Reviewed by: Neal Bailey
Premiered: August 10, 2021
Written by: Max Cunningham & Brent Fletcher
Directed by: Alexandra La Roche
It seems like two creative impulses drove this episode. The first, that arbitrary drama push the worst episodes of the series thus far labored under, and the second the keen character insight and craft of the better episodes. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it had been goofed with a lot in the writing, or that two distinct personalities warred over what the episode “was.” We can’t know, but that’s how it feels.
I say this because it’s hard to imagine the same person who decided that it makes sense for a military to occupy a town for a month and have Lois and Clark defend it would have the talent required to make that subtle quiet moment where Derek’s Mom calls Lois to task for not understanding what losing a child means as a character moment.
Ridiculous premises couple with beneficial character moments and good action sequences to make, well, what? A show, certainly, but the final analysis of that will have to come out through the writing here, so let’s get to it.
There was an inadvertently funny moment at the beginning of the episode, when Morgan is sitting there on the cusp of the sun (for three weeks, apparently, jeeze). He hears voices in his head, and they’re very on the nose. “YOU ARE THE ERADICATOR!” “BE THE ERADICATOR!”
Like, I mean, come on, guys, he flew to the sun, he’s agreed to do it, show a little faith, huh?
(I know, it’s programming, but still, it’s unintentionally funny.)
The thing that went through my internet-addled head, though, was “So you’re telling me even when I’m dying, I gotta hear ads for what I want and who I should be?”
JASON AND THE HARDWARENAUTS
“Teague” Hardware closing is a deep cut, man. A deeeeeeep cut. Pretty cool. Somewhere Jensen Ackles has his hackles ackled.
IT CAN HAPPEN HERE
Let’s talk a little bit about the DoD and their continued presence in Smallville, shall we? Firstly, what is their purpose? To protect the populace? Nothing a human army can do is even remotely comparable to what Superman does. It makes no sense.
“But the technology!”
Superman can bring any technology to Smallville, and we humans now have the ability to communicate via satellite. Instantaneously. They’re called cellular phones, and I am told by every show on the air that you can just stick a tiny dot in your ear and hear another person speak, the technology is so advanced.
The idea they’re trying to sell, I suppose, is that boots on the ground are good to stop, say, a Morgan Edge, or a Leslie Larr. And yet, not once in this show has it been shown that those boots on the ground have done a single thing to mitigate a single Kryptonian act that I can recall. The tech has helped, but the tech requires no ground presence at all.
The problem with this, thereby, is that it means that they’re just there so Sam Lane can be present in the show, which is a Bad Reason, and it then makes no sense to make Clark and Lois both continual advocates for a fascist occupation.
It’s vastly out of character, it’s ridiculous in the face of current politics, and to set it as a premise in a show like this makes Frank Miller’s Superman looks relatively anti-authoritarian by contrast, and that boy was a stooge designed to look like Reagan for a reason.
SHOULD I CAMP OR SHOULD I GO?
The opening scene once again has the “You can’t go hang with murder camper guy!” that immediately switches to “Oh it makes total sense to hang with murder camper guy!” dilemma.
Not that this is not actually a dilemma. A teenager shouldn’t be around murder campers, and no reasonable adult would allow it, this much is obvious—especially after said camper almost murdered the boy, recall, setting off a bout of unexpected THERAPY.
But the show NEEDS him to pal with John Henry, so it just says “Well, okay, it must make sense.” and we’re supposed to buy it because it is said, not because it follows.
HYPERBOLE? I DONNA THINK THAT WORDS MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS
Clark, who, recall, the show crafted a whole episode around how bad it is to listen in on people outside of an emergency, listens in on Sam Lane because Sam is lightly frustrated about something. Bird memory plot, and a bad reason to get them together, but it happens.
We learn Sam Lane has, of course, instantaneously gone from “I have total faith in you, Superman, and I’ll never doubt you again!” kindly grandfather guy, right back to “I HAS A DUTY TO MY COUNTRY, M’DUDES!” soldier guy.
