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‘Superman & Lois’ Review: Season 1 Episode 5 – “The Best of Smallville”


For the first four episodes of this series, Jonathan was the good brother and son. He put Jordan’s needs over his own by uprooting his own life. He left behind a starting quarterback position and a girlfriend for Jordan. He convinced his father to let his brother play football despite him having powers. Now Jordan is the star player and he’s riding the bench. He doesn’t even have a girlfriend anymore. Jonathan is done being nice about his life being in ruins and it was long overdue.

I don’t care how much you love a sibling. There’s only so much someone can take before they start acting out. I think parental favoritism is a factor as well. Jordan got to go flying with Clark and visit the Fortress of Solitude. Jordan gets the “Help me, Superman!” signal. Jordan gets to talk to Clark like he’s an out of control teen on Dr. Phil and the only consequence is he gets told to go to his room. Now that Jordan has calmed down for the moment, Jonathan decides to have his own out of control teen moment and gets drunk and ruins Jordan’s date with Sarah. To his credit, Jordan is kind about it. Likely because Jonathan has had to play brother’s keeper to him all his life, so the role reversal feels natural. He knows what to do because Jonathan has done it for him.

Clark and Lois have taken Jonathan for granted as the easy child, so now they are all shocked Pikachu about him acting out and wanting to move back to Metropolis to live with a friend like he’s a poor relation in a Jane Austen novel. The solution? A pep talk about giving Smallville a chance and a wooden box that Grandpa Jonathan owned. Seriously. Jordan gets a signal that can call Super Dad anytime he wants and Jonathan gets a box. I’m at the point where I wouldn’t blame Jonathan if he threw kryptonite at his dad’s crotch. I get that it has sentimental value and it is from Jonathan’s namesake, but it feels insulting.

This episode attempts to parallel Jonathan’s struggles with flashbacks of young Clark stopping TV thieves and leaving Smallville. While the flashbacks are well done, I don’t think you can really compare the situations. Clark could shoot lasers from his eyeballs and he needed to grow outside of Smallville. Jonathan’s life sucks because his parents used his brother’s keeper position to bamboozle him into moving to his detriment. He can’t even be the focus when he gets drunk. Lois tells him to get a ride share! Your son is crying out for attention and her first thought was Uber.

Enough about Clois being terrible parents. Let’s move on to Captain Luthor. This episode had him tracking down Lois and introducing himself as a reporter looking into Morgan Edge. I noticed he looked thirsty for her when they interacted. Well, there was a good reason for that. In the Evil Superman universe, Luthor was married to Lois. Dun dun dun! I actually really like this twist.

Luthor doesn’t know that Clark is Superman, so whenever he does learn that, it is going to be another reason for him to want to kill him. It doesn’t matter that this technically isn’t Luthor’s Lois. He says she’s just like his Lois and he’s clearly jealous of her being with Clark. The love of his life being with his enemy is going to get him in his feelings.

This twist is very Silver Age era comics. In that era, there would be imaginary tales (or what we would now call Elseworlds stories) where Lois would marry Lex or Bruce Wayne. Sometimes in the main continuity, Lois would almost marry Satan or Mister Mxyzptlk or some rando who has a room full of Lois mannequins. Lois would somehow not find a room of mannequins of herself to be creepy. The Silver Age was just obsessed with Lois getting married to people that weren’t Superman, so I’m happy to see this series is continuing that tradition without the mannequins.

While I did have my issues with this episode, I did overall like it. It did move the Morgan Edge plot forward while having it intersect with Captain Luthor’s Wile E. Coyote quest to kill Superman. It also addressed the Martha of it all. Outside of the pilot, they didn’t mention her much and her death was the event that got them to Smallville. It was a missing beat that needed to be played and I’m glad they did. The Harvest Festival showed how much important Martha was to Smallville and to Clark himself.

While Clark leaves a lot to be desired in the parenting department, it was so sweet to see him geeking out over the Harvest Festival and wanting to share it with his family. The show nailed the enthusiasm of a father wanting to share something he loved from his childhood with his own kids. I think a lot of us probably have memories like that of your dad showing you Star Wars or going fishing or watching sports. Dads just want to bond with you via something they love. It is the universal dad love language.

Random thoughts from “The Best of Smallville”

  • Clark looked very young leaving Smallville. I assume he graduated high school. If not, did he get his GED from the Fortress of Solitude?
  • Jonathan’s out of control teen moment was very mild. Most shows would have had this involve a car crash. I’m actually glad they didn’t go there. Got to save something for season two!
  • I get why Clark didn’t save the building fire as Superman. He could get away with showing up as Superman in Smallville if something major happened like a tornado. Other than that, it would get suspicious.
  • I quite enjoy the casual affection between Lois and Clark. Him just putting his head in her lap was adorable.
  • Clois might have questionable parenting skills, but at least they aren’t Kyle. Sarah being late to her date because she had to take care of alcoholic Kyle was sad. Clark can’t get drunk, but still.
  • This show is on hiatus until May, so you have time to get any friends or family members to catch up on the series via The CW app. Being pushy about a show you like is the love language of TV fans.
Alan Sarapa
Alan is a Maryland resident and lifelong Superman fan. He has a monthly soap column at The Pop Break and is a co-host on daytime themed podcast The Chat.

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