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It's Election Day in Smallville and Jordan Kent is absent. This leaves Sarah rattled, even before the revelation that her mother and John Henry Irons might be an item - a suggestion which floors Natalia as well, given that it is also the anniversary of her mother's death. Meanwhile, Jonathan continues to draw heat for his actions bringing about the cancellation of Smallville's football season, as the world wonders... where is Superman?
Superman: The Movie (Clark building up speed by flying in a circle) and the graphic novel World Without A Superman
While the absence of Superman on Earth-Prime would likely draw attention, it is odd that none of the world's other major heroes (particularly Supergirl) are said to be stepping up to handle things in his absence, apart from Steel.
Jordan overhears an emergency call which reports a 10-41, Code 2, during a report of a fire. This may be different in the Arrowverse, but none of the real world Police 10 code systems used 10-41 for anything involving a fire.
Why don't Jordan's clothes catch on fire?
Wolé Parks gives a one-scene master-class in silent acting with the scene where John Henry watches a video of his Lois Lane and slowly breaks down.
The montage showing the 30 days passing between Superman traveling to Bizarro World and the true "start" of the episode is beautifully shot and establishes the mood perfectly.
The special effects are great all around, from the fire in the first segment to Jordan's use of his powers in the climax.
The action sequence in which Superman flies in a circle before entering the portal to Bizarro World was a visual tribute to the climax of Superman: The Movie and the moment in which Superman flew around the Earth to build up the speed to travel in time.
John Henry Irons' existence as Steel is revealed to the world as he saves an airplane from crashing. This is also how Superman was revealed to the world in the comics and how Supergirl was revealed to the world of Earth-38 in Supergirl.
Bizarro Jonathan Kent's costume, which features red trousers, a leather jacket, and a punk haircut, is inspired by the original appearance of the Conner Kent Superboy in aftermath of The Death of Superman.
The Steel armor has built-in fire extinguishers.
John Henry determines that the fire that almost killed Kyle Cushing used X-Kryptonite as an accelerant.
(Jordan enters the Kent farmhouse looking disheveled. Jonathan is sitting at the kitchen table, doing his homework.)
Jonathan: Yo, what happened to you?
Jordan: There was this crazy fire, and I had to save Mr. Cushing, and I got cornered, so... I flew.
Jonathan: What? You flew? No way!
Jordan: Yeah, not very far or anything.
Jonathan: Yeah, but who cares? That still counts.
Jordan: Yeah, and then John Henry showed up and his suit had this fire extinguisher, so-
Jonathan: Wait, he didn't see you, did he?
Jordan: No, no, he just saw some guy in a hoodie.
Jonathan: Yeah, but doesn't he have, like, facial ID and biometrics and... Jordan, look, I'm saying if John Henry saw you full vigilante mode, I mean, do you really want Mom to find out from someone else? Like, you have to tell her.
Jordan: What if I tell her and I blow my cover for no reason?
Jonathan: Take it from someone who's been on her bad side for, like, a month, it's not worth the risk.
Jordan: Hey, man, I'm really sorry about what happened at the auditorium.
Jonathan: It's whatever. Maybe I deserved it. Dad sure thought so.
Jordan: No, no. There's no way he would still be mad.
Jonathan: Jordan, you don't know that. Okay, Mom said that that was the most angry she'd ever seen him.
Jordan: Come on, man. I mean, you're working overtime at the store. You're doing online classes-
Jonathan: Jordan, none of that matters! None of it, okay? I don't know how to fix things with Dad, and I don't even know if I'll ever get the chance to. Speaking of, I gotta finish this up before tomorrow. (muted) Congrats on flying.
(Lois enters the Kent farmhouse. Jordan is waiting for her expectantly.)
Jordan: Uh, Mom, I have to tell you something.
Lois: It is too late. I already know.
Jordan: Wait, you can't get mad. I didn't even have a chance to explain.
Lois: What about before you left the school?
Jordan: You were busy talking to Mrs. Cushing.
Lois: That is such a load of crap, and you know it.
Jordan: Fine, but I didn't have time to argue with you.
Lois: About whether it was okay to run into a burning building?
Jordan: About whether it was all right to save Mr. Cushing's life.
Lois: Did you know there was X-Kryptonite in there?
Jordan: So what? I couldn't just let him die.
Lois: If John Henry hadn't shown up, it could have been you who died.
Jordan: John Henry was late. He didn't save Sarah's dad. I did.
Lois: You are not a superhero, Jordan. You're a kid.
