Superman & Lois S1E11 “A Brief Reminiscence In-Between Cataclysmic Events”
The following two paragraphs are repeated from an earlier review for emphasis:
Some critics have been saying that The CW-verse has reached a saturation point with the number of its DC superhero series, and that it’s become a chore to try to keep up with them all, even for the hard core fans. As one of those fans, I can relate to that. Several seasons ago, I gave up trying to watch them all, and dropped a couple from my “Must-Watch” schedule. Even the ones that I still watch haven’t felt the same, especially last season and this one. Especially in The Flash and Supergirl, I can sense actors becoming less enthusiastic in their ongoing roles, some they have had for 5 or more years now. I can see costume and character designs becoming less elegant. I can hear written dialogue becoming clumsy or feeling phoned in.
But with the arrival of Superman & Lois, I would almost be tempted to give all the others up, and just watch this one, and feel completely satisfied. It’s that good. It’s got everything provided by all the other series combined, except for the what’s-going-to-happen-this-week wackiness of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Romance? Check. Teenage angst? Check. Sense of humor? Check. Surprise twists? Check. Excellent CGI? Check. Kick-ass, movie-quality battle scenes? Check. But most important of all, it’s got a sense of gravitas that no CW hero series has consistently had since Arrow. I would venture to say that not only is it the best CW hero series, but it’s the best current CW series, period.
This past week’s 11th episode of Superman & Lois rewinds to the first episode to finally give us the full story of how the two met and fell in love, and at its core is a refreshing change from ANY past version, either in print or live action.
The standard has always been: Lois falls in love with Superman first, then Clark much later, reluctantly settling for less than Superman. Superman & Lois flips this traditional romantic triangle and has Lois fall almost immediately for Clark. When Lois can fall first for the clumsy, greenhorn farmboy while a charismatic Superman is flying around Metropolis, it makes her less shallow, warmer, and much more grounded and admirable than other Loises. At least in my opinion. With this episode, I have finally and completely bought in to actor Bitsy Tulloch as Lois Lane. I think the final step to my buy-in was when she made the first move on Clark, and then while he was aw-shucks-ing, she had a moment of realization on her face that she was in love. A subtle moment, brilliantly acted.
Another twist occurs when Clark brings Lois home to Smallville to meet his mother. After some very realistic conversations that anyone can relate to when introducing a significant other to your family and friends, Clark decides to reveal his true self to Lois. However, as Clark levitates off the ground, we only get a glimpse of Lois’ gobsmacked reaction to his reveal, which I think was a missed opportunity. But the silent montage of snapshots of their romance accompanied by music are heartwarming and inspired.
We also get to see this series’ version of the creation of the Fortress of Solitude, giving it much more presence than what had appeared to be merely a small ice cave in the Arctic. I had my breath taken away by a beautifully done CGI transition from a teenaged Clark to an adult one, while racing at superspeed over Arctic snow.
While it’s been obvious in previous origin incarnations that Clark’s Arctic visit lasted years, this time it hit me that Clark has been away from his widowed mother and labor-intensive farm, with no contact whatsoever, learning from a hologram in an ice cave, for a DECADE. “Hope you and the farm are still around when I get back, Mom.”
We get a more fleshed-out version of Superman’s first outing in his Golden Age costume (“My mother made it for me!”), and Easter eggs like where his name came from (“I’m sure you’ll come up with something, Lois”), a phone booth, and even the villain from the 1950 Atom Man Meets Superman movie serial, who is quickly defeated in an unexpected and HELL YEAH way.
In this episode, we and Clark eventually realize we are reliving memories of his relationship with Lois thanks to the manipulations of Morgan Edge/Tal-Ro, who has captured a Superman weakened by his Kryptonian flare exertion last episode. Edge is using Kryptonian tech to share his memories, and use them against him. Tal-Ro is also a new twist never seen before. A half-brother of Clark/Kal-El, who has made it his mission to remake Krypton on Earth, with his brother at his side. Yes, disappointingly, it repeats an ambition we have heard before from another maniacal Kryptonian (Zod in Man Of Steel). By using Clark’s family as leverage, Tal-Ro intends to use more Kryptonian tech to turn Kal-El to his side, and take over the world. It is the final cataclysmic event in this episode, leading up to what will be an exciting last few episodes of this first season.
Will Tal-Ro’s plan to turn Kal-El evil work? Will the apocalyptic events that occurred on John Henry Steel’s alt-Earth happen here?
To find out, catch the BEST HERO SHOW YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING, Superman & Lois, airing Tuesdays on the CW, and streaming the next day on cwtv.com