“Superman & Lois” Review – S03E12 – “Injustice”

Superman & Lois

Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Originally Aired: June 20, 2023
WRITTEN BY: Michael Narducci
DIRECTED BY: Sudz Sutherland

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)

Michael Cudlitz (Lex Luthor)
Dylan Leonard (Junior)
Dean Redman (Warden William Ellis)
Ryan Booth (Otis)
Leo Chiang (Gavin Park)
Yoshie Bancroft (Janet)

4Rating – 4 (out of 5): The four-shield rating for this week comes from the fact that when Sam Lane was trying to get people to safety, he had them go to an underpass. This drove me crazy in MAN OF STEEL and it drove me crazy here. Underpasses (or overpasses if you will) are one of the worst places you could take shelter in during a tornado because the wind speeds can whip up debris and that debris can get blown and channeled into the underpass.

You could make the case that there was nowhere else to hide, but it’s still something that bugs me.

There were two main plotlines in this episode and one of those centered around Jordan. I like the fact that the writers are having Jordan go down this path because the drama that comes from how Jordan deals with his emerging powers compared to how Clark did as well as the impact it has on the other people in Jordan’s life has a lot of potential. This is something that was played up last season on the Inverse Earth and now we’re seeing how it plays out on the main Earth. I don’t necessarily want Jordan to go down a dark path or get drunk on his power or the attention that comes from saving people. I just see a lot of potential in contrasting Jordan with Clark. Clark had his powers from the jump and spent his entire childhood and teenaged years learning how to keep those powers a secret. It became natural. Jordan only recently got his powers and when you combine that with his issues growing up he’s going to have a completely different reaction to them.

The second plotline was the introduction of Lex Luthor and here is where the episode absolutely shined. We’ve been given around a dozen live action Lex Luthors over the decades from Lyle Talbot from the ATOM MAN VS SUPERMAN (which was a solid adaptation of the Luthor from the comics at the time) to Gene Hackman (a more flamboyant and egocentric version of the Luthor from the forties and fifties) to Scott Wells (Eurotrash Lex from the first season of SUPERBOY) to Sherman Howard (an amazing take on the Bronze Age Lex Luthor from the comics) to John Shea (a more flamboyant and egocentric take on the Post Crisis Lex from the comics) to Michael Rosenbaum (a Silver Age take on Lex redefined for the twenty-first century) to Kevin Spacey (what happens when the Hackman Lex has to serve hard time) to Jesse Eisenberg (Mark Zuckerberg as Lex with a borderline personality disorder) to Jon Cryer (a neat amalgamation of various Lexes from the comics and movies).

(I didn’t mention Titus Welliver because I have yet to see his appearances on TITANS.)

With Michael Cudlitz we get a very different Luthor that strikes me as having his roots with the Lex that was in the comics from the late eighties to the early 2000s. This could just be me, but there is a lot of the John Byrne and Roger Stern and Dan Jurgens and Jeph Loeb take on the character in the DNA of this Lex. It’s as if the Post Crisis Lex was sent to prison for something he didn’t do and lost seventeen years of his life. That’s a bold take and from the jump we see a very evil but nuanced Lex. A Lex that will use fear and intimidation and violence to accomplish his goals but never get his own hands dirty.

It’s just so good.

Adding the loss of time with his daughter fits with SUPERMAN AND LOIS as a series because at its core the show is about family. Whether it is Tal from the first season trying to create his own family and connect with his brother or the evil mother vibe of Ally and the Inverse/Bizarro losing his wife and children from last season to the supporting characters having familial issues this show has a definite theme of the characters having either good or bad relationships with their spouse or their siblings or their parents or their kids. Lex losing seventeen years due partially to Lois’ reporting is one thing. Lex losing seventeen years with his daughter and now said daughter won’t talk to him is another.

Again, it’s just so good.

I will say that this doesn’t feel like the penultimate episode of a season of television. It feels like an opening episode to a new season. I’m not sure how I feel about this but given that there will be a fourth season and that season will only have ten episodes this makes a weird kind of sense.

The sub-plots were also engaging this time out. The whole thing with Kyle and Jonathan balanced out the heavier plot lines and it was nice seeing Sarah and Lana get some good screen time. Seeing Bizarro eating a rat was weird and more than a little creepy, but it made for a good ending to the episode.

The season finale is going to be insane. I can feel it.

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June 23, 2023 2:17 pm

I felt Clark and Lois mishandled Jordan in this episode. Jordan has a very human yearning for external recognition and validation for his achievements. I think telling him his feelings are wrong was a bad strategy. Personally I think it would have been better to express understanding for why he feels the way he does whilst still pressing the point of how important keeping the secret is. Once the cat is out the bag there’s no putting it back in. Remember when he wanted to tell Sarah his secret and they persuaded him to wait a while just to be… Read more »