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When a threat of legal action leaves Lois unable to publish her expose of Morgan Edge's business dealings, she reluctantly turns to Clark for help in appealing to the people of Smallville as the proposal granting Edge control of the city's mines comes up for a vote. Unfortunately, Clark is already feeling torn in two directions between his new job as an assistant football coach and General Lane's demands of his time. Meanwhile, Jordan and Jonathan have their own problems with a teammate who seems to have powers of his own.
The Superman comics of Jack Kirby (use of Morgan Edge and references to Intergang) and John Byrne (use of Thaddeus Killgrave), the pre-Crisis Supergirl comics (mention of X-Kryptonite) and the Smallville series (high school slice of life themes, Kryptonite giving humans powers)
Any fears that Lois Lane would be reduced to being a damsel in distress or the mama bear in this series were obliterated by Elizabeth Tulloch's performance in this episode. Here, we see the full fury of Lois Lane that was briefly teased in earlier appearances.
While not give as much screen time this week, Jordan Elsaas continues to portray Jonathan Kent with an amazing level of compassion balanced out by his clear discomfort at suddenly being an outcast after being popular in Metropolis.
The special effects work during Superman's fight with Killgrave is spectacular and of cinematic quality.
The effects work for Tag's superspeed is also notable and the direction plays up the body horror aspects of his power going out of control.
General Lane asks Clark to escort the prison transfer of a mad scientist named Thaddeus Killgrave. In the comics, Killgrave was a Superman villain, who first appeared in Superman Vol 2 #19 in July 1988 and was created by John Byrne. He is most famous for having built a nuclear bomb for The Joker, who used it as part of a plan to terrorize Superman. He was also employed by Intergang.
In the comics, Thaddeus Killgrave had dwarfism.
The Arrowverse version of Killgrave is of normal size, but slight and shorter than average. He is played by Brendan Fletcher, whom Arrow fans may recognize as Stanley Dover.
Mention is made of Intergang still being active. In the comics, Intergang is one of the DC Universe's most powerful crime syndicates, with agents operating on a global scale. The show's mention of Intergang is the first sign of their existence on Earth-Prime.
Chrissy Beppo makes reference to Lois not being as good at editing as she is at writing. This is a running gag, first appearing in Superman: The Movie, which has migrated into other media and the comics.
Mention is made of a special school for metahuman teens that the Department of Defense is aware of, if not actively running. This may explain why the special school for metahumans proposed in the Season 3 finale of Black Lightning never materialized - it already existed and was so top secret even the US Congress didn't know about it!
The final scene reveals that Morgan Edge has been looking for X-Kryptonite and finds it in the Shuster Mines. In the classic Supergirl comics, X-Kryptonite was a Kryptonite variant which Supergirl accidentally created with an experiment to fashion a Kryptonite poisoning antidote. The piece she worked with developed the ability to temporarily give Kryptonian powers to Earth creatures rather than weakening Kryptonians. It was this piece of Kryptonite that changed Linda Danvers' cat Streaky into a Super-Cat.
The exact properties of X-Kryptonite in the Arrowverse are not described in this episode, but it is speculated Edge has been using it to empower various test subjects, including Leslie Larr. It may have other properties, such as raising the dead, as Edge specifically mentions resurrecting an army.
Thaddeus Killgrave is able to create a temperature-sensitive synthetic polymer resin that resembles chewing gum in the sink of his prison cell. Highly mercurial at an atomic level, it explodes upon contact with the precise vibration of a ticking wristwatch. In short, a plastic explosive that can use an unconnected clock as a timer.
According to the video footage of the keg explosion, there was a yellow phosphorescence present apart from Jordan's heat-vision blast. It's suspected this may have triggered Tag's metagene.
General Lane: How could you not tell me?
Lois: What? That he’s good at football?
General Lane: He’s not. The kid’s a buck twenty soaking wet, never played a down of tiddlywinks. Now he’s T-boning players twice his size? He has powers, and you didn’t tell me.
Lois: All right, well, it’ll probably never even happen again. Bottom line, he doesn’t have powers. We just wanna keep an eye on him.
General Lane:That’s why you moved to Smallville?
Lois: No… well, yeah, sort of.
General Lane: And now he’s playing football? Mistake. The Kent family needs to fly under the radar.
Lois: My sons need to live their lives. Dad, Clark and I can handle this.
General Lane: Clark? How is he helping? By coaching the team?
Lois: He’s involved, which is a hell of a lot more than you ever were.
General Lane: I don’t like his priorities changing.
Lois: It’s called being a father.
Lois: (sweetly) Clark? Gorgeous husband, love of my life, really, and my dear, personal champion, a tiny favor to ask.
Clark: Does it have anything to do with your dad?
Lois: No. He’s in national security mode. It has to do with the assembly. I was thinking that since my article was shredded and I can’t technically speak out about Morgan Edge, the next best thing would be to have Smallville’s favorite son show up and say some words on behalf of justice.
