Sunday, March 28, 2021

Superman and Lois: Season 1, Episode 5 - The Best of Smallville

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here. 


As Smallville celebrates its first Harvest Festival since Martha Kent's passing, Clark is reminded of what his mother meant to him and the city and learns an important lesson. Meanwhile, the shift in Jonathan and Jordan's fortunes finally comes to a head, as The Stranger arrives in Smallville and begins stalking Lois.


The classic Superboy comics (Clark trying to protect his town as a teenager) and Superman: The Movie (Pa Kent's speech about Clark being sent to Earth for a reason, Ma Kent giving him the sunstone from his rocket.)


Inde Navarrette, who plays Sarah Cushing, gets some great moments here, playing a teenage girl who is wise beyond her years and resentful of the innocence she's lost. 

Tyler Hoechlin gets some great silent acting moments in the set-up to the flashbacks to his teen years and the moments after.


The direction in general is fantastic, with the transition between flashbacks and present-day scenes being seamless.

The "after school special" scene with Sarah and Jordan having their date interuppted by a drunken Jonathan is also notable for how it avoids being the typical "teen drinking is bad" drama scene and is played completely straight and with surprising realism.

I defy you not to cry during the final flashback as a teenage Clark Kent leaves home for the first time and Martha Kent watches him leave, neither one wanting to part but both knowing it is ultimately for the best.

Super Trivia

Most of the flashbacks to Clark's teen years are taken directly from Superman: The Movie.

This episode confirms that this version of Clark Kent did try to use his powers to help people before becoming Superman, although he didn't don a costume and appear as Superboy when he did it.

This episode reveals that The Stranger (aka Captain Luthor) was apparently married to Lois Lane on his Earth. There is a long history of Lois Lane and Lex Luthor being romantically involved in alternate worlds in the DC Comics universe. Perhaps the most famous example of this is in Earth-3; a world where all the great heroes were villains and Alexander Luthor the world's only superhero.

Lois and Lex were also married in the reality of Superman: Red Son. The two dated for a time in the realities of Superman: The Animated Series and  Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. In the current mainstream DC Comics universe, Luthor had an infatuation with Lois (due to her refusal to cowtow to him) and he briefly had a replicant companion modeled on Lois.


Captain Luthor tracks Superman and Derek Powell's chase to a five mile circumference, based on an established flight algorithm of Kryptonian flight patterns.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Sharon Powell has just told Lois and Chrissy to drop the matter of Morgan Edge trying to have her killed, now that her son has suddenly come back.)
Okay, that phony story... was all sorts of rehearsed.
Lois: (deadpan) I know.
Chrissy: Sharon almost got killed by someone who works for Morgan Edge.
Lois: (deadpan) Yep.
Chrissy: I'm acting like you right now?
Lois: That's because we both know this is a big story. And we will figure it out, but for now, let's just be happy she got her son back.

Lois: So you're a reporter?
The Stranger: That's right. Marcus Bridgewater.
Lois: Sounds vaguely familiar. Politico?
The Stranger:  Reuters. Mainly do business coverage, focusing on big tech. I have a background in engineering. I used to work at LuthorCorp.
Lois: (like she's about to spit) Lex Luthor, the only human being worse than Morgan Edge.
The Stranger:  Guy, uh... (chuckles) Definitely has his secrets. 

(Jonathan has just said he's sick of farming, Harvest Fest and Smallville.)
Hey. I'm sorry about Eliza.
Jonathan: It's not about that, Dad. I wanna move back. I lost all my friends. I'm probably never gonna play football again, and... and now, what? You just expect me to drop my life for everyone else's?
Clark: Look, I know, I know. A lot has changed. But I promise you, it's all gonna work out.
Jonathan: (scoffs) You don't know that!
Clark: I get it. There was a time in my life when I felt just like you.
Jonathan: Yeah, well, I'm sure. When was that? When you were, I don't know, lifting an oil tanker or maybe flying laps around Saturn?
Clark: Jonathan...
Jonathan: No, Dad! I'm not like you, and I'm not like Superboy over there, okay? (gestures towards Jordan) And this town? It is my Kryptonite! 

Martha Kent: We've talked about this, Clark. You can't be running around playing masked vigilante.
Teen Clark: They were stealing!
Martha Kent: I understand that, but we've got rules in this family.
Teen Clark: Those were Dad's rules, and he's not here anymore.
Martha Kent: That doesn't mean you get to ignore everything he taught you.
Teen Clark: It's been a year. You know? We can't keep pretending everything's the same. We have to move on with our lives.
Martha Kent: Moving on can be a distraction. Sometimes to heal, you've gotta... you've gotta sit with the feeling, you know? Let it run its course.
Teen Clark: Dad understood. He knew I was sent here for a reason.
Martha Kent: Your father and I both knew you were sent here for a reason.
Teen Clark: Well, I'm pretty sure that reason wasn't to be Martha Kent's son! 

(Lois and Clark are sitting on Martha Kent's memorial bench.)

