The first is about midway through the episode. Lois’ big Morgan Edge expose in the Gazette has been spiked by a lawsuit threat – turns out Lois, a star reporter at a major metropolitan newspaper, had a noncompete WHODATHUNK (note: see the mailbag for who indeed thunk). So she pushed it off on Clark, who, as a well known mediocrity, had no such legal conflict, and was planning to bring up the issue in the big town meeting where Smallville was voting on granting Edge’s Intercorp mining rights to the party spot from the first episode.
Meanwhile, the Department of Defense was moving a super-prisoner out of town because Superman’s lack of presence in town was making the authorities skittish about keeping him in town. And at the same time, Sam Lane was giving the kids a hard time about being too needy now that they know their dad was Superman, because the rest of the world needed him more.
Of course, nothing works out right. Superman takes way too long on a wild goose chase, so Edge wins the town vote nearly unanimously, while the stuff with Jordan and Jon takes some time to blow up.
The performances really carry this sequence over. Hoechlin’s Clark agonizes over missing the vote and practically begs Tulloch’s Lois to be mad at him, and their argument is so natural and honest feeling that it’s immediately relatable.
Later, when the family finds out what Sam said to the kids, there’s an argument in the farmhouse that is also immediately recognizable and yet perfectly performed. Clark is pissed at Sam, but Superman’s anger is so often played as some world-ending threat, with glowing red eyes and menacing body language, yet here Hoechlin plays it completely straight – as an angry dad dealing with a shitty in-law. I’m sure we’re going to keep talking about this as the show goes along, but the amount of acting Hoechlin and Tulloch do with only their body language, and the way it conveys exactly who Superman and Lois are both alone and in relation to each other is a HUGE part of the mastery of this show.