Clark: Okay. Well, when you put it that way, yeah, I’ll be there.
Lois: Great. Now if you’ll excuse me, I just found out Edge is at the mines.
Clark: Whoa, you’re gonna go confront him after he sent a guy to attack you?
Lois: Look, Edge thinks he has me up against the ropes. If I show up out of nowhere, knock him off balance, maybe I’ll pop something loose.
Clark: If you wait, I can go with you.
Lois: No, I got it. You have practice. I can handle myself.
Morgan Edge: Ms. Lane. Have you come to take a tour of our facilities?
Lois: Yeah, after what happened in New Carthage, I would rather not follow you into a dark tunnel.
Morgan Edge: Whatever could you be insinuating?
Lois: Look, I’m kind of bored with the whole “faux-British accent, billionaire at a football game trying to fit in” con job.
Morgan Edge: I can assure you, my accent is genuine. I was raised in…
Lois: (cutting him off) Oh, my God. Who cares? Let’s just lay it out on the table. First, you changed my story. Then, you sent some goon who almost killed Sharon Powell. Now you have your minion threatening my career? Let me tell you how this goes. You sue me, I countersue. Your records get opened up in discovery, and that doesn’t end well for you or your brand name.
Morgan Edge: My, my. You have thought this all through.
Lois: Why Smallville? There’s other towns, other mines. Why are you going to all this trouble?
Morgan Edge: That’s curious. I was about to ask you the same question. World-renowned journalist, short-listed for the Pulitzer twice. And you move here with your unemployed husband and two adolescent boys. It seems like there must be something here that’s very important to you. Maybe I’ll find out what that is.
Lois: Is that a threat?
Morgan Edge: Well, I could offer you your old job back, on the condition you play by the rules, but let’s be honest, you’ll never work at the “Daily Planet” again. You’re past your prime, playing a high-stakes game with a losing hand. You should fold while you still can.
Lois: Actually, I have one more ace to play. I’m bringing it with me to the town assembly. Maybe we can talk more then. For now, I’m done with you, unless this creep show has anything to add?
(Lois stares down Leslie Larr.)
Lois: I didn’t think so.
Clark: Babe, I’m so, so sorry I missed the vote.
Lois: I know. It’s okay.
Clark: No, it’s not. And you’re covering.
Lois: Don’t super-spy on my pulse rate or whatever you do.
Clark: You clench your jaw when you’re mad.
Lois: I’m not mad.
Clark: Well, you should be. I said I was gonna be there, and I wasn’t.
Lois: Clark, can we not do this right now? I’m not in the mood!
Clark: I just want to apologize. And I want you to know that I…
Lois: Babe, I don’t need an excuse. I know you have an excuse. You’re Superman.
Lois: Okay, fine. I’m mad! And I know it’s irrational because I understand that there were lives at stake, but this was so important to me. And we lost the vote, by the way, and now I’m feeling guilty for wanting you to do something you said you would do. (sighs) When we started dating, I knew what I was getting into. And I don’t get mad about you missing date nights or anniversaries or family dinners because of some idiot with a nuke, but lately, with everything that’s going on with the boys and my dad constantly in your ear, it feels like I’m really far down on your list of priorities.
Clark: (stunned) Is that honestly how you feel?
Lois: Right now, in this moment that I might regret tomorrow, yeah, I do.
Denise: You know, we miss you so much at cheer.
Sarah: Well, you know, I just needed more time for… drugs and alcohol.
(Jonathan knocks on Jordan's bedroom door. Jordan is sitting on his bed holding an icepack to his jaw.)
Jonathan: You good?
(Jordan shrugs as Jonathan walks in and sits next to him on the bed.)
Jonathan: Jordan, what, uh, what happened to Tag…
Jordan: (tiredly) Don’t try to tell me it wasn’t my fault. You saw the video. My heat vision, it gave Tag those powers…
Jonathan: No, that’s not how it works.
Jordan: Yeah, you don’t know that.
Jonathan: You’re right. I don’t. I don’t know how or why any of this is happening, okay? And the truth is, um… I’ve honestly been really jealous about all of it. And I’m sorry about that, but, Jordan, look, I do know this. You would never hurt anyone. Ever. So whatever happened, it was an accident, okay? It was an accident.
As the episode opens, Morgan Edge is watching the Smallville High football game with some of the city leaders, including Kyle Cushing.
Kyle Cushing used to play football in high school.
The grandstands at Smallville High School's football stadium were built in 1948.
Edge extends a dinner invitation to Kyle and Lana when he learns that Lana is an employee of his bank.
General Lane shows up to watch the game unannounced. He was not aware that Jordan was playing football now or that Clark had taken a job as an assistant coach.
Jordan's nickname among the other players is Shortstack.
Jordan is given the game ball and credited with winning the game for his team.
General Lane claims the military is afraid of Superman and he's the only thing keeping them in check.
