Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton
Alexander ('Lex') Joseph Luthor
Sheriff Nancy Adams
Voice of Jor-El
It is stated but never clarified why Brainiac needs Kara to travel back to Krypton's past. It has been previously established that he has all of a Kryptonian's powers. It also never explained why he allowed Kara to add to Jor-El's transmissions once he did take her back into the past with him.
Jor-El and Lara are nowhere to be seen, despite the fact that it's established that Lara placed baby Kal-El in the spaceship before its departure.
For some reason, with the destruction of Krypton imminent, Brainiac doesn't kill baby Kal-El immediately. Instead he picks the baby up, places him on a pedestal, looks around for a crystal dagger, and then finally gets around to killing him. It would be simpler and faster to simply crush in his skull or strangle him.
Despite the fact Kara has been on Krypton for some time (long enough to send several journal entries, over a period equal to her absence in the present), she still has enough super-strength to lift a heavy boulder over her head and smash Brainiac with it.
In the Kent family photo that Clark picks up the alternate reality Clark is too tall. In the episode we can clearly see that Brett Dier is shorter than Tom Welling, but in the picture he's taller than Jonathan Kent. The photo had been digitally enhanced with Dier's face superimposed over Welling's.
Even before he has his epiphany near the end, Clark tells Adams that "he never gives up." But the beginning of the episode begins with Clark... giving up. If he never gave up, then the entire situation wouldn't have happened.
The timeframe of the altered timeline is unclear: Lex is President and Lois has presumably won a Pulitzer. The implication is we're seeing a point further in the future rather than Clark's present. But none of the future versions of Clark's friends and family look any older, and the "new" Clark appears to be the same age as Clark.
It's a common problem seen in many shows involving time travel, but... they talk as if Clark could disappear any second once Brainiac kills his past-self. But from Clark's current-day perspective, Brainiac has already killed Clark, 19 years ago. Ditto for Kara leaving him messages: there's no reason for them to "suddenly" appear, they should have been there during the past 19 years.
While it makes sense that Clark may have underestimated Lex's gun, allowing himself to be shot with a Kryptonite bullet, and afterwards be too weak to dodge the second shot, it makes no sense that Kara, after seeing Clark shot twice, would have just stood there waiting to get shot herself.
At the end of the episode, when Kara drops the milk bottle, she drops it right in front of her. However, when Kara drops to the floor, and twists to her left, the milk puddle is in front of her. The milk should have been by her legs behind her on screen left if she dropped it the way she did.
As Lois is taken away, and Clark and Kara talk about what Lois has done, the closed captioning continues to display what Lois is saying even though she can't be heard on-screen.
Current U.S. Law states that a person must be over the age of 35 to be President. Lex isn't over 35. Also, Lois claims to have already won a Pulitzer, yet she is only in her early 20s. That is some accomplishment.
Jor-El: You disappoint me, my son. You cannot question your destiny on this planet.
Clark: It was you! You wanted to show me what the world would be like if I wasn't here.
Jor-El: The disc in your hand revealed your misguided intentions. I was forced to show you the error of your ways. I sent you to Earth for a purpose, Kal-El, one that cannot be taken lightly.
Clark: Send me back!
Jor-El: You must stop the Brain InterActive Construct from altering history and taking your life. You cannot fail. This time, there will be no second chances.
Clark: I'm not in this picture. You're their son.
"Clark": Yeah. And lucky for you, my dad didn't find you in the barn, 'cause he'd be pulling out his 12-gauge right about now.
Clark: Nice bowtie.
Jimmy: Oh, thanks, yeah, it's a present from an old girlfriend. She might have taken my heart away but she left me a sense of style.
Lois: I know all about unrequited love. I have had more heroes exit stage left than a Greek tragedy.
Clark: Where were you taking it?
Jimmy: Oh, I guess you didn't get the memo that says "Why should I tell you?" (Clark slams him into shelves) That's a good answer.
Lex: Great leaders are defined by the difficult decisions that they make.
Brainiac: (to baby Kal-El) Hush, Kal-El. It's time to sleep. Not every boy grows up to be a hero.
Lex: You disappoint me, Kara. With everything my family's done for you, to question my judgment.
Kara: It's only because I care about you.
Lex: Since the day my father found your ship submerged in the Reeve's Dam, he loved you like you were his own daughter. He died guarding your secret from the world.
Kara: I know, and I owe my life to the both of you, but this country...
Lex: What do you know about protecting this country? You are an alien. I'm the President of the United States. By striking the enemy first, I am ensuring our survival. We will prevail. And through it all, I expect you to -- look at me. I expect you to stand by my side.
