Since Superman & Lois is on an Olympian hiatus, we have a single-episode review of last week’s “Fail Safe.”
Titles: “Fail Safe”
Directed by Ian Samoil
Written by Jai Jamison and Kristi Korzec, with Andrew N. Wong and Katie Aldrin
Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent / Superman
Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane
Adam Reynor as Morgan Edge / Tal-Rho
Jordan Elsass as Jonathan Kent
Wolé Parks as John Henry Irons
Alex Garfin as Jordan Kent
Dylan Walsh as General Sam Lane
Inde Navarrette as Sarah Cushing
Stacey Farber as Leslie Larr
Emmanuelle Chriqui as Lana Lang Cushing
Erik Valdez as Kyle Cushing
Sofia Hasmik as Chrissy Beppo
Joselyn Picard as Sophie Cushing
Kayla Heller as Tegan Wickhem
A.C. Peterson as Zeta-Ro
Jennifer Khoe as Deputy Kya Johnson
Daisy Tormé as A.I. Device (voice)
Victoria Katongo as Tamera Dalley
Rohain Arora as Tom Mitchell
Stephen Adekolu as Robbie Alvarez
Marika Siewert as Ms. Sharp
Eric Keenleyside as Smallville’s Jackass Mayor
Fritzy-Klevans Destine as Sean Smith
Zane Clifford as Timmy Ryan
Superman and Steel join forces to take down Tal-Rho and Leslie Larr, two generations of Lanes face difficult decisions, Smallville continues to shun the Cushings, and the super-sons play hooky.
Superman, Lois, and General Lane all have decisions to make that feel important in the context of the ongoing story, and develop naturally from the circumstances. General Lane’s choice feels most problematic, given that he knows Kal-El isn’t the only Kryptonian in town.
Even Chrissy’s arc doesn’t just have her monkeying around. She has to confront her idol and inspiration. They spend only a little time on that fact, but at least the concept is solid.
As nuisances go, the Mayor tends towards the one-dimensional. He shows shockingly little discretion seemingly to serve the writers’ purpose of having him overheard. It’s a minor point about a minor character, but Mayor Dean felt like something the episode could have handled differently, or dispensed with entirely.
Originality: 2/6 We’re seeing the beginning of what could become a Reign of the Supermen storyline.
Story: 4/6 This episode exists to put some things in motion. The central decisions the characters face feel genuine; some of the plot developments feel a bit forced. We’re watching a chapter rather than a complete story.
Jonathan and Jordan’s subplots have decent premises. Jonathan’s is played low-key, and that works. The ending to Jordan’s feels over-the-top. Arrested for incidental trespassing? In a small town? Or is this more Cushing-hatred at work?
Emotional Response: 4/6 The school holds an assembly regarding recent events. That would have been a bizarre thing to actually see. How does a small-town school debrief after a recent alien invasion, in which several local were taken over by extraterrestrial entities, but then some superheroes saved the day?
In total “Fail Safe” receives 32/42