This is unsurprising. I just wish it had a catalyst greater than “Oooh, youse lousy free speech press types, telling the people the truth that in no way stops me from doing my job!”
And then, to have Lois Lane be like “I know, man, Beppo’s totally out of line.” is also a weird as hell move. She does pussyfoot a little by suggesting that maybe, you know, Sam should tell the people about Morgan Edge. And later she does tell the people herself, to her credit.
That’s not the problem, though. The problem is suggesting that Lois Lane, Lois fricking Lane, would ever be party to allowing an occupying military force to cover up a lie without reason, and chastise a reporter for trying.
And there is no reason, really. No one is being saved from panic by a lie about any potential threat. There are very specific story instances where that can make sense, but one is NOT when the military in question can do absolutely nothing to stop that threat. What’s the logic here?
Imagine, say, you’re a guy named Jason Teague living in Metropolis. Your store is closing, you’re upset. Grandma just turned into a Kryptonian and flew up and shot laser beams at a giant egg and fought Superman. The price of a rack of nails is down. You can’t keep bleach on your shelves without putting a sign on it telling people not to inject it. Things are WEIRD, man.
You pick up the newspaper, because you’re the last human being on Earth that reads a newspaper instead of the internet, which is apparently common in Smallville, and you read the headline: MORGAN EDGE AT LARGE.
Sam Lane and this show would have you believe that Jason would scream in fear, throw the paper down, run out into the street, grab a rock, break a storefront window, and start the prequel to The Postman. Or The Road. Or Planet of the Apes. Take your pick.
But that’s not how people work, even in trying times.
There are two ways that logic plays out. One, we choose to believe that the world will crash down into chaos the minute anyone hears anything that disturbs them, which is a WEIRD hot take that doesn’t comport with reality. The other is that information and an informed populace is a safer, more “informed” populace, that can actually help the military, if its cause is just. And that, oddly enough, comports with reality.
There is information that is classified to protect people, like who assets are and where our soldiers are. And then there’s “We have not yet defeated Osama Bin Laden.” which doesn’t make wigs fly off or cause chaos at all.
Lois wouldn’t side with that noise. Neither would Clark.
Even within the show’s OWN logic, it makes no sense, because after declaring that the people CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH, they then show the town going rabble rabble rabble with their pitchforks, and the worst it gets is a group of angry Karens with signs and “Well I never!” Darrens in an auditorium asking slightly pointed reasonable questions.
OH THE HUMANITY!
And then they find out that Morgan Edge is still at large, and everyone is totally cool. The only thing that really happens is they hear a window breaking out back and someone screaming “DAMMIT, JASON, I DONE TOLD YOU, THIS AIN’T THE BEGINNING OF THE POSTMAN. OR THE ROAD. OR PLANET OF THE APES. NO. NO. YOU DAD GUM HOOLIGAN! NO WONDER YOUR STORE CLOSED.”
And then a quiet, sad “I put up the bleach sign.”
And a hand quietly clapping a back going “I know you did, son, I know you did. It’s been a hard year. We’re all here for you.”
“She called us an occupying force!” Sam Lane huffs of Beppo-Not-The-Monkey, from his COMMAND TENT in the middle of MAIN STREET, as SOLDIERS walk in and out with varying assorted weaponry and intel.
My EMPHASIS is for YOUR BENEFIT.
“I thought that might be a little hyperbolic,” Clark Kent, journalist of the same bent as Lois Lane, then actually utters from his blasphemous reporter lips.
What, then, is an occupying force, I am inclined to ask? Have we lost the thread that much as a people, that in a story we don’t realize that military soldiers in a city that don’t need to be there are an occupying force? Asking for my friend who spent a summer hearing gunshots and helicopters while his city was occupied last summer over the right to protest and watched that occupying force shove small women to the ground and beat them as they were dispersing.
I lied. It wasn’t a friend. That was me, and it’s most of why I moved to Canada.
