Superman And Lois S2 Ep 7 sees the rise of a villain that we were always expecting along with a guest appearance from a season one antagonist as Clark is taken into captivity. Meanwhile, the theme of family values is expressed with the residents of Smallville.
Please note this review contains HEAVY spoilers.
Clark (Tyler Hoechlin) has been arrested by General Anderson (Ian Bohen) and the DOD for hiding the location of Bizarro (Hoechlin). Superman does what Superman does best and brings out the absolute worst of paranoid and delusional military men. Anderson is no exception as he shows his short-sighted true colors as we always assumed he would.
Clark is was being kept in a red sun prison, that much we knew when we last saw him. What we didn’t know is that his cellmate is his half-brother from season one who tried to take over the world with a Kryptonian army, Tal-Rho (Adam Rayner). Is he the Eradicator? Is he He’l? Is he Morgan Edge? I like to think his character is an amalgamation of all three. How much Clark values him as family is put to the test as Anderson tortures him with Kryptonite in order to get Bizarro’s location. Kill the evil Superman, save the day, and avenge the fallen is all it takes to call it mission accomplished in his mind. Meanwhile, Clark continually tells him to go after Alston, the bigger and true threat here with her plan to bring the two pendants from each world together.
Before wrapping up the Bizarro saga, we return to Smallville with Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) and Sam (Dylan Walsh). Sam’s role in the episode is largely to keep Lois in the loop about where Clark is through an inside person he has. It seems like the only reason they have to put him in this episode is to get reactions from Lois on the matter, because Lucy and his efforts to train the boys aren’t present.
Lois does have plenty to react to as Jon (Jordan Elsass) takes the fall for Candice (Samantha Di Francesco) possessing and dealing Compound V-I mean X-Kryptonite inhalers. He lies nobly and insists that he isn’t using it anymore (and hasn’t been), but Lois is naturally angry at him. It’s strange, at one point in the episode Lois says that she’s nervous Clark may not forgive him for it. That doesn’t sound like Clark to me.
Of course, Clark gives him the “I’m not angry, I’m disappointed” speech at the end. This is another story of family values in Smallville as the Kents deal with something that an after-school special has for sure covered – teen drug use. However, you can make the argument that X-Kryptonite isn’t much of a drug as an energy drink is (Jon makes that argument), it’s represented in this story as such. It would’ve made more sense to approach like a performance enhancer or doping issue rather than something akin to selling cocaine in school.
Meanwhile, the Lang-Kushing family is still experiencing the aftershocks of Kyle’s (Erik Valdez) affair. Sarah (Inde Navarrette) is having trouble talking to Jordan (Alex Garfin) about it, so she reaches out to Aubrey (Djouliet Amara) from camp. Aubrey tells her from experience that cutting her dad out of her life will only make her more upset and distant from everyone else. Truer words have never been spoken this episode and the two agree to remain in contact since they really haven’t spoken since camp. I don’t believe I sense a love triangle, Aubrey already served the character purpose of presenting a bump in Sarah and Jordan’s relationship. It’s good Sarah got a friend out of it because she was able to approach her father again – showing that family values stretch beyond estrangement.
Lana (Emmanuelle Chriqui) gets played dirty on the mayoral campaign trail when Mayor Dean (Eric Keenleyside) seemingly mocks her for her husband’s affair, passing her off as oblivious. At the same time, he preaches a message of family among the residents of Smallville. You need to remember that Smallville is, well, a small town and everyone is in everyone’s business. Sort of like a family, which is what Dean gets at. Lana calls him out that if they are truly a family, then they wouldn’t attack each other. There’s no town where that would work except Smallville.
The action heats up and doesn’t cool down until the end of the episode when Clark and Tal put their heads together and escape. I couldn’t help but get a little Thor Ragnarök vibes from the team up – sweet 2017. The last sons return to the fortress where Clark has been holding Bizarro. The mirror Superman reveals that he too had a Tal on his Earth and they became estranged when his wife tried to kill him. He doesn’t reveal who his wife was or who her inverse is. It figures that Bizarro would have a good relationship with his brother while Clark does not.
Anderson, going full AWOL, takes X-Kryptonite and Kryptonite weaponry and storms the fortress himself. The ensuing battle wounds Tal with Kryptonite bullets and the story coming to a close at the hands of Anderson. It was fun watching Bizarro wale on him and absorb the Kryptonite he threw at him, I never liked Anderson from the start. Even when Sam was going through his paranoid general phase, he always had a charm to him, whereas Anderson is just a jerk.
Family values are expressed in this conflict when Clark saves Tal’s life guided by the hologram of their mother (Mariana Klaveno) as he removed the Kryptonite shards with his heat vision and heals him with the sun. Nothing makes the hairs of Superman fans stand on edge like the visual of him in front of the sun. The CW does a good job with the heatwave effects. Even though Clark ultimately returns Tal to prison, he holds on to the hope that one day his Kryptonian family and Earth family can become one.
Tal even apologizes for trying to harm Jordan in the previous season. If Bizarro World is truly the inverse where Clark and Tal started as allies and became enemies, then maybe we’ll see them become allies over time. Also, if Superman can forgive him for trying to conquer the Earth, then surely, he can forgive Jon for taking X-Kryptonite. Forgiveness is a prime family value and this episode could’ve conveyed it more. It’s a fair criticism that Clark was a little harsh on Jon at the end there.
In the end, Anderson, or maybe we should call him by his villain name, meets up with Ally (Rya Kihlstedt) with the other pendent in his possession as it is revealed he stole it too. Bizarro World is coming and this new alliance quickened its arrival, at this point, there is no more getting around it. The Parasite needs to play a main role in the next episode.