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Superman & Lois: Fail Safe

"Small towns are a lot of fun."

Maybe not so much. "It's not fair." "It's not right." That was this episode's theme – that nearly everyone was doing the right thing, but it wasn't enough.

I actually felt sorry for Morgan Edge for the first time when he was asking Daddy Palpatine for a chance to talk to his mother. What if Edge had had a relationship with Clark when they were growing up? It might have satisfied Edge's need for others like himself, the desire for family that made him accept years of denigration, abuse, and that painful red beam of light in the desert from his vicious hologram father. Too late now.

That tiny green prison at the DOD reminded me of that imprisoning red light. And of course Edge tried one more time to turn Clark. That led to a very interesting kitchen table discussion about power at the Kent farm.

It was easy to see both sides of the fail safe argument. Lois is absolutely right that "countless psychos" that want to kill Superman could seize the weapons in 7734. But Clark was mentally and emotionally strong enough to acknowledge the worst in himself, and to tell Lois that he found "letting go" and being a god tempting. Tyler Hoechlin did such a great job with this, didn't he? He's so stunning in that blue suit that I sometimes forget what a good actor he is.

Clark and John Henry Irons have become terrific together. (Loved the fist bump.) Irons has proven that he's the logical, trustworthy choice to be 7734's gatekeeper, to be Superman's fail safe, to actually do what he came to this 'verse to do. He's also the perfect partner to help Clark defeat the new and improved glow-eyed Edge, who is now the Eradicator, sucking energy from the sun.

Meanwhile in Smallville, Chrissy is about to publish a story in the Gazette that will shake up the town and hopefully direct the ire of the angry townspeople where it belongs. Although I am wondering if the X-Kryptonite still in the mines will come into play in the season finale.


There was more of the Cushing family dynamic. Will Kyle and Lana have to find jobs elsewhere and leave Smallville? Probably not. While I don't think Kyle works as an antagonist, I do like the developing friendship between Lana Lang Cushing and Lois Lane, who are both strong, resilient and caring women. (Clearly, Clark has a type.)

I am enjoying the Kent family dynamic. After both twins skipped school, Lois again showed that she is the parent you don't want to get into trouble with, while Clark was the more easygoing and laid back dad. That's just so much fun when he's the most powerful being in the world. I also like that Lois is older. Clark revealed this time that he is nearly forty. If Lois has been dealing with keeping Superman's secret for twenty years, how old were they when they met?

The twins are indeed getting good at the cover stories, and I thought they had a good reason to skip school. Tegan seemed cool at first, but of course, all she wanted was to pump Jonathan for information, and wow, he handled that well. Sarah came out much better than Tegan, since her interest in Jordan is genuine.

This episode felt like filler at first, but by the end, I was intrigued. Superman is such a virtuous character. Is it even possible for him to be tempted by godhood, now that he has a taste of what it is like? That would be an interesting way for this series to go. 

Bits:

— The close captioning over the Superman & Lois title card just said "heroic music" this time. Last week, it was "bombastic heroic music." What was different this week?

— I thought the kid playing young Edge (Ben Cockell) did a terrific job this week. As I said, I actually felt for Edge this time. A.C. Peterson is really scary awful as Daddy Palpatine, too. Is Palpatine gone now? Clark really should crumble that crystal.

— Mayor Dean lied to the Cushings. Guess even small town politicians are politicians.

— I thought Leslie Larr got captured on purpose to stage a jail break? Guess not.

— That green cube was very impractical. No bathroom? What about a cot? Something to read? There wasn't even room to do pushups, or pace.


— Irons painted a fly on his supersuit in remembrance of Natalie. I hope they get back to Natalie. Jonathan was talking with Irons again and showed an interest in the metal suit.

— Sarah told Jordan that her family originally came from Mexico.

— Only two more episodes this season. The next one airs Tuesday, August 10.

Quotes:

Edge: "You should be a god, but you became a slave to them. Don't you ever wonder who you might have been if you hadn't landed here, been raised by simple farmers?"
Or what Edge would have been like if he had been raised by the Kents?

Clark: "About the other thing."
Lois: "What? I'm right, you're wrong."

Lana: "So much anger! Have you ever noticed..."
Lois: "How punchable the mayor's face is? Yeah, I have."

Clark: "My dad taught me control. I have been controlling my powers every second of every day for almost forty years. But when Zod took over for the first time, I felt what it was like to let go. To really let go."

Three out of four impractical green prisons,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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