Even after a break of reviewing, Superman & Lois is still going strong into the summer as the Bizarro World saga reaches its final showdown.
Throughout the season we’ve seen comic book heroes and villains receive new contemporary spins to fit the CW’s story like Anderson, Bizarro, and Jon-El. The iconography and the Easter Eggs couldn’t be more obvious. The best spin goes to Ally Alston’s Parasite who is now an otherworldly, cosmic villain as opposed to the sometimes street-level power zombie as we see her plot to merge the Bizzarro World and Earth Prime come full circle. I know I say that a lot, but all the supporting villains are out of the picture and we’re left with only her. Unfortunately, there isn’t much comic book action to be had until the very end of this episode as there is the usual Smallville drama, but there are moments that very well might pay homage to superhero cinema.
Lucy Lane’s (Jenna Dewan) story and connection with Ally Alston (Rya Kihlstedt) is looked at in this episode through flashbacks as once sporadic appearance in earlier episodes become more consistent and her involvement in the plot and story are further elaborated on rather than just giving the Lanes a stake in the fight against Parasite. She and the other followers of the Inverse Method cult await Ally’s return after merging with her Bizarro self. Lucy’s whole reasoning for being with Ally is that she felt like the odd one out of her family with her dad as a general and her sister as a journalist. While Sam (Dylan Walsh) and Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) don’t feel this is the case and give the usual “we love you” spiel. It feels like they shoehorned this whole arc into one episode, especially with Lucy absent for more than a couple of episodes. Lucy has to sell us on this whole thing in the limited time of this episode and sometimes it just feels like added drama in the face of a conflict that overshadows it. It might be the weakest part of the episode, but gives the Lanes a sense of urgency to stop the Parasite as if the destruction of the world isn’t enough.
At the same time, Mayor Lana (Emmanuelle Chriqui) is having her own personal dilemmas. A lot has come to light with her – she knows Clark is Superman and learns through Lois that Jordan (Alex Garfin) too has powers. This puts her in a difficult situation with him as Sarah (Inde Navarrette) doesn’t know and that puts her in danger by natural superhero logic. We’ve all seen that can of worms opened by Spider-Man. The moral reasoning behind it is also brought up because hiding this information from people is technically lying which is something that Smallville residents don’t embrace. Lana has to wrestle with this as she tells Jordan off and his and Sarah’s relationship begins to decay, though this isn’t shown much in this episode. I think it’s a cool drama arc –”my childhood friend and his kids are super-powered, what do I tell my family who also have a childhood friendship with one such person?” If they do plan to go anywhere with it, it would be interesting to see all the ways that Jordan and Sarah’s relationship mirrors a young Clark and Lana’s. As of now, the break-up aspect is definitely in place.
Now, let’s finally get to the superhero business of this episode. Action Comics fans rejoice because Natalie Irons (Tayler Buck) has created her own super-suit. Here we are treated to Henry (Wole Parks) finding out and disapproving of it in true father fashion. You’ve always got to love the classic comic book trope of a superhero parent finding out their kids are following in their footsteps. They are originally resistant to the fact but eventually come around. This is also the case for the Irons. Despite the episode name, all seem to be together for the Irons. We also get a flight scene set to the classic backdrop of the artic where the Fortress of Solitude is located with Clark (Tyler Hoechlin) and Jordan as he tries to cheer him up over Sarah. Happy 9th anniversary Man of Steel because the cinematography of Jordan soaring through the icy caverns and beyond here takes us back to the theater in 2013.
Of course, where does that leave Jon (Jordan Elsass)? He has to take a back seat in this episode because he literally can’t do anything. He’s not going to school, mastering any powers, and his future in football is in doubt. The good news is the episode does acknowledge how isolated he is when Clark and Jordan come back from the artic. I like how it’s accepted among the Kent family that if Clark takes you to the ruins of the Fortress of Solitude, it’s something big and important. Jon has yet to go there from what I’ve seen, so that creates a division between him and his family similar to Lucy’s. There is no indication that this is the direction the CW plans to take it in, but it would be cool to see nephew and aunt relate to similar issues. It could help tie in Lucy’s arc better and make it feel less cramped for dramatic effect.
This is a spoiler-free review, so I wouldn’t go too much into the ending of the episode and where it leaves us, but I will say that some viewers may experience Déjà vu as they can’t help but feel we’ve been left on this note before – particularly the episode “30 Days and 30 Nights.” An absence of a certain someone now means that certain people have to step up. The main action in this episode comes from a confrontation at Ally Alston’s cult hideout with very few blows being exchanged. At the same time, Lucy’s arc is wrapped up as quickly as it began and the big climactic battle is set up for the next two episodes.
The best appeal of this episode is seeing how far these spins on familiar comic book villains have come. Tell me, when you were reading the comics and see the Allston parasite twins (one purple and one green) running around and causing havoc, could you ever imagine a version of them as a threat of cosmic proportions with Bizarro World as the key to everything? Unless you work for the CW, that is not the case. Still, the drama factor falls short in this episode with issues that appear to be trivial. But as always, I’m at the edge of my seat for the next episode – especially with that title and the implication of what’s to come.