Our country is plagued with occupying forces, and if we keep normalizing it, more people will die. Note the MORE. Because too many people have died.
Superman shouldn’t truck with that noise. Nor Lois.
OBLIGATORY SNYDER BASHING THAT IS IN NO WAY SARCASTIC AND UNMEANT
I don’t really have anything in this review that relates to Man of Steel, but since it has been whined that I do it so much, it seems to others that I am legally obligated to take a shot at the movie in every Superman & Lois review, I figured this would be my key opportunity to point out how very wrong and moronic that perspective is.
If you thought I was going to say what an awful, narcissistic, and terrible movies Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Justice League were, do not expect me to do that, because I don’t need to, it’s self-evident, and I wouldn’t bring my review down to that level.
IT CAN HAPPEN HERE (TOO): THE ARM
Anyway, it is stated that the DoD has been present for a month, and that’s really strange, considering that it’s somehow still football season. The jock boys are wearing their letter shirts in the diner, they’re still drinking brewskis and partying. If it’s been three weeks, that means most of what happened in the latter half of the season was in a one week period.
This baffles me, because then Jonathan’s arm magically healing is a REALLY weird own goal. He broke it, he said something like 8-12 weeks, and then he’s suddenly healed the next week. Okay, fine, TV logic, bird memory. BUT. Did you all then notice that he gets into the car accident that would kill everyone in that vehicle, and then the thing he hurts is… HIS ARM?
Maybe they’re trying to say he hurt his already hurt arm that had healed? But if you roll in an SUV six times, the last thing that’s gonna hurt is your arm. It’ll be more, say, being dead.
DON’T ANYBODY MOVE (CLANA)
There was a scene that I loved until I actually thought about it. Clark goes to see Lana, and they have a pleasant, genuinely heartwarming conversation about their friendship, and you ache for more of it, because there’s a clear history there, the actors have chemistry, and the scene just works.
But if you think at all about the point of the scene, Clark’s want vs. Lana’s want, is that Clark wants to convince Lana to stay, and Lana is set on going, a real flaw emerges.
They took Clark, the man whose entire presence in this show is predicated on the justified choice that it’s sometimes excellent for your family to pick up stakes and move far away when it’s good for your family, and they put him in the position of saying that it’s bad to pick up stakes and move far away when it’s good for your family.
That doesn’t track.
Worse, the adult Cushings have more reason, because they’ve genuinely become (made themselves, he corrected) pariahs. More on that shortly.
SARAH FOR PRESIDENT OF FELLOW KIDS
Sarah’s still my favorite, and her first scene here is why. She’s hanging out on the back porch with Jordan and he’s like, “Oh God, please don’t move!” and Sarah is like, “We’re not moving. My dysfunctional parents are being idiots again. It’s drama.” And Jordan can’t see it, because he has consistent and normal parents (in their character definition, not in this show’s practical execution, he clarified).
This is good writing. Kids cut through the BS. They see things. They get things adults can’t, because adults buy into certain delusions for their own survival. To echo that properly in writing is fine work, and it’s why I see this show as schizophrenic. The same show arguing for fascist occupation has this profound insight here into how kids often have profound insight adults lack.
I was immediately taken back to the year 2000. When Bush the younger “won” his presidency, and everyone was like “Ah, c’mon, give him a chance, it’ll be fine.” My immediate response was “It’s not going to be fine. He’s going to invade Iraq.” And I was treated like a moron by older adults. I was mocked. And then September 11th came and went. And I was like “This is his pretense. He’s going to do it.” And the adults again mocked. The kids all knew. All of my peers were like “Yeah, it’s so obvious.” This is how kids work. They see the curve of things.
It’s why even when I am dubious about younger Twitter and “cancel culture,” I look down the arc of it and its excesses to see a grain of truth, what they’re saying that’s genuinely ahead of its time. There are many many things that older people would be well serviced by seeing in that morass. The problem is, they have lost what to look for.
