One of the main themes of Superman & Lois is family. Not only does the story follow the Kents as they adjust to life in Smallville but it also included the Man of Steel clashing with his brother and an unexpected reunion in the finale. Tonight, the series returns setting the stage for more super heroics and personal drama.
“What Lies Beneath” occurs three months after Natalie crash landed on the farm. The episode does a good job establishing the new status quo following Morgan Edge’s downfall. For example, Lois struggles with complicated feelings sparked by the appearance of John Henry Iron’s daughter. You can see the inner turmoil Elizabeth Tulloch brings to the character as she wrestles with what being a mother means to her. The frustration is to the point that she lashes out at Clark for no reason and overreacts over her boys’ actions.
We already know of the miscarriage and what Lois was going to name her daughter, but there are other layers to her feelings including her own experiences with her mom and abandonment. This makes her reactions to Natalie more nuanced than sharing a resemblance of a girl’s mother from another Earth. But true to her caring nature, Lois wants to be there for Natalie and help her assimilate to the new setting knowing the younger Irons doesn’t know anyone and at least a friendly familiar face can be helpful.
Superman & Lois wouldn’t be a CW show if it didn’t also cover the teenage drama, although the storylines are your run-of-the-mill plots. In addition to Natalie trying to fit in in a new place, we have romantic troubles with the Kent boys. Sarah returns back from camp and is distant when Jordan wants to meet up. He’s trying to be respectful but maybe a summer with an uneventful life has her yearning for normalcy and she hasn’t had that since Jordan has entered the picture.
At school, Jonathan still can’t break into the first squad on the football team and outside of it, he gets caught by Lois in a compromising situation with his girlfriend in his bedroom. This leads to a painfully awkward, yet entertaining and sincere talk from their father for both him and his brother. It’s complete with cool dad vibes as Clark sits backwards in a chair addressing them. It’s another reminder that even though the family has a superhero, they still deal with relatable, every day issues and it helps ground them with a personal moment.
One thing that will always be consistent is Superman saving the day. There are some awe-inducing visuals of him saving a sinking submarine and the special effects create a worthy splash page for any comic book. He doesn’t have to always fight the bad guys but merely do good and it emphasizes how he looks out for the entire world.
His actions bring him into direct conflict with his father-in-law’s replacement at the DOD, Lieutenant Anderson. Ian Bohen makes it easy to dislike the character portraying him as a narrow-minded, inflexible military officer with a “you’re either with me or against me” attitude. Someone who, because of his position, does what he wants without any accountability. He is proof that change isn’t always good and if you thought Clark and General Lane had a tumultuous relationship, this new pairing will be even more antagonistic.
The ending of the season two premiere of Superman & Lois can be a little confusing with everything that is going on. Smallville is rocked by a series of earthquakes and Clark rushes out to help those in need and to limit the damage. During a rescue attempt at the local mine, it is initially unclear whether a couple of people decked out in Superman uniforms are the cause. We later learn they are Anderson’s plan B since Clark won’t play ball. It’s bad enough the new head of the DOD has his own metahumans, but he usurps the iconic symbol for his cause.
The army goons aren’t the only powered beings Superman will have to navigate this season. In the closing minutes, the camera dives deeper into the mine showing the real cause of the tremors. A brief glimpse of a gloved hand introduces possibly the next big bad of the show. Who could this be and why were they imprisoned so deep into the ground? This is one exciting mystery to get to the bottom of.
The season two premiere continues to develop previous complicated relationships while establishing a new status quo for the personal stories and introducing interesting adversaries for the superhero aspects.
New episodes of Superman & Lois air Tuesdays on The CW.
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