Since the first time Tyler Hoechlin showed up on Supergirl playing her more famous cousin, I was impressed. He embodies the goodness of Superman without being cheesy or cliché, and avoids the weird need to darken the character the recent movies seem obsessed with. They took that quality and filled an entire show around him that’s equally impressive. Superman and Lois (and I love she gets billing in the title) has been telling a great story since the titular characters left their usual home of Metropolis and relocated to Smallville. The story takes some unexpected turns, which they’ve also excelled at, in “Loyal Subjekts.”
Several times in the episode we see Leslie Larr escorting someone to Morgan Edge’s office, and they slip in a few misdirects as to who this is. After this set up, we see the Smallville Gazette, where Crissy and Lois are hard at work trying to figure out what Morgan Edge is up to. They are digging in with their investigation, make several good choices, and are smart enough to bring in Clark who, aside from being the Man of Steel, is an accomplished reporter and investigator. Crissy is also mature enough to know that this is something Lois is a lot better at than she is, and so the owner/editor turns the investigation over to her newest hire.
Edge himself is conducting an interview with Emily, Lana’s friend who is the newest recruit for the “leadership program.” Whatever else he might be, Edge is a master manipulator and pulls out the charm and some subtle undermining to get her to sign up. At the Kent farm, where no one ever seems to do any farm-related work, Lois and Clark combine figuring out their next steps with getting the boys ready for school and teasing Jordan about the time he’s spending with Sarah. Lois leaves right after them to meet Lana, and urges Clark to use his reputation and influence as Martha’s son to sway people away from Edge. Crissy, Lois, and Lana share some more information before going their separate ways.
At about the same time, the Kent boys get off the bus at school and Kyle drops Sarah off. There are some awkward moments with the boys and Kyle, while Sarah looks like she’d rather be anywhere else. Jonathan and Jordan get in another bit of brotherly banter that the show does so well before they head off for class. Clark manages to “accidentally” run into Emily and try to learn more about Edge’s program. Then, courtesy of his super-senses, Superman rushes to intervene in a heavily armed bank robbery down in Mexico (which seems like a long way to go for a crime that, while serious, isn’t a huge event). This is when he learns that his exposure to the DOD’s experimental weapons last episode is apparently having some lingering effects. He manages to recover and even display his language skills before taking off. Lois and Crissy talk some more before Lois goes for what really seems to be another pointless confrontation with Edge. All that really happens here is she looks like she’s losing it, and Edge gets to make some threats about his current project.
Back at the farm, Clark deals with the aftermath of his encounter with the bank robbers, and Lois is shocked to see what’s happened to him. They discuss what might have caused this, and Lois agrees to make a call. In the school auditorium, Sarah and Jordan bond over music. It’s a nice scene that gets interrupted by the sudden manifestation of a new power problem. Jordan makes an excuse and hurriedly runs out, but is smart enough to call his dad for help. Regrouping at the farm, Lois, Clark, and Jordan try and piece together what’s happening to both of the men, not liking the answers they come up with. Lois is coldly furious at her father, who has arrived to try and help sort things out. At the school, Sarah is getting worried and Jonathan is very much out of the loop, although he does his best to both reassure Sarah and cover for his brother. Jonathan really is an amazing kid, and is handling the extraordinary demands life has been making of him recently remarkably well. He also, despite his protests, might have some powers of his own, since that broken arm of his seems to have healed remarkably quickly.
Lana tries to pump Emily for some information about Edge’s program, and gets nowhere, especially after a misunderstanding gets cleared up. It seems like she may have overplayed her hand, since Lana gets called into Edge’s office just after this. We then get another flashback to the sequence of someone being brought to Edge for a recruitment talk. At the farm, we see that Jordan’s new power is manifesting really oddly, and making things uncomfortable for the people around him. Jonathan turns up with some questions, and Jordan tries to do something rash but understandable. Fortunately, Clark is on hand to stop him. Lois and Clark try to reassure Jonathan, but Jordan’s symptoms are not helping, either by their nature or their timing. As things get worse, Clark decides he’s not waiting for Sam Lane anymore and takes action. In the aftermath of this, Lois has a very intense conversation with her father, while Clark sort of talks to his about Jordan.
As Jordan undergoes a very painful treatment, Jonathan and Lois have a talk. She’s very much blaming herself for a lot of things, and Jonathan is trying to point out that it’s not her fault. While the Kents worry, the big school recital is happening and Sarah is not handling her accompanist’s absence well. She gets some last-minute help and does an impressive job. Inde Navarrette, who plays Sarah, has a great voice. Not happy with a lot of developments, Jonathan goes out to the porch where his grandfather is, and gives the general a piece of his mind.
Things start taking a turn when Emily suddenly leaves in the middle of her daughter’s performance. Kyle, frowning, follows to see what she’s up to, leaving Sarah and Lana to celebrate Sarah’s performance. When the news runs a story about Superman’s visit to Mexico, Edge and Leslie set an attack in motion. Jordan finishes his treatment and he and Clark take a minute. General Lane, banished to his car, checks in with work and then sees something that worries him. Events pick up when Lois gets both a call and an unexpected visitor.
There’s a multipart fight involving many of the characters, which includes, among other things, property damage to the house and barn, an unexpected reveal, new weapons and a chance at redemption, and someone showing they have something they shouldn’t, as well as a well-timed arrival. Jordan and Clark also get a moment to compare the effects of something that does bad things to them. After the big fight, Lois and Sam patch things up a bit amid dire predictions, and the boys compare notes, banter, and try and explain something kind of unique.
Usually this would be a winding down point, but they instead turn things up during the last few scenes. Kyle has a very intense conversation with Lana, although he seems to have made a quick visit to a tailor since we last saw him. Now that we pretty much know who it was, we finally see Edge’s meeting with someone they’ve hinted at throughout the episode. Crissy calls Lois with some new information, although some of it really doesn’t make any sense. Then, just to end on a really surprising note, Clark gets called away from talking to Lois by a special signal, exchanges a few threats with someone, and then gets two big surprises in succession.
What I liked: I keep mentioning this, but the writing and acting are great on this show. There are believable relationships, especially between family members. They work several surprising reveals into this episode, and the vast majority of them work. I felt bad that Jonathan was left out of a few things, but the way it spun out made perfect sense. I don’t agree with a lot of Sam Lane’s decisions, but I see where he’s coming from on most of it. Jordan’s ongoing problems are being shown in a creative way, and I like some of the bits they did with that this episode.
What I didn’t: I feel bad for Sarah with the way some things are developing, and I don’t like what seems like a somewhat contrived effort to make things worse for her. At least some of Crissy’s information didn’t make a lot of sense. There should have been some after effects from the big fight that didn’t happen, and Jonathan’s arm seems to have speed-healed.
I’m very much enjoying this show, and looking forward to seeing how they deal with the last few revelations. I’ll give this one a 3.5 out of 5.