Superman and Lois came back from its hiatus that began last March and the series picks up right where we left off. A now enhanced Tag Harris, assaults Jordan looking for answers to his newly changed state. He feels the Kent twin is responsible and desperately searches for a way to change back. Luckily, Jordan is able to send a distress call to his dad who comes to the rescue.
The main conflicts of “Broken Trust” revolve around Jordan and the aftermath following the attack. Not only does his dad help train him to manage his strength, he also wrestles with concussion-like symptoms but keeps it quiet so he can play in the upcoming big game against Metropolis. You can understand his strong desire to not miss the match since it’s an opportunity to show his former classmates that he’s not a loser anymore.
The growth of Jordan’s powers help grows the various family dynamics. There is a fun Kent boys bonding moment when Jordan unleashes his enhanced power during training. However, it leads us to the familiar “with great power comes great responsibility” theme. Jordan’s emotions fuel him towards a degree of revenge on his tormenters from his old school during the game and a late night scuffle afterwards. When he loses control, he finally realizes there are unintended consequences.
Unfortunately, it’s Jonathan who is impacted the most by those consequences. He’s the overlooked twin in Superman and Lois because he isn’t a metahuman. There’s no better hype man or confidant and he’s a grounding force and voice of reason for his brother. Knowing how close they are makes the result of Jordan’s actions during the dust-up hit even more.
The spotlight on Tag brings something interesting to the episode. First, he is another superpowered individual in the mix, especially someone the same age as Jordan. They’re already in conflict with one another and even though he’s just a confused kid and not evil, he can be someone to continue to clash with the younger Kent in the future. He’s also the only person to suspect Jordan’s abilities.
Furthermore, his arc so far further develops some of the character relationships indirectly. There’s already an uneasy alliance between Superman and Samuel Lane but after the Man of Steel witnesses the lengths the general will go to recapture Tag, he loses respect for his father-in-law. They could be reaching the tipping point where even familial bonds might not be enough to keep them together.
Superman and Lois continues to deliver some great action sequences. “Broken Trust” begins with a stunning chase scene with Superman trying to catch up to Tag and reason with him. Tag inadvertently causes a train to derail. The camera work with varying angles and the slowed pace makes for a thrilling rescue as Clark prevents a catastrophic accident.
Later, the slow motion is used for dramatic effect when Superman saves Tag from the DOD. The scene is brilliantly run in parallel with Jordan’s fight. You can see emotions building up in both as tensions rise but they each react differently to those emotions. Obviously, the elder Kent is able to stay focused while his son loses control. The two parts combined are the most compelling segment of “Broken Trust.”
There were a couple aspects of the episode that held it back. Tag is supposed to be this close childhood friend to Sarah but this seems like the first time it’s really been brought up. There has been a whole third of the season already and they could have built up this relationship to reflect their closeness but didn’t. Maybe the show needed to give some depth to the conflict rather than merely endangering the love interest of the hero but it’s a weak motivation. Sarah’s involvement also serves as a tool to bring Lana and Lois closer together.
Speaking of Lois, her character is the one Superman and Lois has yet to nail. She does well with all the family drama being the warm and supportive mother but as a reporter she always seems out of her depth. She walks around stating the obvious but can’t figure a way to expose the truth. She makes a lackluster attempt at persuading the Cushings to betray Morgan Edge but has no proof. Maybe the series is trying to do something different with her, but this version is a far cry from the shrewd and brilliant investigative reporter from the comics.
The only interesting part involving her is her interactions with Captain Luthor. We learned previously of their connection on his Earth so I’m anxious to find out his end game with making contact with this version of Lois and helping her expose Morgan Edge. Although as another example of her cluelessness, she witnesses this reporter using highly advanced, out of this world tech and can’t put two and two together. Especially, she already mentioned the mysterious stranger with a grudge against Superman earlier in the episode.
Despite frustrations with Lois, this midseason return has some great action sequences and further develops the complicated relationships between its characters in an interesting way.
Superman and Lois airs Tuesday nights on The CW.
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