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. Now you see, that's why we have to figure out where, besides Lois Lane's apartment, we can get the information on him that we need.

Victor: Ohh!

Griffin: What? What is it?

Victor: (stands) There was a tail under the bed. Listen, I saw this documentary where this whole family got bitten by ra...

Griffin freezes him. Humming to himself, he clamps Victor's nose with a pair of scissors.

Victor: (comes out of the freeze)...ats, and they all got sick, and they had to get shots. And you know I hate needles...(stops, noticing the scissors on his nose, and removes them)

Griffin: Now, Victor. Now, instead of putting pincers up inside our nostrils which is ornamental, but perhaps not as helpful as one would wish, why don't you help Kyle come up with some kind of idea?

Victor: Okay. Okay, I've got an idea. Maybe Lois Lane has some sort of file on her computer at work. You, you know, like maybe a diary, or something?

Griffin: (exclaims) Victor! Do you realize what you've done?

Victor: Bad idea?

Griffin: No! It's wonderful!

Victor: Yeah?

Griffin: Yeah! (freezes Victor again)

Interior of Daily Planet. The elevator dings and opens on Lois and Jimmy, who begin walking down to the bullpen and Lois's desk.

Lois: Don't expect me to be all happy and peppy on three hours' sleep.

Jimmy: Ever since I was a kid, I've slept with the TV on, Lois. I can't help it.

Lois: Don't you think freaking out because I turned it off was a bit overdramatic? I mean, come on, it was a 976 infomercial.

Jimmy: I didn't do it on purpose. That's just the way I wake up when there isn't any noise.

Lois: Which explains why you live across from a fire station.

Jimmy: (walks off) Okay Lois.

Clark: (walks up as Lois arrives at her desk) I just spoke to Metropolis Edison. They managed to contain the blast to one sector so they can still meet the city's power needs.

Perry: (also arriving at Lois's desk) Oh, well, thank God. One blackout's about all I can handle. Now, Lois, I just got off the phone with Helen Bartlett at the White House, and they are very concerned about the Prankster. And the President's gonna cut his trip as tight as possible, so...

Lois: (annoyed) Don't tell me. My interview's canceled.

Perry: Well, they did say that they wanted to reschedule.

Lois: Oh, I knew it! If I ever get my hands on that Griffin, I swear I'll...

Perry: Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! Just hold your horses. I said they wanted to reschedule. And I told them that they weren't dealing with some small-town rag, that this was the Daily Planet.

Clark: In other words, Chief, you groveled.

Perry: (grins) But only on one knee. You got five minutes.

Lois: (incredulous) Five minutes? That's it?

Perry: Lois, that's five minutes more than any other reporter's getting.

Lois; I guess you're right.

Perry: All right. I want you two to concentrate all your attention on the Prankster. The people of Metropolis hate him, but they love reading about him. (walks off)

Lois: (sits down) Five minutes. What can I do with five minutes?

Clark: (moves to the front of her desk) Look, Lois, we've still got 24 hours. There has to be somebody who can give us a lead on Griffin.

Cut to exterior of sidewalk cafe. Lois and Clark are feeding Bobby Bigmouth.

Lois: What do you mean you don't know anything?

Bobby: Hey, hey, what are you doing? (Lois reaches over and grabs his sandwich from him.)

Lois: Well, I am not feeding you so you can tell me you don't know anything. (Bobby reaches over and grabs the sandwich back.)

Bobby: Well, sometimes you gotta feed me on spec. Maybe I'll find something out in a couple days.

Lois: A couple of days will be too late.

Bobby: Well, then consider it a down payment on the next time. (to Clark) Boy oh boy, are we testy!

Clark: She's just upset. Because of Griffin, her interview with the President got cut down to five minutes.

Lois: I only get to ask one question. It's not fair. I have so many areas I wanna cover.

Cut to Griffin and Victor waiting in a van. Victor is fiddling with the freezing weapon.

