“It’s really hard to know what they’re thinking.” —Lana, sharing parents-of-teens woes with Clark
“Everything you do is a mistake!” —Jordan, to father Clark, making very clear what he is thinking
This week’s episode of the Best New Show You Should be Watching, “The Perks Of Not Being A Wallflower,” centers around the troubled teens of childhood pals Clark and Lana, and the helicopter/bulldozer parenting both are struggling to break out of. Their children aren’t children anymore, and as any parent can tell you, making yourself loosen the apron-strings and stop trying to protect your teens is one of the hardest things to do.
Teens naturally start pulling away from their parents as they start to find their own way, and Lana’s daughter Sarah is no exception. But Lana is extra-worried about Sarah’s attempted drug overdose the year before, and is afraid of losing her in more ways than one. Lana makes a mistake by calling Sarah out personally in front of the rest of the cheerleading squad, and Sarah also messes up when she is extremely disrespectful to her mother in front of Jonathan and Jordan.
Some parents seem to fail with teens, no matter what they do, and no matter how good their intentions are. Like when Clark uses his super-hearing to keep tabs on Jordan at school, to make sure he can control his power surges. Super-Eavesdropping never ends well, as Lois reminds him from personal experience. To make matters worse, Clark “drops by” Smallville High just in time to break up a fight Jordan is struggling to avoid with Sarah’s much-too-jealous boyfriend and his football teammates.
Jordan’s solution to push back against the bullying is to secretly try to for the football team, if only long enough to use his heightened strength to teach the bullies a lesson or two. Clark has forbidden football to Jordan, fearing he could hurt his teammates unintentionally. This storyline reminded me of a very disturbing and traumatic Superboy story I read as a youth, where Clark defies Pa Kent’s rule against playing football, loses control, and nearly kills another player. His guilt and grief led to a hard lesson learned. Thankfully, nothing like that happens to Jordan. Yet.
As a parent of a teen myself, I have been impressed in every episode so far by the parent/teen scenes and dialogue; they have felt very real and spot-on. The heart-to-heart between Sarah and her mother was especially touching, well-written, and acted.
In what will hopefully not be a trope that is overused, Superman rescues Lois from a HUGE attacker when she gets too close to exposing Morgan Edge on an expose she is investigating. Who is this plain-clothes guy, and how can he go toe-to-toe with Superman? He reminded me of the Kryptonian mute-brute Non from Superman The Movie/Superman II. Could he be? It would explain a lot.
Speaking of tropes, does the collapsing suspension bridge in China really have to have a yellow schoolbus-load of kids on it? Yes, it’s a fun homage to the bridge scene in Superman The Movie, but it has been homaged so many times since then, it’s become a cliché. I do appreciate the show making it a point to show Superman as the world’s hero, not just America’s.
Superman & Lois continues to attract more viewers than established hit The Flash, both airing Tuesdays on The CW, and streaming the next day on cwtv.com
TIDBITS & SPOILERS:
• the possibility of a second generation Kent/Lang romance grows much closer
• Lana’s Dad is revealed as Hispanic, when he calls her “mija”
• Lois & Clark’s front porch evening talks over red wine are becoming a pleasant episode tradition, kind of like the end-of-day drinks on the balcony on Boston Legal
• Brutally awesome fight scene!
• A SHOCKER of a final scene! If the super-strong giant was Non, could this laser-eyed person be Ursa?