It comes with the usual dumb crap any generation mistakes for wisdom, but what I’m saying is, there is a secret insight the young have access to that all would benefit to look at, if they can, and Sarah is the lens for that in this show.
Granted, it’s probably being written by older adults, I admit, but the thing is, one of the great ability of writers is putting yourself in the heads of people you aren’t and uttering their words with the clarity of truth. It’s clear someone has a laser that aims for kid insight on this staff.
Sarah getting this, and continuing to get this, is why she’s my Bibbo fav’rit.
Though they DO plan to move by the end of the episode, and though Sarah is distraught because she was “wrong,” I’m betting she’s proven right in the end.
TELL ME THE STORY OF YOUR TRAUMA BUG, JOHN! WAIT, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
The scene with John Henry and Jonathan, despite the ridiculousness of its premise, is also a great scene with a neat duality. There is a story convention where you have to clean the toilet of the great karate master for a year before he teaches you to punch. Then there is the reality that in the United States, a bunch of white people are asking black people to teach them about race and what’s wrong with the way they (white people) do things. This scene marries BOTH of those into a really neat little parallel that’s understated and well done.
It’s strange that this is in the same episode that has such an on-the-nose scene where Kyle makes weird expositional hay about being an advocate for the black female firefighter, where that black female firefighter then uses dialogue to show how Kyle, the white dude who only looks after himself, generally, was so instrumental in helping her make her achievement, though it’s HER achievement.
It’s like the show is trying very hard to do something with the optics of the fact that it’s a show about white people in a white small town, but half of the spark plugs are burned out and it keeps misfiring.
The John Henry scene really worked, the one with the firefighter struck me as inordinately patronizing. Both come from a place of good intentions, but good intentions don’t matter if the end result is your story indicating that a black woman only succeeded because of a white man, and they matter a lot when you point out to a young white man that it’s not a black man’s responsibility to teach them about the things they feel they need to know unless he damn well feels like it. Especially when you don’t realize you’re pointing at the thing that symbolizes his dead relative and going “HEY, COOL STORY, BRO!”
But that it makes us ask these questions and ponder them, even when it fails, is ultimately good.
SELLING OUT IS OUR DUTY TO THE PEOPLE!
Beppo, who, recall, just last episode shamed Lois for her duty to the people, has suddenly decided that her only option is to sell to a multinational corporation. The best, most hilarious part of this is that she says she’s a month away from being “out of the black.”
Take it from a man who’s been in the read for two decades for writing, that will never stop someone who’s doing it for “duty to the people” or “principle” or “why did I put those in parenthesis?” “I don’t know, but it’s too late now.”
One, a corporation would never offer to buy that paper unless it was self-sustaining, and a self-sustaining paper would never need that corporation.
Two, Lois Lane hears this, accepts it as a premise, and doesn’t immediately go “I have a husband who can crush coal into diamonds.” She just goes “Hey, shucks.”
And they do discuss it, yes, she says “What can Superman do, other than rob banks, to help?”
Well, there is no problem to begin with, but if there were said problem, the man can see into solid rock, and find a gold ore nugget the size of a softball, dig it up, and hand it to someone in probably, I dunno, half an hour? There’s that. That’s a thing he could do.
This is drama that ignores the parameters of the world, and it’s bad work.
KYLE CUSHING, THE YOUR DRUNK CONSERVATIVE UNCLE OF KYLE CUSHINGS
Kyle is talking about how he has to move with Lana, and says, quote, “Folks around here kinda forced our hand!”
If there’s a clearer analogue for “It is what it is. What are you blaming me for your dead Gramma for? It’s not like I coulda stopped Covid.” I can’t come up with it.
He’s almost comically oblivious to his own responsibility for his actions, and if there weren’t so many real people like him out there, I’d call this far-fetched. Even five years ago I might have.
But hey, we’re now! OH BOY.
SMALLVILLE CRYSTAL LAKE
I know kids drink. I’m not an idiot. I’m not even against it done responsibly. But the way this show just casually, repeatedly shows the “positive” example kids being like YEAH DUDE LET’S GO TO A RAGER! is cavalier.
