Superman & Lois
Season 1 Episode 4
The Best of Smallville
Synopsis: As Smallville celebrates its first Harvest Festival since Martha’s passing, Clark is reminded what his mother meant to him and learns a lesson that will help him move past her death. Meanwhile, Lois makes a breakthrough in the investigation of Morgan Edge. Lastly, Kyle tries to reconnect with Lana, but it seems like he might be falling back into his old ways.
Clark has increased his hero activity around the world in a bid to give him some time to be back in Smallville for the annual Harvest Festival. It’s a great, grounded opening that emphasizes the uniqueness of the town as well as Clark’s relationship with his mother. It was nice to see that kind of emotion and excitement from Clark. It gave the scene some resonance and reminded me why the move to Smallville is so necessary for the soul of this series.
Things start getting complicated when the mother who reached out to Lois about her missing son returns to the newspaper with the man in tow claiming he doesn’t remember what happened to him in the time he was missing. This is where the main mystery of the episode lies as both Lois and Crissy investigate where he was and what brought him back. Intercut throughout the episode are moments of reflection for Clark as he sees the toll the move to Smallville is having on Jonathan. Those are great scenes that show the evolution of the character and there is an awesome “Superboy” style scene where young Clark uses his powers to stop a robbery. It’s well done and brilliantly transitions back to the present.
Jonathan finds himself dealing with a lot in this episode and his normally light veneer is strained as he sees his brother acclimate and thrive in the small town while he seems to be going nowhere. It’s an interesting conflict and one that had to be explored sooner rather than later, but it adds one too many character conflicts in an episode that is already filled with great story beats to work with. While the story is fine overall, it does break up the pace of the episode.
The real meat of the episode comes from the investigation into Sharon’s son Derrick and his mysterious new powers. Powers that not only connect him to Morgan Edge’s assistant, but also to a bigger conspiracy that attracts the attention of Superman. Unfortunately, Superman’s quest for answers is interrupted by Luthor who has more than one personal stake in bringing Superman down and that stake is Lois Lane. I like that the conflict between the characters is going to be more than just Superman v Luthor. It’s going to be interesting to see how that develops and what forms it takes.
The episode has some great action throughout and continues to (mostly) find a balance between its evolving storylines. There is a lot being established in this episode and those new plot points are both compelling and interesting. The ending has an interesting and unexpected twist as well that will set up a new conflict to be explored.