I was so selfish.
Everybody is at that age. It's part of growing up.
Yeah, but Mom knew that. And she let me go anyway.
Because she loved you and she wanted you to be happy. And now we're at the point where our own kids are talking about leaving home.
It feels like they were just born.
It's easy for you to say, you didn't have to go through 27 hours of labor.
That's true.
(Clark looks over at Lois and the both laugh and cuddle up.)
Lois: Love you.
Clark: Love you too.
(From a distance, they are being watched by Captain Luthor, He looks upset - more saddened then angry as he turns around and walks away. He returns to his mobile home. He leans on the counter and steadies himself, breathing deeply. His AI kicks on and a red light scans over him.)
AI: Biometric readings suggests your pulse is abnormally high. This must be about Lois Lane. It is worth reminding you that this is not the Lois Lane from your world.
Captain Luthor: Everything about her is the same. Everything, except she marries someone else! 


As the episode opens, the national news is reporting an uptick in Superman sightings around the globe. This is because Clark is trying to free up time for his favorite time of year in Smallville: Harvest Fest.

Harvest Fest is an annual event in Smallville, coinciding with when the farmers harvested their crops in the fall, where the community gathered together and shared what they didn't need with each other. It also has the traditional fair attractions, such as rides, food like funnel cakes, fried cheese curds, and chocolate covered bacon.

Smallville was officially established as a township in 1949.

The Kent farm grows corn and the family shuck the ears together as Clark tells his sons about the festival and how it taught him the value of helping others.

Jonathan's girlfriend Eliza is coming to visit that weekend.

Eliza is reportedly a vegetarian.

Sarah asks Jordan out to the Harvest Festival With a little pushing from Jonathan, he says yes.

Eliza dumps Jonathan over the phone, when he called to confirm her arrival time.

Jonathan and Eliza had been dating for over a year.

Clark turns his mother's room into a home office for Lois. He plans to give away most of the furniture, except for one lamp.

Crissy Beppo calls Lois and asks if she could come into the office as Sharon Powell (last seen in 103) has shown up, with her missing son, Derek.

Derek Powell claims to have no memory of where he's been for the past few months. He says the last thing he remembers before losing time was looking at his latest generous paycheck from Morgan Edge as he was walking through a tunnel and hurting his head. The next thing he remembered was waking up in Stanton County. The authorities found him outside St. Anthony's church and they helped him recover his memory. 

Derek Powell claims to have no memory of the phone messages he left for his mother, saying that the opportunity he'd been given wasn't what he thought it was and he sounded scared.

Sharon says everything that happened, including the attempted murder, doesn't really matter to her since her son is back.

Captain Luthor has tracked Lois Lane to Smallville, saying that the one thing he's noticed about this Earth is that Superman will follow Lois Lane anywhere.

Sharon and Derek drop off several bags of men's clothes for the Harvest Fest swap meet.

Lana recognizes Derek's name from Lois' story.

Derek goes to the restroom, breathing heavily and sweating. He calls Leslie Larr to tell her something is wrong just before his eyes erupt red with heat-vision and set the building on fire.

As a teenager, Clark normally wore flannel shirts.

Lana apparently dated Kyle Cushing in high school before she started daring Clark.

Clark had a brief career as a masked vigilante in Smallville, in spite of his mother warning him against trying to use his powers to help people. 

The thieves Clark stops in his flashback were stealing 32" television sets VCRs and salad shooters.

As a teenager, Clark was strong enough to break a shotgun with his bare hands and fast enough to bat bullets out of the air.

Clark hears the sirens of the fire department and steps in to put the fire out with his ice breath before the building can collapse on Kyle Cushing.

Kyle notices the frost on the support beams afterward.

By the time Clark got to the drop-off site, all the donations had been destroyed.

Clark saw Sharon Powell outside the center as they firemen were trying to put it out. He did not see Derek Powell, but noticed Sharon seemed to be looking for someone.

Clark's favorite band to listen to when he was depressed as a teenager was REO Speedwagon.

Tom "Mitch" Mitchell was the main casualty of the fire. A career firefighter in Smallville, he was the best man and Kyle and Lana's wedding. He's still alive, but he inhaled a lot of smoke and Kyle says things are not looking good for him when Lois questions him about the fire.

Kyle says the whole fire was weird and he has no idea how it started so suddenly or was stopped so suddenly. He does not mention the frost to Lois..

Kyle confirms he saw Derek Powell near the Smallville Community Center before the fire started.

Lois calls Chrissy and suggests that she talk to Sharon Powell again.

Captain Luthor approaches Lois pretending to be another reporter; Marcus Bridgewater. He claims to be working with Reuters and to be a former LuthorCorp employee. He also claims to have an educational background in engineering, though he mostly writes about big tech and business. 

Captain Luthor claims to be a big fan of Lois Lane and says he began investigating Morgan Edge after reading her last piece on him in The Daily Planet.  He tells her that he plans to check out the Shuster Mines. Lois tells him to call her if he finds anything and they can consider sharing the byline. 

Sharon Powell says Derek sent her a text after the fire at the Smallville Community Center, saying that he needed space. He said nothing about where he was going.

After confirming that Sharon and Derek shared a phone plan, Chrissy used Sharon's phone to track Derek's, finding out that he was at 1247 Crawford Street.

