You know I was giddy and losing my mind over this episode, right?! Lois Lane … and Lois Lane! In one episode! I also watched the second episode because it’s a continuation of the first.
By getting giddy, I mean …
Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane in the original Superman film in 1978 is in the first episode! In “Crusade,” she cameos as Bridgette Crosby, the emissary (and former lover) of Dr. Swann, who is played by … Christopher Reeve! The original Superman!
… yeah, this post is going to have exclamation point overload as I’m fanboying out.
Erica Durance (14-year-old me had a huge crush on her) as Lois Lane in this version of Superman through Smallville. As Lois Lane, she’s the cousin of Chloe Sullivan (played by Allison Mack), and in this episode, Lois Lane has come to Smallville to uncover what happened to Chloe Sullivan at the end of the previous season, where she was seemingly killed in a house explosion. She runs into Clark Kent/Superman, who has returned to earth after going off with Jor-El, but he’s Kal-El here. He doesn’t remember his Clark Kent identity.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Kent is brain dead after the events of season three, and Martha Kent is trying to hold it all together.
Originally, Erica Durance was only allowed, per Warner Bros., to appear in four episodes, but fortunately they negotiated to have her on a regular cast member, according to Wikipedia. That’s fortunate because she absolutely kills the role! If there is anyone that is the spirit animal of that original Kidder performance as Lois Lane, it’s Erica Durance. She kills the manic, quippy, self-sufficient, bad-ass, resourceful, and intelligent qualities that make Lois Lane such a great character and better half of Clark Kent/Superman in the comics and movies.
In this, the chemistry is also off-the-page (er, screen) with Clark Kent/Superman, played by Tom Welling. But the relationship is different than what we’ve seen with Chloe Sullivan and certainly with Lana Lang (played by Kristin Kreuk).
As Clark Kent later describes Lois Lane in the second episode, “she’s bossy, stuck-up rude; I can’t stand her!” To which, Lana retorts, that’s how the best relationships start. The razzing relationship we see in these first two episodes between them gets me giddy. It’s Lois Lane and Clark Kent! It’s done so well. I love this relationship, and watching it blossom here in the beginning stages.
But again, to reiterate, one of my favorite things about Lois Lane is that she takes no crap from anyone. Even though she has Superman by her side (and of course, she doesn’t yet know he’s Superman), she’s more than capable of defending herself, and does so in these episodes. There’s even a great moment where she thinks she saves Clark Kent from the villain, and quips:
“I don’t know how you ever survived without me,” – Lois Lane to Clark Kent/Superman.
That’s Lois Lane (and her relationship to Clark Kent/Superman) in a nutshell. I love it.
But! That’s not the only thing noteworthy about this episode. I haven’t mentioned this on the blog yet, but prior to digging back into Smallville, I started in on another famous, long-running WB/CW show: Supernatural, co-starring Jensen Ackles. I binged through 10 full seasons of that show (it has 15 overall) earlier this summer before needing to take a break. But I’m basically in love with Ackles. More on that show in another post.
He shows up in these two episodes, though, as the Paris, France (where Lana Lang went off to at the end of season three) love bird for Lana Lang. He goes by Jason Teague, and I think the most jarring thing about him in this to me, after watching him on 10 seasons of Supernatural, is that he’s using his regular voice instead of that gruff, deep voice he uses on Supernatural.
Also, Ackles is of note for two other reasons:
- He was second in line to play Clark Kent! Could you imagine? I couldn’t. Now having seen Ackles play Dean Winchester on the show, and Tom Welling play Clark Kent/Superman on the show (again, this is a third re-watch of Smallville), I can’t imagine Ackles as anything but Dean Winchester, and certainly, I can’t imagine him as Clark Kent/Superman. Tom Welling is perfectly cast. He looks like a big farm boy that could also be Superman.
- It seems like Ackles was set to be a regular cast member for the show starting with season four here in 2004, but then Supernatural started the following year in September, so he had to stop. I wonder what would have happened if he had stayed on, and for that matter, who would have been cast as Sam Winchester’s brother?! Still, it was neat to see him! I honestly never made that connection in my head in the prior two watches of Smallville that that was the guy from Supernatural.
Overall, I’ve been anxiously awaiting this moment: When Erica Durance comes on the show as Lois Lane. Her and Clark Kent are just so good together. It makes for great television. And it makes me forget about all the ups and downs with Lana Lang.
Did I mention I love this show? And with all my fanboying over Erica Durance and Jensen Ackles, I forgot to mention that in the first episode, “Crusade,” as pictured at the start of this blog, we get the fun of seeing Kal-El fly! Granted, Clark Kent doesn’t know how to do it yet, but it was another fun sequence.