Superman & Lois 1×14 Review: “The Eradicator”

The Eradicator Superman & Lois
Pictured: Tyler Hoechlin as Superman — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Superman & Lois is back after another brief hiatus with “The Eradicator”, which shows that not only are we not done with Edge and his evil plan, the people of Smallville are fed up with all of the lies.

I know it’s out of their hands completely, but the pandemic has not been helping Superman & Lois, at least in my opinion. The numbers have been fine (although they haven’t really recovered from the drop after that first hiatus), but I feel like having one or two episodes and then having multiple-week breaks before the next one is hindering the flow of the story. To be honest, I’m already tired of Morgan Edge, and having to continue to deal with him in “The Eradicator” is just bothersome.

However, now he’s actually become an interesting villain, in the sense that he’s no longer Morgan Edge and is, in actuality, the titular device. Having absorbed all of the Kryptonian consciousnesses into himself and then supercharged his power using the sun, Edge is now wreaking havoc on Earth. He’s taking over even more people, and what’s worse, he’s kidnapped Jordan and has planted his father’s consciousness into him.

Seriously. I can’t stand the stops and starts of this season but this show absolutely kills it every week. (It’s what makes the uneven airing even more frustrating.) That was a hell of a cliffhanger to leave on, and with only one episode remaining in this first season, it makes you wonder just how they’re going to resolve everything.

I had all kinds of theories as “The Eradicator” went on. When Edge disappeared and Larr taunted Clark and Lois, I knew that Edge would be returning to Smallville as another middle finger to Superman. I expected him to go after the boys.

I also was kind of expecting Jordan to do something and was a little surprised when he didn’t. After Jon shot Edge, he moved lightning quick, but before then, there was all that time while Edge was just chilling in the middle of the road. Everyone but Jordan was injured in the crash, and it seems odd that it was Jon who moved to fight back.

I can’t help but wonder if perhaps Jordan purposely avoided even trying to use his powers because Sarah was there. I suspect that Sarah is already suspicious because she definitely caught one or two weird things that the boys said during the episode. But anything that Jordan did could have been written off as her being injured and seeing things. I just can’t fathom why Jordan didn’t even try, considering his brother, grandfather, and girlfriend were in danger.

Jordan also could still be reeling from the knowledge that the last time he tried to use his powers against Edge, it had absolutely zero affect, and I’m sure he’s a little gun-shy about trying again. He doesn’t want to risk exposing his secret to Sarah if he’s not sure he’ll get results. I suppose that’s understandable.

Once I saw that Edge was using the Eradicator, I also half-expected Jordan to put up more of a fight. There was an entire episode where Clark fought off the effects. But then, Clark is more than twice Jordan’s age and has experience in this kind of fighting, and Jordan does not. He’s only just beginning to discover his powers and he has precious little control over them, so it does make sense that he would have been overwhelmed by Zeta-Rho’s consciousness fairly quickly.

Also, it made for one bomb-ass cliffhanger, so there’s that. And surely this experience is going to either enhance his existing abilities or advance them in some way.

The Eradicator Superman & Lois
Pictured (L-R): Inde Navarrette as Sarah Cushing and Alexander Garfin as Jordan Kent — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Giving Jon that moment with the gun was likely also extremely important. Jon mentioned earlier that he continues to work with John Henry because he feels like he needs to do something to protect his family. With a superpowered father and brother, no doubt he feels inadequate and useless. He can’t fight the way that they can, but he can still fight, and after being rejected by John Henry earlier in “The Eradicator”, I suspect he was desperate to prove, at least to himself, that he can still be useful.

While we’re on the subject of Jon, the fact that Tegan keeps returning has to be leading somewhere, potentially setting up plotlines for season 2. That she’s from Central City and her father is in prison makes me wonder if he’s someone that was already introduced on The Flash or if he’ll be someone else from DC canon. Either way, it’s yet another tie to the greater Arrowverse, something that this show has not had much of. (Now, is her last name a reference to this minor Batman character, or to the lying scumbag from Pride and Prejudice? Or neither?)

I have to say, I expected Sam to die in this episode. He didn’t, but I think the death knells are ringing. My theory is that he’ll sacrifice himself to save the boys.

Something that I like about Superman & Lois is that it isn’t all ‘in your face’ about callbacks. For example, in “The Eradicator”, when it’s revealed that Edge has somehow managed to turn four people into Kryptonians and the crowd is under attack, Lois finds out that someone has a camera on the roof and heads there. I immediately made the connection to what happened to alt-Lois, and it was even clearer when she stepped in front of the camera to give a report.

But the show wasn’t obvious about what was happening. It didn’t call attention to it or make a big deal about it, all it did was cut to the boys watching the report at the party and their reactions. Jon recognized the moment right away, and while he did say, “This is how she died,” by that point it’s likely the audience had already figured that out.

That moment also led to a spectacular scene where John Henry was finally able to regain control of his hammer and it just knocked Larr out of the sky, and then took out another one as it boomeranged back to him. That was almost a Sokka moment and I legitimately laughed out loud when that happened.

The people of Smallville have had enough and are demanding answers, which is totally understandable, but I also like how they’re showing the consequences of what Edge did in how it affects the town. I find it a little hard to believe that so many shops have closed down in the scant few weeks it’s been in the show’s timeline, but it is completely realistic how they’re showing the town bleeding out. It just takes one business to close and then the rest tend to fall like dominoes, people packing up and moving looking for something else.

However, I feel that the subplot with the Cushings moving is just unnecessary drama, especially in “The Eradicator”. I completely understand that both Kyle and Lana are currently unemployed and need to go where they can get jobs; I would also not relish staying in a town that had made me a villain, even if I’d lived there my entire life. But I think we all know they aren’t actually going to move, and it really isn’t doing much for the story or the characters, other than showing that Sarah can be a moody teenager.

Related to the Cushings, Clark referring to Lana as his ‘best friend’ felt very forced and unnatural. Clark left town as a teenager and hasn’t really spoken to anyone in decades. He’s barely even seen Lana since returning to Smallville. They may have been close once, but I sincerely doubt they’re ‘best friends’. Also, this is James Olsen erasure. James who hasn’t been mentioned once by Clark this season. (And neither has his cousin, and yes I am still on that.)

While I may have been a little annoyed by “The Eradicator” primarily because I am sick of these breaks, it was a fantastic buildup to next week’s finale, and I am very excited to see how everything comes together.

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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