Readers, we have been bamboozled, hoodwinked and led astray by Todd Helbing and the Superman & Lois writing team. Again. We thought we were getting the nearly unkillable beast Doomsday. The reality under that adaptation of Doomsday’s containment suit was a different classic Superman villain.
Superman’s Intellectually Challenged Clone
For the third time, the show pulled a bait and switch on us with a villain. The first time was “Captain Luthor” being John Henry Irons. The second time was Morgan Edge being the newly created half-brother to Clark, Tahl-Rho. This time they had us thinking the thing in the mines was Doomsday when it was Bizarro all along. You’d think fans would anticipate a twist given the pattern they’ve shown, but I think everyone was shocked at the reveal.
I am happy they are doing Bizarro and he is visually the most comic accurate live action version we’ve ever gotten. I’ve pondered how the show could use that character given that it takes itself fairly seriously and Bizarro is admittedly a goofy, but tragic character. In the comics, everything he says means the opposite. Hate means love. Save means kill. This version of Bizarro speaks backwards. After the helmet is damaged and his true form is revealed, he says “Leave me alone.”
Upon reflection, this makes more sense than Doomsday. It explains Clark’s connection to him and why the rage coming from Bizarro affected Clark to the point that the usually calm father was yelling at Jordan and flashing heat vision eyes. They also mentioned Bizarro being interdimensional in episode two of this season. I think there’s a good chance they are doing Bizarro World, the cube-shaped planet that has Bizarro and other Bizarro versions of DC characters.
I do think this is connected to the cult story. The cult being led by Ally Allston is about finding your true self. I don’t think the appearance of a special needs doppelganger of Superman and a cult about supposed self-discovery is a coincidence. Do I think Ally created Bizarro? No. I’m thinking she knows of the existence of Bizarro World and she’s the one who Dr. Faulkner was talking to in episode two. And it is this team’s M.O. to lull viewers into thinking a villain for Lois is just going to interact with her and then reveal the villain is a big problem for Clark.
I do worry that the bait and switches with villains becoming the standard for this series. If they keep on doing it, eventually it will be diminishing returns. I get that surprising fans and seeing the reactions can be addictive, but will it be this exciting the fourth or fifth time? I don’t think it will be. Now the audience will be trained to expect shenanigans like this so if in season three, they have us thinking that the villain is Brainiac, but it is really Cyborg Superman, it will be expected and a letdown. They have to think of new ways to surprise us that aren’t just “Ha! You thought it was this character when it was really this character!” They’ve hit the limit on how many times you can do that.
Jordan wanted to tell Sarah his secret so he could fix the relationship. I guess telling your girlfriend you can shoot lasers out of your eyes is a healthier relationship fix compared to people that have a baby or have sex with other people. Clark understandably takes issue with this considering it isn’t just Jordan’s secret. It is also his secret and it impacts the entire family.
Clark never even told Lana his secret and he’s known her since he was in diapers. He only told Lois his secret after he was sure he wanted to marry her. It is not a cavalier thing for him. I’m sure Clark has visions of Jordan forgetting Sarah’s birthday and her dramatically revealing on TikTik that Clark Kent is Superman while a Taylor Swift song plays in the background. Teenagers don’t have fully formed brains and a bad decision with a secret this big could have deadly consequences.
I do like that Clark later told Jordan that they could revisit the issue a year from now if he still feels the same way. It is pushing the problem down the road, but it does acknowledge that this is Jordan’s secret as well. If he is going to have a healthy relationship with someone, he’ll have to be his whole self and that means letting her know he can cook a meatloaf without an oven.
I doubt Jordan will ever tell Sarah the truth. It makes more dramatic sense for her to find out on her own and then let the problems ensue. It can’t just be her being understanding and mature about it. She’s a teen girl and her boyfriend is lying to her. Even the most emotionally mature teenage girl in the world would be furious. I do think it has to happen either this season or next season. Too many things have happened for things to not click in her head eventually.
Jonathan The X-Kryptonite Druggie
Jonathan found out that his girlfriend Candace is selling X-Kryptonite to students. Rather than tell his parents that Smallville High is going all Requiem for a Dream but with the ability to lift a truck, he buys from her instead. This is a natural progression for the character. His father and brother have powers. He’s almost died multiple times including at the hands of Jordan while possessed by a dead Kryptonian. He’s also being sidelined on the thing he’s good at, which is football. It makes sense that he’d want to have an edge.
I just hope this show doesn’t go too literal with the drug addiction story. I want it to play more like an addiction to the power it gives him. I don’t want a replay of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season six where they literally had Willow strung out on magic. If they have Jonathan tripping balls on X-Kryptonite, that’s going to just be bad. I also hope it doesn’t take Lois and Clark too long to notice Jonathan is juicing. They’ve already been negligent parents last season by not giving him an ELT. If Jonathan suddenly has super strength and they don’t notice, CPS needs to be called on those two.
Random thoughts about the “The Things in the Mines”:
- Ally Allston had better be a version of Parasite like the name suggests. If they reveal she’s Silver Banshee or Metallo, I’m going to be pissed. You don’t have to get cute all the time, Todd Helbing!
- I’m glad they are continuing the character thread of Lana’s pressure to be perfect. Her desire to be a Mary Sue, but being imperfect is what makes this version interesting to me.
- Sam’s attitude about Lois and Lucy is pretty typical of fathers from that generation. They don’t want to get involved in drama even if it is extremely obvious that one child is in trouble and ignoring it isn’t going to help.
- The production value in the fight between Superman and Bizarro was stellar. Though poor Tyler Hoechlin has to play another dual role. The first time was in the Elseworlds crossover with John Deegan taking on Superman’s form, then he played evil alternate Superman and Zod possessed Superman last season and now he’s playing Bizarro. Warner Bros. is getting their money’s worth out of Tyler. They aren’t going to let that man have any handsome straight men hobbies. He’s just going to be playing all the versions of Superman. If he sees Ultraman in a script next season, I wouldn’t blame him if he egged Todd Helbing’s house.