"The Fall": In Dubai, Superman responds to an emergency at the tallest building in the world, knowing that it is the work of terrorist group Ascension. They unleashed a modern-day monster on the city, and now the tower is beginning
- I can only assume you knew where to look for me because of Lois. You and her, you're close, no? Me, see... not so much.
Synopsis for "The Fall"
In Dubai, Superman responds to an emergency at the tallest building in the world, knowing that it is the work of terrorist group Ascension. They unleashed a modern-day monster on the city, and now the tower is beginning to topple with nearly thirty-six thousand people inside it. Unfortunately, the building's height means he can't just push, or it will snap in two. With time running out before it collapses, he is distracted as the so-called Apollodorus, a ninety-million dollar prototype meant for construction is used to distract him. The device knocks him into the water with only seconds to go, and at that moment, he has an epiphany - he can use the water to create a waterspout, and then freeze it with his freeze breath, so that it holds up the snapped tower long enough to save lives and take care of the Apollodorus.
As he fights the machine, Clark recalls his high-school class with Ms. Swan, where he learned about the real Apollodorus, who had designed the Pantheon, among other things. The architect had been put to death on false charges after criticizing Emperor Hadrian publicly. Like its namesake, Superman tears the device apart, and it is soon lying in ruins on the street.
Later, Clark visits Batman at his home in Gotham City, and finds himself unwittingly acting as guinea-pig for some new technology that his friend has designed. It is a suit that can operate along the full electromagnetic spectrum, sensing how it is being detected, and then compensating for that with appropriate camouflage. This perturbs Clark, who would rather that nobody be able to hide from his exceptional power of sight. Ignoring Clark's concerns, Bruce draws his attention to a troubling message from Ascension that is broadcasting worldwide on every network. The message was designed to knock out the power at any station that played it, but Cyborg managed to neutralize that aspect so that they can see the visuals. The terrorists are all wearing masks resembling British folk hero Ned Ludd, the progenitor of the Luddites, manual laborers who opposed the advance of technology and having their livelihoods taken away by machines. From the imagery that has been used, they determine that the Ascension is intent on going to war with the modern world.
Meanwhile, the chunk of satellite that Clark brought Bruce has yielded little in terms of what made the hand print on it. Bruce has determined, though, that whatever it is has a physiology similar to Clark's, in that its power comes from the sun. The catch, though, is that it is more powerful. That said, Bruce notes that whoever this being is, he is helping Clark fight Ascension.
As he leaves Wayne Manor, Clark receives a call from Lois Lane, who is disappointed that he hasn't yet submitted a story about what happened in Dubai. Clark claims to still be chasing leads - for example, a project her father is working on in the Southwest. She warns that he won't get far with the General, given that he barely talks to her. However, she notes that his letters have been coming from somewhere near the Salt Flats. Meanwhile, she is following a lead on a man who washed up on the coast of Nova Scotia claiming to be a member of Ascension, and who had asked for her by name. As Clark heads for the Salt Flats, he warns Lois to be careful.
To Clark's surprise, he can hear General Lane talking to him as he approaches, somehow already aware of his presence. The General guides Superman to his location, with no shortage of snark. Superman demands to know what is hiding beneath the Salt Flats, but instead of answering him, Sam tells him a story: When Lois was young, he used to read her fables, but for some reason, she had always misunderstood the morals of the stories. One example was the story of two roosters who were fighting for the alpha position. After an hour of battling with each other, a fox appeared, snapped both roosters' necks, and had them for dinner.
Superman, thinking he sees where the story is going, explains that they don't need to fight, but that he will get answers. Smirking, Lane responds that Superman has misinterpreted the moral as well. In this scenario, Superman is both roosters, and this facility is the fox - and then some. Within moments, Superman is surrounded by high-tech weaponry. Lane explains that these things are equipped with black hole lasers. All of these things were designed, he explains, to keep Superman in line. Superman complains that he was lied to by Lane's men about the satellite attack, and Lane responds that regardless, Superman will leave within three seconds, or his men will fire. Superman stands his ground, demanding that he get the answers he wants first.
Meanwhile, Lane's men watch as Superman appears to become aggressive, and fire on him without hearing the order. Angrily, the General decides that while they shot first, they shouldn't risk letting Superman counter-attack, and has them fire again. The pain of the gravity weapons causes Clark to lose control of his power, and his heat-vision begins visibly charging up. Taking this as a threat, Lane orders another attack. Suddenly, though, Lane's own secret weapon leaps up from under ground and stands in the way of the blast, warning that Superman is his to kill.
Meanwhile, Lois is still on her way to Nova Scotia while in a call with one of the doctors looking after the man who was recovered. The man has strange burns on his eyes that have blinded him, and though his bouts of consciousness are rare, each time he wakes, he calls for Lois. The doctor warns that while he didn't have ID on him, he did have something unsettling with him. Her explanation is cut off suddenly, though, when Lois' laptop begins to receive a message from Ascension that was targeted directly at her. Somehow, they cut power to the plane, causing the engines to stop, and they begin to lose altitude.
Elsewhere, Lex Luthor has broken into the room where he had built a scale model of the solar tree he had designed while in high-security prison, locking the warden out. While the warden and his men try to break in, Lex collects parts from his miniature city to build himself a war suit, which he then uses to escape. Though, his escape is not entirely physical. While leaving his physical body in a catatonic state, Lex uploads his consciousness directly into the suit, and declares that it is time for him to save the world.
Appearing in "The Fall"
- Metropolis Armory Ward High-Security Prison
- Gotham City
- Bonneville Salt Flats
Synopsis for "Epilogue"
Batman had created the suit designed to hide itself from Superman before he had known Clark well; when he had been worried about what kind of threat a man of that much power could pose. At times, Bruce has considered destroying the suit, along with all of the other items that he gathered in the event that he would need to bring Clark down, now that he knows him. He never has, though, knowing that Clark himself would be the first to ask him to be sure there was a way to stop him if he ever went bad. That, Bruce knows, is because nobody understands better the threat of power without limits than Clark himself.
Elsewhere, a man claiming to be part of the terrorist group Ascension who washed up injured on the coast of Nova Scotia, wakes from his coma and collects a box he brought with him. From that box, he produces a single crystal that glows with an otherworldly light.
Appearing in "Epilogue"