Superman & Lois Review: “Man of Steel” and “Holding the Wrench”

“Are you out of your mind? You don’t go snooping around the guy from another world’s murder van!”

Superman faces actual life-threatening danger. The Captain Luthor arc ends for now, but a larger threat looms.

Meanwhile, on Smallville: The Next Generation, The Cushing Family drama intensifies as the Kent boys leave football behind and Lois sees a therapist.

Titles: “Man of Steel” and “Holding the Wrench”

Directed by David Ramsey,
Written by Jai Jamison, Kristi Korzec, Katie Aldrin, Andrew N. Wong

Cast

Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent / Superman
Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane
Jordan Elsass as Jonathan Kent
Alex Garfin as Jordan Kent
Wolé Parks as Marcus Bridgewater / Captain Luthor / John Henry Irons
Inde Navarrette as Sarah Cushing
Dylan Walsh as General Sam Lane
Emmanuelle Chriqui as Lana Lang Cushing
Erik Valdez as Kyle Cushing
Stacey Farber as Leslie Larr
Spencer Long as Lt. Jason Trask
Hesham Hammoud as Lt. Rosetti
Adam Reynor as Morgan Edge
Tayler Buck as Natalie Irons
Sofia Hasmik as Chrissy Beppo
Samuel Braun as Jimmy Cutter
Joselyn Picard as Sophie Cushing
Leeah Wong as Emily Phan
Amanda Khan as Naomi Wheeler
Wendy Crewson as Dr. Wiles
Daisy Tormé as A.I. Device

Premise:

The investigation into John Henry Irons intensifies as we learn more about his true origins. Lois and Jon discover some unsettling facts and Superman faces a genuine life-and-death struggle.

Josh’s powers continue to develop; we hear that being metahuman can have some downsides.

Meanwhile, on Smallville: The Next Generation, The Cushing Family drama intensifies as the Kent boys leave football behind and Lois sees a therapist.

We see the edge of a threat that will soon threaten everyone.

High Points

Wolé Parks gives impressive performances in both episodes, and his character has emerged as one of the most consistently interesting in the series. It’s clear we’ll see more of Steel in the future.

Low Points

…it does seem odd that he’s let free so easily, but I suppose comic book rules apply here.

Behavior necessitated by plot demands, however, can remain a problem. Why does no one think that someone would be spying on /tracking the decoy shipment? And why on earth doesn’t Superman track them from above instead of driving along as Clark?

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 The handling of John Henry Irons and an alt-world that combines elements of several we’ve seen in various comics features some original twists, though within a familiar comic-book mythos. The none-super plots feel like Smallville, though perhaps with slightly less WB excess.

Effects: 5/6 Superman removes the drivers from the equation. Given the show’s emphasis on Kal’s need to exercise restraint, it’s amusing to see those moments where he can say, “yeah, so I can do this.”

Acting: 5/6

Production: 6/6

Story: 4/6 I address some plot issues in “Man of Steel” earlier.

“Holding the Wrench” feels more stilted than usual, but I like the way the Lang-Cushing family drama integrates naturally to the larger super-plot.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Overall: 4/6 I don’t want to wreck a good metaphor, but it seems odd that Josh’s superhearing not only causes disabling confusion (it would be something like experiencing a schizophrenic episode), but causes physical pain as well.

My wife has two questions:
-Does anyone else find Elizabeth Tulloch excessively thin?
-Why would a certain girl be considered out of Jon’s league? The smart and sensitive athlete with Hollywood features and a winning disposition?

Overall, Superman & Lois remains one of the strongest Arrowverse (or whatever they’re calling it now) series, balancing the comic-book with the dramatic.

In total “Man of Steel” and “Holding the Wrench” receive 31/42

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