Superman & Lois Review: “A Brief Reminiscence In-Between Cataclysmic Events,” “Through the Valley of Death”

Superman recalls his emergence as a superhero, and then confronts Tal-Rho. Lois contacts Steel– but will he save Superman, or help destroy him?

An Arrowverse character puts in a guest appearance.

Titles: “A Brief Reminiscence In-Between Cataclysmic Events,” and “Through the Valley of Death”

Directed by Gregory Smith, Alexandra La Roche
Written by Brent Fletcher, Katie Aldrin and Michael Narducci

Cast

Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent / Superman
Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane
Adam Reynor as Morgan Edge / Tal-Rho
Jordan Elsass as Jonathan Kent
Alex Garfin as Jordan Kent
Dylan Walsh as General Sam Lane
Inde Navarrette as Sarah Cushing
Dylan Walsh as General Sam Lane
Wolé Parks as John Henry Irons
Emmanuelle Chriqui as Lana Lang Cushing
Erik Valdez as Kyle Cushing
David Ramsey as John Diggle
Sofia Hasmik as Chrissy Beppo
Joselyn Picard as Sophie Cushing
Leeah Wong as Emily Phan
Angus Macfadyen as Jor-El
Dylan Kingwell as Teenage Clark
Charles Jarman as Ron Troupe
Paul Jarrett as Perry White
Ben Cockell as 19-Year-Old Edge
Yoshié Bancroft as Janet
Kennedy Chew as Avery Phan
Jay Zhang as Duc Phan
Paul Lazenby as Henry Miller / Atom-Man

Premise:

Superman recalls his past, before confronting Tal-Rho and, seemingly, surrendering in order to save his family.

In the wake of recent events, the Cushing clan become outcasts in Smallville.

Superman, Steel, and Tal-Rho encounter each other in the desert.

High Points

The flashbacks through Superman’s history work very well, comprehensible to those with only peripheral pop-awareness of his history, but filled with Easter Eggs and nods to those more familiar with the character. They also develop this version of Lois Lane in interesting ways.

As a bonus, we get to see the Man of Steel without the five o’clock shadow.

The large-scale confrontations in the “…Valley of Death” balance fairly well with the smaller, human moments, an act not always successfully achieved in DC’s super-shows.

Low Points

Where is Tal-Rho when Steel and Clark’s family, within Kryptonian hearing range, assist Superman? Making sandwiches for his victory party? Shouldn’t he be intervening about then?

I’ve mentioned in the past the handwaves we have to make with shared world franchises, but it’s easier if the show doesn’t shove the improbabilities in our face. I’ll accept, out of necessity, that everyone doesn’t know Clark is Superman. However, Lois’s reluctant revelation of this fact, important to the plot, and Irons’s stunned reaction, reminds us of the utter absurdity of the disguise, especially now that Clark lives in Smallville. Likewise, I know, dramatically, that the main cast have to solve the dilemma, and Supergirl and the Flash, say, who have a stake in this story’s outcome, aren’t going to show up. Having Diggle (with little explanation for those unfamiliar with the Arrow character) make a guest appearance, while welcome to fans, forces us to ponder the in-world explanation for why other heroes aren’t on the scene.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 The show continues to raid aspects of Superman’s history and rework them into something entertaining, if no longer especially original.

Effects: 6/6 The show features strong effects.

I wonder if they couldn’t vary Superman’s landing style now and then.

Acting: 5/6 Overall, the show contains strong performances.

Production: 6/6

Story: 4/6

Emotional Response: 5/6 The tour of Superman’s history gains these episodes some points. I do wonder when we’re going to see a Lex Luthor episode.

Overall: 5/6

In total “A Brief Reminiscence In-Between Cataclysmic Events,” and “Through the Valley of Death” receive 33/42

3 replies on “Superman & Lois Review: “A Brief Reminiscence In-Between Cataclysmic Events,” “Through the Valley of Death””

  1. lost says:

    I always assume that the other heroes are busy with their own critical fights or are otherwise unavailable for non-hero reasons. And possibly a tacit agreement to stay out of each other’s way unless needed to avoid the “too many cooks” effect.

    • I am still weirded out by the time time jumps, and Diggle being there means the kids grew up while he didn’t age, but he kept his job, then I remembered the only way to make the continuity work. “It’s just a show, I should really just relax.”

Leave a Reply