Wow! What a pilot! This went well beyond my expectations for a new CW Superman show. I thought the story was well down, tons of call backs to Smallville and classic movies, as well as the comics. So, let’s get into it.
The Back Story
The opening of the episode was a backstory montage. We had the pod landing, they forced us to relieve Jonathan Kent’s death which was just like in Smallville. Clark then moved on to Metropolis where he met and married Lois. They went had twins, Jonathan and Jordan, with Jonathan being the ‘Easy child’ while Jordan is the more problematic child who was diagnosed as a teen with having severe anxiety. There was a scene with the boys where Jonathan throws a ball and completely knocks down the tire swing, I think is when they first feared the boys could get powers. Later Clark talks about having the boys tested at the fortress of solitude and it was unlikely they would get powers. This becomes his justification for not telling them about his other life, why burden them if they don’t need to be?
If you are confused about what is happening with this Superman and why he is different than the version on Supergirl, his story was basically rebooted with Crisis. He does still have his relationship with Kara and the others, as we saw at the end of Crisis with all of them sitting at the round table. However, this allows for the writers to bring in new versions of characters that we have already seen and do their own thing with them.
Work Life Balance
We knew going in based on the trailers that this show was going to talk about the work/life balance that Clark is going to struggle with. Not only is he a reporter at the Daily Planet, but he is also a father to twins, and Superman. The big Superman conflict this episode are the attacks on these nuclear power plants with an unknown purpose or agenda. I
However, Superman can’t dedicate his time because he has a whole other life as well. When he returns home from stopping the reactor meltdown, he has missed Jordan’s therapy session and the exciting news that Jonathan is the freshman starting quarterback for his highly competitive football team. This has Lois concerned that Jonathan is excelling because his powers may be manifesting. On the other hand, Jordan is withdrawn, and Clark struggles with relating to and having a conversation with the son that thinks Superman is lame. This was obvious framing to make it look like Jordan may end up being the ‘Evil’ version of Superboy, or Superboy Prime.
That night he also talks on the phone briefly with his mother who worries that he is spending too much time away from his family with her making that ‘life in Smallville is different’ which is foreshadowing their later move.
As if raising teenagers isn’t tragic enough, Clark is about to go through some big moments. First off, the Daily Planet is purchased by Morgan Edge. We did see a version of him in Supergirl, but like everyone else he was rebooted with Crisis. When Lois and Clark arrive, they learn of some lay off with Clark being one of the victims of the layoffs. This really opens the door for this change in Clark’s life that will allow for this family bonding we are going to be getting.
However, while talking with Lois, he gets the call that his mother has had a stroke and didn’t make it. Clark rushes home to Smallville and shortly after we have the funeral scene that mimic Jonathan Kent’s funeral.
Once back in Smallville and after the funeral, Clark is reunited with his first love Lana Lang-Cushing and her husband Kyle, as well as their teenage daughter Sara and younger daughter Sophie. Jonathan and Jordan both remember Sara from a summer here when they were younger and connect with her again over their teenage angst and poor internet service.
Meanwhile, Lois and Kyle clash in the kitchen over the state of Smallville, Clark’s abandonment of the town he grew up in, and Morgan Edge moving in on properties. Lois obviously sees Edge for what he is, but to Kyle he is investing in a town for the future. He then makes a comment about the house itself leaving Clark confused, but Lana suggests they stop by the bank, where she works, to talk about it.
The next day they do stop in and learn about a reverse mortgage that Clark’s mother took out to help people around Smallville with the condition that Clark would either get a pay out when she died, or he could buy out and keep the house.
We have to have one of these big moments where the boys get their powers. Jonathan, Jordan and Sara head to the barn to fix the internet. Jordan is hesitant because they have always been told to stay away from the barn but goes in their more so to impress Sara. He then climbs up to fix the latter where he falls knocking over several beams. Jonathan jumps on top of him seemingly saving him.
Clark obviously hears this, and Sara yelling and runs in to save the boys, but it turns out they are fine leading us and Clark to think that one or both of them may have powers. The obvious thought is that Jonathan because he jumped in to save Jordan. However, Jordan now becomes suspicious about how they survived and becomes paranoid about what is in the barn.
