Tuesday, March 22, 2022

REVIEW: 'Superman & Lois' - Ally Puts Her Plan Into Motion While Clark Tries to Connect With Natalie in 'Into Oblivion'

The CW's Superman & Lois - Episode 2.08 "Into Oblivion"

Lois, Clark and Natalie notice a difference in John Henry's behavior and fear something might be very wrong. Kyle encounters an awkward moment with Lana while stopping by the house to pick Sarah up for school. Jonathan and Jordan brace themselves when they realize a talking to from their parents is headed their way.

"Into Oblivion" was written by Juliana James & Kristi Korzec and directed by Sudz Sutherland

Ally's plan doesn't work how she expected it. That offers plenty of intrigue coming from the mirror dimension. However, she still wields power and influence in this world. That's important. However, it's all offered through the context of family. That's what has always been most meaningful to these characters. They are all willing to sacrifice their own lives to save those they love. It's so pivotal to the storytelling. It informs everything even when these outlandish threats continue to grow. Natalie came to this world from a completely different reality. This episode reveals exactly how she did that. She was brought through the same portal that carried John Henry. She was simply lost and in stasis for months. She would carry any risk if it meant being with her father. And now, she only sees Superman as ruining their lives. He was an actual killer in their home world. Meanwhile, the alleged hero only gets her father severely injured in the field. John Henry made the choice. Clark doesn't have to carry that burden too. And yet, Clark is responsible for befriending Natalie and proving this world is different than the one she came from. She doesn't have to worry around him. It's still terrifying to her. It can't all be easily solved by receiving a new place to live. That may only provide those two characters with their own space to occupy in Smallville. They are always going to be closely connected to the Kent family. However, they deserve their own agency as well. They can't remain in limbo or solely prop up the desires of others whose lives seemingly matter more. John Henry only has a few moments of memory loss. That is the extent of his problems following his near death experience. He took a couple episodes off to recover. That absence was hardly notable. This episode brings John Henry and Natalie back into the field. Natalie's origin story is still mostly a tangential concern. It gets lost in the chaos of all the other plots happening. It's immediately clear as to how these various storytellings thematically connect. It's simple strange to see which are treated more compassionately and fully while others are hitting basic plot beats to keep the arcs steadily developing. And so, Kyle helps Lana prepare for her debate despite their separation while Jordan steps into his own as a hero even though it comes at the expense of his relationship with Sarah.

The main plot follows Lois and Sam as they fear Lucy has died. She sent them a cryptic goodbye. They fear for her well-being knowing that Ally is planning something big. Chrissy gets pulled into that too. She is one of the people saved by Superman before it's too late. Ally doesn't act as if she has failed. She planned for this possibility. She knew there was a likelihood she wasn't being told everything about this event. Of course, she still delivered the pendant to her mirror self. Anderson makes that happen. He is the one who wields power. That's a role reversal. It's the two of them vying for control in order to prove the worthiness of their own vendettas. Lucy listens to everything Ally has to say though. She is a true believer in the Inverse Method. She will even betray her own family to make Ally's plans a reality. She has already done that. She lured Lois into a trap to publicly embarrass her. And now, she drugs her father to use him as leverage to get Ally released from DOD custody. She takes these bold actions against her loved ones because she has been led to believe salvation is at the other side of this dimension. She simply has to remain strong and steadfast in her beliefs. She will be rewarded for her loyalty. She also just has the strongest personal connection that can be exploited. The entire Lane family fears they are constantly making mistakes. Lois can't accept her sister leaving them the same way their mother did. If that was the source of Lucy's pain and trauma, then she wouldn't want to inflict the same harm onto others. That perception feels very real though. Lois and Sam believe they have lost her. It's a case of unclear action actually being crucial to the plot. When Chrissy is in the mines, it's purposefully hard to tell who is there with her. Ally has a reaction. Chrissy does as well. Lucy is in limbo. Superman can't provide any clarity to Lois and Sam. He can only offer comfort. That is powerful as well. They also completely accept Lucy once she returns. That's what they wanted. They believe they can save her. At a certain point, she may be past redemption. That's not a guarantee though. Clark has a new understanding with Tal-Rho after all. Lucy is more than the actions she takes in service to someone else. She has to be broken from that bond though. That may not be coming anytime soon as Sam is taken into danger. Clark wants to protect his family from so much. And yet, he can't prevent everything. He has to let others make their own decisions even if he doesn't always understand them. That can be costly when the stakes are this high. He struggles to find balance while still knowing it's important.