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Lois reaches out to her father as Clark's visions become worse following a family argument with their sons. Meanwhile, as Lana faces difficulties in her campaign for mayor, Natalie confronts John Henry on a promise he failed to keep.
The Death of Superman (appearance of the thing in the mines is based on Doomsday) and the Iron Man movies. (the way the Steel armor locks around John Henry Irons.)
For some reason, calling in Supergirl, The Flash or any of the other heroes in the Arrowverse equivalent of the Justice League doesn't come up, despite John Henry Irons asking Clark and Lois if there is anyone else they can turn to and Sam Lane saying the two of them can't fight Bizarro Superman alone.
Jordan Elsass and Tayler Buck have tremendous chemistry and seem to be developing a friendly, sibling-like relationship between Jonathan and Natalie. .
The special effects on the opening shot of Superman hovering over the Earth are of amazing quality for a broadcast television series.
The battle with "Doomsday" is equally powerful.
The titular thing in the mines is revealed to be either a doppelganger or clone of Superman, rather than Doomsday as had been previously teased. While not identified by this name, the creature is clearly Bizarro Superman.
Bizarro Superman first appeared in Superboy #68 in October 1958 and was created by Otto Binder and George Papp. In his first appearance, Bizarro was an imperfect clone of Superboy created by a well-meaning scientist. Years later, Lex Luthor replicated the same process to create an adult Bizarro Superman, who used the ray to populate a planet that he made into a twisted version of Earth called Htrae, although it was more commonly known as Bizarro World.
In the post-Crisis comics, Bizarro was the produce of Lex Luthor's efforts to clone Superman, but otherwise acted like a Frankenstein version of Superman - easily angered and child like.
In the modern DC Multiverse, Htrae is now a dimension unto itself rather than another planet. It is officially designated as Earth-29.
It is possible that the Arrowverse version of Bizarro Superman is based on this conceit, as he seems to inspire the same pains in Superman that Alice experienced while trying to share Earth-Prime with another Beth Kane in B112, suggesting that Bizarro Superman is a doppelganger.
It is notable that Bizarro Superman is immune to Steel's red solar anti-Kryptonian weaponry. Remarkably, the comics say nothing about what effect red sunlight has on Bizarro, though yellow sunlight doesn't seem to affect him one way or another. However, the light of a blue sun gives him the power to alter reality around him, which was what led to the creation Bizzaro-World post-Crisis.
At the end of the episode, the title card is displayed backwards, as a nod to Bizarro Superman.
DHEA is a steroid formula, which Johnathan suspects Timmy Ryan of using.
(Lois returns from taking the kids to school.)
Clark: Is Jordan okay?
Lois: He didn't talk much on the ride. I think you really scared him.
Clark: I don't even remember everything that happened. I-I know he wasn't listening to me.
Lois: He's a teenager. That's gonna happen a lot.
Jonathan: Hey. You good?
Natalie: My dad's not answering any of my calls. He's probably just avoiding me.
Jonathan: Or his cell just doesn't get reception half a mile under the earth.
Natalie: That's a really annoying point.
Jonathan: Nat, I think your dad is just trying to help.
Natalie: Well, I mean, that's fine, but he has to at least tell me. We've been through too much to have secrets.
Jonathan: Yeah, I get it. Secrets are the hardest part, for sure.
Natalie: I guess you're probably used to this kind of stuff.
Jonathan: Not at all, but I do try to not let it get in the way of me being, like, a normal person, I guess.
Natalie: And how's that working out?
Jonathan: Well, when I found out Candice's secret today, I started a fight after practice, so not great.
Clark: I understand what it's like to not be able to tell someone your secret.
Jordan: Yeah, but, Dad, you don't understand the other side of it, being told the truth after being lied to for years.
Clark: That's fair. And not telling you or your brother, that was a guilt that I had to live with every day. But if something were to happen to Sarah because you told her your secret, that guilt would be 100 times worse.
Jordan: Do you ever wish you told Mrs. Cushing?
Clark: No. Jordan, you have to trust me. What you want in life can change pretty fast, especially at your age.
Jordan: I don't know, Dad. I-I love her. I don't think that's ever gonna change.
Clark: I'll tell you what... if in a year from now you still feel the same way... then maybe you and I can have a different conversation.
Clark: Really. In the meantime, I may have something to help show Sarah that you still care.
Lois: How are things with the boys?
Lois: And you?
Clark: Me? Oh, I'm, um... (sighs) I'm feeling like a complete and utter failure.
Lois: (dryly) Welcome to the world of parenting.
Clark: It's just a little terrifying to think that everything we do can have some lasting impact, like I'm gonna find a way to mess them up forever, especially right now. I'm just not feeling like myself.
Lois: Kids are pretty resilient. I mean, my mom abandoned us, and my dad was never around, and I turned out okay.
(There is a pause.)
Clark: I mean, "okay" might be...
Lois: (laughing) Tread carefully.
Clark: (quickly) A bit of an understatement 'cause you're perfect.
Lois: Okay, there it is.
Clark: That's what I was gonna say the whole time!
(Clark pulls Lois into his arms.)
Clark: This thing... it feels like the end of the world's coming.
Lois: Now's not the time to go all doomsday on me.
Superman crashes to Earth after having another vision while trying to observe the thing in the Shuster Mines from a distance.
Clark notes that the US Department of Defense has taken over the Shuster Mines from AmerTek and he cannot let Lt. Anderson know there is something there that is weakening him.
John Henry volunteers to investigate the mines for Lois and Clark.