Jordan: Well, Dad's gone! And no one knows if he's coming back.
Lois: I know how hard this is for you. It's really hard for me too.
Jordan: Stop telling me to act normal. None of this is normal.
Lois: That's why it's not a very good time for you to start playing hero.
Jordan: That's exactly why it's the right time. That's why Granddad's been training me.
Lois: He has been what?
Jordan: Because people need my help.
Lois: That is not up to you to decide.
Jordan: Well, I don't need your permission.
Lois: Under my roof, yes, you do.
Jordan: Not when I'm the one with superpowers.
John Henry: I will never forget your mother, ever. But thinking about her constantly, obsessing over her death... you didn't see what that did to me. I became someone I didn't recognize.
Natalie: You and I are the only people that remember her. We're the only ones who know that our Lois Lane existed. You don't get to just run away from her memory.
John Henry: But I can't let it tear me apart either. I wanna be a dad. And I wanna be able to enjoy this life we have together.
Natalie: This life we have? It's because of her. And I don't want a dad who would ever forget that.
(Sam and Lois are tied up in the drug dealers' hideout. Sam begins to struggle against his ropes.)
Lois: What are you doing?
Sam: What's it look like?
Lois: Dad, stop. You're gonna give yourself rope burn. These are fireman chair knots. The harder you struggle, the tighter it gets. If it was a hobble knot, maybe you could wiggle out, but not this.
(There is a long pause. Sam is incredulous.)
Sam: How many times you been tied up?!
Lois: Better you don't know.
(Jordan is standing on the porch, looking depressed. Enter Lois, holding a large glass of wine.)
Lois: Find a new spot. Brooding on the porch is my thing.
Jordan: (looking at Ma Kent's necklace) Sarah gave this back to me.
Lois: I'm sorry, sweetie.
Jordan: I don't know what to do.
Lois: Sometimes, with heartbreak, you just have to feel it. On the bright side, you did kind of save your mom's life tonight.
Jordan: (without enthusiasm)Yeah, I guess.
Lois: Hold on. I think that warrants way more enthusiasm!
First Sergeant Erin Wu, a DoD agent seen in previous episodes, is revealed to be part of Ally Allston's cult. It is she who gets a hold of Sam Lane's badge and uses it to free Ally from DoD custody.
Wu is apparently not the only one of Allston's followers in the DoD as she makes reference to multiple people repairing the suit worn by the Bizzaro Superman when he traveled between worlds.
Wu inquires as to whether or not Allston will save Anderson. She says that she intends to save everybody.
Superman follows after Allston into the Bizarro world portal, despite Wu telling him that even he can't survive the journey between worlds.
The action picks up 30 days later.
The world has noticed Superman's absence and Steel has been recognized as a new hero, dubbed the new Man of Steel, though he has not spoken to the press.
Jonathan is shown to still be romantically involved with Candice.
Mayor Dean continues to try and paint Lana as an incompetent mother and leader given her family problems, but Lana continues to fight back against his slander.
Jordan is still training in secret with Sam Lane. This training includes working with a weighted punching bag (which Jordan eventually destroys), shooting cans with his heat vision and freezing a bucket of water with his freeze breath before any of it touches the ground.
Jordan spends so much time training in his father's absence that he ignores Sarah's phone calls and texts.
Jordan uses his super-hearing to search for any sign of the missing Clark.
Natalie is shown to not be a very good cook, as she has trouble making waffles for breakfast.
Lois has explained Clark's absence in Smallville by saying he's on a special assignment investigating something, suggesting it is as a journalist rather than as Superman.
Lois, Jonathan and Jordan show up at Lana's campaign headquarters to volunteer on Election Day.
Jonathan leaves to work with the street team after being confronted by the angry mother of a senior student, who missed out on playing football because of him.
Lana tells off the mother, saying this isn't the place for this.
Lois agrees to help Lana with her acceptance and concession speeches.
Jordan leaves after overhearing an emergency broadcast involving a fire off Highway 14.
Jordan intervenes to save Kyle Cushing from the fire and flies for the first time.
Steel arrives and puts out the fire, covering Jordan before he is seen.
Natalie sees John Henry and Lana talking and laughing in a manner that seems more than friendly.
Sarah is not overly concerned, until Natalie reveals that it is the anniversary of her mother's death.
Natalie is upset because the waffles she was trying to make that morning were from her mother's homemade recipe and John Henry didn't even notice it or seem to remember the day.