Kara: Of course, Mr. President.
Clark: Kara, listen to me.
Kara: How do you know that name?
Clark: Because I'm from Krypton. I'm your cousin. I'm Kal-El.
Kara: I was sent here to kill you.
Brainiac: You will not keep me from the task I was programmed for.
Clark: Zod is still alive.
Brainiac: And trapped...in the Phantom Zone. With the humans gone, I will use Kara to release him through her Fortress.
Clark: She'll never go along with it.
Brainiac: It didn't look like she had much fight left in her. But she'll heal. She's healthy. So is Lex Luthor...the vessel. Together, they will repopulate the planet, and Krypton will rise again.
Lois: (back to the real world, after seeing Clark at her desk on the Daily Planet) This is a new side to Clark Kent... mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper.
Lois: (as Clark superspeeds with her in his arms) Talk about sweeping a girl off her feet...
Government Agent: Lois Lane?
Lois: That's what it says on my Pulitzer.
Brainiac: There's no yellow sun to charge you here. You're not in Kansas anymore, Kal-El.
Music: Fetish (REDANA and M1)
Norway: Monday, May 12, 2008 10.50 pm on TVNorge
Denmark: Monday, June 16, 2008 on TV3
Australia: Thursday, July 31, 2008 on TEN HD
Israel: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 on Yes Stars 2
UK: Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 10.00pm on E4
Sweden: Friday, September 26, 2008 on TV6
Greece: November 16, 2008 on Star
New Zealand: May 29, 2009 on TV2
Czech Republic: March 10, 2010 on TV Nova
Slovakia: August 26, 2010 on Markiza
Photos of Kristin Kreuk, Annette O'Toole, and John Schneider are seen although they don't actually appear in the episode.
James Marsters and Terence Stamp are billed as Special Guest Stars.
In-joke: When Lois Lane dresses Clark up to look like a reporter she declares something isn't right, and adds glasses to his disguise. The grey suit and thick black-framed glasses he wears are almost identical to the outfit Christopher Reeve wore in his depiction of Superman in the movie series. In an additional nod to Reeve, as his glasses start to slide down his nose, Tom Welling slides them back up by the bridge, using his middle finger. This is an exact copy of the motion Reeve would make as Clark Kent throughout all of his movie appearances.
Kristin Kreuk and John Glover are credited but don't appear.
Injoke: In the comics, Lana ends up marrying Pete Ross. In this episode's alternate history, Lana marries a "Pierre Rousseau": a French-like version of "Pete Ross."
Injoke: In the alternate reality, Kara as a DDS agent goes by the alias of Linda Danvers, which is the alias she used in the comics.
Injoke: The Jimmy POV shots through his camera as he takes pictures of Lois is a reference to both Superman: The Movie and Superman Returns when he does the same thing.
Brainiac: You're not in Kansas anymore.
Referencing the famous book series, The Wizard Of Oz, created by Frank L. Baum. In the 1939 movie, Judy Garland, who plays Dorothy, is famous for delivering the lines "I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
Chloe: Clark, if they made the quantum leap, there must be a way you can too.
This is a reference to the TV show Quantum Leap. Quantum Leap involves scientist Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) leaping to various points in time, and into the life of a different person, usually constrained within the period of his own lifetime.
Lois: Even if you White Tornado your way in there...
Referencing the Ajax Cleanser commercials which showed a white tornado sweeping into housewives' homes and cleaning for them.
Jimmy: He just found out his old flame is doing the Last Tango in Paris with a French philanthropist.
Referencing the 1973 movie (originally Ultimo Tango a Parigi), starring Marlon Brando (later to play Jor-El in Superman: The Movie) and Maria Schneider as a widower and a bride-to-be, respectively, having a torrid affair.
Jimmy: And I got to clean house before Big Brother comes knocking.
Referencing the novel 1984 by George Orwell. Big Brother is the ubiquitous dictator and father figure of Oceania, where everyone is under constant surveillance and subject to political indoctrination. The term has become synonymous with a dictatorial government.
Lois He might come across a little stiff on Larry King, but you're saying he's an android?
Referencing the CNN program Larry King Live, hosted by Larry King. The long-running program has King interviewing topical figures of the day.
Lois: You know, with all my years of watching Dr. Phil, you'd think I could come up with the perfect thing to say, but I'm drawing a blank.
Referencing the TV talk show hosted by Phil McGraw, spun off from a successful segment on The Oprah Winfrey Show. McGraw provides advice and counseling to guests with a wide range of problems.
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