Reviewed by: Michael Bailey
Originally Aired: Originally Aired: March 1, 2022
WRITTEN BY: Patrick Barton Leahy and Max Kronick
DIRECTED BY: Amy Jo Johnson
Tyler Hoechlin (Clark Kent/Superman)
Bitsie Tulloch (Lois Lane)
Jordan Elsass (Jonathan Kent)
Alex Garfin (Jordan Kent)
Inde Navarrette (Sarah Cushing)
Erik Valdez (Kyle Cushing)
Emmanuelle Chriqui (Lana Lang Cushing)
Wole Parks (John Henry Irons)
Tayler Buck (Natalie Irons)
Sofia Hasmik (Christy Beppo)
Ian Bohen (Lt. Mitchell Anderson)
Daisy Torme (A.I. Voice)
Ian Boehn (General Mitchell Anderson)
Dylan Walsh (General Sam Lane)
Jenna Dewan (Lucy Lane)
Rya Kihlstedt (Ally Allston)
Joselyn Picard (Sophie Cushing)
Candice Pergande (Samantha Di Francesco)
Patricia Drake (General Hardcastle)
Danny Wattley (Coach Gaines)
Eric Keenleyside (Mayor George Dean)
Catherine Lough Haggquist (Dr. Faulkner)
Cynthia Mendez (Tonya Martinez)
Mariana Klaveno (Lara Lor-Van)
Rating – 5 (out of 5):
The great thing about this show is that I am just as emotionally invested in the more dramatic, non-super-hero parts of the story as I am the super-hero parts. This isn’t a surprise. The thing that made me such a Superman fan back in the late eighties and nineties was that the writers put as much effort into the private lives of Clark and Lois and the rest supporting cast as they did the action. I showed up for Superman, I stayed for Clark Kent and the others.
It’s the same reason I look forward to the next episode of this series as well.
That and the cliffhanger endings.
Arresting Superman was a pretty good beat to end on.
But First, Let’s Talk About Kyle and Lana
I am going to be honest here and write that part of me really wants to hate Kyle. The problem is that between Erik Valdez’s performance and the ways they have made the character likable I just can’t. I don’t in any way condone what he did. Cheating on your partner is not okay and even if he was at a low point in his life that still doesn’t excuse his behavior.
I don’t hate him, but I’m not happy with him either.
The best part about this part of the episode is how honest Lana’s reactions felt. Her going to see Tonya was a gutsy move and it didn’t surprise me that the conversation was civil. As she was leaving, I was thinking that maybe because everything happened after Sarah’s suicide attempt she was going to take him back and the dialogue as she approached him at the firehouse certainly leaned in that direction. And then the show did what the show always does; take my expectations and completely subvert them.
In this case it is definitely for the best. While I appreciate that this show doesn’t drag things out like SMALLVILLE could I also like that Lana and Kyle aren’t getting back together after one episode. It is going to take time, and that speaks well for Lana as a character.
I really like this version of Lana. I’m glad that the writers are giving her story as much due as the other sub-plots.
Superman To The Rescue
Superman saving of the Russian town was another fantastic super feat that had a serious cinematic vibe on a television budget. This show has always been good about showing all of Superman’s abilities and the use of super breath and heat vision was especially well done. It was a little…weird to have him saving a town in Russia with everything going on in the real world right now, but I think the point of the scene and the point of him saving that town is that even though Clark grew up in America and probably thinks of himself as an American as Superman he helps the world. Again, this is something the show has done a good job of exploring and seems to be one of the sore points for General Anderson.
The fight at the beginning, which was mirrored towards the end, was very well done. Superman doesn’t seem to be a brawler nor a martial artist nor a boxer. His moves are specific and almost tactical, which makes me wonder if General Lane gave him some hand-to-hand training after he married Lois. While both Bizarro and Superman were defeated, I liked that this Superman isn’t afraid to mix it up. It reminds me of the first season of the George Reeves ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN series, though more controlled as George was not above punching normal people in the face.
I was glad to see that Lucy came back so soon after her last appearance. Sam Lane trying to make peace between his daughters did a lot to further his evolution as a character. Lucy getting along so well with the boys spoke to a previous relationship that was lost when Lucy joined Ally’s cult. And seeing Lois and Lucy reconnecting was sweet as well, but during all of those scenes I was wondering when it was going to all fall apart. It’s not that I wanted to see that, but I knew that as great as everything was going that eventually Ally was going to get brought up and that was going to end the reconciliation. It’s the only way it could have ended. It didn’t feel forced or cliché either. There was an honesty to the way the scenes were written and acted. When you have the issues Lois and Lucy have from before the cult added to the cult itself, there isn’t much that can be done. Lois and Lucy were always going to hit that wall.
Jonathan and Jordan’s issues are a little more clear cut. Jonathan is doing drugs and lying to his brother. The drugs in and of themselves are pretty bad, but when you add the fact that one of his fellow players is in legal trouble it makes things even worse. Jonathan feeling down after winning the game was a great touch to this sub-plot. His realization that even though he won he really didn’t win was clear, as was Jordan’s disappointment that Jonathan not only lied about getting powers but it doing drugs as well.
I felt for them. I felt for everyone in this episode.
That Beginning and Ending Though
The opening scene was the best cold opening that the series has done so far. The flipping of the scenery. The lighting. The fight choreography. It just popped. The ending was completely unexpected. Anderson has been a jerk from the beginning, but to arrest Superman for treason because he won’t share the location of his bizarre counterpart put him squarely into the realm of villainy. It was also an amazing cliffhanger.
I know I write about the cliffhangers in most of my reviews, but they are just so good.
We’re six episodes into this season and everything is going to hell. Which is great. Seriously. Everyone involved with this show is doing such a great job making this story work that even though everyone is having some sort of crisis. We’re heading into the EMPIRE STRIKES BACK part of the season where all of the characters are in a dark place, which will hopefully lead to some, if not all, of the characters overcoming the odds in dramatic fashion.
This has become my favorite live action take on Superman. Bar none.