Reviewed by: Michael Bailey
Originally Aired: March 28, 2023
WRITTEN BY: Jai Jamison
DIRECTED BY: Gregory Smith
Tyler Hoechlin (Clark Kent/Superman)
Bitsie Tulloch (Lois Lane)
Michael Bishop (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)
Sofia Hasmik (Chrissy Beppo)
Chad L Coleman (Bruno Mannheim)
Angel Parker (Dr. Irons)
Paul Lazenby (Atom/Henry Miller)
Shekhar Paleja (Dr. Aleister Hook)
Eric Keenleyside (George Dean)
Spence Moore II (Matteo)
Karen Holness (Judge Tara Reagan)
Christian Sloan (Elias Orr)
Gabriel Wihl (Onlooker)
Yasmeene Ball (Eliza)
Zachary Loewen (Travis)
Sidney Quesnelle (Skylar)
Rating – 4 (out of 5): When the first trailer for this season hit the web the shot that seemed to attract the most attention was the one of the Daily Planet building crumbling to dust on top of Lois. It was a dramatic shot with great CGI that was also a (probable) call back to the cover of ACTION COMICS #700. In all the times I’ve seen that trailer and the promo for this episode I was convinced that this was probably going to be a dream sequence of some kind. It turns out I was right, which isn’t a major accomplishment.
Dream sequence or not this was a great way to open the episode and a great way to show how helpless Clark feels regarding Lois’ illness. It’s not a feeling he’s used to, so it makes sense that all his worry and fear would manifest as a nightmare. While the focus of Lois’ sickness should be on Lois, I liked that we got to seeing how Clark was dealing with it as well. I’m curious if this was a one-off thing or if the nightmares are going to get worse, leading to Clark having to tell Lois about them.
Or maybe it was there to mirror the ending.
Time will tell.
Speaking of Lois, the scene where she is telling all the people in her life about her illness was so well done. Those conversations are never easy and the one with her dad was especially moving. Sam Lane may be gruff and a bit of a jerk from time to time, but he’s Lois’ dad and no father ever wants to get the news that one of his children is sick.
From there the rest of the episode was an exploration of how everyone deals with her diagnosis. John Henry fell into the denial camp and because of that was hard on Nat and her desire to do something nice for Lois. John and Nat’s reaction is tricky because on their Earth Lois was their wife and mother and, on this Earth, she isn’t, so it tracks that John would want to create some distance between himself and Lois. Nat wanting to give Lois the watch was really sweet and the scene at the end where the kids all give it to her made for a great way to close out the episode.
The sub-plot with Nat, Jon, and Jordan was a little weird but gave them something to do this week. It was also an excuse for Nat to bring out the armor and Jordan to do some super feats, which made for a nice mirror (hey, another one) to Superman and John Henry’s super feats. This was the one part of the episode that didn’t feel absolutely vital to the overall story, but it was a lot of fun.
The synopsis for this episode mentioned that the Sarah, Lana, and Kyle are going to settle into their new normal and that was a bit of a misdirect because that is the opposite of that happened. (Not that I blame the writers of the synopsis. They’re just doing their job.) I am finding myself really invested in this sub-plot, which speaks to how good of a job the writers and the actors have done in making the character feel real. I’ve seen some discourse on social media and on a few of the SUPERMAN AND LOIS podcasts regarding how out of character Sarah has been and I respectfully disagree. Sarah has been a complicated character from the beginning and has had to deal with a lot for a teenager. Her dad’s drinking, her dad’s affair, her mother’s campaign running for mayor, and…you know…the world almost coming to an end.
With the exception of that last bit these are things that teenagers have to deal with, and they don’t always deal with it in the best way. This episode ramped all of that up and the scene where Lana slapped Sarah was really upsetting. It doesn’t matter what Sarah said. Yes, it was hurtful and out of line, but assault is never the answer to that. All it did was make the situation worse.
So, I think everyone needs to cut Sarah some slack. She’s got a lot going on.
Lana and Kyle both had great dramatic moments as well. The scene where Lana is talking outside Sarah’s door hinted that she suffered some abuse of her own, which made the slap that much worse. Kyle was out of line asking about John Henry no matter how understandable it was, but hearing about how he lost his father to liver cancer and then Sarah showing up at the end even the scales.
I really like these characters.
Then there’s Lois, who I spent most of the episode both sympathetic towards and mad at. I get it. Not everyone deals with illness the same way and getting a diagnosis like this makes you want to deal with the unfinished business in your life. One bit of unfinished business for Lois is Bruno Mannheim, so her skipping her chemotherapy is the manifestation of that. She also scared. She has no idea how her body is going to react to her treatments and doctors’ offices and their waiting rooms are not the best places to be. It’s a scary thing to deal with.
To be fair, she needed to go. There’s no question there. I just get where she was coming from.
Finally, it was great to see some old school Superman action. The build up to him finding Lois was fantastic as was the fight with the Intergang goon. I like that the show is not bringing in Superman to save Lois unless she really needs him, which she most certainly did. That moment of “uh oh” when Lois and Chrissy realized that the signal device was not going to work was also great because it brought the proper tension to the scene.
This was another great episode. It was a necessary pause to the Mannheim plotline to deal with Lois’ illness and gave the regular cast a lot to work with. This season has a darker edge to it in terms of subject matter, but the show continues to swing for the fences.