Griffin: Don't play with that.

Victor: (puts weapon down guiltily) I-I wasn't playing with it. (Griffin just looks at him.) Okay, I won't do it again.

Griffin: (looks out window) Ha! I think I found the perfect test target.

Victor: Where?

Griffin: (points) Right over there.

Victor: (readies weapon) Yeah. (freezes the targets) Ah ha ho! It worked! (pause) You're not just gonna leave 'em like that?!

Griffin: (starts up van) Oh oh oh, yes I am! That's why they call me the Prankster. That's funny. (as they drive off) It's funny! It's funny!

Cut to street. Victor has frozen piano movers who have hoisted a piano several stories up. Directly below the piano is a woman pushing a stroller, and she is also frozen. The rope holding the piano begins to slip from one mover's hands, and the piano slowly begins to descend.

Cut to exterior of sidewalk cafe.

Lois: So what would you ask him, Clark? Something about the economy or foreign policy?

Clark: Actually, I think I'd ask him something that people would find interesting but wouldn't normally ask. Like, if he could be a major league baseball player, what position would he play and why?

Lois: (scoffs) Are you serious? That would be your one big question? (chuckles) No offense, Clark, but I think that's pretty dumb.

Bobby: Gee, Clark, that's a very good question.

Clark: Thank you.

Clark's superhearing kicks in.

<Man: Help, somebody help! The piano's gonna fall!>

Clark: Uh, I just remembered that I have a dentist appointment in a few minutes. (checks watch) I...I'll meet you back at the Planet. (departs hastily)

Lois looks like she's about to protest, then sighs, as Clark is long gone.

Cut to street scene, where the piano is about to fall on top of the mother and stroller. With a blue and red whoosh, the woman and the stroller are whisked away, moments before the piano crashes to the sidewalk. The stroller comes to a stop with screeching and smoking wheels, the baby begins to cry, and the mother unfreezes to take a look around and hurry away.

Superman: (disgusted) Griffin. (flies off with a whoosh)

Interior of the Daily Planet. Jimmy approaches Lois's desk with a paper bag in hand.

Jimmy: Lois? Uh, I'd like to apologize about last night. I...I've never had anybody sleep over before.

Lois: Little wonder.

Jimmy: Yeah. Well, anyway, I think I've solved the problem. (hands paper bag to Lois, who looks inside) Headphones. Now we can both sleep.

Lois: Uh heh. Thanks, Jimmy. That was, uh, awfully sweet. (hands the headphones and bag back to him)

Jimmy: You got it. (bends over to get a look at Lois's monitor) So what are you working on?

Lois; The one question I can ask the President. You're a part of Generation X. What would somebody your age ask?

Jimmy: Me? I'd, uh, I'd ask him for a job. I think it'd be cool working in the White House.

Lois: Well, that wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

Jimmy: Sorry.

Perry: (walks up to her desk) Here you go, Lois. (hands her a file)

Lois: Oh, Perry. What one question would you ask the President?

Perry: Oh, that's easy. I'd ask him why he vetoed the bill to make Graceland a national monument.

Lois: Perry, I'm serious.

Perry: Well, I am too. When it comes to that, I'm serious as a heart attack. Now, anything new on Griffin?

Griffin: (from offscreen) Heh. Why don't you ask him yourself?

Cut to close-up of Griffin's face. His eyes have a red sparkle.

Griffin: These shoes are new, Perry.

With a series of flashes, Griffin freezes the entire newsroom.

Daily Planet elevator doors. With a ding, the doors open and Clark strolls out, to be greeted by people frozen in the midst of their tasks. Clark waves his hand in front of one staffer, then continues down the ramp into the bullpen, which has been decorated with photocopies of Victor's face. Perry is frozen, holding up a copy of the paper with a hole cut out for his face to stick through. Lois is frozen, in only her lingerie, leaning against a pillar in a seductive pose. Clark removes his jacket and, hesitating for a second, stands her straight to drape his jacket around her shoulders. He then notices Jimmy, who is posed theatrically, and wearing Lois's dress. Clark starts to chuckle, at which point everyone begins to unfreeze.

