Episode 13 of Superman & Lois, “Fail Safe,” was clunky. While it gave the audience less action to sink their teeth into, the heart of the episode continued to be how every character continued to recover from the fallout of Morgan Edge’s true intentions. This show works so well because as much as the show is about the Kent family and Lois and Clark as parents, the show makes sure that their impact on the community around them is a heavy part of that focus. For me, that’s what makes this superhero show soar.
The plot of this episode focuses on Clark’s realization that the world does literally need protection against him if he were. Ever to go rogue. Sam initially hates the idea but sees Clark’s point. Lois, on the other hand, has overwhelming faith in her husband and his conscience. Personally, I love this clash and contrast of both characters’ positions. Lois doesn’t want to face a reality where Clark can’t protect her and the boys. Sam sees the fear in Clark’s eyes of enjoying the full power of his abilities too much and is willing to concede that it is a good idea to keep 7734 as a plan of action if Clark turns evil. Plot points like this refresh the show’s relationships and character dynamics making for a stronger story overall. It has taken the boys most of the season to realize they aren’t alone, but it’s made from much stronger character work to watch them go through that journey.
On the other hand, the show’s major weakness is that it has no idea what to do with its younger characters. John and Jordan both have love interests this week. Both of them skip school To spend time with those people. In John’s case, the girl he likes is only interested in him because he has information about why people were brainwashed by Morgan Edge. Being tricked by a girl greatly offends John, but he brushes it off as that’s just how that person is dealing with her confusion about what happens next. Jordan and Sarah go on a date walking to a creek and nearly have a make-out session before they are arrested for trespassing.
It’s nice to see both boys attempting to form new relationships in Smallville, but I have to ask from a narrative perspective, what’s the point of showing the audience that? What knowledge do they gain from being involved in that specific piece of the action? I may not be the right demographic to answer such questions, but it definitely felt like filler in an otherwise solid episode.
The only thing I can hope now that Morgan Edge is free is that the entire town pitches in to stop him from the next level of his diabolical plan. Morgan Edge has been a compelling villain, but other than the reveal of his true identity, he hasn’t surprised me, so I’m hoping that we get a bigger surprise with this next episode.
I would love to see the Cushing family incorporated into the last few episodes to support the Kents. Time will tell.