“Superman & Lois” Review – S03E07 – “Forever and Always”

Forever and Always

Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Originally Aired: May 2, 2023
WRITTEN BY: Adam Mallinger

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)
Daya Vaidya (Peia)
Spence Moore II (Matteo)
Mariana Klaveno (Lar Lor-Van)
Artine Tony Browne (Boss Moxie)
Joselyn Picard (Sophie Cushing)
Shekhar Paleja (Doctor Aleister Hook)
Allegra Fulton (Older Chemo Patient)

5Rating – 5 (out of 5): Television shows dealing with real world issues are always a tricky prospect because real life is so complicated and nuanced that dealing with things like addiction or illness can sometimes come off as, at best, insensitive or, at worst, insulting. SUPERMAN AND LOIS is the opposite of that, at least in how the writers and the actors are treating Lois’ cancer. Opening this episode with Lois vomiting because of her chemo and having Clark there with her to offer support was a bold choice, but I appreciated how real that scene felt. Bitsie and Tyler did such a great job of portraying a couple dealing with this very real side effect of a very real disease.

On a very personal level I appreciated this episode showing what effect Lois’ illness has on her sons. Cancer is never easy for the family members of the person who is sick, but kids and teenagers have a different kind of hard time with it. Wrapping that up with Jonathan’s feelings that he and his mother are the only “human” members of the family was an interesting choice and really sold the moment when everything finally came out. Jonathan and Jordan going to the Fortress to talk to Lara was another strong scene that served to not only show the desperation the boys are feeling but also to deal with the idea that there is this alien fortress out in the ocean that has all of this advanced technology, so why can’t they just use that to cure Lois? It almost felt like the writer was trying to get in front of fans asking the same question and there is no easy answer to that. The answer the show came up with was a little muddled. Is it too dangerous or is it because it’s not fair to use it to cure Lois while other people suffer? In reality, it’s probably both, but the scene in the bedroom didn’t make that one hundred percent clear.

Not that it matters. To me, the real reason is that Lois’ illness, however real world, is part of a storyline on a season of a television show that will be spanning thirteen episodes and using the deus ex machina of alien tech to cure her in episode seven would be a massive cheat.

But that’s probably just me.

The real surprise of the episode was Lois and Clark finding out that Pia is Mannheim’s wife. I keep going back to SMALLVILLE for comparison, which is ultimately unfair to both shows, but if this was SMALLVILLE the secret would have been a secret for half the season. Even relative to the number of episodes each show has in a season, this revelation came faster than I was expecting, but the thing is it worked. It allowed Pia to be honest with Lois and it gave Chad Coleman a chance to play another side of Mannheim that gave the character more layers. He’s not just a bad guy. I mean, he is, but he’s also a husband trying to save his wife.

The interview Clark did with him not only had some great reporter Clark moments but also bonded those characters in a way that I wasn’t expecting. Mannheim’s fiery accusations combined with Clark making the connection that this whole enterprise is personal to Bruno made for a great scene. The fact that Lois and Clark now know why Mannheim is doing what he’s doing does bring up some interesting moral questions, mainly what they do about it now, but that is something that will more than likely be dealt with in another episode.

The sub-plots from this episode were engaging as well. Sarah and Chrissy having some bonding time was nice to see. The bit with the gummies was funny, though after a season of dealing with Jonathan’s drug use it felt a little weird. After giving it, some thought I realized it wasn’t a big deal because there is a world of difference between a steroid and an edible. Lana and Sarah having their moment was great as well and it was fun to see them shooting off the fireworks at the end. John Henry dealing with being a single father with a teenage daughter who is just starting to date was fun and like the edibles and the fireworks it was a nice pressure valve for the seriousness of the rest of the episode.

Props to the show for making a deep cut reference to Young Einstein with the title of the movie.

Further props to actually showing us Boss Moxie, who was the main adversary of the Newsboy Legion in the Golden Age, and even throwing out the name Gillespie, who was a member of Intergang in the Post Crisis era.

The revelation that Matteo is the son of Bruno and Pia was not surprising but played well. Having it right at the end made for a great way to close this episode out and leave the audience hanging and asking questions. The one question that did get an answer was whether Matteo was sent by his father to cozy up to Nat in a way to have something else to hang over John Henry, which was a possibility, though now it seems kind of silly to think about. I like the fact that they just happened to meet at a party. It gives their relationship a real Romeo and Juliet vibe and now I’m more emotionally invested in seeing how it plays out.

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May 5, 2023 5:58 pm

I feel like there’s always been an underlying implication that Superman operates under some version of Star Trek’s Prime Directive. He acts as an example and a beacon of hope but eschews intervening directly in shaping human society. The problem has always been that if you examine it too closely it amounts to Superman allowing people to suffer and die. He could disarm all the worlds armies and remove people like Putin from power but he chooses not to. It makes sense looking at the a big picture but is incredibly uncomfortable on the scale of individuals. The reason for… Read more »

May 5, 2023 9:18 pm

This TV show is so good. I love it so much!………………Now when I go back and re-watch “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” and the 80s “SuperBoy” TV shows they become harder to watch because “Superman and Lois” set an excellent standard for superhero television shows. Overall, this show continually getting better and better.