Tuesday, August 17, 2021

REVIEW: 'Superman & Lois' - The Strength of Family Propels Clark into the Final Confrontation with Edge in 'Last Sons of Krypton'

The CW's Superman & Lois - Episode 1.15 "Last Sons of Krypton"

Superman's worst nightmare comes to life, and Lois confronts Leslie Larr. Meanwhile, Lana, Kyle and Sarah agree to stay to help General Lane.

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 season finale of The CW's Superman & Lois.

"Last Sons of Krypton" was directed by Tom Cavanagh with story by Kristi Korzec & Michael Narducci and teleplay by Brent Fletcher & Todd Helbing

Morgan Edge was willing to sacrifice himself completely in order to create a family for himself on Earth. It's the kind of twisted logic that's baffling to anyone listening to him try to explain it all. He was conditioned into believing all of this was necessary. Humanity turned its back on him. As such, he had to seek out vengeance by destroying the planet and reviving the once great civilization that was lost on Krypton. Of course, he wanted to subject others into making that sacrifice so that he could enjoy the spoils of his labor. Only when that failed was he willing to carry the burden himself. He became the eradicator. His entire identity was lost in service of what he could do to further his father's plans. Zeta is the man driving all of this. He feels entitled to having an obedient and loyal son. Every single action he takes showcases his strength and conviction to this cause. He will sacrifice his son for the good of his people. And yet, it too is its own twisted motivation. He refuses to accept the error of his ways that led to the destruction of his world. He is trying to rebuild on a new planet by conquering the people who already inhabit it. In doing so, he is casting doubt on all Kryptonians. Clark has spent years earning the trust of humanity. He has dealt with serious threats before. He has maintained his identity as a hero. That is never lost or challenged here. That trust can still evaporate in an instant. The truth of who Morgan Edge is and what he was trying to accomplish comes out eventually. However, the citizens of Smallville are frequently asked to run for cover not knowing just how much danger they are currently in. General Lane wants the public to inherently trust him. He believes they should respect that he is doing what's in their best interest. And yet, he too believes that should be an inherent given without putting in the work to establish that trust. Lives are in jeopardy. Superman will save as many as he can. This is all personal to him as well. He has deep connections to the community. Smallville is his home too. Jordan has been snatched away and replaced with Zeta. The family has to plead with him to be stronger and fight back. It's not the most exciting or engaging action. It's all meant to infer him conquering the inner demons that have plagued him in the past by putting an outside threat inside him that must be dealt with quickly. It's all meaningful character work. Some of it is more successful than others. That too became more apparent as the season went along. The story loved talking about Clark and Lana as friends. However, that dynamic still needs to be fleshed out so the audience can see them together and instinctively enjoy that bond. It was more necessary to see Clark and Lois operating as a true partnership. They faced unknowns in the world as well as in parenting Jonathan and Jordan. They trust the strength within this family. They open it up to many too. John Henry originally targeted this family. He didn't trust them. He is still in pain. He loves Lois but can't be with her. This version of Earth is different than his. He has had to accept that. He has been called to serve as a hero. He fights alongside Superman in the climatic battle. He is willing to sacrifice his life for this world in order to eliminate the mistakes that doomed his planet. He is rewarded for that heroism as well. Clark saves his life. And then, Natalie emerges from a pod in the final moment. It's nice to see the big twist at the end of the season focusing on the complicated family dynamic. The basic impulse is to tease something about the threat the family will have to contend with in the new season. This action still shakes things up. John Henry was planning on leaving. And now, he has his daughter again who will also have to navigate what life on this new world means. She was shaped by a dystopia. She now has a chance at a new life as something resembling normalcy. That will be a huge adjustment before adding on the return of her mother even though that's not who Lois truly is to her in this world. The family dynamic was strong throughout the season. The dire threat to the planet was hit-or-miss and did run out of story by the end. The characters operate with enough specificity to make it all engaging though. That too reveals a success in storytelling and hopefully sets the stage for more stories to come.