Reviewed by: Michael Bailey
Originally Aired: May 16, 2023
WRITTEN BY: Kristi Korzec
DIRECTED BY: Stephen Maier
Tyler Hoechlin (Clark Kent/Superman)
Bitsie Tulloch (Lois Lane)
Michael Bishop (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)
Chad L Coleman (Bruno Mannheim)
Daya Vaidya (Peia)
Spence Moore II (Matteo)
Dylan Walsh (General Sam Lane)
Paul Lazenby (Atom-Man/Henry Miller)
Shekhar Paleja (Doctor Aleister Hook)
Ash Lee (Lawyer)
Christian Sloan (Elias Orr)
Rating – 5 (out of 5): This episode did a fantastic job of balancing the two main storylines and not dropping the ball on either of them. It’s not that I was expecting the ball to get dropped, but given the sensitive nature of Lois’ story and that network television doesn’t always treat those stories the way they should be treated I remain impressed that the writers of this show (in this case Kristi Korzec) continue to not only make me cry at least once an episode, but also how right they get what it’s like for someone to have cancer.
It feels weird to write that I’m impressed with that given how serious cancer is and the impact this story has on those that are currently fighting the disease, as well as the loved ones of those people and those that have lost a loved one to cancer.
To be honest, I’m struggling to write about it at all. I mentioned in my review of the first episode of this season that my mother died of cancer when I was 17, but on top of that I have a wife who has several health issues (she has never had cancer, but has had numerous surgeries and had to relearn to walk on three different occasions) and over the course of our two decades together I have had to take care of her and seeing Clark taking care of Lois is bringing up memories I haven’t thought about in years. When Lois and Clark were talking about scars in this episode that really hit home, so this storyline has been so emotional for me on a few levels and if my writing about it is a little weird that’s why.
The sensitivity the episode had towards Lois facing the loss of her breasts was touching. This is something that stories about breast cancer rarely deal with, mainly because it’s uncomfortable. The fact that they dealt with how the loss of her breasts made Lois feel as a woman and her concerns about what it would do to her and Clark’s sex life and the fact that they talked about Lois and Clark’s sex life at all was surprising. Whether or not to have a full or partial mastectomy can be hard for a woman, especially with how pop culture has treated breasts for decades now. The conversation between Lois and Lana was equally as candid and I’m so glad that the show is going into this much detail because it just adds to the realism of the storyline.
I loved the flashbacks. We even got a deep cut when Clark mentions a woman named Simone. Simone D’Neige was a character introduced into Clark’s backstory during Zero Month in 1994. She was a reporter Clark met during his time abroad and she not only served as a mentor to him as a reporter, but it was heavily implied that she…how to put this delicately…gave him every exclusive?
Yeah. That works.
Anyway, any flashback to the early days of this Lois and Clark was welcome.
The Bruno/John Henry confrontation was equally well done. I like how the motivations and actions of both characters mirror each other. While John Henry’s is coming from a more honest place, he did cross a line during this episode. Yeah, Orr and his goons attacking him in the streets of Smallville was bad, but there was no need to kill Henry Miller. Bruno’s actions were equally over the line, but it’s more understandable because he’s the villain. We expect him to send the previously mentioned goons to get John and Henry Miller to kill him, but his motivation is more personal, so it changes how Bruno’s actions are viewed.
I feel bad for Nat and Matteo. They are two kids that are caught up in extreme circumstances that they have no responsibility for or control over. I liked that while they did start to play the blame game that Matteo shut that down quick. It would have been easy to have them defend their parents and have that serves to drive them apart, but that’s not how this show works.
This season just won’t quit in all the right ways. I’m bummed that it’s almost over, but on an emotional level I will probably welcome the break.