Perry: What...what...what's this?

Jimmy: What's so funny, C.K.?

Lois: (waking up, notices the jacket around her shoulders) Why am I... (spots Jimmy in her dress, looks down at herself again) Griffin.

Jimmy finally looks at himself and quickly starts undoing his belt so he can change.

Lois: Jimmy, give me back my dress.

Clark: Now there's something you don't hear around the newsroom everyday.

Perry: Look at my tie!

Jimmy: How do you get this thing off?

Clark: Look at the bright side, Lois. At least no permanent damage was done.

Perry: Oh, yeah? Tell that to my tie. I loved this tie. Why couldn't it have been that ugly fish tie Alice gave me for Christmas?

Clark: Well, I think the better question, Chief, is why was Griffin here in the first place?

Lois: My continuing degradation comes to mind. (moves to sit at her desk)

Clark: No, I think that's just a bonus. My guess is that he was looking for whatever it is that he couldn't find in your apartment. You oughta check your computer, Lois.

Lois removes a photocopy of Victor's face from her monitor and taps out a keystroke. A video of Griffin pops up.

Griffin: Hello, Lo. Wasn't that fun? Well, it was for me, too. By the way, there's one thing I'd like to know.

Victor: (sticks head into shot) Where you buy your lingerie. (Griffin pushes him away, half-choking him.)

Lois looks down self-consciously and pulls the jacket tighter around her.

Griffin: Bye. (video closes)

Clark: Now why is it that Victor and Griffin can zap an entire newsroom and not be affected by the light?

Lois: Because they're subhuman.

Clark: Maybe Professor Hamilton has a slightly more scientific explanation.

Interior of Professor Hamilton's lab. He's holding a large model of the eye.

Hamilton: Ordinarily signals are sent via the optic nerve to the occipital lobe of the brain. However, this Griffin character seems to have found a way to divert the light to the central motor cortex, which is located here. (points to a spot on a brain model)

Lois: And that causes paralysis.

Hamilton: Spontaneous muscle contraction effectively freezing the victim in place.

Clark: So why wasn't Griffin affected?

Hamilton: I don't know, unless he wore some sort of glasses that would block the effects of the rays.

Lois: No glasses. His eyes did look sort of strange. They were sparkly, and they had a reddish tint.

Clark: Contact lenses?

Hamilton: That could be it.

Clark: Professor, could you make contact lenses like that?

Hamilton: I don't know. It's a long shot. I'd have to experiment with various occipital lobes in order to determine if they...

Lois: (interrupts) Anything you could do.

Clark: Thanks, professor.

Lois: (turns, as she's leaving) Oh, by the way, if you could ask the President of the United States one question, what would it be?

Hamilton: (considers) I'd demand to know why the government is covering up hard data on the obvious existence of UFOs.

Lois: (feigns interest) Yeah. Huh, that's a good one. Thanks.

Hamilton: Yeah. (turns back to his work as Lois and Clark leave) Occipital, occipital, occipital.

Interior of Griffin's hideout. He and Victor are each working at laptops.

Victor: (giggles) Oooh.

Griffin: Victor.

Victor: Mmmm. Hmm mmm.

Griffin: Victor. What are you doing?

Victor: (guiltily) Oh, uh...I'm, uh...ooh.

Griffin: You sound like a pervert at a magazine stand. What did I ask you to do?

Victor: (quickly) Look up information about Superman.

Griffin: That's right. (mocks) And are you looking up information about Superman?

Victor: Not exactly.

Griffin: I see. Well, Victor, what exactly are you doing?

