Superman & Lois S2 Ep 8 brings us the penultimate episode of the season.
It is a yin yang of an episode with the first half being Superman flying to the rescue in true hero form and the second half is largely character-driven by the situations playing out – a common but reliable formula for The CW’s storytelling. But because “Into Oblivion” sets us up for our season finale and the conclusion of the inverse world arc, it keeps you on the edge of your seat. At the same time, characters who feel as if they haven’t been given enough screen time or to do finally get their good moments.
After three episodes we finally cut back to the Irons – displaced from an alternate Earth of their own where Superman was evil. The last time we saw John Henry (Wole Parks), he was injured in The Inverse Method episode when fighting Bizarro (Tyler Hoechlin) with Superman (Hoechlin). He’s been out ever since and Natalie (Tayler Buck) has remained equally unseen since. The episode actually introduced me to a character arc of hers I was previously unfamiliar with. It opened with her drifting through space looking for her dad as a cosmic anomaly occurs. She obviously found her dad, but how she did remains a mystery perhaps to be revealed in the next episode. What isn’t a mystery is her distrust towards Clark due to him being a mother-killing villain in her world and blames him for John Henry’s near-death injury. Even though it wasn’t him, Clark has some work to do if Natalie is going to trust him as she does in Action Comics.
The serious matter at hand is that Ally Alston (Rya Kihlstedt) has a new powerful partner-in-crime and muscle after his outburst in the last episode. With both pendants in their possession, they plan to head back to the mines where Bizarro initially came through and merge with their Bizarro world selves using them. This was the Parasite’s master plan all along and Clark suits up within the first ten minutes to put a stop to it. Crissy (Sofia Hasmik) is back and joins up with the Inverse Method to report on it. The more I think about Crissy’s role and character, I feel she is the Jimmy Olsen of Smallville.
Clark’s super-heroics in the mines in the first half of the episode gives us cinematography akin to Man of Steel, especially with the dark texture of the mines. It’s also really nice to see Clark working hand-in-hand with Sam Lane (Dylan Walsh). Along with the Irons, the Lanes are also at the center of the episode’s character-driven segments. Lucy (Jenna Dewan) was on Ally’s side last time we saw her so there’s a chance she went to the mines. Sam does his best to search for her in the second half where the stern army general finally lets us in a little bit. Mrs. Lane just walked out on her family years ago, so Sam carries a fear that his daughters may do the same. Lois also fears abandonment, but a sweet moment from Clark sets her straight.
Lois and Clark’s seemingly harsh treatment of Jon (Jordan Elsass) in the last episode begins to make sense as they know their son is lying about selling X-K at school for someone. The school’s football season is canceled and he is sent to work in the local diner and do school online. Jon still sees Candice (Samantha Di Francesco) though as his plan to protect her and her family succeeds, for now. But now, Candice has dealers on her tail due to losing the X-K inventory. Candice may come across as the popular rich girl in school, but she really isn’t. Her family is struggling and her selling the X-K was helping keep them afloat. Jon is sticking by her through and through but has reflected on his own integrity for using X-K as a performance enhancer.
Lana (Emmanuelle Chriqui) and Kyle (Erik Valdez) talk about integrity as well as he helps her prepare for an upcoming mayoral debate. As has been stressed since Girl…You’ll be a Woman Soon, Lana has to largely deal with the fallout of Kyle’s affair as a candidate. It’s almost certain that Mayor Dean (Eric Keenleyside) will press her on it during their debate. In true leader fashion, Lana says that it’s not a crisis that matters but how we react to it that truly matters. From what we have been seeing, the Lang-Cushing family is still in each other’s lives, they have been handling it as best as they can.
Sarah (Inde Navarrette) couldn’t have done without Aubrey’s (Djouliet Amara) advice. She hoped to bring her two favorite people together, but Jordan (Alex Garfin) is hesitant. We do get treated to Jordan playing the hero when the X-K dealer ambushes his brother and Candice. It’s not Connor Kent as Superboy but it’ll do. Jordan is also in on Jon covering for Candice and decides to support him in it. It’s ironic in the house of El there is a little deception going on even if it seems for the better. Secrets have always been the main plot devices of this series with the hook of how such a small town can have such big secrets. Now, it seems to be there are secrets in the most honest household.
With Superman & Lois S2 Ep 8, we’re not only reaching a high point for the main conflict of the season but also high points in the character-driven storytelling. The CW does a great job of giving the characters time to shine, though I felt some were absent in recent episodes not just screen time, but with great reasons why we should be invested in them. This was especially the case with Natalie and Sam’s respective arcs. As for next week’s season finale, the dominoes are lined up and we’re left wondering what the heck is going to come out of that portal from the inverse world?
Haven’t watched Superman & Lois S2 Ep 8: Into Oblivion yet? You can watch it for free NOW via The CW website.