General Lane says that Superman's absence in Metropolis has been noted and that big organized crime groups like Intergang are getting bolder.
General Lane says that they are transferring all the high-risk inmates out of Metropolis Penitentiary because everyone thinks Superman isn't there anymore. He asks for Clark to act as an escort for the transfer as a show of good faith.
One of the prisoners being transferred is Thaddeus Killgrave - a psychopathic genius who hates Superman.
General Lane offers to stay for the weekend to pitch in around the house.
Tag Harris, who broke his arm in 101, is bitter about Jordan's success and not being able to play.
Tag Harris comes from a poorer family than most of the football players and is bullied because of it.
During the dinner with the city leaders, Morgan Edge spends most of the night talking with Lana and suggests he can improve her career prospects if she's agreeable.
Lana graduated magna cum laude from Stanhope College and could have gone anywhere but came back to Smallville.
Lana says that got into finance to help people but it seems the only people she helps now are shareholders.
Leslie Larr shows up at the Smallville Gazette office with a copy of Lois' former contract with The Daily Planet, which she claims has a clause that prohibits her from writing anything for a competing paper that reflects negatively on her former boss (i.e. Morgan Edge) or speaking against him publicly.
Chrissy Beppo is forced to pull Lois' expose of Edge, not having the money to fight his lawyers.
After getting home from the celebration at the local diner, Tag Harris begins to have a spasm while trying to scratch under his cast where his arm will not stop vibrating.
Jonathan is a little jealous of Jordan's success, but Clark reminds him that he can still shine as an offensive player.
Lois goes to confront Morgan Edge at the Shuster Mines, having learned he's there getting at tour.
Lois asks Clark to speak against Edge's proposal at a city assembly. He agrees to do so.
Lana is upset that Kyle didn't even notice Morgan Edge was making her uncomfortable.
Lois was short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for journalism twice.
Tag Harris has another spasm at school in the bathroom, which Jonathan Kent notices.
Thaddeus Killgrave uses a special explosive to escape from the prison caravan.
Tag removed his cast and claims his arm is now fine, several weeks before when he should have healed.
Jonathan tries to tell Clark about what he saw, but Clark has to put the conversation on hold to deal with Killgrave's escape.
Killgrave leaves behind a digital device warning Superman that he'll see him soon.
General Lane returns to Washington, but before he goes he tells Jordan and Jonathan they should be mindful about burdening their father with problems they might be able to solve themselves.
Jonathan and Jordan decide to go to a party being thrown by one of their teammates, Wellnitz, because Jonathan wants to check up on Tag. Jordan says he'll text Sarah Cushing about getting a ride with her.
Clark fails to make it to the Smallville town assembly meeting because of his searching for Killgrave after his escape..
Lana invites Lois to a girl's night out at a local bar.
The Smallville city council vote to grant Morgan Edge EneCorp exclusive rights to the Shuster mines.
According to Sarah, Wellnitz is a casual drug user.
According to Lana, Kyle actually respects Lois for speaking her mind, for all he does to rile her up.
Lois says she admires how Kyle feels about Smallville.
Lana tells Lois that Clark changed completely after meeting her, becoming more confident and self-assured. She credits her for that.
Jordan says he hasn't had an anxiety attack since joining the football team and he actually likes playing the game and being good at something other people praise him for.
Tag accidentally breaks a chair after cutting his hand and having another speed-spasm.
Jonathan and Jordan chase after Tag when he runs off from the party.
Killgrave and a group of Intergang members confront Superman at Glenmorgan Square in Metropolis with a sonic blaster.
Tag begins to spasm and vibrate uncontrollably and Jordan and Jonathan debate using the ELT to call their dad for help, based on General Lane's warning earlier.
Jordan tries to hold Tag steady but is blown back by his vibrational powers.
Clark hears the ELT go off and that inspires him to create a shockwave of his own with his hands, knocking down the Intergang members and giving him time to melt Killgrave's blaster.
Clark carries Tag into the upper atmosphere where the thinner air helps calm him down and regain control.
Jordan blames himself for what happened to tag, but Jonathan tells him he knows he would never intentionally do something to hurt someone.
Tag is being looked over by doctors at the DOD.
There is a special school for kids with superpowers overseen by the American government. The exact number of students attending it is classified.
Jordan and Jonathan tell Lois and Clark about General Lane telling them not to bother Clark with all their problems.
Lana and Kyle seem to mend their fences.
Clark sets up a dinner date night for himself and Lois in the Kent barn, but has to leave partway through because of a situation in Malawi.
General Lane tells Lt. Rosetti to establish a new protocol called Project 7734 on a secure line.
Morgan Edge is searching for a substance called X-Kryptonite, which exists in abundance in the Shuster Mines.
Clark leaves during his date with Lois to deal with a situation in Malawi.
The Bottom Line
A fantastic episode that puts the focus on Lois, but still gives us a fantastic Superman fight and gives the boys some great character moments too.