Victor: Well, I found this file on Lois Lane's computer. And, uh, it looks like she's writing some kind of novel. Uh, it's a story about this female reporter who meets this guy from outer space, and, uh, it's really very good. It's got a lot of that...stuff in it, huh huh. (turns to see Griffin brandishing a screwdriver at him, gibbers) It was the last file. I couldn't find anything else!

Griffin: Well, I found something.

Victor: You did? What?

Griffin: Yeah. Well, there's a whole subdirectory on Lois Lane's c drive about Superman.

Victor: Oh.

Griffin: (scrolling through the files) Unfortunately, most of it's just worthless, worthless, worthless. Except for this. (Turns to glare at Victor, whose breathing is a wheezing noise in Griffin's ear. Victor moves away.) Now, it seems about two months ago, our friend Superman was rendered temporarily...what's this word?

Victor: Inflicted with occipital opacity.

Griffin: What does that mean?

Victor: Couldn't see.

Griffin: Couldn't see. Couldn't see? He couldn't see because of a special light beam developed by a certain Dr. Faraday, and...haha! She's got all the unprintable details about it right in here. Victor, all we have to do is make the light beam shorter.

Victor laughs.

Interior of Daily Planet. Elevator opens to Lois and Jimmy.

Lois: Jimmy, I don't wanna talk about it. (exits elevator on her way to get coffee)

Jimmy: (shakes head, follows a few steps behind Lois) I told you, I didn't know the guys were coming by, all right? They live with their parents. They have no place else to kick it.

Lois: (exasperated) Did they have to “kick it” at your place until three in the morning?

Jimmy: Lois, I tried to keep it down, honestly. All right? They're kids. (pause) Where'd you go when you left?

Lois: I had to use the phone.

Jimmy: I have a phone in my...(pauses, suddenly realizing) Wait a minute. Um, are you the “neighbor” who called the cops on us? (Lois can't hide a grin.) Oh, that's funny. Oh, that's funny. Hahaha, oh yeah.

Perry: (reading newspaper, walks to coffee station) What in the Sam Hill is this? Lois, have you seen today's edition?

Lois: Not yet, Chief. Why?

Perry: Look what that idiot Griffin's done to my masthead. (It reads “Daily Prankster” instead of “Daily Planet.”) He somehow broke into the computerized typesetter. (Lois sighs.) Have you got any, uh, leads on this guy? I mean, he's made us look like a laughingstock.

Lois: No, not yet. Clark's down at the police station trying to get a lead.

Perry: All right. Stay on it.

Lois reaches her desk, and Perry keeps walking. Her phone rings.

Lois: Lois Lane.

Griffin: (voice disguised as a female with a southern accent) Yes, this is Helen Bartlett from the White House.

Lois: Hi.

Griffin: (voice disguised) Miss Lane, we've set up a press room in the penthouse at the Lakeside Towers. Could you come over now so we can discuss protocol?

Lois: Yes, I'll be right there.

Cut to shot of Griffin in the penthouse, holding cell phone and gadget for disguising his voice.

Griffin: (voice disguised) All right, Miss Lane. We'll be expecting you. Good day. (hangs up)

Griffin: Ha. She's on her way.

Victor: (lounges in a chair and sips his umbrella drink) Oh, this is so cool! Whoo!

Exterior of Lakeside Towers. Cut to elevator. Elevator dings, doors open, Lois steps inside. A room service cart is already in the elevator.

Lois: Smells great. (turns to get a look at the food)

Griffin: Specialty of the house. (Lifts lid of dome covering food, but it's not food, it's Victor's head. Victor grins, then lifts the freezing weapon out of the fruit hiding it and freezes Lois.)

Victor: Oh, those teeth. An ode to your teeth: they're so perfect and shiny. I love you so much, I wish you were mine-y.

Griffin looks disgusted and slams the food cover back onto Victor's head.

Victor: Hey, I had a second verse. (Griffin hits the cover with a utensil.) Aah.

Interior of Daily Planet. Clark is at his desk, typing quickly. Jimmy walks by.

