Reviewed by: Michael Bailey
Originally Aired: March 14, 2023
WRITTEN BY: Brent Fletcher & Todd Helbing
DIRECTED BY: Tom Cavanagh
Tyler Hoechlin (Clark Kent/Superman)
Bitsie Tulloch (Lois Lane)
Jordan Elsass (Jonathan Kent)
Alex Garfin (Jordan Kent)
Emmanuelle Chriqui (Lana Lang Cushing)
Inde Navarrette (Sarah Cushing)
Wolee Parks (John Henry Irons)
Tayler Buck (Natalie Irons)
Erik Valdez (Kyle Cushing)
Inde Navarrette (Sarah Cortez)
Dylan Walsh (General Sam Lane)
Rya Kihlstedt (Ally Alston)
Joselyn Picard (Sophie Cushing)
Adam Rayner (Tal-Rho)
David Ramsey (John Diggle)
Jenna Dewan (Lucy Lane)
Daisy Torme (Hedy)
Rating – 5 (out of 5): This was an amazing season opener, but holy crap was there a lot to unpack here.
The Lois and Clark scenes were my favorite parts of this episode. It’s sweet to see a loving relationship get this kind of representation. Maybe it’s because I’m firmly in the middle age demographic, but seeing a middle aged couple with two kids that are still able to have a healthy relationship (in more ways than one) hits me in just the right way. It doesn’t hurt that the chemistry between Bitsie and Tyler is amazing and really sells the reality of Lois and Clark’s marriage.
This show continues to give us some of the best super feats of any Superman live action television adaptation. The scene with the crane was great, but the battle with Atom Man in and over Metropolis was freaking awesome. You can really see where the money is going with the special effects. The flying effects, which have always been good, seem to be even better this season. There were some echoes of MAN OF STEEL in the fight with Atom Man, which isn’t a bad thing, but it still felt like something that is particular to this version of Superman.
The drama with the kids is still there, but it has definitely entered a more measured tone. Jordan wanting to do more with his powers and him screwing up made me feel for the kid, though the training scene with him and Clark was a lot of fun. Also, deep cut there with Jordan sparring with a holographic Atomic Skull. His problems with Sarah continue, but they are having what I would consider a normal, teenaged relationship and are actually talking about their issues. Jonathan getting his driver’s license was neat to see and I’m glad Clark is letting him keep the truck that Tal gave them. I don’t know if it’s the most responsible thing, but it was nice just the same. Michael Bishop has slipped smoothly into the cast and his chemistry with everyone is spot on.
Once again, the writers have made all of the supporting characters just as important to me as the main characters. Lana seems to be struggling with her role as Mayor, just as anyone would, and the hint that something really dark is going on with ex-Mayor Dean. Kyle continues to be sympathetic and I felt bad for him several times during the episode. Chrissy acting awkward at the party and then talking to Kyle about how limited her social life is gave Sophia Hasmick some great scenes to work with.
Then she woke up next to Kyle and the whole thing jumped from, “this is fun,” to “genuinely did not see that coming.” The button on that scene was the look on Chrissy’s face after Lana gives Kyle the signed divorce papers. It’s this sort of subtle character work that makes me love everyone on the show.
Except ex-Mayor Dean. He sucks.
The one sub-plot that didn’t entirely land was Nat and Sam Lane’s end of the episode. It was the one thing that could be cut out without anyone really noticing. It wasn’t bad and I hope more happens with it, but it was the only part of the opener that left me going, “Well, that was…okay.”
The bit with Lois thinking she was pregnant hit me kind of hard. I doubt that the writers are going in this direction, but women who are Lois’ age are often dealing with menopause or perimenopause and their bodies and cycles can get wonky. So, my first inclination was that that sort of thing was where this sub-plot is headed, but after the phone call from Dr. Irons towards the end of the episode I started to pick up a real sketch vibe. Or, as Dr. Seuss would say…
I do not trust John Henry’s sister.
I think her motives are quite sinister.
I do not trust them on a plane.
I do not trust them on a train.
I do not trust them here or there.
I do not trust them anywhere.
Finally, we get to the villains. To be fair, we haven’t seen much of them, but I like the teases that we got. It was cool seeing Atom Man return and even cooler that even though Superman was fighting Henry Miller, he also wanted to help the guy. Which is so totally Superman. Or should be. The masked character seems to be a take on the Onomatopoeia character from Kevin Smith’s Green Arrow series. Manneheim is big and intimidating and doesn’t suffer fools at all. And then there’s Dr. Aleister Hook, who shares a name with the Post Crisis supernatural villain Skyhook, which is another DEEP cut. All of these characters have a lot of potential and considering that I have liked all of the villains the show has given us I have high hopes for this crew.
So…yeah. A great opener to what promises to be another great season. I am so ready for the next episode.
Great review Michael! 🙂 I love this season premiere. We saw Superman being Superman. Saving people and stopping a bad guy. The new suit is fantastic. The S insignia could still be a tad bigger and with brighter tone of red and yellow, but other than that, it looks great in my opinion. 🙂 Jordan is really getting better with his powers now, however he still needs to know when best to use them and how to use them. His dad did not look happy when he almost made a bad situation worse using his powers. Hopefully Jordan realized his… Read more »
I thoroughly and wholeheartedly enjoyed episode 1. I’m really interested to see what happens as this storyline continues. I’m looking forward to episode 2.