Morgan Edge has been around long enough to get retconned a few times, the fate of any comic book character with more than a few appearances over the years. He’s even been retconned within the Arrowverse, being originally played by a different actor over on Supergirl (ah, the rewrite opportunities from Crisis). While he’s often a bad guy, he’s usually one of the wealthy, corrupt, questionable ties type. Superman and Lois, as they have with so many other things, went in their own direction with a completely different story. After his big reveal last episode, we get to learn a lot more about him in “O Mother, Where Are Thou?”
Following up on the big reveal that Edge is actually an undercover Kryptonian, we learn that his real name is Tal-Ro, an odd choice since the Kryptonian deity we hear about the most is Rao, and seems to be pronounced similarly. At any rate, Tal did not have the warm welcome to Earth the Kents gave baby Kal, and Tal wants to take over the world by replacing humans with Kryptonian consciousnesses. Kind of like a planet-wide possession plan, except somehow a Kryptonian mind gives people their powers as well, which I don’t quite understand. Edge and Superman disagree about the future of the world and get into a big fight after Edge makes another shocking revelation. While this happens, Sara argues with Lana about what’s going on with Kyle, and then storms out in a teenage huff. Kyle shows up at the end of this, and he and Lana start talking, making her miss an urgent call from Lois.
The Kent farm has been thoroughly occupied by DOD troops in the wake of recent events. When Lois shares her worries about not being able to reach Lana, General Lane sends troops to check on her. Apparently, we’re completely ignoring that whole “US soldiers can’t operate on domestic soil” thing. A shell-shocked Clark returns home and shares the news about Morgan Edge. The family is stunned, but rallies behind Clark and sends him off to handle things, saying they can take care of themselves and have a lot of backup. It’s another great family moment that the show does so well and so believably. Going to the Fortress to consult with Jor-El, we learn that Edge’s claims are possible and get a name for the device holding all these Kryptonian consciousnesses: the Eradicator.
The Eradicator has a complicated history in DC Comics. Following the Death of Superman story, four new characters showed up to try and carry on for the fallen Man of Steel. One of them seemed to most closely embody Kal-El’s alien heritage, and was eventually called the Eradicator. This was an alien AI merged with a human body. The Eradicator, over the course of time, wandered back and forth from vigilante on the rough edge of being a hero to outright villain. Now, it seems to be the Kryptonian version of the Cloud, storing minds instead of data. Or as data, I guess.
Jonathan and Jordan talk about the seemingly never-ending stream of craziness in their lives, and Jonathan shares what he learned about John Henry Irons’ Earth. Lois overhears the conversation and concerns, and emphasizes the importance of family. This is about when General Lane sticks his head in to say they’ve managed to locate Kyle. While Sam and Lois Lane prepare to go hunting, we see Lana trying to get some answers from Kyle as they confront each other about secrets. Kyle’s motivations for going to Morgan Edge were believable, and I felt sorry for him. Then we get to see how much of a badass Lois is. Knowing what Kyle has become, she goes in to try and save Lana. When Super-Kyle turns on them, Lois punches him out with essentially Kryptonite brass knuckles. I mean, she’s probably wanted to deck Kyle since she met him, but now she has the perfect excuse. The soldiers secure Kyle, and we find out the Cushing-Lang daughters are safe, at least.
Between them, Clark, Lois, and Lana brainstorm some ideas about what to do next, eventually arriving at the suspect name of Dabney Donovan. In the comics, Donovan is a mad scientist connected to the always questionable Project Cadmus. While Lana plays the popular superhero game of self-blame, General Lane uses some “enhanced interrogation techniques” on Kyle to get more information about Donovan. At the diner everyone seems to hang out in, the Kent boys and Sara have a talk. Jonathan tells Sara some of what’s going on, and explains how the current mess, at least, isn’t her father’s fault, no matter how he’s acting. Or her mother’s, for that matter.
