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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Superman & Lois Episode 13: Fail-Safe

July 21st, 2021 by Todd Black Comments

Last week did a great job of showcasing the various elements that make Superman & Lois such a great show, and while this week did that in the overall, it did make a few mistakes that did feel out of character.

Let’s start with the positive, it did feel like a “cooldown” from the climatic ending last time with the defeat of Edge and how everyone was dealing with it, and for the most part, that was good. For example, Sam FINALLY realizing just how big his 7734 mistake was made for multiple compelling conversations, including how he had put his job over his family and that he didn’t want those weapons around anymore. And then after a chat with Edge (more on that later), Sam realizing that something was wrong with Clark because he suddenly WANTED Sam to have those weapons was a good touch as well.

Another good element was the second team-up between Superman and Steel, complete with fist bump at the end. Usually, I’d criticize such cheesiness, but here? Yeah, it felt special, and Steel wanting to move on with his life and even guiding Jonathan a little bit about “being more than one thing” was nice. Oh, and that “Natbug” brand? That was cool too.

The continued plight of Kyle and Lana also hit home. Because last week it was about the anger the people of Smallville had and lashing out at them and the three needing to come together to not shatter. However, this week we saw the next step of that, the pain of all that happened and the “need” for a scapegoat…and their family being that in the eyes of the mayor, the townspeople and so on.

Again, at the start of the season, Kyle was the most annoying and unsympathizable character on the show. But now, you feel his pain because he was betrayed and suddenly everything he’s done for Smallville is “no good”, and he’s willing to leave them to get peace for himself and his family.

Moving onto the kids, the scene with Jordan and Sara was really well handled. Walking the balance between corny and sweet and doing it with a well-deserved kiss…but…

…then they got arrested? For what, exactly? Skipping school wouldn’t have done that. Were they trespassing? They didn’t really say and it was a little odd that this happened as it did after such a big moment.

Onto the other kid, Jonathan struggling with “who he is now” is a good thing, but that series of conversations with Teague (who if you noticed they didn’t mention her name until WAY later in the episode so if you forgot who she was as I did…you were out of luck) were WAY cringe. From how she “lured him away” to the car chat, to the blanket chat, it was just all wrong and they could’ve been better there.

As they could have with Lois and Chrissy, because Lois is a seasoned reporter, an expert at bending the truth and yet she couldn’t have put on a better poker-face or crafted a better lie about what was going on with her dad? And even Clark admitted they have flirted with “journalistic integrity” in the past and yet…this one crossed the line?

Speaking of which, Clark having a “crisis of conscience” about his powers after EVERYTHING he’s been through definitely felt forced. Remember, by this point in time he’s dealt with 10+ years of being Superman, dealing with Luthor (before Supergirl ever did, do recall), dealing with multiple worlds, multiple Supermen, and even him being mind-controlled by at least one enemy and yet…this one made him realize that “humanity needs weapons to stop me”? Didn’t really hit home, even with the saving grace scene of Steel becoming his Batman in regards to holding the weapons to stop him.

Oh, and Edge was able to break free from the prison because…Eradicator? Yeah, that didn’t add up, and they seriously cast the wrong man as his father because the “oozing of evil” was just annoying. Just as annoying as that politician being…well…a politician and betraying Lana and Kyle then trying to cover his own butt.

Still, even with that, “Fail-Safe” did do a lot right, even if it did trip over its feet a few too many times.

Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!