“The Best of Smallville” is the worst episode of Superman & Lois yet. The teen drama was basic and unintelligent. Lois got outshined in her reporting by the goofy editor that she writes with. Clark developed the “fun dad” personality. Jonathan got dumped by his Metropolis girlfriend while his brother got a date with Sarah. The individual hired by Morgan Edge made a mysterious return. Lastly, we learned that Captain Luthor was married to alternate universe Lois Lane. Every plot thread I just mentioned somehow loosely tied into the Fall Festival, and the spirit of giving the town is so famous.
The problems with this episode start with Johnathan Kent. He has spent the majority of this season’s run being supportive of his brother, and, in what can only be described as the mid-season finale, he goes completely the opposite direction because he gets dumped by his girlfriend. The point of the main characters is to see them grow and change. All audiences can see is Jonathan becoming even bitterer than he was in the pilot episode. While that is a form of change, it’s not the kind that keeps people tuned in. The fact that he was aggressive toward Sarah on his brother’s first date just makes the character worse.
I loved that the person getting to investigate into Morgan Edge this week wasn’t Lois and was instead her editor. Actress Sofia Hasmik is fantastic as Chrissy Beppo, and they need to give her more to do because her humor brings levity to the show’s heavy drama. I also think that it was a brilliant touch to have her borrow the interviewee’s phone just to see whether she could track the whereabouts of that person’s son.
Clark trying to be the cool dad throughout the episode and getting consistently shut down by his oldest son was interesting. The problem with that aspect of the story is Jonathan’s continued use of super insults at his father’s expense. For me, a character would never stoop that low when angry or upset. It just feels unrealistic.
I wasn’t surprised this week when the woman from New Carthage’s son returned. After the tease of that special kryptonite from last week and the bad guy from episode two, it was impossible for the son to be a normal civilian without superpowers. The fight between the son and Superman was uninspired, but I was genuinely surprised when Captain Luthor decided to try and take them both out. The fact that Luthor was seemingly a good military man and is deeply disturbed by Lois being married to Superman makes complete sense anger just needs to be less of an outward emotion for that plot thread to succeed.
A show like this lives or dies on whether you like the characters and can relate to them. This is the first time I didn’t feel like the story I was watching was genuine, and that’s a huge problem for a show they did fairly well throughout its truncated run so far. For the show to fly high the rest of the season, they need to find ways to make Jonathan more compelling and increase the pressure on Clark to be both superman and dad. Without those key changes, Superman & Lois won’t have the strength it needs to succeed.