Monday, July 26, 2021

Superman and Lois: Season 1, Episode 13 - Fail Safe

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


Lois and Chrissy start work on a new story as Clark visits Morgan Edge in custody and starts to ponder whether or not the world should have some kind of safeguard against a Superman gone mad. Meanwhile, Johnathan finds a welcome distraction after a very long day, as Sarah and Jordan skip class to escape the bully Sarah is now enjoying as the daughter of the town pariahs.


Reign of the Superman (the concept of the Eradicator) and every Superman story centered around Clark considering if the world needs a way to stop him from going out of control.


Again, the entire ensemble is great, but if one moment were to be singled out, it would be Tyler Hoechlin's delivery of Clark's confession that he liked losing control. The dialogue itself is not that great, but the delivery sells it.


The special effects for the fight between Leslie Larr and Superman and The Stranger are of cinematic quality.

Super Trivia

The end of this episode sees Morgan Edge transformed into a being very much like the Superman villain The Eradicator. In the original comics, the Eradicator was created by a xenophobic Kryptonian scientist named Kem-L to strike against the teachings of a popular alien missionary known as Cleric. The Eradicator was programmed to preserve Kryptonian culture, as Kem-L saw it, and genetically altered the people of Krypton so they could not leave their planet's surface and travel to deep space. The Cleric took the Eradicator with him from Krypton and gave it to Superman centuries later.  The Eradicator attempted to override Superman's mind and turn Earth into a new Krypton.

The Arrowverse version of the Eradicator does virtually the same thing, only it takes over Morgan Edge's body in the end.


John Henry Irons has his own Kryptonian tracking system, which he is using to scan for Leslie Larr.

General Lane's inventory of anti-Kryptonian weapons includes two dozen rifles and handguns, a few thousand Kryptonite bullets and a collection of knifes, swords and spears. There are five prototype weapons in varying stages of development and enough raw Kryptonite to fill a couple of warehouses.

Dialogue Triumphs

Clark: Where is Leslie Larr?
Morgan Edge: How could I know? I can’t see beyond these lead-lined walls… And all I hear is what’s in my mind.
Clark:  There may still be time for her.
Morgan Edge: It’s too late. Leslie Larr replaced Irma Sayres a long time ago.
Clark:  And you feel nothing for what you’ve done?
Morgan Edge: I feel more than you could possibly imagine. But my concern isn’t for the souls of this planet. It’s for those that need to be resurrected, my own, even your soul, Kal.

(Superman and John Henry Irons stand over the downed Leslie Larr)
Superman: (holding up his fist) 
Nice shot.
(John Henry bumps fists with Superman)
John Henry: 

Jordan: Denise and Avery still giving you crap about what happened?
Sarah: I just know they’re talking about me, but it can’t be worse than what they’re saying about my parents.
Jordan: That’s not fair.
Sarah: I don’t think fair is a real thing. 

Superman: I don’t know what the plan was, but it wasn’t a good one.
Morgan Edge: It’s called loyalty, something you know nothing about.
Superman: I am loyal to the people of this world who accepted me.
Morgan Edge: (laughs) Accepted you? They fear you. They always will, and they should.
Superman: You’re wrong.
Morgan Edge: You should be a god, but you became a slave to them. Don’t you ever wonder who you might’ve been if you hadn’t landed here, been raised by simple farmers?
Superman: I’d be nothing like you.
Morgan Edge: We both know that’s not true. You fight against your real nature every day.
Superman: You don’t know me.
Morgan Edge: I know the power surging through you. I know how every moment you make a choice to hold yourself back, because that’s the only way we can walk amongst humans without killing them, isn’t it? It’s all about control. But didn’t it feel good to lose it just once?
Superman:  Goodbye, Tal.
Morgan Edge: I can see it in your eyes, brother. You felt it!

Jonathan: So you really built this thing from scratch, huh? Pretty amazing.
John Henry: You’re a gear head?
Jonathan: I don’t know what I am. Always been an athlete, you know, so…
John Henry: Me too. You know, you can be more than one thing.
AI: Perhaps you could tell Jonathan a tale from your own upbringing?
John Henry: Would you please just shut down?

(Lois and Clark are arguing about Clark wanting the DOD to keep their Kryptonite.)
Lois, will you please just listen–
Lois: No, there’s nothing you can say that I wanna hear, and now I’m angry, and I feel sorry for yelling at you, but I also have to stay angry so that I can scare the hell out of Jordan. So why don’t you just stay here, and let’s just both take a moment to think, and then we can talk about this later after I bail our son out of jail?

Chrissy: Wasn’t expecting to see you.
Lois: I owe you an apology.
Chrissy: Kinda busy, Lois.
Lois: You were right. I lied. My dad is hiding something, and I can’t betray his trust.
Chrissy:This story is bigger than you or your dad. We have a responsibility to the people. This town is falling apart.
Lois: Believe me, I know. People are tearing each other down, looking for someone to blame, and if we do nothing, we are as responsible for its downfall as anyone else.
Chrissy: (dryly) If only there was something we could do.
Lois: I can’t write this story. I’m too close to it to be objective… But you can.
(Lois hands Chrissy a paper, which she reads.)
Chrissy: It’s a statement… from your dad.
Lois: He wouldn’t go on the record about everything, but this is enough to tell most of the story and to focus the blame where it belongs: on Morgan Edge.
Chrissy: This was really messed up, Lois.
Lois: I know. I hope that I can earn back your trust. 


As a teenager, Morgan Edge underwent sever torture at the hands of the Zeta-Rho hologram while waiting for the Eradicator to arrive on Earth.

Edge has no idea where Leslie Larr is.

Edge confirms that Leslie Larr has completely taken over the body of Irma Syres.

