‘Superman & Lois’ Review: Season 1 Finale – “Last Sons of Krypton”

When Superman & Lois was announced in fall 2019, I never could have imagined this would be the show we’d get. I pictured Clark and Lois raising young Jonathan in Metropolis with a bit of Crisis On Infinite Earths induced SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome for those of you who don’t know soap operas). I did not anticipate a family drama with twins set in Smallville with an alternate reality John Henry Irons, Morgan Edge as the half-brother of Clark and a mixture of all Superman adaptations. I also did not anticipate it being the best received live action Superman property in years.

Superman stans are the whiniest comic book stans out there who treat discussions of best Superman actor like a blood feud and yet even they love this show. The fact that the writers, actors, and crew were able to achieve all this during a worldwide pandemic feels like a miracle. They delivered from the pilot all the way to this season finale.

The season finale picks up with Zeta-Rho all up in Jordan’s body. It is heart wrenching to see Clark’s horror at his son being possessed by a genocidal maniac. Jordan and Clark started the series about as far apart as a father and son can be. Jordan was understandably furious at his father being gone all the time and for lying all the time. Through the season, they did develop a father/son bond via Clark being there for Jordan as he dealt with lasers shooting from his eyes on a football field and suddenly being able to hear people all the way in China. Tyler Hoechlin and Alex Garfin have become very believable as father and son which help give the scenes the emotional impact needed.

It would have been very easy to just have Lois fretting over Jordan at home as a non-powered person, but the show wisely gets her in on the action by having her use Morgan’s mind entering headband tech to try to save her son. They go all the way back to the pilot scene of Lois comforting Jordan having an emotional outburst. I do like the choice of having Lois save Jordan with Jonathan’s assistance. While most Jordan’s parental scenes this season have been with Clark making up for lost time, Lois was the more present parent in his formative years. Lois was the one taking him to therapy and comforting him while Clark was off catching falling buildings. It makes sense that she should be the one to reach her son.

One criticism that I do think needs to be addressed in season two is that Lois and Clark worry way more about Jordan than Jonathan. This could be explained in that the child who needs more attention gets it, but Jonathan is the afterthought of the family and is only viewed through the brother’s keeper lenses by them. The only episode that really had Clark and Lois fretting over Jonathan was “Holding the Wrench” where he almost died. They’re concern in that episode was laughable considering they didn’t give him an ELT. Everything else was handwaved by them. “Jonathan wants to leave Smallville? Here’s a box! Jordan breaks your hand? Meh.”

Don’t get me wrong. I actually did think it was a nice scene having Jonathan tell Jordan he loved him as he strangled him, and it was another satisfying callback to the pilot. I just wish the show would play with the favoritism and family dynamics they’ve set up. You could mine so much drama from Jonathan reading Clark for filth for not taking him to the Fortress and only treating one son like they have Kryptonian heritage. I kept expecting it to happen all season and it was a letdown they never went there.

Superman & Lois does get righter than it does wrong. Take for instance the moment of John Henry Irons plummeting from space. It is another callback from the pilot when he stabbed Clark in the heart with kryptonite and it is both visually stunning and emotional. Irons has had quite an arc on this show. He went from villain to friendly with the leads in one season. This could have felt rushed and hokey, but it feels earned. At the start of the series, Irons didn’t see Clark as a person. Only a threat. Now he sees him for who he really is. A man with extraordinary powers who wants to do the right thing. A friend who will make you lunch. A partner.

I know fans don’t want this series to enter into the team realm like Arrow or The Flash, but I think it makes sense to have Clark and Irons as partners in saving the world. It gives Clark a friend he can talk to about that stuff that isn’t in his family. Lana can’t fill that function since she isn’t aware the guy that went to second base with her in a truck in high school is Superman. Irons also has his back. Two people isn’t really a team. This might become more of a concern if Jordan and/or Jonathan ever suit up, but for now I’m not going to fret over it.

Natalie’s arrival makes the drama for season two promising. She’s biologically Lois’ daughter and Jonathan and Jordan’s half-sister. She’s from a world where Superman killed her mother. Will Lois want to step into a motherly role with her or will she want to keep her at a distance? Will Natalie hate Clark? I can see Jonathan being welcoming and Jordan being hesitant over this stranger that he’s technically biologically related to.

Another avenue for drama next season is Lana. She’s done with the mayor ever since he threw Lana and Kyle under the bus for the body snatching of Smallville. Will Lana run for mayor? The parents on shows like this running for office is usually a filler story, but if they pull the trigger and make Lana mayor it would give her a more active role on the show. I could see Lana as mayor interacting a lot with Lois and Chrissy and whatever nefarious threats loom in Smallville’s future.

This season has gone down as one of my favorite seasons of a superhero show of all time. This show loves Superman and they always double down on it from characterization to the homages to the whole feel of the show. I am feeling hopeful season two will have the same quality and I won’t be on here in 2022 talking about a sophomore slump.

Random thoughts about “Last Sons of Krypton”:

  • I’m unsure about Teegan as Jonathan’s love interest. Maybe her unnamed criminal father will add interest.
  • Todd Helbing has already revealed the threat for season two won’t be a Kryptonian. I’m thrilled. Superman has so many villains they can use. They don’t need to go to the Zod-esque well all the time.
  • I assume they’ll have the same Superman suit for next season and I’m cool with that. They just need to lessen the padding a bit more and it will be perfect.
  • I do hope Lois and Chrissy have plans to make the Smallville Gazette have a further reach outside of Smallville now that Lois is co-owner. I’m sure having an interview with Superman will give them a lot of clicks, but they need people to keep returning.
  • Speaking of the Superman interview, I liked that he said he can’t control if others are scared of him. It is a healthy worldview to accept that you can’t control how others react to you.
  • With Jor-El gone, I wonder how long it is until Clark finds Lara’s crystal. There’s no way it doesn’t pop up eventually.
  • I hope the series doesn’t return to having Jordan and Jonathan playing football. After Jordan was blasting his father’s hands on the field to avoid a massacre, that should be done forever. No more football! I don’t care how cute Tyler Hoechlin looks in his coach hat.

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