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Young Nicky Collins steps into a magical box – and disappears! He’s the latest in a series of kidnappings. All of the victims were children of rich and famous people. After each family paid a substantial ransom, the kidnapper returned their child, but the child remembered little about the experience. Nicky is different – his mother is not rich, but works for the Moskals, who are very rich indeed. The kidnapper took the wrong child! With nowhere to turn, she comes to see Clark Kent to ask for help. Lois and Clark start with a charity magic show, and begin to probe the world of magic for their answers. And like all magic, there just may be some misdirection here...

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x15
Production Number: 455313
Airdate: Sunday January 23rd, 1994

Guest Stars
Ben VereenBen Vereen
As Dr. Andre Novak
Marietta DePrimaMarietta DePrima
As Constance
Eve PlumbEve Plumb
As Rose Collins
Jarrett LennonJarrett Lennon
As Nicky Collins
Stephen BurleighStephen Burleigh
As Mark Moskal
Penn JillettePenn Jillette
As Romick (credit with character name)

Co-Guest Stars
Adrienne HamptonAdrienne Hampton
As Mrs. Moskal
Whitney YoungWhitney Young
As Little Girl
Vince BrocatoVince Brocato
As Florist
Main Cast
Dean CainDean Cain
As Clark Kent/Superman
Episode Notes
The episode name puns on the idiom "delusions of grandeur." An individual whose ambition exceeds his ability or means is said to suffer from delusions of grandeur. This was certainly true here, and the admixture of magic, commonly referred to as illusion, forms the title.

Episode Quotes
Perry White: Jimmy, this is a newspaper, not a checkout rag. The Queen’s pecadillos after a few too many sherries is not my idea of a “good one.”

Clark: Arthur Chow – isn’t he a little... conservative for you?
Cat Grant: He and I have a lot in common.
Lois: You mean those little green pieces of paper with dead presidents on them?

Rose Collins: I work for Mr. and Mrs. Mark Moskul.
Lois: Mark Moskul the developer?
Rose Collins: Yes.
Lois: He’s practically built every other building in Metropolis.
Rose Collins: I take care of the house. Nicky and I live on the estate. He and their son Chris are both eight, and... they always play together, and...
Clark: And... the kidnapper took the wrong kid.

Lois: (reading the ransom note) I have your son. If you want to see him alive again bring five million dollars to Hobbs River Carnival at midnight. Come alone, no authorities, or the boy will be...

Clark: Don’t you remember what Chris Moskul said? He saw a magic box. Maybe there’s a magician involved.
Lois: That is not a lead. That is a desperate cry for help.

Clark: Oh, now I get it!
Lois: Get what?
Clark: Why you don’t like magic!
Lois: Oh, do tell.
Clark: It drives you crazy not to be in on the secret. You always have to know everything about everything.

Lois: Clark... the moon, and the stars. Doesn’t that look like the box the boy described to us?
Clark: It sure does.

Perry White: (repeated line, uttered after a post hypnotic suggestion) That’s brilliant, Olsen!

Clark: After we left the Magic Club I called the box manufacturer. There were only two made to that specific moon and stars design, and they both belonged to Darrin Romick.

Lois: Superman’s been hypnotized?!?

Constance: Things started changing about three months ago. He was rich again! I thought maybe he’d gone back to the gambling, but then he said it was all from some anonymous benefactor.
Lois: Or a series of kidnappings...

Superman: (in a trance, wrecking parking meters) Wrong is right. Wrong is right. Wrong is right...

Television Voice: You are watching... the Magic Channel... You are watching... the Magic Channel...

Nicky Collins: Look! That’s the box I was in!
Lois: Well, at least we know there’s nothing surprising about this trick anymore. (She lifts the lid. Inside is the body of Dr. Novak. She slams the lid before Nicky can see.) Nope! No surprises!

Constance: Someone like... me, for instance, with only the rudimentary knowledge of hypnosis that Dr. Novak taught me, can turn the world upside down, and have even you, Superman, at my whim.

Constance: It’s time to deliver my message. Superman, you will have the honor of activating my satellite. The Magic Channel - a twenty-four hour cable channel going into homes all over the world. And along with the entertainment, they’ll receive my subliminal signals at no extra charge. Anyone who watches will be at my complete disposal!

Lois: All this because nobody wanted to see you pull a rabbit out of a hat?!?
Constance: It was a secret society that wouldn’t let me in.

Jimmy: All this strange behavior by famous people all over the world was linked to Constance. My angle: Great minds sink alike!
Perry White: That’s brilliant, Jummy!
Jimmy: (thinking Perry complemented him because of the post hypnotic suggestion). All right! That’s it! I cannot stand this anymore! I get it, I learned my lesson. If you don’t think it’s a good idea, just say so.
Perry White: What the Sam Hill is he talking about?
Clark: He means, it Jimmy.
Jimmy Olsen: No, you’re just saying that.
Clark: You didn’t even call him “Chief.”
Jimmy Olsen: You mean it?!?
Perry White: Perry White never says anything he doesn’t mean.

Episode Goofs
At the start when they discuss the daily stories Kat walks in dressed in a conservative suit, she picks up a banana peels it as she continues talking the banana is whole again.

Moons and stars are a recurring theme in magical decorations. The idea that a magical box might be decorated with such things isn’t a very useful description.

Presumably the kidnapper employed the magical box approach for the seven previous kidnappings. One must one wonder why the police would not warn parents so that they could warn their children. It’s certainly difficult to keep children out of trouble, but considering the possible consequences of a kidnapping, one hopes that parents would sternly warn children against investigating mysterious boxes – there’s a big difference between misbehavior and becoming a kidnapping victim. Yet there was no evidence that either Nicky Collins or Chris Moskal were in the slightest concerned about the box they found.

This episode turns on a commonly held piece of misinformation. It is generally regarded as impossible to force a hypnotized subject to do anything that subject would not do without hypnosis, including (for example) gross violations of the subject’s moral code. Thus, hypnotizing someone to commit a murder when they would never consciously do so is generally believed impossible. Of course, in comic books all sorts of impossible occurrences are not only possible, but commonplace. But usually they have magical, psionic, or pseudo-scientific explanations; in this episode, the villain used quite ordinary hypnosis. Had the villain had some device (something as simple as a disc of flashing lights) that represented a “breakthrough” in hypnosis, the episode would have been more like a typical comic book story.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorJerry Siegel  |  Joe Shuster
DeveloperDeborah Joy LeVine
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