Clark: Jimmy! How is your house guest?

Jimmy: (grabs the nearest chair to give Clark all the gory details) Hear she called the cops on me?

Clark: What?! Why?

Jimmy: Well, I had a few friends over. She thought we were too loud. A monk would be too loud for Lois. You know what? I know, uh, you two kind of have this thing going on together, but let me tell you something, all right? You do not know the real Lois Lane. I've been trying to think of a way to get back at her all day long.

Clark: Hold on, Jimmy. She has been under a lot of stress lately.

Jimmy: She's gonna find out what real stress is all about.

Clark: Jimmy... (interrupted by his phone ringing) Clark Kent.

Intercut between Griffin on the balcony of the penthouse and Clark.

Griffin: Hi, Clark. This is the Prankster.

Clark: What do you want?

Griffin: What? Do I sense some hostility?

Clark: Some? Let's just say that everyone's getting a little sick of your games.

Griffin: Not everyone. As a matter of fact, Victor and I and Lois are just sitting down for a little three-handed pinochle. She and I have become inseparable. And if you can get a message to Superman, tell him we're in the penthouse of the Lakeside Towers. Buh bye.

Clark hangs up phone.

Cut to shot of Superman flying, then back to the balcony of the penthouse. Victor and Griffin are seated at a table, playing cards. They have posed Lois nearby, standing up, as if she is contemplating the cards in her hand.

Victor: This is such a nice place. We live in such a dump. Kyle, why can't we live in a nice place like this?

Griffin: We will, Victor. Soon.

Whoosh of Superman landing on balcony railing.

Griffin: Hi, Supey. Glad you could join us. Care for some pinochle?

Superman: You're finished, Griffin.

Griffin: Gosh, I hope not. Cause I'm at the pinnacle of my pinochle. Come on, Supester! Join me for just one hand. All work and no play makes Superman a very dull boy.

Superman: (jumps down from railing) You'll find out how dull life can be when you're back in a maximum security prison for the rest of your life.

Griffin: Okay. Have it your way. (reaches for freezing weapon)

Superman: When are you going to realize that weapon doesn't work on me?

Griffin: Correction. It didn't work. But I've made a few improvements in the new model. (activates weapon, Superman is frozen)

Victor: (stands up to get a closer look, in awe) It worked.

Griffin: Course it worked. I designed it, didn't I?

Victor: (cocky now) He's not so tough. Come on, Superman, show me what you got. (starts dancing around like a boxer)

Griffin: Oh, this is a Kodak moment. (takes picture of Victor dancing around Superman)

Victor: I predict Victor will be the victor! (punches Superman, lands it with a thud) Oh, ow! Ow, ow, ow, ow!

Lois wakes up to see a frozen Superman.

Lois: (moves to Superman's side) Oh my God.

Griffin: Yeah, it's kind of a pretty picture, isn't it? Huh? Your little boyfriend, frozen just as stiff as a fish stick. (stands up and moves toward Lois and Superman) You know what the problem is with being the Man of Steel? Steel don't bounce. (pushes Superman off the balcony)

Lois gasps in shock.

Frozen Superman lands on a newsstand and crushes it.

Lois: How could you do that?

Griffin: Kind of like this. (throws Lois off the balcony)

Lois screams.

The newsstand vendor shakes Superman's shoulder, trying to rouse him.

Vendor: Hey, Supe.

Superman wakes up, shaking his head. The vendor points up at Lois falling. Superman flies over and catches her.

From the balcony, Victor and Griffin are watching.

Victor: (delighted) He caught her! Ha ha! (Griffin grabs him and starts to throw him off the balcony. He attempts to change his tone.) Darn, he caught her! It's a bad thing.

Cut to Superman and Lois.

Superman: (gently landing on the sidewalk) Are you all right?

Lois: You seem to ask me that a lot lately.

Superman: People seem to try to kill you a lot.

Lois: Yeah. I was so popular in high school.

