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SUPERMAN & LOIS 1×08 “Holding The Wrench” Review

Matt reviews SUPERMAN & LOIS episode 1×08 praising Elizabeth Tulloch for an “award worthy” performance as Lois.

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Superman & Lois (Warner Bros. TV/The CW)

Superman & Lois stars Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch who return as the titular characters. They will, in turn, be joined by Emmanuelle Chriqui as Clark’s ex-girlfriend, Lana Lang, Erik Valdez as Lana’s husband, Kyle Cushing. Dylan Walsh will portray Lois’ father, General Sam Lane. Jordan Elsass and Alexander Garfin also co-star in the series as Superman and Lois’ sons, Jonathan and Jordan Kent.

Synopsis

Clark encourages Lois to reach out for help after noticing her reaching a breaking point.  Meanwhile, Jonathan finds himself in a dangerous situation. Lastly, Kyle encourages Sarah to audition for the musical revue at school.

Review

After last week’s shocking revelation of John Henry Irons being the stranger and fake Luthor from another world, I was curious on where this episode would pick up from.  I was surprised it started on a very sombre note with Lois attending a therapy session with an older woman.  Just as last week’s episode was mostly focused on the history of JHI, this week we were shown the ‘Post Crisis’ story of Lois Lane.  But before that we get a short leap back in time to see what happened with JHI’s RV and Lois trying to find some more answers. 

While investigating the RV along with a down in the dumps Jonathan, she is shown pictures of JHI’s life with his Lois and their daughter.  This causes Lois to spiral for reasons we have yet to learn.  When she steps away, Jonathan goes back to the RV to find a weapon to defend himself.  This is because as the title suggests, he is feeling left out with Jordan and Clark’s interactions, where he thought his Dad would need a wrench to fix the pick up after it being damaged last week, Clark shows he needs no tool and simply works on it with Jordan using their powers.
While looking around the RV Jonathan stumbles across two things, the first is the footage of Clark killing Lois on the rooftop which he is understandably horrified to see.  The second thing he finds is the weapons stash which sets off the RV’s high tech security which he is unable to turn off, Lois struggles to open the RV and frantically calls out to Clark to save him which he does with less than a second to go.
Lois tears into Jonathan for his reckless behaviour, completely ignoring that this behaviour she herself has shown time and time again.  Obviously something else has triggered this outburst which we are then found out to be a miscarriage. 

Elizabeth Tulloch absolutely shatters expectations with her performance when she reveals to the audience that she in fact had a miscarriage 13 years prior when the twins were only 18 months old.  It was gut-wrenching to see this normally strong willed and determined character lower her walls briefly to show the guilt and pain she carries and wants to accept blame for when ultimately it was no one’s fault.  The name of this potential daughter was Natalie which was the name of John Henry Irons alternate universe daughter.  Connecting this with almost losing Jonathan sends her guilt into overdrive. 
This is ultimately what helps her get through to JHI at the end of the episode to save Superman from a Kryptonian spear which the DOD have been holding onto just in case.
The closing scene we had was Lois apologising to Jonathan about her previous outburst and the struggles he is going through being a normal human in the shadow of super powered beings like his Dad and brother.  She also reveals the miscarriage to him which was just heart breaking to see them both bond over this knowledge. 

Elsewhere in the story we have a cute moment with Jordan and Sarah at school where she tries out for a singing contest and Jordan dishes out his own superpower of Pianist.  It was a sweet moment and a nice step in their super early day’s relationship. 

Over in the DOD, John is being interrogated by General Lane and Superman, trying to find any information on this alternate world he came from.  Though as he is being taken back to his cell it is revealed that Edge has an inside man within the DOD who is wielding a bunch of Kryptonian powers who plans to wipe out Superman there and then using the DOD’s secret stash of Anti Superman Weapons.  Clark the mole duke it out with Clark barely holding out with the barrage of Synthetic Kryptonite Gas before John steps in and stabs the mole with a Kryptonite coated spear.  Just as he is about to kill a weakened Superman however Lois and a bunch of soldiers step in and she is able to get through to him with her knowledge of his daughter and what happened on his world.

I did find it quite odd how the DOD released him though but as Clark points out, if Edge is creating an army of fake Kryptonians then he’ll need all the help he can get.  John reluctantly accepts a possible future alliance and drives off into the sunset.  

One moment I did find somewhat confusing however was when Clark mentioned to General Lane that Edge might not just be giving people Kryptonite powers but somehow putting the consciousness of Kryptonians within the bodies of humans.  It was a blink and miss it scene but I hope this gets more details on the next episode because that is way more layers than I had assumed this show was aiming towards.

Verdict

Elizabeth Tulloch stole the entire episode this week for me, her performance was award worthy and the show tackled a difficult subject in a very respectful way.  While some moments felt slapped in at the end (Kryptonite souls and John’s quick release) it still continues an almost flawless first series for Superman and Lois. 


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