And if you’ve ever heard a kid say “TOTALLY HIGH ABVs, DUDE,” tell me, and I’ll call you a drunk liar.
The show has really made a point of showing the bad things that can happen when kids irresponsibly drink, and both Jordan and Sarah have been repeated victims of it. Jordan broke his brother’s arm. Remember?
Why don’t they?
There doesn’t seem much reason to have this scene, or to show the kids being so incredibly dumb and lacking in memory, save to establish Gossip Girl as Jonathan’s new girlfriend. And how weird is that?
“Because it’s what kids do!”
Yeah, but in the month where you broke your brother’s arm (Jordan), or in the month where you made an idiot out of yourself and got in trouble and hurt your brother because booze (Jonathan), you think twice about it, or at least make mention of it.
Sarah just kind of goes along and doesn’t stop them, either, despite her relationship to alcohol.
It’s like sometimes the people who write Sarah get what having an alcoholic relative does to people, and sometimes it’s just completely missed.
The party takes place in the middle of the day, not at night. How many raging keggers have you been to at 4PM? If it’s more than zero, you might have a problem with alcohol. Seek help.
Also of note is that Jordan’s anxiety has completely disappeared again, without the aid of a football boost of confidence, which is unfortunate. I’m beginning to think it’s gone save for plot convenience, which is really a lost opportunity. The same with Sarah’s suicidal ideation.
Regardless, Jason from Crystal Lake would straight up murder all of these kids in a second.
The other really weird part of this is that Jonathan and Gossip Girl turn the corner from adversarial to friendly over the fact that… both moved? Like, this girl pretended to be his friend to get the dish on some gossip, and he rightly told her to bug off, but they share one quality, and they’re back to normal?
“I have legs.” “I too have legs.” “DID WE JUST BECOME BEST FRIENDS?” “YEAH!” “YOU WANT TO GO DO KARATE IN THE BASEMENT?”
I lied. There is a Snyder dig in here. “What’s your mother’s name?” “Lois.” “My mom’s name is Lois too!” “OH MY GOD LET’S GET MARRIED!”
And then Batman and Superman kiss.
Also, what’s with that weird moment where Sarah looks at Jon with Gossip Girl and scowls? That’s an eye-roll, not a scowl. It’s almost like they were looking for jealousy there. I hope that’s not the route they choose. Jon would have zero appeal to Sarah, by my reckoning.
IS THAT PERRY WHITE?
I think it was. Wasn’t it? I wasn’t paying enough attention. I really should have paid more attention. He seems to know Lois, and he’s in Metropolis. I’m going with that he’s Perry White.
If it was, it’s really weird, and I mean, really weird, that he doesn’t deputize her back into the Planet right then and there, especially with the former owner hovering in mid-air thirty feet away and clearly no longer in charge of the paper.
“Lois. We’ve missed you. We want you—”
(the Eradicator’s eyes glow blue)
“—to go straight to hell and never work for us again.”
(through clenched teeth) “The corporate types are always watching, Lois. Always watching.”
SARAH IS RIGHT
Both of her parents are idiots, and she is right to tell them so, and blame them for her pain.
Lana continues to diminish in my estimation (not the writing—her character), when she says a thing like “Do not blame your father for any of this!” and only furthers my contention that she is absolutely complicit in the dysfunction, via silence and inaction and enabling.
If you want a clear assessment of who the Cushing parents are, just listen to them talk about how they like it where they are, it’s where things are most stable (after they change their mind—and when they’ve been inherently and repeatedly unstable), and then they get a phone call where they’re offered some money, and they then choose to move immediately. Because money is more important than existential needs.
That’s Kyle’s theme song, and Lana gladly wears the ring.
Superman and John Henry arrive, assess the situation, and prepare to fight Larr and Ro. Another scene happens, and then we cut back to John Henry and Superman LANDING with a big BOOM.
If you watch, they have moved exactly fifty feet, which means they flew up, then stomped down, just because it was cool.
