Superman and Lois: Worlds War Bizarre

Clark Kent and his back up metal band.

It’s been a rough second season for Superman and Lois (and pretty much everyone else in Smallville). From a great fake-out that convinced comic fans Doomsday was coming, to the reveal of Bizarro (and he wasn’t even the bad guy), there have been a lot of twists and turns. The writers dug deep in the Superman mythos, putting their own spin on things, and developing characters created for the show, like Jordan and this version of Jonathan Kent, Sarah and Kyle Cushing, and giving Lana a very different role than we’ve seen her various incarnations in before. Now, Ally Alston (a very obscure character in the comics) and her cult have managed to put two worlds in grave danger, and the Man of Steel seems to be out of action. Things are looking grim in “Worlds War Bizarre,” the episode before the season finale.

After a few ominous lead-in scenes, we pick up with Superman in the hospital. Right off the bat, we can see he’s not doing well, because he not only looks terrible, but there’s an IV in his hand. That doesn’t sound like much until you remember that he’s supposed to be bulletproof. Lois is, of course, by his side. Back at the farm, the boys are worried, but their scrolling through their phones stop as Jordan’s hearing picks up the return of Clark and Lois. The kids leave their phones behind (possibly the least realistic part of the show) and we see something is wrong with both phones. Outside, Clark gets out of the truck and he looks frail and human. The boys can see at a glance he’s not well, and everyone is rattled as the man who can fly around the world in moments is having trouble crossing the yard. Clark comes up with an idea about something to try, but it puts some pressure on Jordan, and the poor kid is clearly not ready for this.

The backup plan brings us to the Henry’s garage, where John and Natalie are going over their data, and suits, trying to figure out what to do next. Clark arrives, asks a favor, and even in the midst of a major crisis, takes the time to thank Natalie for saving his life. That, to me, is one of the most Superman things he does in the episode. Natalie shows she’s come a long way in her feelings about the Man of Steel, and Clark asks John for a favor. Elsewhere, Sarah is acting almost like a normal teenager instead of the precocious but impressive young woman she usually is. Lana isn’t having it, and it’s a nice little slice of life, single mother trying to make it scene. Their banter gets interrupted when Sophie calls from the other room about a “scary lady on tv.” Sophie’s quite right, Ally is on tv, and she’s scary. Lana and Sarah are both puzzled as to who this is and why their tv is glitching so badly.

Chrissy and Lois confer at the Gazette, and Chrissy proves to be uncomfortably sharp in what she asks and what she’s deduced about the current crisis. Their discussion gets interrupted by more strange technology glitches, which now extend to office décor as well. At Tal-Rho’s Fortress (I miss the classic one, I really do), Clark is examined by Holo-Lara, and none of the news is good. There might be a solution, but the timeframe isn’t really practical with everything going on. When Clark presses for another answer, she hints at something risky, but we learn that even Kryptonian tech isn’t immune to the strange things happening all over the world. On that front, there’s a new phenomenon in the sky, and we see a lot of characters react to it. This is a really ugly spin on “Look! Up in the sky!”

The Kents, Sam, and Steel regroup at the farm, and share their assorted bad news. John Henry comes up with a new approach, and Sam offers to back him with whatever resources he can. Clark is worried, and feeling the weight of the world on his now-human shoulders. Lois tries to encourage him, and calm the very rattled Jordan. Sam and Lois disagree about what to do about Chrissy, and Lois doesn’t side with her dad this time. As the residents of Smallville grow increasingly unnerved, Kyle and Lana have a talk. She mentions setting up a town hall meeting, and asks Kyle and his team to be there. What she asks him for is something that seems like it should be a police function, but we pretty much never see police or sheriff’s deputies or other law enforcement in Smallville. The only time I can think of it is when Jordan got arrested for trespassing when he was trying to do something nice for Sarah. Even with the whole “Jonathan dealing drugs” story, there was minimal, if any, police presence.

In an extremely long-distance conference call, Steel, Natalie, and Sam try to make sense of the strange readings they’re getting from Steel’s sensors. Clark looks on, worried and powerless, and Sam tries to make him feel better. Sam is using his military outlook for his words, and Clark once again proves Superman is more than powers and a costume. Lana, Chrissy, and Lois have a tense meeting as the newly-elected mayor might be regretting she ever ran for office. Lana has some suspicions about their motives, and Lois makes a surprising decision. Jonathan and Jordan regard their father, and the kids are worried. Their talk ends when Jordan’s hearing proves to be the only warning they get as Bizarro Lana arrives to carry out Ally’s execution order. Lana versus Jordan proves to be a short fight. Clark makes an offer to spare his son’s life, but then the armored cavalry arrives, as Steel and Natalie (she’s going to need a codename) arrive and drive the intruder off. After a hurried discussion including a new deadline, they come up with a new plan. Jordan is feeling overwhelmed, and I can’t blame him. In roughly a year, he’s gone from a high school kid with emotional issues to living up to one of the most intimidating legacies in history, and no real learning period, just thrust in the deep end.

