Just when you thought things are finally settling in Smallville, reveals in the recent episode lead us into a tangled web of relationships, setting up the rest of the season. The pilot eased us back to the characters, this episode is gearing us up for the rest of the season and it looks like it’s going to be intense.
“The Ties that Bind” has “Arrow’s” David Ramsey return to the directors chair as Clark opens up to Lois about his ongoing struggle with visions. The Kansas farm boy admits that there is only one person who might be able to help, his Kryptonian half brother.
Meanwhile, tensions begin to rise with Lois and Chrissy as a past article by the reporter of steel comes under scrutiny. A disillusioned Jordan struggles with his relationship as Sarah breaks plans and spends time with Natalie. This episode was written by Kristi Korzec.
The title of this week’s episode “The Ties that Bind” is an allegory to the bonds certain characters have with each other, like the weird tie between Doomsday and Kal-El, and I honestly can’t wait to find out the reason for that.
We also learn more about Lucy, reprised by Jenna Dewan, who previously appeared in “Supergirl’s” inaugural season. Lucy has ties to Lois’s past article, which came under inspection after a viral podcast accused the former Daily Planet reporter of abusing her power as a journalist. It was interesting to discover Lucy’s past before she ended up in National City in 2015, and it was insightful to see her relationship with big sister Lois.
We also see what happened to Tal-Rho after the finalé of last season. The Kryptonian criminal is locked up in a maximum security facility with nothing but books for company. Rho is very reminiscent of Hannibal Lector and the interactions between him and Kal were similar to that of Loki and Thor from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). However, Clark is more dismissive and cold when it comes to his brother. Something a Superman should never be.
Adam Rayner is a really great actor and yet again managed to bring out the dread and feeling of loneliness to the character of Tal-Rho. I can’t help but feel bad for the guy, especially in the scene where they go to Tal’s Fortress. The exchange between Lara, Kal and Tal was beautifully done and provided further insight into the complicated familial relationships of Krypton. Adam Rayner was a scene stealer here.
I love the fact that they pay homage to the movie “Man of Steel,” directed by Zack Snyder, by referencing that babies were genetically engineered in Krypton except for Kal. It goes to show how much the creators of the show love and respect the previous iterations of the character and try to incorporate parts from each adaptation.
There were some really great character moments in this episode too. For example, when Superman becomes furious towards Tal after he attacked Jordan. Tyler really managed to bring out the anger and furry in his response, as a superpower father would.
Another great character moment came with Chrissy when she was questioning Lois’s journalistic integrity, even though Lois was Crissy’s idol. Crissy wanted to know the truth behind the viral podcast and pressed Lois for answers, something a true journalist would do.
Most people gloss over the surprise romance with Sarah, but I honestly feel her revealing what happend at camp, and the reason she was awkward around Jordan, was a great choice with this character. Alex Garfin’s reaction to such a reveal was amazing as he managed to show a feeling of pain and betrayal, while also trying to sustain an understanding aura.
Lana’s family storyline, though predictable, proves that she is the representation of the modern day Martha Kent through her passion for helping Smallville. The scenes with Lana and Kyle always puts a smile on my face. Their family has come far from where we saw them at the beginning of season one and Kyle’s journey has made him one of my favorite characters in the show.
Ian Bohen’s portrayal of Lt. Mitch Anderson is very compelling. The former “Teen Wolf” star plays Anderson like an over competent douche who’s looking out for his country’s best interest in a really smart way. His delivery is almost compelling and exemplifies the power of toxic patriotism.
Elsewhere, the multidimensional Irons family may have finally found a home in Smallville and I’m really looking forward for to the introduction of John and Natalie’s interactions with the Kent’s, and the Cushing family.
Another week, another great episode. This latest chapter really set us up for what to expect in the upcoming weeks. The show is still going strong with no signs of stopping anytime soon, and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. It’s inspiration and ties to past incarnations, unexpected surprises and original storyline truly shows a new take on our favorite caped wonder. My rating for this episode is bellow.
“Superman &Lois” stars Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent/Superman, Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane, Jordan Elsass as Jonathan Kent, Alexander Garfin as Jordan Kent, Erik Valdez as Kyle Cushing, Inde Navarrette as Sarah Cushing, Wolé Parks as John Henry Irons, Sofia Hasmik as Chrissy Beppo, Tayler Buck as Natalie Irons, with Dylan Walsh as General Samuel Lane and Emmanuelle Chriqui as Lana Lang Cushing.