Superman: (small laugh) If you'll excuse me. (motions as if to fly off)

Lois: Superman, there's nothing you can do. If he froze you once, he'll do it again. Look, Clark and I think we've found a way of neutralizing Griffin. Professor Hamilton is working on it right now. So, I guess this time, you'll just have to rely on us.

Interior of Daily Planet. Lois is seated at her desk, and Secret Service Agent Carrigan is pacing.

Lois: See, I don't think you're getting the point.

Carrigan: (ignoring Lois, speaking into his headset) Would you try it again, Thompson? I still can't hear you.

Lois: The Prankster has found a way of stopping Superman.

Carrigan: (mumbling coming from his earpiece) No. I, I'm not reading you.

Lois: So I think that, as much as this pains me to say, I think the President should consider postponing his visit.

Carrigan: (more mumbling from earpiece) Yeah, you know Thompson, I think I found the problem here. If you would just have general services send up a box of those cotton swabs, that ought to do it. (from earpiece: What? I can't hear you. Say again.)

Lois: Are you hearing anything I'm saying?

Carrigan: (finally speaks to Lois) I'm hearing you, now you hear me. All systems are go. My men are trained for any eventuality.

Carrigan walks away, and Clark walks up.

Clark: I heard from Bobby Bigmouth.

Lois: What did he want? Seconds?

Clark: Ha. Said he had an address for the Prankster. It's the apartment he grew up in, but I checked it out. Now it's just an old condemned building.

Lois: (thoughtful) Hmm.

Interior of Griffin's hideout. Lois and Clark walk in and begin to look around.

Clark: (eyes numerous newspaper clippings and photos hanging on the walls) Either Griffin's a very concerned voter...or the President's in trouble.

Lois: Clark, look. It's a map of today's motorcade.

Clark: I guess we could notify Carrigan.

Lois: (sarcastically) What for? He and his men are trained for any eventuality, remember? You try and find Superman. Have him meet me at Professor Hamilton's as soon as possible.

Clark: Sure, okay.

Interior of Professor Hamilton's lab. He is dipping something in a vial of reddish liquid.

Hamilton: Since you told me light he used was yellow, I ground and tinted the lenses so that the yellow light, instead of going to the motor cortex, will be diverted to the eye's inner and outer campus.

Lois: What's that?

Hamilton: It's right in back of the canal of Schlemm. Do you really want to know?

Superman arrives with a whoosh.

Superman: All I wanna know is will they work?

Hamilton: Not knowing the exact frequency of the light, I can't really promise.

The sound of the motorcade filters in from the street below. On the sidewalk, people are waving signs of welcome and waiting for the President to pass by. Kyle Griffin and his father are waiting in a van, observing the proceedings.

Griffin: (into a walkie talkie) Victor, you're on.

Victor waits in a truck.

Victor: Roger that. (starts up truck and drives out of an alley into the path of the motorcade)

Carrigan: (runs up to investigate the sudden obstruction) Hey! You! Get that thing out of here.

Victor: (feigns engine trouble) I'm trying.

Carrigan: (into his headset) We have a situation here. Some idiot just parked his truck in the middle of the street. (to Victor) You're in big trouble, pal. Now move it!

Victor: (to himself) We'll see.

Cut to Griffin and his father in the van.

Edwin: It's now or never, son.

Griffin pushes a remote control and a freezing apparatus is revealed, attached to the top of the van.

Lois: (pushes her way through the crowd on the sidewalk) Carrigan! Look out, it's a trap!

Griffin pushes buttons on the remote, and the whole street is frozen.

Victor gets out of the truck with glee.

Victor: (taunting a frozen Carrigan) Well, well. Who looks like the idiot now?

Griffin gets out of the van and begins to prance down the street towards Victor. They share a moment of triumph.

Griffin: Come on. We got a president to kidnap.

They whoop and holler down the street but stop when they reach frozen Lois.

