Tuesday, June 8, 2021

REVIEW: 'Superman & Lois' - Morgan Edge Expands His Operation as Lois and Clark Scramble to Find the Truth in 'Loyal Subjekts'

The CW's Superman & Lois - Episode 1.09 "Loyal Subjekts"

Lois, Chrissy and Clark team up to piece together the significance of Smallville to Morgan Edge.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Superman & Lois.

"Loyal Subjekts" was written by Andrew N. Wong and directed by Eric Dean Seaton

John Henry Irons warned that Kryptonians will always be loyal to one another. As such, humanity shouldn't look to a Kryptonian as their savior. It's only a matter of time before that hero raises an army of his brothers and sisters to take over this planet. In John Henry's world, it was Superman who orchestrated this mass destruction. In Clark and Lois' world, it's Morgan Edge. Now, the narrative has already confirmed that Edge has been using X-Kryptonite to provide abilities to humans. It has also been teased that this plot is essentially body snatching with Kryptonians actually taking over the bodies of Smallville residents. It's a little more complicated than that. The people who go through this treatment process don't entirely lose their own sense of agency. They can simply be activated at any moment. Edge has that control over them. They obey simply because they suddenly have no connection to this world and the demands of humanity. As such, their personal identities have been ripped from them. The show is still teasing the motivation behind all of this though. This episode functions with a bunch of vague talking points centered around Edge offering people the best possible versions of their lives. He can provide the cure to all their woes. Lois has been operating in the dark. She has been getting closer to the truth. She continues to confront and provoke Edge. She isn't afraid to do that even though people with powers protect him at all times. She too feels some protection because of Clark. She is also personally devastated when her family is under attack by someone who should love them unconditionally. Now, Sam could make the rational argument that it's smart for the Defense Department to create these weapons against Kryptonians because Superman is no longer the only entity from that planet to come to Earth. But the conversation is kept much more closely in that regard. It's Sam once again prioritizing his work to keep the world safe instead of being committed to his family. Parents make sacrifices. They hope they do everything right by their kids. And yet, Lois is terrified that Jordan and Jonathan are always being placed in perilous situations. Their lives are always in danger. That may be the risk of being a super family. It's heartbreaking. They might have to accept that as part of their lives now. It will involve plenty of deception. Jordan has to run away from his commitment to Sarah because he too has been exposed to Kryptonite. Clark knows how to treat him. He still carries the burden of doing this to his son. He is upset that he has robbed Jordan of his own agency in this world. Jordan responds with compassion and empathy. He knows that his father didn't have any choice in who he was in this world either. He stepped up as a hero. Everyone operates with such confidence that he will remain that way. That's how the story functions. He is a good father and a superhero protecting Earth. Edge is the one with the more tragic backstory that fuels him to build this army. The final moment reveals that he too has powers and some connection to Krypton. But again, the show is delaying any satisfying answers until the next episode. Sure, it's helpful to know why Edge is more invested in Smallville than the other towns he has visited and destroyed. That helps connect all the various pieces together. However, the more salient pieces of the story are the more personal aspects. Kyle steps up as the father Sarah deserves. He wants to be better. That also means he's terrified about what he has done in pursuit of that goal. Edge has changed him. And now, Kyle must deal with those consequences. Similarly, Sam accepts his failings in the past and chooses to step up now to protect his family from this growing threat. It may not make sense. However, it's personal and fuels everyone to take greater actions. The story is expanding. Those threats escalating could run the risk of depriving the show of the grounded character moments that work so well. And yet, those are still present too. Lois and Jonathan's stories are just as vital and emotionally rich as Clark and Jordan's. Of course, that also comes with the certainty that the show is about to drop even more of a mythology dump as Superman faces off with who Morgan Edge truly is. That should provide better context and perhaps make him a more engaging antagonist in this story for the next stage of the season.