Superman and Lois: Into Oblivion

“Great, I’ve gone from the Fortress of Solitude to the basement of dusty stuff.”

It’s been a rough season for Superman and Lois (and everyone else on the show, for that matter). Bizarro came by, Lois’ estranged sister has been causing problems, there’s a drug scandal, and Kyle’s affair over in the Cushing household. Steel was nearly killed and has been a long time recovering, and Ally Alston and General Anderson have teamed up, which isn’t good news for anyone, possibly on two different worlds. Several of these plots move forward in “Into Oblivion,” which managed to have an ending that surprised me.

There are several flashbacks throughout the episode, showing Natalie from a year ago, fleeing her Earth to find her father. It wasn’t a smooth trip, but the AI finally gets a name: Hedy. Presumably named after Hedy Lamarr, a famous actress from Hollywood’ golden age who was also a genius and prolific inventor. In the present, Nat is helping John recover from his injuries, is less than pleased when Clark and Lois show up, and then all of them get concerned when John has a memory issue. Not taking any chances, Nat insists on some follow ups from the doctors, and doesn’t like Clark’s attempt at reassuring her. I can easily see her point on that one.

In the very strained Cushing house, Kyle comes to pick up Sarah for breakfast, and things are awkward all the way around. Unlike you’d see on many shows, while something really bad has happened between the parents, neither is using the kids against each other, and the adults are at least remaining civil. I applaud the writers for this. Clark and Lois get home, with Clark shouldering more than his share of the responsibility for John getting hurt. Irons is a grown man who can make his own decisions, Clark, and you’re taking away from his heroic actions by blaming yourself. Clark wouldn’t take credit for someone else’s success, so he really shouldn’t be taking the blame for what happened here. The two of them have a very entertaining way of deciding who is taking another crack at getting Jonathan to tell them more about the XK he was caught with. Jonathan learns more of the consequences for his actions, and isn’t happy, and Clark settles the blame squarely on his son’s shoulders. Jonathan is definitely not going enjoy the next few weeks at the very least. Jordan gets some distraction from the family drama when he gets a text from Sarah, asking to talk.

Anderson and Ally compare note, and really is a demented villain team up, made worse by the fact they are absolutely convinced they’re doing the right thing. That’s always the most dangerous kind of villain, or anyone, really. Lois scolds Jonathan a bit more when he starts lapsing into dramatic teenager mode, and then gets called by Chrissy. Ally has called and offered an exclusive, and Chrissy is going, although with a lot better attitude about Ally than the last time they met. As Chrissy gets an ominous ride, Sarah explains what she wanted, and while I can see why it’s important to her, it’s also a big ask. Jordan agrees, in part because he was distracted when his super-hearing picked up a menacing conversation involving Candace, Jonathan’s girlfriend. Jordan finally starts putting some pieces together as he defends Candace, and really, I think everyone involved should have figured this out a while ago. Sam Lane briefs Superman on the lack of success in finding Anderson. They go over Anderson’s impressive arsenal and then find the AWOL General took more than they realized. Speaking of Anderson, he does some of Ally’s dirty work for her, although he at least is conflicted enough to apologize before clearing the way for the group to get into the mines that keep causing so much trouble. When they get through the current crisis, they really should just collapse those mines and seal them.

Sam, Superman, and Lois compare notes on their current crisis, or at least one of them. After a worrisome text from Lucy, Superman takes off to check on her while there is some new tension between Sam and Lois over something he revealed in this scene. Ally’s big scene in the mines goes bad quickly, and even she realizes things aren’t going right. Superman flies to the rescue when Chrissy starts yelling for help, but even he can’t save everyone. Anderson shows that he’s consistent in his trustworthiness, and Chrissy is shaken to learn who made it out. There’s a lot of worry about at least one of the unaccounted for, and then Superman realizes he missed picking up John and Natalie from the hospital. He rushes home to apologize, and while John is fine with it, Natalie really isn’t, and she storms off after delivering a few biting lines. We get another flashback of her time in the escape pod coming to this Earth. Jonathan is doing his version of community service, and Jordan drops by to talk and share his realization. Jonathan pleads with his brother to keep the secret, which puts Jordan in a really bad place. Lana and Kyle meet up so Lana can prepare for one of the upcoming events in her mayoral campaign. Again, it’s great that he’s helping her, and they they’re not just spending all their time screaming at each other.