Lois calls her father to see if he can help them get he credentials to sneak John henry into the mines.
Jonathan tells Jordan he is certain that Timmy Ryan is using performance-enhancing drugs.
Natalie tells Jordan that she talked to Sarah and she could tell she was really broken up about keeping a secret from him - something he should sympathize with given his powers and his dad's secret identity.
According to Lana, 68% of Smallville High's seniors plan to leave town after graduation. This is up 10% from five years earlier.
Lana's plan for turning this around is to take the Edge settlement funds and use them to create a zero-interest business loan start-up program.
Kyle notes that lots of people in Smallville are excited about a woman being Mayor, but Lana says that isn't enough and she has to prove that she's a serious contender.
Sarah doesn't want to have a quinceañera, but Kyle is insistent that she should.
Sam Lane is happily retired and is on a fishing trip at Deer Lake when Lois calls him.
Jordan tells Clark that he wants to tell Sarah about his powers. Clark says no.
When Jordan talks back to Clark and says he wants to marry Sarah, his eyes glow red and he shouts at Jordan.
Lois takes the kids to school instead of Clark, after seeing his reaction.
Clark says he doesn't even remember what he said to Jordan and is having trouble thinking straight.
Jordan tells Sarah he isn't sure where their relationship goes from here.
Candice tells Jonathan that she knows Timmy Ryan is juicing something, but it isn't DHEA. She saw him using something at a house party at Deucer Slavin's lake house a few weeks earlier. She describes what he was using as "that crystal crap that only grows in Smallville." Jonathan correctly identifies this as X-Kryptonite.
Candice asks Jonathan not to tell Timmy that she told him that he was using a performance enhancer.
Lana promises to make her loan proposal available to family darms, not just small businesses.
A man named Chuck turns the crowd against Lana by reminding them about the bad loans she offered them while working for Morgan Edge and that she was working for him when he nearly destroyed the town.
Sam Lane is able to get John Henry Irons a badge that will get him into the Shuster Mines
Lois asks her father why he never took a side in her argument with Lucy. Sam says he refuses to get involved in their argument, although he admits that he never actually read Lois' expose regarding the cult Lucy was part of.
Lois tries to get her father to talk to Lucy on her behalf, but tells Sam to forget it after he says he never read her article.
Jonathan confronts Timmy over his drug use and finds out that Candice is his dealer.
A fight breaks out between Jonathan and Timmy. Clark nearly loses control of his temper again while breaking it up and winds up burning his hands after unleashing a heat-vision blast into them.
Clark says that he's experiencing feelings of being cornered and attacked but he knows they aren't his feelings - they belong to the thing in the mines.
Sam wants to call the Department of Defense, but Lois asks him to wait until they hear from John Henry.
Natalie walks in at that moment and asks what her dad is supposed to tell them.
John Henry poses as a retrieval agent, sent to recover the bodies of the workers who were trapped in Shuster Mine when it was blown up.
John Henry discovered blood splatter in the mines and detonation marks showing that the mine was blown up instead of collapsing naturally, but is knocked out by Dr. Faulkner.
Natalie beats Jonathan at the Madden Football video game.
Clark promises to start teaching Jonathan how to drive starting next Saturday.
Clark talks with Jordan and explains why he thinks they need to keep their powers secret for now, but he offers Jordan something he thinks might help show Sarah he does care for her.
Dr. Faulkner plants detonators around the cave John Henry is left in.
Sam Lane reads Lois' article and apologizes to Lois. He says he really should have paid more attention to both his daughters after his wife left them, but that he blamed himself for driving her away and threw himself into his work because he felt more confident as a General than he did as a father.
Sam says he agrees with Lois abut Ally Allston being a bad egg and says he called Lucy, who (after saying a lot of words he won't repeat) agreed to meet with Lois
Sarah tells her mother about kissing a girl at camp and being afraid Jordan won't forgive her.
Lana tells Sarah that she's very strong and she has no idea where she got it from because she feels like a fake.
Sarah says she has an idea on how Lana can win over the voters.
Clark has another vison and heads for the mines.
Clark and John Henry both fight the monster, but the Steel suit weapons don't phase it.
The creature, once it's helmet is broken, resembles a rock-faced Superman with glowing blue eyes.
The thing in the mines is identified as a doppelganger of Superman
John Henry says he doubts the "bizarre Superman" is the Kal-El of his world, given that his weapons didn't work on it.
Sam Lane says he's going to call Lt. Anderson and tell him about the Superman doppelganger, despite Clark's objections.
The starting line-up for the Smallville High football team is posted and Timmy Ryan is the quarterback.
John Henry apologizes to Natalie for breaking his promise, but says that Clark and Lois needed his help and he isn't sure he can give her the normal life he promised.
Natalie forgives John Henry and starts discussing how they can improve his armor.
Lois goes off to meet Lucy, in secret, late t night at a diner.
Sarah starts streaming videos of Lana cooking in her kitchen and taking questions from viewers as they wait for things to finish cooking.
Jordan gives Sarah a locket that belonged to Martha Kent, which his grandfather gave her when they were in high school.
Jonathan confronts Candice regarding her drug dealing. However, he doesn't threaten to expose her or break up with her. Instead, he asks about buying some X-Kryptonite from her.
Candice says she was only selling the X-Kryptonite to help her father make ends meet.
Ally Allston shows up at Lois' meeting and tells her that Lucy will not be talking to her.
The final scene shows a confused Bizarro Superman at the Fortress of Solitude.
The Fortress of Solitude.
The Bottom Line
A brilliant, well-paced bit of drama with one heck of a twist!