‘Superman & Lois’ Review: Season 1 Episode 14 “The Eradicator”

Ever since Lois Lane debuted in Action Comics #1, she has been an aggressive reporter who chased the story no matter the danger. However, I think some of the people who watch this show don’t know that or just don’t like Lois being written in character. Reactions I saw online said Lois was “being needlessly reckless” and how unfortunate it was that Irons saved her. I’m not going to touch the person rooting for Lois to die on a show called Superman & Lois because that’s just in the category of “Female character bad!” idiocy you see in nerd circles, but I do think it is worth discussing some people being mad at Lois being Lois. Have they ever watched a Superman property before?

Lois has run into danger for a story in every live action Superman property I can think of. Phyllis Coates’ Lois got trapped in a mine while investigating a story after trying to help a miner. Margot Kidder’s Lois got into peril with terrorists in Paris under an elevator. Teri Hatcher’s Lois went undercover at a nightclub to catch an arsonist. Erica Durance’s Lois became the superhero Stiletto to get an interview with The Red-Blue Blur AKA Clark. Amy Adams’ Lois almost died while investigating sexy drifter Clark. Danger and Lois go together like white celebrities and body odor.

Lois going up on the roof to tell the world what was happening was one of the most Lois things she’s done all season. Lois is not scared of Kryptonian possessed people attacking the city. Lois always puts the story above her personal safety. You might think this is because she knows she has Clark to save her, but she was this way before she had a superhero hubby. Lois is not the type to wait at home while the man is off advancing the plot. Lois is not a passive character. This is what makes her distinct from other superhero love interests. Things don’t just happen to her like Vicki Vale or Mary Jane Watson.

I love that this show knows how important the truth is to Lois. That is why she became a reporter. She’s in a difficult situation because her husband is Superman and her father is a general, so she must walk a fine line from protecting her family and giving the public the information, they need to know. Telling the public that Morgan Edge is Superman’s brother would be a step too far but letting them know he’s on the loose is information they deserve. The citizens of Smallville are in slightly less danger because now Morgan as The Eradicator can possess people that weren’t raised in Smallville, but given that the Kent family resides in Smallville, they aren’t safe. Not even Jordan and Jonathan were safe.

As soon as they introduced the concept of subjekts and body possession, I knew it would result in one or more series regulars getting taken over. Kyle getting taken over a few episodes ago was expected. Menacing Corpse Morgan putting his daddy in his nephew (phrasing!) was just too tempting for a showrunner to pass up narratively. It puts Clark in the untenable position of having a genocidal maniac inhabiting his son’s body. I don’t think Clark is going to pull an Invincible on Jordan, but I do think it is likely Clark will have to put hands on him to protect others. Tyler and Bitsie did an excellent job playing the devastation at Jordan being taken.

Jordan getting taken in front of Sarah made the countdown to her finding out the truth speed up. Jonathan mentioned the ELT (AKA the “Help, Superman!” sound beeper) in front of her after the crash. When you add in what happened with Tag and Meat Puppet Morgan kidnapping Jordan, there’s too much happening right in front of her to not figure out something’s up. They’ve already shown her being suspicious of Jordan before. She must learn the truth next season. On Smallville, they dragged out Lana and Lois learning the truth for years. I don’t think this show should use that playbook. Fans are less patient than they were in the 2000’s and if things keep happening right in front of her, it would be idiotic to keep her in the dark for much longer. I understand not wanting the whole cast to know, but Sarah is the logical choice of the regular people to learn the truth.

I don’t want Jordan to tell Sarah the truth. That’s too much like Clark telling Lois he’s Superman. She should figure it out on her own. There are several story directions you could take with that route. She could not let him know that she’s learned his secret. She could confront him and angrily dump him for lying. She could be supportive and double down on her love for him. Whatever direction they go with, they need to pick one and implement it. I know some of you might be concerned about the show burning through story too fast like The O.C. season one did, but there are stories you could tell with Sarah knowing Jordan is half-Kryptonian.

I do worry about the long-term story potential for John Henry Irons. I do feel like he’s a compelling character with an interesting backstory, but if Irons went up to the attic for skis and never came down, it wouldn’t really impact the show. Next season they need to integrate him into the town of Smallville. Develop ties like work or romance so he isn’t just Clark’s enemy turned friend. I am intrigued by him possibly mentoring Jonathan, but I don’t want that to be his only story. A show needs strong supporting characters to be truly successful and those stories need to be just as compelling as the A plot.

This episode did a good job setting the stage for the season finale. The goal of every penultimate episode in a season is to set up the finale and make people excited to watch it. Mission accomplished. Now let’s hope the season finale delivers on the promise.

Random thoughts about “The Eradicator”:

  • Poor Jonathan keeps on getting injured. That boy’s football career is done. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up in a full body cast at some point.
  • I do think it was unrealistic for Sarah to speak to her parents like that and get away with it. She’s half-Hispanic. Only white kids get away with that. Source: Me a white man who was once a teen who got away with saying stuff like that to my parents while my POC friends were aghast at me telling them about things I said to them.
  • I’m glad they didn’t go full Man of Steel destruction on Metropolis. I’m going to estimate that under a 100 people died, which is small when you had multiple Kryptonians flying around destroying stuff.
  • I do hope the Smallville Gazette gets folded into a larger paper because I don’t want Lois to be working at a rinky dink paper for the rest of this show’s run. Maybe she could return to a TV journalism career in addition to working at the paper. She needs to keep on making money so they can afford all that wine they drink on the porch.
  • Why does Sophie exist? They never do anything with her. The show treats her like how soap operas treat kids. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking for a Sophie story. I just question the wisdom of creating her in the first place.

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