Superman and Lois: The Eradicator

Teamwork for the Men of Steel

The first season of Superman and Lois has been an unqualified success. The show was renewed very early, and has gotten rave reviews from fans and critics (me among them). Even people who say they’ve never really liked Superman have been won over by the top-notch acting, writing, and characterizations. With the season almost over, Morgan Edge is still on the loose, and our assorted good guys have a lot of work left to do as they seek “The Eradicator.”

The episode starts with roughly what we saw last time, Morgan Edge/Tal Rho floating in space and soaking up power from the sun while hearing voices. Because what could ever go wrong with vast amounts of power and hallucinating? Apparently he hangs out there for a while, as the next thing we see is a title card for three weeks later at the Kent farm. Jordan wants to go visit Sarah, and Lois asks about her parents being around. It’s actually a fairly normal scene, which must be a nice change of pace for everyone. Jonathan bows out of playing chaperone, which is a horrible spot to put someone’s brother in, because he wants to spend more time learning from John Henry Irons. Clark is surprised to learn something about the Cushings, which leads to he and Lois talking about the economic hard times Smallville is going through. While it’s coming from the recent Kryptonian incursion, it’s a problem many towns are facing.

Their domestic near-normalcy gets interrupted by a call from General Sam Lane. The man is very upset about an article Chrissy published about the DOD’s ongoing presence in Smallville. This leads to what seems like the newest version of an ongoing fight between Lois and Sam about the choices he makes. While I frequently end up disagreeing with Sam, I really do feel bad for him this time around. Clark goes to visit Lana, and there’s some amusing joking around between two old friends before getting to the more serious reason for his visit. Lana laments the changes in Smallville recently, and gives some more bad news to Clark. Nearby, Jordan and Sarah are talking, and he has one of his first secret identity screw ups, which is impressive since he doesn’t actually have a secret identity yet. Sarah offers Jordan some reassurance, and a kiss, and then there’s a scene most people with a younger sibling can probably relate to in some fashion.

Jonathan goes out to the barn to visit their guest/weapons designer. He and Irons banter about the right use of tools, and we get the sense Jonathan has been out here a lot. It makes sense, really. Irons built a weapons suit that can stand up to a Kryptonian, and Jonathan recently found himself helpless in a similar situation. Why wouldn’t he want to learn more from the man making such powerful weapons? After a few minutes, Irons shoos Jonathan away. I guess he can only tolerate so many questions. Lois goes to work, another rarity in the Arrowverse, and gets more bad news. Again, they have incorporated real world events and trends for a new storyline that is going to cause Lois some problems at the very least. Later, Lois and Clark go to a big town meeting and reflect on the changes that have taken place.

The Cushings discuss possibly having to move, and Kyle says some very nice things. Again, this kind of characterization for secondary characters doesn’t happen often, and it’s great they take the time to do this. At the diner, Sarah and the Kent boys talk about what’s been happening, and the ostracism Sarah’s family has been dealing with. Some of the school jocks come in and invite the boys to a party, snubbing Sarah pretty blatantly. She’s actually very understanding about this, and leaves to spend time with her sister. Sam helps run the town meeting, getting a lot of hostile questions from the citizenry. He’s really in a no-win situation, as he needs to keep some classified matters secret, which doesn’t help anyone trust him. Clark tries to help, but no one is really in the mood to listen, until Lois steps in and violates all kinds of rules and laws about classified material. This helps for a while, until someone we’ve seen before shows up with new accusations.

Since almost everyone is at the town meeting, Kyle goes to clean out his locker and finally hears something good from a coworker. Leslie Larr gets an unexpected visitor in her cell, and things go badly for the DOD. The town meeting descends further into chaos, and then Sam gets called away, which looks a lot like a dodge even though it’s legitimate. Lois, Sam, and Superman, joined by Steel, try and figure out what the bad guys are up to and why they’ve turned up in Metropolis. Superman is beginning to put the pieces together, and not liking the answers he’s getting. Jonathan and Jordan engage in some normal teenage behavior, going to an unsupervised party full of high school kids. Jonathan bumps into someone he parted from on bad terms who wants to talk.

The Cushings get home and go through an emotional roller coaster in a few moments. Kyle and Lana go to share some news with the kids, and Sarah is far from happy. She lashes out as only a teenage girl can, scoring some ugly points on both parents before storming away. Leslie Larr keeps Superman occupied in Metropolis, tries to give Steel an out, and then shows that things are more complicated than they first looked. The fight rages on through and above the city, as Superman and Steel face more opponents than they counted on at first, and Steel takes enough of a beating that he loses some of his weapons systems. In notionally safer surroundings, Jonathan goes off for a talk and gets something of an explanation and apology. We get a reference to Central City, home of the Flash, and then word gets around about the fight in Metropolis and the teens gather around the tv to see for themselves what’s going on.

In Metropolis, Lois gets to WGBS and links up with a camerawoman. Lois goes on the air to report on the attack on Metropolis, as Leslie Larr zooms off to cause more destruction, and Steel keeps fighting at a disadvantage. At home, Kyle sees the reports, while Jonathan gets a shock that hits him hard, calling to mind something he saw about the Earth John Henry Irons came from. Steel takes a big gamble to prevent certain events from repeating themselves, and fights with more energy. Steel and Superman meet up to finally confront Morgan Edge and get a big surprise, while Sarah turns to Jordan as they watch the news to compliment Lois.

Sam has gotten some disturbing news about one of his other responsibilities, while Sarah and Jordan go through some teen drama that, while a bit cliché, is still well written and acted. The party gets broken up in a very unusual fashion when General Lane stalks in, on a mission and not wanting to hear any talk from the kids. Someone asks him a dumb question, which Sam gives a great answer to, and Jordan at least has the presence of mind to ask a small favor. Back in the city, Superman demands answers from Leslie, who remains smug and annoying.

General Lane can’t catch a break tonight, and gets a nasty surprise when one of the loose ends from earlier turns up. Things go badly for everyone on the good guys’ side, but there’s a brief view showing that Jordan really cares for Sarah and that he’s willing to risk a lot to protect her. Things get desperate as Jonathan steps up to do something Sam can’t anymore, which doesn’t work out well through no fault of Jonathan’s. The peril gets worse, Jordan manages to get Sarah out of danger, and then one of the boys gets taken. Everyone gets increasingly frantic as things get much worse for the good guys, and the show ends with someone in a lot of trouble.

What I liked: Just about everything. The writing and acting remain fantastic. Sam Lane’s dilemma is very realistic and makes me feel bad for him. They work in several good subplots that could be from almost any small town in these complicated times. Jonathan and Jordan continue to impress me as great kids working on becoming impressive young men. I really enjoy the screen time they give to the Cushings. The big fight in Metropolis was really well done, and Steel is really coming in to his own as a hero. The party scene was fun on many levels, and I’m willing to possibly give Tegan another chance.

What I didn’t: Very little. I almost feel like too much is hitting Smallville at once, but that’s really just life these days.

We have one more episode to go, and a lot to resolve. It should be a really impressive finale. I’ll give this a high 4.5 out of 5. I’m consistently impressed with this series and everything attached to it.