I have praised the show repeatedly for having mature characters who don’t randomly create drama, and for giving time to secondary characters. Both of those traits are displayed well as Lana has a serious talk with Kyle. They have separated, but there’s still respect and affection between them. Kyle has grown a lot since the annoying jerk he was in the first few episodes of season one. Lana uses Kyle as a sounding board, and he shows he’s gained insight and perspective on his own actions. It was a nicely written and acted scene. Lois tries to help Jordan, who is even more rattled in the wake of evil Lana’s attack. Lois then goes to talk to Clark, and gives him a push in the right direction. Poor Lois is spending a lot of time dealing with people who can’t quite handle either their powers or the loss of them.

Lana runs her meeting, and decides on a bold strategy. It doesn’t sit well with a lot of people, and former mayor Dean proves to be a jerk and a sore loser. I wouldn’t mind seeing something happen to that man. Lana has difficulty maintaining control of the meeting, largely thanks to Dean (does he think he’s going to get his job back this way?), but then gets some help. A special guest speaker supports Lana, puts Dean in his place, and reassures the crowd as best they can. At the Irons place, John shows he’s both sneaky and a concerned parent, doing something to prevent Natalie from coming along on his risky mission. He takes off to do what he can, and gives her a different task once a time limit goes by.

At the high school, Kyle congratulates Lana on how well she did, and she tries to downplay her role a bit. They split up to get a few things done, and then we see the very bad day isn’t over yet, as the Bizarro versions of Lana and Jonathan show up. While John Henry tries to do the nearly impossible, thing get ugly at the school. Sarah and Jordan have a talk as Sarah starts to realize some of what led to their problems, and Jordan is remarkably calm and mature during the discussion. Lana interrupts their talk twice, first when Sarah’s mom shows up, and then when her evil twin shows up. Out of time and out of options, a bit Jordan reveals a secret in the process of saving Lana and Sarah’s lives. Jordan makes a much better showing this time, and the fight rages all over the place, ending in the assembly hall where the de-powered Superman and the Kents are, along with Sam. The evil Superboy shows up as well, and goes after Superman. Jordan and Lana arrive in mid-fight, and Jordan gets beaten on badly, despite the attempts at help from the others. Natalie arrives, and she and Jordan get in some great teamwork. It was an impressive fight scene, and possibly a bit cathartic for Jordan on a few fronts.

Shaken, the Kents regroup, with Jonathan getting a great line and Sam going back to the DOD to do what he can to help rally the defenses. They meet up with Natalie, who has a very emotional moment, and we see Steel not doing well off on his own. At the Cushing home, Sarah begins to put a few things together, and is really not happy with her mother. Lana shares some of her reasons, but Sarah is too upset to listen, and then too distracted as the tech-glitching effect we saw on the computers before spreads to new areas. Things look bad for everyone as the episode ends with a shot of Ally, apparently triumphant, and more than happy to be destroying at least one world, if not more.

What I Liked: This show continues to impress me on every level. While Superman has the title, there are a lot of heroes on this show, and they all step up in this episode. Jordan was particularly impressive. I don’t know how he’s doing with the other powers, but he’s clearly got his father’s durability. He took a lot of nasty beatings and got back up because he had to. The Lana and Kyle scenes were great. I get Sarah being mad at Lana, but I hope that gives room for Sarah and Jordan to get back together. John shutting down Nat’s suit showed both his intelligence and concern as a parent. Natalie and Lois hugging near the end was even more touching when you recall Natalie’s background. Sam had no chance, but tried to go after Bizarro Superboy to protect his family. The Jordan and Nat vs Lana and Jonathan scene was great. Lois showed wisdom and that her husband isn’t the only source of inspiration in the family.

What I Didn’t: Very little. Sam really needs to understand he can’t control the press. I once again wonder where the other Arrowverse heroes and teams are, but I hear that’s going to be explained in the finale and I have an idea or two myself. For not having powers, Clark recovered from his obvious wounds really quickly. I get it’s not a major point in a busy episode, but I’d like to know what happened to the defeated Lana and Jonathan.

Once again, a fantastic episode. I’m giving this a 4.5 out of 5. I suspect the finale is going to be very impressive.

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