Clark reveals that he has the crystal holding Zeta-Rho's hologram, but that he will not destroy it while ensuring it is never used again.

The Department of Defense will be sticking around Smallville for a while longer and is shutting down the Shuster Mines while removing all the X-Kryptonite.

Principal Balcomb is holding an all-school assembly to present the official explanation for what happened: Morgan Edge was experimenting on people and giving them powers while mind-controlling them.  Lois Lane uncovered the truth, with the help of General Lane and Superman, and they stopped Edge.

Chrissy has been texting and calling Lois non-stop, wondering when she is returning to work.

Mayor Dean meets with Kyle and Lana and suggests that Kyle continue to take a leave of absence for a few more weeks, while he tries to change the narrative that has people shunning the Cushings, blaming them for Morgan Edge coming to Smallville.

Sarah decides to skip the assembly rather than endure anymore of her classmates starring at her because of her parents. Jordan goes with her.

Tegan Wickhem, the popular girl who Jonathan tried to flirt with 107, approaches him and encourages him to skip the assembly as well.

Chrissy asks Lois to get a statement from her father. Lois says General Lane never talks to the press, but the DOD should release a statement. 

John Henry Irons is revealed to be working out of one of the Kent farm barns.

Clark offers to put in a word for John Henry Irons with General Lane to see about getting him a job. John Henry thanks him, but says once they catch Leslie Larr he thinks he'll move on and try and find a new life for himself.

Leslie Larr launches an attack on the Department of Defense headquarters.

Clark and John Henry apprehend Leslie Larr.

General Lane tells Clark that he was wrong to back Project 7734 and that he's going to bury all the anti-Kryptonian weapons in concrete and sink them to the bottom of the ocean, while retaining enough to guard Morgan Edge and Leslie Larr appropriately. The Department of Defense will no longer maintain enough Kryptonite to outfit an army.

Tegan Wickhem asks about Jonathan having a girlfriend in Metropolis. He affirms that they broke up. She then tells him that she isn't seeing anyone.

Sarah's friends, Denise and Avery, are still giving her a hard time about her parents.

Lana says she can't get her old job at the bank back, as they hired a replacement right away and the bank (being owned by Edge) is currently under investigation.

Kyle and Lana see some of the fire-fighters, including Tom Mitchell (105) and Tamera (112) at the diner. Kyle accuses Tom of pushing the mayor to pressure Kyle into taking a longer leave of absence.

General Lane refuses to make a statement to the press, even to Lois, and says the Department of Defense will not be commenting on the Edge incident, saying that is a courtesy rather than a standard procedure.

General Lane says that if he comments on the story, it will give it legitimacy and carry it outside of Smallville.

Zeta-Rho stole the crystal containing Lara Lor-Van's personality so that she could see how he made his vision for Krypton restored before destroying her forever. He denied Morgan Edge the chance to access the crystal and talk to her.

Clark meets with Edge again to ask where the Eradicator is. Edge asks Clark if he enjoyed losing control and not holding himself back and says he can see that he did.
Lois lies and says she has no idea what her father is hiding, but Chrissy senses this and tells Lois that she can't have a reporter who isn't honest with her working for her.

Tegan Wickhem claims to have dressed up as Lois Lane for career day. 

Jonathan figures out that Tegan is only talking to him to grill him for information on the Kryptonian invasion - not because she likes him. He leaves her and walks back home alone.

Kyle suggests moving away from Smallville, but Lana thinks maybe she can find a job in one of the outlying areas.
Sarah takes Jordan to Atlas Pond - a place she goes to when she wants to get away from things. She says she used to go to it as a girl with her grandmother.

Sarah and Jordan are caught by the police.

Clark tells General Lane that he thinks the DOD should keep Project 7734 active just in case something ever happens to where he needs to be killed.

John Henry Irons spray paints the Nat-Bug symbol onto his armor.

The AI suggests John Henry reach out to this Earth's version of his sister.

Jonathan talks with John Henry Irons about his gear, only to be caught skipping school by Lois.

General Lane calls Lois and tells her he is worried about Clark after their meeting.

Kyle asks Sophie what she would think about moving.

Lana and Lois are both called by a police officer named Kya about Jordan and Sarah skipping school.

As Lana and Lois are leaving the police station, Lana overhears Mayor Dean talking with the sheriff and blaming the Cushings for the whole incident with Morgan Edge.

Jordan and Sarah are let go with a warning despite trespassing on private property.

Clark says he's been controlling his powers every second of every day for almost 40 years.

Clark also admits that a part of him did enjoy letting go and that scares him.

Lois agrees to there being a fail safe to stop Clark, but only if the Department of Defense is not in charge of it.

Clark asks John Henry Irons to act as the Gatekeeper of the Project 7734 arsenal. He agrees. 

Lois gets a statement from her father and gives it to Chrissy so she can write about what Morgan Edge did and shift blame away from the Cushings.

When Morgan Edge learned of Superman's existence and that he was his half-brother, he rebelled against Zeta-Rho and tried to find a way to enact his plan while winning Kal-El over to his side.

Lana is now entertaining thoughts about moving from Smallville.

Jonathan and Jordan are both grounded for ditching school.

Morgan Edge's vitals suddenly drop and energy explodes out of him as his eyes glow blue. For some reason, the Kryptonite field does not affect him.

The final scene reveals Morgan Edge hiding on the far side of the sun, absorbing its power, and that all the Kryptonian minds inside the Eradicator have now taken him over.

Untelevised Adventures

The flashbacks show Morgan Edge recalling his training with the hologram of Zeta-Rho.

The Bottom Line

 great episode all around, which gives all of the ensemble a chance to shine and raises the stakes heading into the finale of the first season.

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