Even with the enemy seemingly defeated, everything feels a little bit off. It seemed too easy that Morgan Edge would get defeated, and everything would be normal again. That’s the feeling of this episode as everyone gets introspective of their path ahead. While it doesn’t have a ton of action, the character beats help elevate it to this series standards.
Superman & Lois airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CW, then streams free on the CW app.
Story: Kryptonite for Good?
Clark is at a bit of a crossroads in this episode. Since almost killing John Henry Irons thanks to General Zod controlling him, he’s seriously reconsidering his stance on Kryptonite. The issue has become a role reversal as now General Lane wants to get rid of the mineral while Superman wants to keep it, just in case. It’s nice to see Lane thinking about Clark’s well-being instead of Superman’s status and becoming a little more family-oriented. He explains that because of Zod’s presence inside him, the Man of Steel had a taste of power-hungry ambitions. It’s not that he’s evil now but worried about the what-if of it all.
It perfectly addresses why this Superman is very tuned to the comics. Having an evil version of the character doesn’t make him interesting, but he tries to stop that feeling. Keep in mind, he could literally rule the world, and no one would stop him. Instead, he tries to help humanity and do the right thing. That makes this classic character such an compelling figure in comics. To be the most powerful being on Earth and yet, limiting yourself for the benefit of others.
Even if it’s developing backup plans of trying to stop him. While they offer a compelling reason why Kal-El would consider this, we get Lois’s view of why this is a bad idea because anyone with that fail-safe could kill an innocent Clark. We’ve seen numerous attempts of people not only trying to kill the Last Son of Krypton but also get one-up on the DOA. It leads to the episode’s best scene as Clark and Lois have an emotional debate about whether or not Kryponite should be involved. Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch did such a great job with this scene that made it seem that no one was more right than the other. This leads to a conclusion straight out of the comics.
Characters & Performances: In Old Habits
Last week, we started to see the fallback of Kyle’s actions that led to Morgan Edge almost corrupting Smallville. Instead of looking at his family, we get a much clearer dive into his relationship with the town. He’s lost much good standing with the fire department as the mayor tells him to lay low for a couple of weeks. Even with a superhero show, the mayor feels way too cartoony. It feels like something out of a Saturday morning kids’ show with the big bad politician going against the heroes. Then we find out his true nature when Lana accidentally overhears him, and it’s really eye-rolling.
Since Tal-Rho has been taken care of, Jordan and Jonathan try to live normal lives again but skip school. We get Jordan going off with his new girlfriend, Sarah, and their scenes are pretty nice. The chemistry between Alex Garfin and Inde Navarrette is spectacular. They connect over being alone for most of their lives, and you can’t help to see these two lovebirds succeed. On the flip side, Jonathan goes off with a girl he’s been having his eye on, even though Sarah has been warning him about her for a couple of episodes. We’re expecting to see some sort of payoff, but it just ends with a whimper.
Cinematography & Sound: Two for Two
It’s interesting to see all of the gorgeous shots featuring only two people in a scene. At the start of the hour, Kal-El and Tah-Rho talk while the latter is imprisoned. Tah-Rho’s cage has Kryptonite light shine on it. The green light on Adam Rayner’s face looks incredible and makes him even more sinister. Contrast with Superman in the dark on the opposite side and the symbol on the chest standing out even more.
When Jordan and Sarah have their adventure, they venture off into this forest, and it’s absolutely stunning. When they’re expressing their feelings on the bridge, it’s such a beautiful shot with the woods catching the sunlight as it glows. Then at the end, we get a conversation with John Henry Irons and Clark at the Kent Farm. It’s close to sundown as we see their silhouettes for a little bit. Then it cuts to a medium shot between the two of them with the vast landscape of the farm behind in the view. It just shows how much of a difference visually it is compared to the other Arrowverse shows. Add to the fact that Dan Romer keeps on delivering with his musical score, and it’s a delight to the eyes and ears.
Editing & Pacing: Pumping the Brakes
Besides an action beat with Clark & John Henry Irons, it’s a very dialogue and character-heavy episode. While it means that this hour was slower compared to the rest of the season, it’s not a bad thing at all. We get a lot of time with our characters after they process the recent events regarding Morgan Edge. A lot of character arcs are coming full circle, like John’s significant distrust of Superman. While it hasn’t bloomed into a friendship, there’s a mutual understanding and respect for each other. We even get a little fist bump between the two of them; that’s pretty awesome to see.
This story also features a few flashbacks about Tal-Rho training at his fortress. It seemed out of place at first because it didn’t connect to the rest of the hour. Then it reveals why and it pays off in a big way. With the final two episodes of the season coming in, we’re going to see an intense finale.