The Superman Family returns, with issues of trust and a mine full of kryptonite.
Title: “Broken Trust”
Directed by Sudz Sutherland
Written by Katie Aldrin, Jai Jamison, Andrew N. Wong
Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent / Superman
Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane
Jordan Elsass as Jonathan Kent
Alex Garfin as Jordan Kent
Inde Navarrette as Sarah Cushing
Dylan Walsh as General Sam Lane
Emmanuelle Chriqui as Lana Lang Cushing
Erik Valdez as Kyle Cushing
Wolé Parks as Marcus Bridgewater / Captain Luthor
Adam Rayner as Morgan Edge
Stacey Farber as Leslie Larr
Wern Lee as Tag Harris
Danny Wattley as Coach Gaines
Samuel Braun as Jimmy Cutter
Joselyn Picard as Sophie Cushing
Paul Kular as Shuster Mines Guard
Fritzy-Klevans Destine as Sean Smith
Zane Clifford as Timmy Ryan
Austin Anozie as Malcolm Teague
Pavel Romano as Corey Wellnitz
Kareem Malcolm as Assault Team Leader
Clark deals with Jordan’s developing superpowers, the military, and a very confused Tag. Lois joins forces with Captain Luthor and later, Lana Lang, in an effort to uncover the secrets beneath Smallville.
This show may well best early-season Smallville in its use of superpowers to discuss issues of adolescence, ethics, and self-control. Jordan acts like a complete self-centered tool, but one with buried emotional issues. In short, he’s a credible teenage boy experiencing power. We feel for Clark not because he’s an alien with godlike powers, but because he has to use those powers without making himself terrifying or violating a personal ethical code.
The script this week gives members of the supporting cast actual significant roles.
The only thing this show needs Warner may never allow– a guest-appearance by Batman, possibly working with General Lane.
If the show handles the dilemmas of the principals fairly well, they sometimes let us down with secondary personal relationships that matter as much to the story. Tag suffers and Superman and Sarah empathize, but we don’t know much about Tag’s history from his previous appearances. What was he like before? A great deal gets made of the rivalry with Metropolis High, but who the heck are they, really?
And while we’re on the subject, are the schools playing in some kind of state semi-final? If not, why would a podunk town like Smallville be in the same league as a high school from Metropolis?
Originality: 3/6 I’m giving them a bonus this week for the handling of the relationship between Superman and the military. People in official channels have concerns about Superman, despite his noble spirit? Of course they do.
Effects: 5/6 Superman saves a train– of course he does! But the show apparently skimped or were rushed on effects this week. Some of Superman’s action scenes look like videogame CGI.
Acting: 5/6 The cast do a decent job and, while we may yet see Morgan Edge revealed as the insidious supervillain he has been in the comics, most of the adversarial characters dwell in a gray zone. Tag and General Lane and Kyle Cushing all have motives we can understand. Captain Alt-Luthor’s motives remains mysterious, but we have reason to believe he’s not malevolent.
The relationship between the Cushing sisters has been written for prime-time TV, but they perform it credibly.
Story: 5/6 The story kept me interested for the duration of the show, and I want to see what happens next week.
Emotional Response: 5/6 Hey, Superman & Lois is no prestige show on some pay-platform, but I’m glad it’s back. I’m good with something just like this.
Overall: 4/6 The show rarely calls attention to its moderately diverse cast– why would they?– but the writers slipped a race-related reference in when Bridgewater asks Lois to accompany him, and I suspect that blink-and-you-miss-it moment resonated with a number of people in 2021.
In total “Broken Trust” receives 32/42