Reviewed by: Michael Bailey
Originally Aired: June 21, 2022
WRITTEN BY: Michael Narducci
DIRECTED BY: Sheelin Choksey
Tyler Hoechlin (Clark Kent/Superman)
Bitsie Tulloch (Lois Lane)
Jordan Elsass (Jonathan Kent)
Alex Garfin (Jordan Kent)
Emmanuelle Chriqui (Lana Lang Cushing)
Inde Navarrette (Sarah Cushing)
Wolee Parks (John Henry Irons)
Tayler Buck (Natalie Irons)
Erik Valdez (Kyle Cushing)
Inde Navarrette (Sarah Cortez)
Sofia Hasmik (Chrissy Beppo)
Dylan Walsh (General Sam Lane)
Rya Kihlstedt (Ally Alston)
Joselyn Picard (Sophie Cushing)
Mariana Klaveno (Lara Lor-Van)
Eric Keenleyside (Ex-Mayor George Dean)
Rating – 5 (out of 5): There was a moment in this week’s episode that resonated with me more than just about anything I’ve seen on this show, and it has nothing to do with the plot or the characters or even the show itself. Lana stands before her town and reveals that there are two Earths and that they are merging and that the citizens may see doppelgangers of themselves, or their friends and the town straight up laughs at her. That feeling of explaining something to a crowd that just can’t wrap their heads around what is being said is the exact same feeling I have when I’m explaining something involving the world of Superman (or comics in general) to people that don’t read them. In my head this is all perfectly rational (Superman dated a mermaid in college, for example) but to people that aren’t familiar with the minutia of the Man of Steel it sounds insane.
That made me chuckle a bit.
As a penultimate episode of a television series this episode ticked all of the boxes. The stakes were raised even higher and there are changes in the character dynamics that are going to have lasting consequences for those involved. There was some great super action and some emotional beats that tugged at the heartstrings.
This show just doesn’t let up on these things.
Clark dealing with the loss of his powers was handled perfectly. Readers of the comics have seen this from time to time, but outside of “The Green, Green Glow of Home” from the first season of LOIS AND CLARK: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN I don’t think I’ve seen it presented as well in live action or animation as they did during this episode. It wasn’t just Tyler’s performance and the fact that you could see the guilt and even fear that he was feeling. It was how Lois came to his rescue towards the end and the pep talk she gave that allowed him to put on the costume and march into the gymnasium to tell the town that everything Lana told them was the truth.
On a more personal note, watching him have trouble going up the stairs felt very real. I’ve had moments where one or both of my parents were ill and there’s that scary feeling of seeing them so vulnerable. It hit me pretty hard.
(Side note: The scene where Superman addressed the people of Smallville reinforced for me why Tyler is so good in this role. Playing Superman isn’t just about looking good in the suit. The actor has to embody a certain level of confidence that comes off as either charming or reassuring rather than being off putting. Tyler just nails the tone every time he has to have one of these scenes where Superman has to talk to the public.)
Lana continues to have a lot to do in this story and I am here for it. Watching her stumble while telling the people of Smallville what was actually going on and then, with an assist from Superman, managing to convince them that what she says is true and that everyone is doing everything they can made her more real to me as a character. Likewise, the conversations she has with Sarah about Jonathan’s powers and Kyle about how she is feeling overwhelmed were also great and between the writing and the performance you saw how Lana realized why the two most important men in her life lied to her. It doesn’t excuse Kyle cheating on her nor does it, to a much lesser extent, excuse Clark for not coming clean years ago, but you could see how a secret that causes a person to lie can take on a life of its own. It was so organic and didn’t feel forced.
Sarah being mad, by the way, is totally fair. I mean, she doesn’t realize, as Lana said, the full ramifications of what telling her about Jordan means because telling her about Jordan reveals Clark’s identity as well, but her anger was justified. Her father lied to her and that was hard to deal with and tore her family apart. Now her mother was keeping something from her that involved decisions Sarah made about her relationship with Jordan. That’s a lot and I felt for Sarah in that scene.
The fight with Bizarro Jon and Lana was great and it’s nice to see Nat stepping up more in the hero role. She and Jordan worked well together. And man did I feel bad for Jordan. He got smacked around pretty good in this episode, but he kept pushing. I also felt bad for our Jon because you could see how helpless he felt. And Nat staying with the Kents at the end just ripped my heart out in all the right ways.
I liked the cliffhanger from last season’s second to last episode but this one did exactly what it should have done and cranked up the tension to eleven.
One more episode. On one hand I can’t wait to see it. On the other I really don’t want this season to end. Such is the life of a fan of a television show.