Griffin: Yeah, there she is. Lois Lane. Just as frozen as she could be. (puts his cap on her head) Too bad she's not awake! To see my greatest triumph.

Victor: (hopefully) Well, maybe we could take her with us, and I could explain it to her later?

Griffin: Victor, you did good this time, so I'm gonna let you have her. I'm gonna let you have her.

Victor: Oh, thank you so much!

Griffin: (pinches Victor's neck) Business before pleasure. And that's a lovely face. Now, look. Here's what I'd like you to do. Just help me carry the President to the van. (opens door to limo)

Griffin and Victor: (shocked) Superman!

Superman: Yes, I am. (gets out of limo) Sorry to ruin your plans, Griffin, but the President is safely tucked away. Just like you're gonna be.

Griffin: But, how?

Superman: Look deep into my eyes. (His eyes sparkle red, just as Griffin's did.)

Griffin: Contacts.

Victor: I'm sorry, but that is really not fair.

Lois: (who had only pretended to be frozen) Neither is this. (punches Victor) Just thought one good prank deserves another.

Griffin tries to run and runs straight into Superman. Griffin falls to the ground but gets up again.

Griffin: My contacts. You knocked out my... (He's frozen by the weapon, which is still activated.)

Lois: I think turnabout's fair play. (unbuckles Griffin's belt so his pants fall down, then whacks him with his cap) Oh, come on. (at Superman's unamused look) He deserved that.

Superman destroys the freezing weapon with his heat vision.

Edwin: I should've had a daughter.

Everyone on the street begins to awaken. A voice comes over Carrigan's earpiece.

Earpiece: This is unit 15. Sector seven is secure.

Carrigan: Huh? What?

Earpiece: I repeat, sector seven is secure.

Griffin is pulling up his pants as Carrigan approaches.

Superman: I don't want to tell you your job, sir. But if I were you, I would take this man into custody.

Carrigan: I knew that. (grabs Griffin) I knew that. (agents lead Griffin and Victor away, who bump into each other)

Victor: (whines to the agent who's escorting him) He's hitting me. Do I have the right to hit him back?

Superman: Lois, you better get going. Don't wanna be late for your meeting with the President.

Lois: Right, my big moment. I still have no idea what I'm gonna ask him. What one question would you ask the President?

Superman: I guess I'd ask him why he wouldn't give a great reporter like Lois Lane more than a five minute interview. (flies off with a whoosh to the awed response of the crowd)

Interior of Daily Planet. Lois, Perry, and Jimmy are gathered around Clark's desk. He is seated, holding a mockup of the next day's paper.

Clark: I gotta hand it to you, Lois. This is one terrific interview. You really pulled it off.

Perry: Take a lesson, boys. This is the mark of a seasoned reporter. Someone who can get her subject to open up and talk freely.

Clark: That one question you were sweating about must've really broken the ice.

Jimmy: So what was it?

Lois: (quietly) Oh. Well, I just asked him if he was a professional baseball player, what position would he play and why?

Jimmy: That's a great question!

Perry: That's first rate. Hahaha. This girl thinks on her feet. (walks away)

Lois: Uh, Jimmy. I just want to say thank you and also apologize. You really helped me out by letting me stay at your place, and I wasn't very grateful. I've just been under a lot of pressure. Anyway, I'm sorry.

Jimmy: Hey, it was no sweat. (Lois walks to her desk as Clark and Jimmy watch.) You know something, C.K.? She's a class act.

Clark: (admiringly) I've always thought so.

Jimmy: I can't believe I was thinking about getting revenge. (remembers, in horror) Lois, don't open...!

Lois: Aaah! (Silly string sprays her as she opens her desk drawer.)

Jimmy: That. Oh, I think I'm about to use one of my sick days. (hurries off)

Clark chuckles.

Fade out: End Credits

Jimmy: Hold the elevator!

Transcript Index

World of Lois & Clark Home

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