Lana is awash in self-blame on the Kent couch, while Lois and Clark mull over what Edge is up to. Lois comes up with a disturbing idea about the same time Clark hears they’ve found Donovan. This leads to Lois covering for her husband so that Superman can make a very dramatic entrance to Donovan’s lab. Donovan seems overawed by Superman’s sudden appearance, and makes no effort at all to resist. Smart plan. Apparently cooperative, Donovan tells them there’s no way to undo the machine’s process as far as he knows. They need the inventor to try this, who just happens to be Kal-El’s mother. After Lana gets surprised at seeing Superman in real life, the team works out that they need a host for Lara’s consciousness in order to work on the machine. Lana immediately volunteers to do it, and makes an impassioned plea as to why it should be her.
Jonathan and Jordan argue with a poor soldier about getting Sara in to see her dad. General Lane comes by to tell them to knock it off, but Jonathan schools him in another of those ever-popular “teens know better than adults” scenes, although Jonathan does make some good points. The visit doesn’t go well, and possessed Kyle is even more of a jerk than regular Kyle, which is impressive. While Super-Kyle threatens kids, Lois and Superman talk about Lana’s choice, which Lois supports. Superman ends up having a talk with Lana, and she gets to meet her idol and be complimented by him. She then goes through the process, which works, so Kal-El’s mother is now hanging out in his ex-girlfriend’s body. This therapy-inducing situation is ignored, and the returned Lara proves to be one of these people who seems too good to be true. She sets about trying to solve all the problems plaguing Smallville, while catching up with her son.
Back at the diner, the Kent sons bicker a bit, and then Jonathan goes back to try and comfort Sara about her dad. Jordan is a good kid, but not perfect, and lets Sara jump to at least one mistaken conclusion. Overall, he’s very supportive and starting to follow in his father’s footsteps as a source of inspiration. While Edge and Leslie realize something important has been taken and move up their time table, Lana/Lara (no, that’s not confusing at all) gives a really dumbed down version of how the Eradicator works. We get a few important details, and then Superman hears about more trouble and Lara sends him off with a very mom message.
Superman confronts Edge/Tal again, and each tries to sway the other to his side. We hear more about Edge’s early time on Earth. Sara is oddly accepting of Jordan’s role in the strange events, but then about half the town suddenly shifts to Super-mode and takes off to heed Edge’s call and fight Superman. The Man of Steel comes up with a way to make Lara’s plan work, although General Lane doesn’t like it. There’s a big chase, as opposed to a fight, and then Superman’s plan works and restores the Smallville people to themselves, but somehow doesn’t make them fall out of the sky where they were flying moments ago. It’s an overall, but not complete, victory.
Edge gets away and meets up with his chief henchwoman, who despite being powerful and competent wasn’t in the fight because of reasons that are never explained or touched on. Superman managed to stop the possessed people and bring them back to themselves, but is looking really, really bad as he decides that a point when he has virtually no powers is the ideal time to journey to the artic wastes. Super-Kyle seems to be back to Jerk-Kyle, although he’s nice when we see him, and the last thing we see is ominous vague statements from Edge.
What I Liked: As I’ve said many times, the relationships are very strong on this show. I really like the actual equal partnership between Clark and Lois, which is not an easy thing to achieve. The kids are distinct characters who have strong personalities. Lana also got a chance to shine in this episode, as well as Emmanuelle Chriqui, the actress who plays Lana, getting to play two different characters. It was an interesting spin on the Eradicator. Lois got a few great scenes
What I Didn’t: There are a few holes in this one. As we learn how the Kryptonians body-hopping works, them having their powers makes less sense. There’s also the issue of suddenly de-powering people that are flying, and the awkwardness they chose not to address of Lara being in Lana’s body. Maybe Clark and Lana didn’t date in the Arrowverse? I’m also curious why Leslie wasn’t part of the big fight.
Despite a few flaws, I enjoyed the episode, as I have the series. I’ll give this a high 3.5 out of 5. With a major threat mostly dealt with, I’m curious about how the last third of the season will go.