BEWARE OF LESLIE LARR
Was not as funny a line as it seemed to be in the script, no doubt. It clunked harder than Steel did.
John Henry got a couple clunkers, in fact. When he calls for his hammer and it doesn’t come, for example. We see this visually. He doesn’t need to say “MY HAMMER!” for us to get it.
If we need that much hand-holding, we’re as dumb as the Metropolis citizens who don’t run when people who can shoot fire from their eyes fight.
Exists. And people keep forgetting it conveniently. Superman and John Henry do not bring Kryptonite of any kind, nor any kind of technology save the suit, to aid in their fight with Kryptonians.
This is plot dumb. Parameters are important. It’s not that we need to know why a person can fly, but when and how they can must be known. So too, if you have Kryptonite, which John does, you do not use fists to fight a Kryptonian.
And for that matter, if the DoD is so important, they can hand Superman some of those weapons they made such hay about keeping. It’s a big, glaring flaw in the narrative.
I SEE EVERYTHING TWICE!
Lois Lane, who knows that she has died in an alternate universe where brainwashed Kryptonians appear and decimate Metropolis, goes to the exact same place in the exact same way she died before.
I get that this is supposed to show predestined, and be a neat echo, but it reads as dumb. Perhaps John Henry didn’t show her the video of her death, or describe how it happened, but it’s a really plot dumb thing for Lois, a print reporter, to do. It requires several stupid steps to achieve.
She has to decide that she MUST be an on-camera person to tell people what’s happening. It’s her duty to the people! (In an episode where she was complicit in hiding info from the people, but that was ten full minutes ago, people, come on.)
Then she must then completely ignore the fact that if people want to know what’s happening, they can, I dunno, LOOK! TO THE SKIES! It smacks of narcissism that she thinks she’s the only one that can do it.
There’s also this inadvertently funny beat when Larr appears. Because it’s JUST long enough, after she comes into the frame, that it seems like the camerawoman is just completely ignoring the deadly Kryptonian behind Lois. It makes you wonder what Lois did to make her angry.
I get that it’s the commercial break, so they have to spend a beat too long, and it’s even fair, because the minute they come back she does the ole “HEY LOOK OUT!” but it still made me giggle in a digital format with no commercial breaks.
Grumbling intern camerawoman be like “You got me, Lois? You got me? I GOT YOU!”
I think the worst part of it though, is if you’re going to do this scene, you have to do the John Henry payoff. Don’t do it terribly, do it well. And I know they tried, I too saw the moment where Leslie Larr became Leslie HAMMERFACE HAMMERFACE HAMMERFACE, and that WAS a wonderful moment. But it meant less without John Henry going “Oh God, it’s happening again.” and having his moment of fixing what he failed at before. That’s a HUGE missing piece here.
Instead it was ANOTHER weird clunker line. “I NEVER MISS!”
I mean, John. Buddy. John. I like you. I mean, almost as much as Sarah. You’re a compelling character. So I hate to do this. But, uh, you failed an entire world. That’s kind of why you’re so driven. You missed. You didn’t save Lois. Maybe “This time I didn’t miss.” or “I’ll never miss again.” or even “That one’s for Natalie!” might have worked better.
Or hey, perhaps “I thought I told you not to report on camera on top of any tall buildings in the same way you died in an alternate universe!” But that’s less of a Chubby Rain ending, I admit.
Dynamite. Just a really great, really well done battle scene. I am incredibly impressed with how real and well done it was. Sadly, that’s very little of what I care about in a story, generally, but it deserves to be noted. I’d much rather never see a shark and hear Quint tell me about the Indianapolis. The shark isn’t the point for me.
But this is a pretty, pretty shark.
ONE STAR FOUR STAR CHAPPERONE
While the dudes are chugging like, totally high ABVs, bro, Sam Lane somehow knows where they are and shows up to pick the boys up in person.