Sarah offers to make a Day of the Dead style memorial altar for Natalie's mom. She likes the idea, until she finds out she has to have a photo, since the alternate Lois Lane would be recognized.
Natalie lies and says she doesn't have any photos of her mom on her phone.
Natalie gets upset and goes home.
Lana is called about Kyle being in the hospital after the fire. She, Sarah and Sophie drop everything to check on him.
Kyle lies about being fine and says he'll be heading to his apartment to get cleaned up as soon as he gets the all clear from his doctor.
Kyle says he will come by the election party later.
Sarah asks Kyle if he is sure he is okay, but he lies and says he'll be fine and she should be with her mom.
Kyle notes there was something strange about the fire.
Jordan tell Jonathan that he flew for the first time but that Steel saw him.
Jonathan encourages Jordan to come clean with Lois about his training before John Henry tells her.
According to Lois, Clark's anger with Jonathan over the X-Kryptonite incident was the angriest she had ever seen him about anything.
John Henry remembers what day it is after thinking about how Natalie had been upset ever since that morning.
John Henry tells Lois that he recognized Jordan as the stranger who saved Kyle.
Jordan is ready to come clean to Lois, but she isn't in the mood to hear it.
Jordan defies Lois regarding it being necessary for him to help people.
John Henry apologies to Natalie but says he's been trying to move on from the day their Lois died. He agrees that they can't forget her but that he can't dwell on the past either.
Natalie goes to her father's apartment. She discovers that he is bleeding and he hasn't unpacked most of his belongings.
Lois confronts Sam over his training Jordan in secret, but he defends his actions saying Jordan needed help
Sam thinks the fire from earlier was meant to cover up an X-Kryptonite distribution hub.
Sam and Lois confront Jonathan over the X-Kryptonite dealer he was protecting.
Jonathan agrees to see if the dealer is willing to help the DoD in exchange for a promise of immunity from prosecution.
Mayor Dean tries to shut down a ride-sharing program that is helping people to vote, accusing Lana of bringing in people from outside the county.
Sara tries to talk to Lana about how bad Kyle is doing and how he seems to be waiting for her to take him back, but Lana says Kyle has to learn how to take care of himself.
Candice reveals that she had ben selling X-Kryptonite for about fourth months and she got it from a man in her trailer park named Micky Jeroux.
Lois knows Micky Jeroux is a crook despite only living in Smallville for a year.
Candice says her father has a heart condition and treating it exhausted their savings. She also says the moved seven times in the last nine years.
All Candice knows about the distribution of X-Kryptonite locally is that Mickey picked up his supply from somewhere on Old McClellan Road.
Candice tries to apologize for getting Jonathan in trouble, but Lois doesn't want to hear it.
Sam and Jordan persuade Lois to allow Jordan to ride along with them to use his super-hearing to locate the X-Kryptonite distribution center. Lois only agrees with the understanding that all Jordan do is listen.
Sarah brings the rest of Kyle's belongings to his apartment along with everything she needs to cook a decent meal.
Kyle says Sarah deserves better than Jordan after asking why he isn't there helping her deliver his stuff.
John Henry watches a video of his Lois just after Natalie was born.
Jordan reveals he has not gotten X-Ray vision yet.
Lois and Sam decide to scout out the X-Kryptonite lab before calling in the authorities, but are caught before they can do so.
Lois has considerable experience being tied up and can identify several kinds of knots and knows which ones not to bother trying to wiggle out of.
When a drug dealer emerges with a gun, clearly ready to shoot them, Lois speaks to the open air and tells Jordan he needs to come save them.
Jordan saves Sam and Lois.
Lana wins the election for Mayor, 57% to 43%.
Lois says the operation is clearly bigger than Smallville and has big money behind it.
Jordan goes to Sarah and tries to apologize for being gone the whole day.
Sarah dumps Jordan and returns his grandmother's necklace when he won't tell her where he was.
John Henry makes his wife's waffles for dinner and spends the evening watching old family videos with Natalie.
Sarah goes to stay the night at Kyle's place.
Candice talks with Jonathan and they agree to a fresh start with their relationship, after deciding they do want to stay together.
Jonathan gets a weird headache while talking to Candice, but he writes it off as a side effect of looking at a screen more than normal because of on-line classes.
The Bizarro version of Jonathan Kent arrives at the Kent farm and tells Lois and Jordan that Clark made it to his world but he was too late.
The Bottom Line
An amazing episode which proves that the show can tell a compelling story without Superman. It shouldn't do so often, but it can.