When it was announced last year that Lana Lang was going to be going to be a character on Superman & Lois, some fans fretted over the possibility of a love triangle. “Is Lana going to try to steal Clark? Will Clark cheat on Lois?!” It turns out fans should have been more worried about another character vying for Clark’s time and attention: General Lane. He wants Superman all to himself and his attitude about Clark having parental responsibilities is basically “[bleep] those kids!”
For the fourth episode of Superman & Lois, it is an interesting twist to have Lois basically in a triangle with her own father. When you marry a man, I imagine you never think you’d have to have a Brandy/Monica “The Boy Is Mine” moment with your damn dad, but it has come to this. Lois feels like she’s low on Clark’s priorities after he fails to help her with the town hall because deep cut villain Thaddeus Killgrave escaped. It is understandable that she feels this way. Clark has been busy with the twins and his father-in-law acting like he’s his work husband. It is easy enough for normal husbands to take their wives for granted but add in being Superman and having a son that can shoot lasers out of his eyeballs, romance just plummets from the list.
What I like about this episode is that it has the natural drama of the wife of a superhero feeling neglected, but also establishes how important Lois is to Clark. Lana, who is not trying to steal Clark, even tells Lois that being with her changed him. Clark tells she’s the first thing he thinks about in the morning and the last thing he thinks about at night. It is hella romantic and the best Clois moment since the pilot.
Lois and Clark even establish boundaries with General Lane as a united front. How does the spurned lover, I mean, father/father-in-law react? Well, Clark being more attentive to his sons and trying to have sex with his wife in a barn is so upsetting to the general that he starts planning a contingency plan against Clark. This is very extreme, but I think it fits his world view. He viewed Clark as an asset for the military. Now that asset isn’t flying when he says fly. Superman existing was acceptable when he felt like he had control over him. Now he’s just a man that could destroy the world to General Lane. It doesn’t matter to him that he’s his son-in-law and the father of his grandchildren. General Lane will pick country over his family any day. Lois says as much in the episode.
I think another factor is General Lane enjoyed having a man with god like powers at his beck and call. It was likely very good for his career and made him feel like he was helping the world. This led to the work husband feelings and now he feels personally and professionally betrayed. When he told the boys not to bother Clark, yes, it was because of his ownership feelings towards Superman, but he also felt like he was doing Clark a favor. He wanted to free him from the burden of being a parent. Now that he’s been put in his place on that matter, he wants the option to put Clark in place. Given that General Lane has a stockpile of kryptonite, one can assume the contingency plan would be deadly.
Captain Luthor and Morgan Edge are the two Big Bads of the season, but this episode sets up General Lane as the third one. I’d argue that he’s more dangerous than those two. A threat that you know is coming after you is one thing. It is another thing for a family member to be acting against you. I can see this ending in a few ways:
- General Lane goes full antagonist like he is in the comics.
- He realizes he was being a jerk face and eventually the relationship with Clois is repaired.
- He goes full villain but dies saving Clark from whatever nefarious contingency plan he has.
Whatever the long-term plan is, I am intrigued to see how this unfolds. I was skeptical about how interesting General Lane could be as a character given that he’s removed from the main drama in Smallville and he’s an older character on a comic book show. Those types of characters tend to die around season four or five. I have a feeling it could be sooner than that for General Lane, but there’s enough potential drama to make me invested in this military man who is jealous of his own daughter. If General Lane can’t have him, maybe no one can! I’m here for Lifetime movie psycho General Lane.
Random thoughts about “Haywire”:
- Clark has definitely left Lois abruptly during sex, right? I hope the bedside drawer has the good stuff for occasions like that.
- Lana and Kyle’s kitchen window kiss was very well shot, so kudos to director James Bamford. They can use that scene in a flashback montage when Kyle dies in season two or three.
- I love that this series is really showing off Superman’s powers. We don’t really get a lot of that in Superman media. We’ve gotten freeze breath in two episodes and a thunderclap in this one.
- Jonathan still doesn’t have a “Help me, Superman!” sound beeper. He had to use Jordan’s one to save Tag. It is nonsensical for Jonathan not to have one! I’m getting mad about the blatant favoritism here.
- Why didn’t Lois just have Clark write the article about Morgan? He’s a journalist and they fired his ass, so I don’t think he’d have to abide by a contract. And even if that didn’t work, Lois knows other journalists who don’t work for Morgan. There’s Kara and Jimmy. One offscreen phone could happen. I know this show is trying to establish itself as a separate thing for new viewers, but it exists in the Arrowverse. Maybe use that?
- I’m glad Captain Luthor will be back next episode and Wolé Parks will get to interact with other cast members. He’s been acting alone in every scene he’s in. Huge 6′ 7½” stunt double Warren Scherer (who is almost as tall as TV Source editor Ryan-White Nobles) plays him when the suit is on.