Previously on SUPERMAN & LOIS

In all the years that I’ve been reading about and watching Superman, the truest trait of the character has been his ability to inspire, to make sure that the better angels of our nature can overcome the demons on our shoulders. His real appeal has nothing to do with being one of the most powerful men on the planet, able to move planets with a flick of his finger. The greatest appeal of Superman, to the people who really pay attention to the character, is his ability to lift people up and give them a reason to believe in the good that people can do.

When we last saw Superman and his family, before the three-week break, the Man of Steel yielded to Morgan Edge in order to save his family. In turn, Edge brought Superman to his own secret hideout, where his Kryptonian father, Zeta-Ro, attempted to use the Eradicator program on Superman. In this episode, we discover that Zeta-Ro planned to implant the consciousness of one of Superman’s greatest foes – General Zod – into Superman’s body.

At the end of the last episode, I had been mentally preparing myself for several episodes of Superman having been turned into an evil ally of Morgan Edge. Honestly, I was dreading it. I’ve had enough of the “evil Superman” stories over the last few years. I figured the last few episodes of the season would be about Lois Lane, the twins, Sam Lane and John Henry Irons working to bring Superman back over to the side of the angels. But once again, the show surprised me.

Much like the battle with the Smallville residents that Morgan Edge turned into Kryptonians with X-Kryptonite, the threat of an evil Superman is contained into one episode, and it had everything to do with the belief in Superman that Lois, Jon and Jordan have, and how they could instill that faith in others the way Superman had done for years.

John Henry returns to Smallville at the behest of Lois, who hopes that Irons would be able to bring Superman back from the dark side. But Irons – and Lois’ father, Gen. Sam Lane – have other ideas. Through his Project 7734, Gen. Lane has spent a lot of time and taxpayer money in developing weapons to take Superman out. John Henry Irons came here from another Earth, which Superman had destroyed, and wanted nothing more than to take Superman out. Being turned into General Zod by Morgan Edge was the final reasoning they both needed to try and make a move on Big Blue. In trying to get Irons to understand why he needs to save Superman, Lois reveals that Clark Kent is Superman, though even that doesn’t seem to sway him.

Thankfully, Lois, Jon and Jordan weren’t alone in their lobbying for keeping Superman alive. We get another guest spot from John Diggle, who brings Gen. Lane something from ARGUS, though he didn’t know how Lane intended to use it. When he finds out they mean to kill Superman, he lectures both Gen. Lane and Irons on how Superman is the world’s greatest hero and recovery should be the priority.

And then Jon Kent – who hit Irons with a truck earlier this SEASON – makes an appeal before Irons heads off to confront Superman and take him out.

The faith that Lois, the twins and Diggle have in Superman to push through the Eradicator program finally got through to Irons. When he has Superman down, before he uses the weapon Diggle provided to kill Superman, he sees the Man of Steel struggling with the Zod personality and he urges Superman to fight through it as Clark tells Irons to take him out. Superman, because he’s Superman, manages to dissipate Zod’s consciousness and come back to the world.

Superman and Irons then manage to take down Edge and imprison him in a Kryptonite-lined cell within the Department of Defense, leaving only Edge’s right-hand woman Leslie Larr as the lone evil with Kryptonian powers. I’m willing to bet that, with three episodes left, we haven’t seen the last of either Edge or Larr.