That night General Lane shows up with the information on the nuclear power plant attacks. They captured a super-fast person and a Kryptonian message for Superman. Whoever is behind it knows Superman is Cal-el. Lane wants Superman looking into this, but Lois puts her foot down, they are having some pretty major issues here at home and he needs to be present. Lane gets the ‘I told you so’ in before leaving.
While Clark and Lois are at the bank, Jonathan and Jordan head back to the barn to confirm Jordan’s theory that there is something in the barn. There they find the pod that brought Clark to earth with Jordan touching it and getting one of the crystals from inside. When Clark and Lois return him, they boys are obviously upset that there is an alien ship in the barn, and this leaves Clark with no choice but to reveal his powers. Not only does he tell them his story and show them firsthand of his powers, but he tells them his theory that one of them must have powers for both of them to have survived the barn accident. Jordan accuses Clark of being a bad father and Jonathan doesn’t disagree.
IT’S A TRAP!
Coming right off the argument with the boys, Clark is then called away for another attack, but this time the attacker reveals to Clark that the has been watching him. The attacks were more like tests, and he chose nuclear power plants because of Superman’s inability to see through lead. Once Superman does see him, he goes after him, but the suited voyeur was ready for him and even says that he is slower than he thought. This leads to a fight between Superman and this guy with some back story on who this is and maybe where he came from.
He tells Superman that he too lost his planet and ended up here only to find Superman was here as well. They end up in space/upper atmosphere where he stabs superman with Kryptonite leaving him falling to the earth.
While Clark is battling with this suited villain, Jordan meets Sara at a Smallville bonfire. Their conversation gets pretty heavy with her asking him about the medicine he is on while she confesses to trying to kill herself the year prior. You can see that they are binding them in their shared issues and Jordan is definitely feeling that because he kisses her. What Sara didn’t share is that she has a boyfriend that comes after Jordan when he sees him making moves on his girl.
Jonathan shows up at this point and steps in to defend Jordan. This leads to both of them getting beat up pretty good until JORDAN shoots lasers from his eyes causing an explosion. Lois sees this on the television while working on uncovering information on Marcus Edge. She calls for Superman not knowing that he is currently falling to earth with a large piece of Kryptonite in his chest.
He does hear the call and becomes aware enough to pull the shard out, stop himself from crash landing, and getting to the bonfire discovering that Jordan’s powers have manifested. It doesn’t seem like anyone was hurt in the explosion and as of now no one saw what really happened.
Once home, they talk as a family with Jordan admitting that he did save Jonathan during the accident which led him to look in the barn and discover the pod. This also leads for Clark and Jordan to have a bonding moment together on the porch where he promises to be there for him more.
The next day Lana stops by to tell them about an offer on the farm only for Lois and Clark to tell her they are going to be staying and that they think there is something going on with the bank that Lois uncovered is now owned by Marcus Edge.
They also pass the idea by the boys. Jordan seems to be in favor, but Jonathan brings up that he has football and whatnot. This was only dropped as an option so Jonathan isn’t to upset yet, but if he is made to feel less than because his brother has powers only to then have to move, we could see him being the darker of the two eventually, because I do expect that he will get powers at some point. We could also just see two new heroes with the end of the episode showing them all getting along much better.
Then the big reveal at the end. The suited guy has this big fancy ship park up on a mountain with its own AI. The AI and him discuss upgrades to his suit and obtaining more Kryptonite, but the big shocker was that his is Captain Luthor.
But wait, don’t we have a Lex Luthor? What I assume is happening here is this is an alternative Earth Lex that somehow ended up here after Crisis. He must come from an Earth that has a Superman as well, which is how he knows so much about him. However, it seems that maybe this Superman was a villain, or maybe just not as wholesome as our guy here. Obviously, we see that this is going to be the first Black casting for the character, and he is more of a Military man than a business mogul, like the Supergirl Lex. This could have been a result of the meddling that the Supergirl’s Lex had with the events of Crisis as well. All in all, I am excited to see this version of Luthor and just for this show in general.