NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Superman & Lois” are present in this review

 

 

It’s incredible how effectively Superman & Lois keeps piling on new landmark twists with each passing week. A lot of this comes from how brilliantly the series manages to play with the expectations of Superman/DC fans, who are quickly going on to discover that few things are exactly as they’re presented within the Arrowverse’s rendition of Smallville. “Loyal Subjekts” continued to present shocking new layers to Edge’s experiments and ultimate plan, and once again, the biggest twist was saved for the end! Before that however, Jordan faces another issue with his burgeoning superpowers, namely when he begins to cough up frigid Kryptonite dust, right when he’s practicing for Sarah’s big music revue.

It’s equally inspired to see how well Superman & Lois has managed to keep Jordan’s developing superpowers fresh and unpredictable, at least most of the time. Honestly, ditching the series’ former football arc has noticeably benefited Jordan’s character, giving him more possibilities through which to struggle with becoming his family’s other superhuman member. The idea of using General Lane’s experimental Kryptonite gas as the latest means to unlock a new power for Jordan, specifically his freeze breath, is also great, especially when it sets up an initially promising conflict between Lois and her father. This conflict gets so heated in fact that Lois eventually tells her father that he’s no longer welcome in her house!

This is a huge deal, presenting another major rift between General Lane and the Kent family. Unfortunately, the conflict isn’t really allowed to stew though, diminishing some of its effectiveness. Lane is immediately forgiven as soon as he bails Lois and Jonathan out of a Subjekt attack, and that quickly deflates Lois effectively telling her father that she never wants to see him again. There is still some decent tragic irony explored through Lois’ and her father’s brief spat though, especially when viewers have glimpsed first-hand that John Henry Irons’ dire warnings about the coming Kryptonian apocalypse are accurate, and are threatening to unfold again on Earth-Prime.

Jordan having to be taken to the Fortress of Solitude due to being infected by his father’s Kryptonite exposure (this is a bit odd, but I guess Kryptonite science is fictional science, so whatever) also has the unexpected consequence of Sarah being abandoned for her big performance on stage. This is yet another emotional development for the standout Cushing family drama, especially while Lana continues to dodge the professional courting of Edge, who’s officially on to Lana’s snooping. I guess Lana failed to take into account that Leslie has super-hearing. Even so, Lana turns down Edge’s young executive offer, and so far appears to be safe. Hell, she even gets to witness Kyle stepping up as a father for a change, coming on stage with Sarah so that she can complete her musical performance at Smallville High’s music revue. This is a particularly sweet moment, one that works as a great palate cleanser for Kyle’s latest drunken bender during the previous episode.

If you thought that Kyle was fully in the clear though, think again. As it turns out, once Edge and Leslie decide to send two of their Subjekts, including Lana’s friend, Emily, to go and kill Lois and Jonathan, Kyle appears to come to their aid, right as Jonathan pulls out a cache of John Henry Irons’ weapons in order to keep the Subjekts at bay. Alas however, Kyle is himself a Subjekt, almost killing Lois and Jonathan with heat vision, until Clark manages to neutralize him. Clark leaving a disoriented Kyle in the middle of a random field is a bit of an odd solution, but I suppose he’s holding out hope that the Subjekt process can be reversed. In any case, Lana confronts Kyle about his disappearance following Sarah’s song, only to soon discover in horror that Kyle applied for Edge’s young executive program off-screen. This seemed inevitable, but the way that the show presented it, namely through Kyle seeing Edge’s program as the best way to improve himself for his wife and daughters, nonetheless pulls at the heartstrings, especially when Lana has once again failed to protect a loved one from Edge’s machinations.

Oh, but it gets worse for our heroes, somehow. After the next step of Edge’s plan is deduced by Clark and Lois, namely that Edge moved through small communities while using his philanthropic efforts to disguise a hunt for X-Kryptonite, they put together that Tag, and the two Subjekts that Clark previously fought, were from places outside of Smallville. Leslie, however, along with the current crop of Subjekts, were born and raised in Smallville, and their prolonged exposure to the X-Kryptonite under Smallville’s mines allowed them to retain stable superpowers, whereas Subjekts from places like Metropolis couldn’t. In another inspired twist that will no doubt surprise Superman/DC fans, Leslie Larr isn’t actually evil Kryptonian scientist, Lesla-Lar either, at least not physically. In reality, Leslie is a human woman from Smallville named Irma Sayles, whom Edge brainwashed as his very first Subjekt, likely imbuing Irma with the consciousness of Lesla-Lar.

But how would Edge have the ability to do this? He’s just a crooked business mogul, isn’t he? Hell, even Supergirl already established this, back when Edge was fully American, and played by Adrian Pasdar. Oh, and if that discrepancy in Arrowverse canon has been bothering you, a final shocking twist may finally put your consistency-craving neuroses to rest. It turns out that Superman & Lois’ ‘Morgan Edge’ is not actually the real Morgan Edge, who is presumably still Adrian Pasdar’s Morgan Edge from Supergirl. In yet another very cool misdirect, Superman & Lois’ Morgan Edge is actually a Kryptonian that crash landed on Earth, one that refers to Clark as, “Brother.” The true identity of this fake Morgan Edge isn’t revealed during this awesome cliffhanger, but the smart money from Superman/DC fans would make the most likely candidate Halk-Kar, a foster brother of Superman from DC Comics lore, who comes from a neighbouring Kryptonian-colonized planet. Either way, we’ll have to wait and see who this mystery figure is, and how he no doubt possesses the means to push Clark over the edge when it comes to oppressing humanity, as John Henry Irons warned about.

Superman & Lois is positively on fire when it comes to keeping viewers guessing amid a highly intriguing mystery. Every week, fantastic new layers to the Morgan Edge agenda continue to unfold, now culminating with the reveal that the mystery man we thought was a revised Morgan Edge isn’t even Morgan Edge at all! This is a suspicion that should have been staring Arrowverse enthusiasts in the face the whole time, considering that the seemingly true Morgan Edge already appeared on Supergirl a few seasons ago, where he was American, not British, and was played by a different actor. Clearly, this mystery Kryptonian posing as Morgan Edge is someone significant to Clark as well, which could explain how Clark may be able to be turned against humanity. “Loyal Subjekts” thus ends up being another slam dunk for Superman & Lois, deftly balancing excitement, drama and suspense, as the false Morgan Edge’s power continues to mount, and Smallville’s fate becomes ever more uncertain. Hell, even Kyle Cushing has officially joined the ranks of Leslie Larr’s Kryptonian avatars, no doubt putting Lana in more danger than ever during the weeks ahead!

Superman & Lois 1.9: "Loyal Subjekts" Review
Superman & Lois keeps piling on superb twists, as a shocking truth about Morgan Edge is revealed this week, while General Lane's experimental Kryptonite gas ends up having dire consequences for Jordan.
THE GOOD STUFF
  • Jordan's harrowing Kryptonite sickness
  • Kyle's emotional roller coaster, and Subjekt transformation
  • Superb twist of Morgan Edge being a Kryptonian fake
THE NOT-SO-GOOD STUFF
  • Lois' big blowup at her father is quickly rendered pointless
90%Overall Score
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