This literally bizarre season of Superman & Lois continues to surprise even a seasoned Superman fan like me. Just when I think I’ve got things all figured out that a storyline is following one from the comics that I am so familiar with, another twist appears to prove me wrong. Happily wrong.
It’s been refreshingly apparent that the now-retired General Lane will not be turning into the rabid, anti-Superman crusader he was in the comics. Nope, his d-bag replacement Lieutenant Anderson will be filling that role. For the first time in Superman mythology, General Lane (retired) is a decent human being who supports both his son-in-law and his alter ego, Superman.
Cult leader Ally Allston has turned out not to be a super-baddie in disguise, but is the better half (believe it or not) of a pair of beings that, if joined, will create an apocalypse, according to Bizarro, who we can now understand thanks to Kryptonian technology in the desert Fortress.
Bizarro is the biggest surprise of all. Not a failed clone lab creation as depicted in modern era DC comics, but a being from an inverted world and dimension, from the Silver Age comics. But one with the best of intentions, actions to date notwithstanding. The episode opened with an extended, fascinating look at this backward plane of existence, where everything is reversed: the sun is red, print reads backwards, and their Superman gets his powers from Green Kryptonite. Tragically, in a dilapidated version of the Kent home, we see framed family photos with Xs over the faces of Jonathan and Lois, perhaps implying they are dead. We see how Bizarro confronts his version of Ally Allston, takes her mysterious purple amulet, and outfits himself in the containment suit to get to our Earth. Hopefully we will get to see more of this Inverted Universe, and more of their version of Lana as an evil super-soldier wearing a Kryptonian crest (Zod’s?). Their brief battle happens after a gloriously long, single-take fight sequence between Bizarro and soldiers, that is mirrored beautifully move-for-move, later in the episode in “our” world.
The theme of this week’s episode “Tried and True”, seems to be Strained Relationships. Lucy vs Lois: still fighting over Ally Allston; Superman vs. Anderson: still fighting over Superman’s allegiance to the entire world instead of just the USA; Jonathan vs Jordan: fighting over Jon’s performance enhancing X-Kryptonite use; Kyle vs Lana: fighting over Kyle’s infidelity. Whew. As a very empathetic person, by the end of the episode I was exhausted by all the emotional conflict. Not much positive or happy occurs in the rest of the episode. Even though Jonathan’s first start at QB for the Crows was a win, he loses more by lying to his brother about his suddenly enhanced abilities.
Back to the Anderson storyline: not only is it revealed that Anderson’s chain of command includes someone outside of the military, the episode ends with a shocking development in his relationship with Superman. What a cliffhanger. Stay tuned.
It’s worth saying again: catch Superman & Lois, the BEST HERO SHOW YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING, airing Tuesdays on the CW, and streaming the next day on cwtv.com