Jonathan declares that he wants to move back to Metropolis and that his friend, Bryan Kelso, has an older brother who has a spare bedroom. Clark says that will not happen, but Jonathan says maybe he'll just do it anyway.

After the fight with Jonathan, Clark remembers an argument he had with his mother as a teenager over his vigilantism and how Clark didn't see any reason to follow his father's rule about "showing off" his powers.

Kyle returns home drunk. Apparently he and several other firemen went out to have a drink in Tom Mitchell's honor since the doctors says there's almost no chance he could keep working as a fireman, even if he did pull through given his lung damage.

Kyle fights Lana about going to the Harvest Festival right away. He wants some time to clean up and eat, but Lana has to meet with several people to figure out what to do about the destroyed donations.

Sarah offers to drive Kyle to the Festival while Lana and Sophie go first.

Jon abandons Jordan to hang out with some other football players who are drinking something alcoholic from a flask.

Kyle winds up passing out on the couch while Sarah is fixing him something to eat, trying to sing Sarah a song he used to sing to her when she was a little girl.

Chrissy Beppo goes to the address on Sharon Powell's phone and spies Leslie Larr making out with Derek Powell before they go into the building.

After going into Jordan's room to shut off the radio, Clark remembers back to when the room was his room and how he and his mother made up after their fight over his stopping the robbery.

Clark apologizes, saying his mom was right to be upset at him. Martha apologizes, saying that Smallville might not be the best place for him anymore. This leads to her giving him the Sunstone crystal from the ship that brought him to Earth.

Lana lies about Kyle's absence at the Harvest Fest and says Kyle is at the hospital with Tom Mitchell.

Sarah is late for her date with Jordan. 

The building at 1247 Crawford Street contains a machine like an MRI, which Derek Powell is loaded into by Leslie Larr. Chrissy Beppo observes this but leaves to call Lois before seeing the machine activate. 

Sarah is about to tell Jordan something private, but is interrupted by a drunken Jonathan. 

Sarah loses her temper with the football players and tells them not to talk to her because she's sick of dealing with drunk idiots who don't know what real problems are.

Clark smells the alcohol on Jonathan from a distance. He and Lois send the boys home from the festival early, despite the fact that they said they were already leaving.

Chrissy calls Lois and tells her about how she saw Leslie Larr and Derek Powell together.

Clark goes to the building at 1247 Crawford as Superman.

Derek Powell tells Leslie Larr to "protect the asset" before taking off flying and leading Superman on a chase.

Captain Luthor detects Superman flying and is stunned that Kal-El is in Smallville.

Captain Luthor is now operating out of a mobile home, which contains his AI assistant and a small arsenal of apparently high-tech weapons.

Derek Powell sets a barn and several fields on fire with his heat vision to slow down Superman. Superman barely misses a beat putting them out with his ice breath. 

During the fight, when Superman asks what happened to Derek Powell, an inhuman voice says that he's been resurrected and that "You are not alone anymore, Kal-el."

Captain Luthor attempts to shoot both Kryptonians out of the sky with a rocket launcher of some type. It seems to weaken Derek Powell, but only stuns Superman briefly. The rocket explosion is visible from Harvest Fest.

Derek Powell's body disintegrates into a burst of heat vision and ashes.

Captain Luthor runs to the impact point, but Superman has left before he can get there, armed with a special gun - presumably one that could kill a Kryptonian. 

Clark and Lois declare that Jonathan is getting a "get out jail free card" this one time, saying that he had to leave Smallville to find himself and he understands it might not be the place for Jonathan. He says they can discuss the idea of Jonathan moving to stay with friends later, but he asks Jonathan to give Smallville more time.

Clark gives Jonathan a box that Pa Kent made which he gave to Ma Kent, which she, in turn, gave to Clark when he left home.

Clark says he doesn't think Derek Powell was really Derek Powell and references his talk of being resurrected. He also mentions how his powers were erratic, like Tag Harris's super-speed.

Morgan Edge donates enough cash to replace everything that was lost in a fire, and then some.

Lana reveals that the Smallville City Council decided to dedicate a bench that Martha Kent always sat on whenever she was in town to her. The bench bares a memorial plaque which reads "MARTHA KENT - THE BEST OF SMALLVILLE."

Clark remembers how he and his mother sat on that bench to wait for the train leaving Smallville when he left home.

Captain Luthor was apparently married to Lois Lane on his Earth.

Based on his uniform, Captain Luthor was a US Army Ranger.

Jordan and Sarah decide to take it slow, with Sarah saying she needs a friend more than a boyfriend right now. Jordan agrees.

On the walk home to the Kent Farm, Jordan is jumped by Tag Harris, who is wearing a uniform of some type. He is then knocked out. 

Untelevised Adventures

Superman does many heroic things around the world which are mentioned in passing on the national news.

The Bottom Line

A solid, yet curious episode. Probably the most weakly written episode to date, it is also the best directed and bolstered by some solid performances. It leaves us wanting more. Unfortunately, thanks to The CW's odd schedule, we'll have to wait two more months to get it.

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