This is so he can be there for the following scene, I know, but it also undermines the whole THE DoD MUST BE HERE! Shlock, because if the leader doesn’t have to be there when the supers are fighting, or when the active search for Edge is on, it’s not urgent.
Also, why were the boys not rounded up the moment the fighting started? It doesn’t track.
It’s also very weird to have a scene where I have to side with a drunk jock boy. Sam comes in there, and gets a “Uh, sir, I know we’re being idiots here, but can you please let us know if we’re all going to die?” Sam Lane: “I don’t share confidential information with drunk kids!”
Sure, Sam, yeah, because it’s so much better to leave a group of potentially violent inebriated young men with the impression the world is ending. That’s, uh, so much safer and adult than saying what a leader would. “It’ll be fine, son. Sober up. Join the army. Next time, maybe you can be there to help.”
That fits his perspective.
GEICO MUST REALLY HATE THIS SHOW
The SUV flips with everyone in it, and they all get up and walk away. The physics of the crash is so weird, it works so poorly. They hit Edge head-on, then it turns sideways, and rolls.
It’s a cool flip. It’s a neat stunt. But it’s also incoherent. There’s no reason Edgerad wouldn’t just stop the car, grab Jordan, and run, if that’s what he wanted.
It’s also a really weird thing to have Jonathan shoot the gun. If Sam Lane is so injured he can’t use either trigger finger, he wouldn’t be able to direct the kid.
But the worst thing here is, they have KRYPTONITE. And Sam is like SHOOOOOT HER! SHOOOOOOOOOOT HER!
Dude. Pop the clip, grab the K, and all of you huddle around it. You have a much greater chance of four people physically fighting a weakened Kryptonian than you do of having a Kryptonian not see and dodge a bullet. And if he’s a tactical man, which he’s supposed to be, Sam Lane would get that. A Kryptonite bullet is only good for an unsuspecting target.
Edge in this scene, all logic of it aside, is AWESOME. The dead-eye look. The creepy stare. It’s haunting, and terrifying, and I wish it had better context. I want a book from this show’s art department showing all the concepts and executions. It’s the one consistently flawless part of this show next to the cinematography and the music.
Edge hauls Jordan to the silo where the show started and converts him into Lucius-Ro. It’s an odd choice, a teenager instead of, say, a grown, trained fighter. Arguably it’s to get in Superman’s head, but why Ro instead of, say, Zod? Isn’t Zod the leader?
Also, it’s a weird choice to maybe put a teenager into a fistfight with Superman, but it depends on how they do it, I suppose.
It depends on what they do with it, I’m not actually passing judgment on the choice. The thing that irks me about the end is that Ro turns to his son and says good job, and then the Eradicator, who is NOT Edge, kind of beams like he’s proud Daddy finally approves. Is Edge dead, or not?
It also begs us to wonder why Larr can’t be the Eradicator, if Edge was in charge, but still, I suppose it sets us up for a neat finale.
I’m curious why, if Edgerad has an impenetrable barrier, he doesn’t just blow through Metropolis destroying it. Or, say, imprison Superman.
This is the problem with so many abilities and concepts flying around, you have to work around corners to make excuses for the plot or understand it, and things grow unclear. I should be excited for the stakes being raised here, but instead, we already know the consciousness transfer is impermanent and that Superman and Steel can easily defeat Kryptonians, a lowering of stakes this show, I don’t think, realized it was doing.
So here we are, one week from the end of the season, and the stakes are genuinely lower than they were earlier. Yes, Jordan is at risk, maybe. But before we had a whole town coming for Superman and a tactical genius (apparently) in the form of Edge ready to fight Superman. Instead, all of that is dodged, and we’re going for, I suppose, father vs. son.
Edge’s motives as Eradicator are still unclear, because he could have destroyed Metropolis, he had an impenetrable barrier, but he ran away. He could have stayed hidden and made an army of Kryptonians, but he made four.
It’s clunky, but there were some entertaining bits. The character moments I mention shine, but there’s still a lot of arbitrary drama here.
Rating – 2 out of 5.
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Until next week!