Ally has recovered from her earlier doubt, and taunts Sam when he tries to get some answers out of her. I really hope that woman gets what’s coming to her, and soon. Leaving the room, Sam talks with Lois and follows in Clark’s footsteps in taking the blame for something that isn’t his fault, or not entirely at least. Things get a bit tense during the debate prep, but Lana really does well with the pressure. While Kyle clearly has his own agenda, he also obviously wants to help her. Clark and John talk over John’s injuries and Natalie’s attitude towards Clark. They get interrupted when Clark’s hearing warns him that someone is in Lucy’s apartment, and he rushes off to find a desperate Lois searching for some clue or hint from her sister. It’s a touching scene, although Superman comforting Lois while in costume is a bit of a risk, especially given Ally’s fondness for hidden recording devices. Superman makes another promise he can’t really keep, and Jonathan finishes up his work for the day and walks Candace home, getting some details from her about her earlier confrontation. Their banter gets interrupted when bad news arrives and displays a very unfair advantage. Jordan is about to keep a very difficult date when his own hearing gives him a warning about impeding disaster. Jordan races off to save the day, reminding me a bit of the Clark from Smallville. An ugly fight ensues, the girl is saved, but as often happens to superheroes, the social life takes a hit. I get why Jordan reached the decision he did at the end of this, but I think he had other options.

Clark makes an effort to reach out to Natalie, and does something very selfless. There are some money issues involved that I’m curious about, but, as usual, the show doesn’t cover that kind of concern. Natalie likes the new suggestion, so there’s that at least. Lois and Sam share a scene about family, failure, and concern, but they get a very welcome interruption as what seems to be some good news finally happens. There’s a big discussion about recent events and some banter about Sam’s activities since leaving the DOD. Kyle finally gets a bit pushy about his own concerns, but it’s low-key and Lana handles it well. Natalie and John go check out something new and make a big decision, which sets off another flashback for Natalie.

Lois and Clark talk about a few good things. When Jonathan gets home, he has to account for his day and Clark again comes down sternly on him. Jonathan gets sent upstairs and Lois cautions Clark about not letting some things linger on too long. The last two scenes are an interesting display of totally different dynamics. In the first, Jonathan and Jordan show their bond as brothers is still doing well despite the recent strain. I really do like how the scenes with the two of them are written, even though I don’t like the current subplot with Jonathan. The second is a different family getting along a lot less well, with an ugly betrayal that’s going to have some long-lasting repercussions.

What I liked: The writing and action continues to impress me on this show. I get why Jonathan is doing what he is, no matter how bad an idea I think it is. Jordan’s big action sequence nicely showed the development of both skill and power. I don’t like what’s happening at the Cushing home, but I do appreciate the adults being mature about things. I really hope Jordan’s missing his meet up doesn’t become a big thing in the future. Natalie’s issues with Clark make sense, and Clark continues to be an amazing guy in ways that have nothing to do with his powers. I understand Sam’s anguish about what’s happened with Lucy, and admire Chrissy’s bravery and tenacity in following her story.

What I didn’t: I’m really sick to death of both Ally and Anderson (although he finally gets addressed by the right rank in this one) and would be very happy to end that story and move on to new challenges. Jonathan, however well-intentioned his silence, needs to realize that nothing is going to get better while he’s keeping Candance’s secret, and that he’s put Jordan in a very difficult position. I felt really bad for several people in that last scene. I’m a bit worried about John’s slip up early in the episode.

This show continues to impress me. I’m giving this a 4 out of 5. I’m very much looking forward to the next episode.