Superman & Lois -- "The Eradicator" -- Image Number: SML114a_0320r.jpg -- Pictured: Tyler Hoechlin as Superman -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Smallville is in chaos this week. Despite Superman and Steel having successfully fended off Tal-Rho, he’s not even close to gone, and things are worse off than ever for Superman, the Kent family, and their town before too long. Spoilers follow for Superman and Lois Season 1, Episode 14, “The Eradicator.”

“The Eradicator”

It’s not hard to argue that, compared to just a few months previous, Smallville is much worse off than it was. An already dying small town was hoodwinked by a charming businessman who turned many of its citizens into Kryptonian soul-bearing vessels. Superman stopped them with the help of General Sam Lane, but that means that the Department of Defense became an occupying force in the small town.

In the aftermath of Tal-Rho/Morgan Edge’s attack, the town is in a shambles. Lana’s husband Kyle was a big supporter of Edge when he thought the guy was bringing jobs to the town, and many people have since turned on him. The Smallville newspaper, already struggling, is at the center of a conflict between the public and the Department of Defense, with Lois Lane right in the middle.

Despite that, things start quietly before they go absolutely bonkers. Jonathan is spending time with John Henry Irons out in the barn, attempting to learn a bit of engineering from him. Jordan and Sara are spending as much time together as they can–as infatuated teenagers tend to.

Edge Reappears

Meanwhile, General Lane holds a town hall meeting to try to assuage some of the citizens’ many concerns without divulging information that might start more trouble than it resolves. It goes badly, of course, and Edge shows himself, appearing over Metropolis with Leslie Larr in tow. When Superman shows up, she informs him that neither Morgan Edge nor Tal-Rho exist anymore, just in time for four people to rise up above the crowd as newly-made vessels.

Some great superhero action kicks off here as Superman and Steel fight Leslie and Edge’s newly-taken vessels. While they’re doing that, Lois finds an old coworker with a camera and they get broadcasting. There’s a moment here that mirrors the one from Irons’ earth, where Lois is standing at a balcony reporting on the chaos going down in Metropolis.

Blocks away, Irons is fighting off two Kryptonian vessels while his armor tries to reconnect to his sledgehammer. Not being able to connect to your favorite wireless accessories is extremely relatable. As he fights, Leslie Larr floats slowly up behind Lois, just as Superman did on Irons’ Earth. Back in Kansas, the boys are at a party when they see their mother on TV, about to die the same way Jonathan saw her die on the recording of the other Earth. Instead, this time, Irons’ hammer roars to life and throws it, Thor-style, slamming it brutally into Leslie before recalling it to take down his foe.

That CGI Budget at Work

The CGI and superhero action in Superman and Lois continue to be next-level when compared to the other CW shows. I’m lowkey terrified of what will happen when the CW inevitably cuts the budget as networks seem to enjoy doing to successful, well-reviewed shows because right now the CGI is working so well to do the job it needs to do. Superman looks like Superman, and while I’ve accused the Steel costume of looking too much like the guy from the DOOM games, there’s no question that he looks great in a fight.

Edge disappears and then, when he reappears, it’s to utterly wreck the truck that Sam Lane is driving Jonathan, Jordan, and Sara in. Edge kidnaps Jordan and things get super dark when we find them in a reactor core, Edge pumping the kid full of Kryptonian soul. The lead shielding and thick walls mean that Superman can’t hear his son’s screams. When Jordan looks up, his eyes glow red and his voice is that of Edge’s Kryptonian father.

Next week is the season finale, and I’m eager to see whether Superman defeats Edge or if the villain will last into next season.