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‘Superman & Lois’ Review: Season 1 Episode 6 “Broken Trust”


More powers, more problems. When you think about having superpowers, you think about all the cool stuff like being strong and shooting lasers out of your eyes. You don’t think about the inherent problems these powers have like the possibility of a heat vision massacre if you couldn’t control yourself when upset or breaking your brother’s wrist when trying to punch a bully. You don’t think about super hearing coming in causing you to be in pain from a whistle of all things. To say that Jordan isn’t having fun anymore would be an understatement and Clark is very worried about his son hurting someone.

I love that this show is delving into an aspect of the Superman character that doesn’t get explored that much in live action: Restraint. To paraphrase the famous quote from Justice League Unlimited, Clark lives in a world of cardboard, and he has to be very careful to never lose control or someone could die. You see that restraint after he’s shot with kryptonite bullets and how angry that makes him. Clark might be the nicest superhero of all time but getting shot tends to piss a person off. Does Clark hurt anyone? No. He tells the soldier to stand down in a very stern and very authoritative way. This is all in stark contrast to Jordan intentionally hurting a football player during the game and trying to punch the bully and breaking Jonathan’s wrist.

Clark is used to this restraint. You can tell he holds back in fights because he’s afraid of killing an opponent until he knows how to take them down. Jordan decidedly does not have restraint and you can tell it is going to be difficult to learn and is going to color every interaction going forward. He’s going to have to worry about accidentally paralyzing a football player because he tackled him too hard. If he ever has sex, he’s going to have to be extra careful that he doesn’t hump her to death. With all these issues, I think it is wildly irresponsible for Lois and Clark to continue letting him play football. He broke his brother’s wrist, and the injury might preclude him from ever playing football again. There was almost a heat vision massacre on the football field. It would be idiotic for them to let the unstable boy participate in what is an already dangerous contact sport and endanger the other players.

Even with all of Jordan’s problems, you could argue that Jonathan’s life is worse. His parents have shown blatant favoritism towards Jordan and his needs. Jordan gets to go flying with his dad, a lesson in Kryptonian heritage that Jonathan doesn’t get, an emergency beeper and permission to play a sport where he could kill someone. What does Jonathan get? Dumped, no emergency beeper so he’s ripe for kidnapping, treated like he’s not half Kryptonian, less attention from his parents and a broken wrist. Oh, and we can’t forget that box from episode five. “You want to leave town because your life sucks? Here’s a box that Grandpa Kent owned. Does that make it better?” Jonathan’s life is so sad that if he were real, A24 would want to make a movie about him.

Speaking of unbearably sad lives, Sarah’s life continues to suck. On top of her usual sad indie film problems of having a drunkard dad in a dying town, Tag kidnaps her. This is a pretty monumental moment for a love interest of a super powered character. They all get kidnapped and at least Sarah’s kidnapper doesn’t want to hurt her. I’d wager Lois’ first kidnapper didn’t have that sentiment. Tag just wants answers about Jordan. This development sets a countdown to when Sarah has to learn the truth about Jordan and the Kent family. You can’t drag this out like Lana on Smallville not finding out about Clark’s abilities until season six. Sarah is already suspicious, and she’s been rescued by Superman. There’s only so long they can keep the secret.

On the General Lane is a jerk face and terrible father-in-law front, what would possess him to have Clark shot with kryptonite bullets? I know he has his whole “I’m protecting America!” thing, but all it accomplished is making Clark trust him even less and probably making all those soldiers piss themselves at the sight of furious Superman with the heat vision eyes. If I were Sam’s boss, I would not be impressed by this. Pointlessly alienating an ally is foolish and not something a real leader does. Sam hates not being in control, so he has to show he has the biggest dong in the room even if he doesn’t and it makes him look like a clown.

This was a strong return from an eight-week hiatus with an episode that is very understanding about who Superman is as a person and his struggles. It is disappointing that the ratings fell below a million, but a ratings drop was to be expected when a new show goes on a hiatus that long. That said, linear ratings matter less now. This show performs strongly on The CW app and a bunch of people were introduced to it via the first five episodes being on HBO Max for a few weeks. Hopefully next week they’ll rebound in the linear ratings because more people need to be watching this show. If you know someone who likes Superman and they aren’t watching this show, you might want to be that annoying person who pressures them into watching. Real friends talk each other into watching TV shows.

Random thoughts about “Broken Trust”:

  • “I hate the internet.” Has Lois been watching those clout bait vids with white women doing weird stuff with food like pouring sauce and spaghetti on the counter? If so, same, Lois.
  • Tyler Hoechlin was so good in this episode. From playing concerned dad Clark to “I could melt you, but I’m a nice guy, so stop it!” Superman, he was killing it.
  • Lois had “Marcus” dead to rights but left when she heard about Jonathan. Some might argue that it is out of character for her to just leave a story, but she’s a mother first. Lois and Clark might make questionable parenting decisions, but they aren’t going to hand wave one of the boys getting a significant injury.
  • I do like that Lana is going to be working with Lois on exposing Morgan. This show could have very easily had Lois and Lana have a hostile relationship, but they didn’t go that route. Sometimes pitting women against each other for drama makes sense. This wouldn’t have. Lois isn’t going to be threatened by Clark’s high school girlfriend. Besides, the show only has three female series regulars and two of them being catty would not be a good look.
  • Do Lois and Clark still have health insurance? He got fired and she quit. I doubt Lois is getting benefits from the Smallville Gazette. Jonathan’s medical bills are going to be cutting into the household wine budget. I hope Jordan feels a deep sense of shame when he sees his parents drinking boxed wine because of his actions.

*Maybe someone like, say, Lois, should look into that “school” for metas. I wouldn’t put it past Sam to have those super powered metas attack Clark because he made him look terrible at his job or just forgetting his birthday.

Alan Sarapa
Alan is a Maryland resident and lifelong Superman fan. He has a monthly soap column at The Pop Break and is a co-host on daytime themed podcast The Chat.

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1 Comment

  1. It’s disappointing the show has lost some viewers, because honestly it’s easily the best cape show the CW has to offer now. They nailed Superman’s character and things are still compelling despite this review rightly pointing out how stupid some characters are acting. I hope they continue to bring their A games. That said, there are a lot of ways to fine tune the show, like figuring out that costume. The cape is too close around Hoechlin’s neck, almost like a kid tied a blanket on. The S should be larger and raised. They also need to make sure that the muscles on the muscle suit don’t distract from any action scenes. Two cents.

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