Superman returns… And so does Lois, the Eradicator, John Henry Irons, the DoD, the Cushing/Langs, and a room full of kids with red Solo cups for a two part season finale that pits them against their greatest adversary:
Titles: “The Eradicator” and “Last Sons of Krypton”
Directed by Alexandra La Roche and Tom Cavanagh
Written by Max Cunningham, Brent Fletcher, Kristi Korzec, Michael Narducci, Todd Helbing
Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent / Superman
Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane
Adam Reynor as Morgan Edge / Tal-Rho /The Eradicator
Jordan Elsass as Jonathan Kent
Alex Garfin as Jordan Kent
Dylan Walsh as General Sam Lane
Inde Navarrette as Sarah Cushing
Dylan Walsh as General Sam Lane
Wolé Parks as John Henry Irons / Steel
Emmanuelle Chriqui as Lana Lang Cushing
Erik Valdez as Kyle Cushing
Sofia Hasmik as Chrissy Beppo
Stacey Farber as Leslie Larr
Joselyn Picard as Sophie Cushing
Jill Teed as Sharon Powell
A.C. Peterson as Zeta Rho
Kayla Heller as Tegan Wickhem
Yoshié Bancroft as Janet
Victoria Katongo as Tamera Dalley
Dean Marshall as Samuel Foswell
Eric Keenleyside as Mayor George Dean
Tayler Buck as Natalie Irons
Daisy Tormé as A.I. Voice
Morgan Edge becomes the Eradicator, Smallville revolts, Jordan gets kidnapped, and our heroes battle to save the day.
Superman and Steel throw the punches, of course, but the show gives Lois Lane interesting contributions to make that are completely within her character and abilities. It’s challenging to give a skinny reporter anything interesting to do when her partner is basically a demigod, and Superman & Lois manages. I’ve criticized the writing in my introduction and will do so again, but I applaud their handling of Lois Lane.
Look, no one wants Superman to be a flying boy-scout who saves the day and has no truck with Murderverse dark angst more than I do. Cheese goes with the character. But twenty minutes of assorted happy endings, a veritable cheese tray, as it were, in “The Last Sons of Krypton,” went too far, even for my turophile tastes. And the fact that they defeat Morgan Edge’s schemes using roughly the same approach that defeated them last time doesn’t help.
Originality: 1/6 They lose points this week. I expect them to rifle Kal-El’s long history for the show (in this case, the Death and Return of Superman), but not their own previous episodes from earlier this season.
Effects: 6/6 We see a lot of strong effects in these episodes. We have long transcended “you will believe a man can fly!”
Acting: 5/6 Good overall.
Production: 6/6 Whatever office obtains foreign footage (and simulations thereof) for the production company clearly worked overtime.
Story: 3/6 The set-up works far better than the conclusion, and they solve the problem of a possessed Jordan too easily for it to be the conflict it should have been. The finale also misses several opportunities to show Superman’s place in the current Arrowverse.
The Kyptonian-possessed army guys prove about as effective as Imperial Stormtroopers, but I suppose they are up against Superman. However, their handling limits the conflict. They aren’t much more of a challenge (especially with Steel as back-up) than the numerous lesser villains Superman regularly tosses aside.
Emotional Response: 4/6
In total “The Eradicator” and “Last Sons of Krypton” receive 30/42
How plausible is it, even in this version of reality, that General Sam Lane would leave his post during a major global crisis to retrieve his grandsons when he could easily send anyone he outranks to do the job? (Fun quiz: can anyone name which military ranks are below “General”?). I know it’s supposed to reveal character but, realistically, it shows that he makes the right decision to retire.