‘Superman & Lois’ Season 2 Episode 4 Recap: “The Inverse Method”

Lois and Clark had a lot going on in this episode as they dealt with a bizarre doppelganger, a sister who has joined the world’s stupidest cult, the DOD being reckless and traumatic brain injury for Clark’s bestie. 

Bizarro Needs Anger Management

Superman & Lois has leaned hard into making Bizarro the literal inverse of Superman. His hair is parted on the opposite side, his theme music is the theme music of the series reversed, he breathes fire instead of ice (just like he does in the comics) and he kills. Clark is still plagued by visions of him and unfortunately for him Bizarro drops by the farm for a quick fight which is only resolved by John Henry throwing his hammer at them.

Clark and John Henry figure out they can track Bizarro by his necklace in silly superhero logic that you aren’t meant to think about too much. They need Mitch’s help since he has access to satellites. Mitch tracks him and he sends the Supermen of America after Bizarro because he’s an overconfident moron who thinks he has the biggest wee wee in the room. Bizarro promptly snaps the two dayplayer Supermen of America’s necks and Tag escapes with Bizarro’s necklace after Superman shows up. John Henry has to go there in the suit that is still damaged from last season and ends up in the hospital for his troubles. 

There’s been a lot of discourse about this fight scene over the past few days. Fans of the Zach Snyder films were mocking it and comparing it to Snyder’s DC films. It is absurd to compare a network television show with films that had a $200 million plus budget. Big budget films have time and money to make things look great and even then sometimes you end up with janky CGI like in Black Widow and or in a few shots of the Snyder Cut. Network television doesn’t have that luxury. What this show has been able to achieve on a TV budget and time table is incredible. It would be equally unfair for someone to compare the space you get for character development on a TV show to the character development you can get on a film. Both mediums have strengths and weaknesses.

I just question why they are talking about a show via only screencaps and small clips. If someone started bashing Man of Steel without actually watching it, I know these people would not take that criticism seriously. I understand they are upset about Walter Hamada taking the Snyderverse out back and Old Yellering it. Todd Helbing, Tyler Hoechlin, Elizabeth Tulloch and everyone else working on this show didn’t make that decision. Maybe actually watch the show and then you can bash it or praise it. Excessive hate tweets about a show you aren’t watching is pathetic. 

Idiot Cult

This episode introduced the Post-Crisis version of Lucy Lane. The competent military prosecutor who was engaged to Jimmy Olsen is gone. Now she’s a mess who joined a cult about taking pills in a bathtub so you can see your true self. And Lois’ journalistic integrity is on the line for this stupidity. It is hard to imagine people on the internet being on the side of a bathtub pill cult over Lois Lane, but then I remember I live in a world where people are literally drinking pee over getting vaccinated and there are people who sincerely believe that Nancy Pelosi eats babies. Even with that, I don’t think it would be big enough to ruin Lois’ career. Oh, her sister says that she saw another version of herself while overdosing and Lois left that out? So? Most people chalk it up to bathtub pill cult crazy talk.

It is maddening that Chrissy has lost trust with Lois over this crap. I get that it is frustrating that Lois didn’t disclose everything immediately to Chrissy, but Ally Allston has the credibility of a podcaster who tells you to eat medication for horses or a celebrity hawking NFTs. I hope Chrissy is working a con on Ally and she isn’t going to be using a bath bomb to make her overdose more soothing. Conning Ally to get more information would be slick. Trusting her and joining in on the “Give me those pills so I can see my other self! Nom nom nom” insanity would be plot induced stupidity. I understand plot induced stupidity can sometimes be a necessity for storytelling, but I don’t think Chrissy is the type to join a cult.

My issues with this dumb cult being a credible threat to Lois’ career aside, I do think Elizabeth Tulloch and Jenna Dewan work well together. You could feel how much Lucy resented Lois for their mother leaving and not talking about it. It makes sense that Lucy joined a cult. People with giant unaddressed holes in their life look for ways to fill it. It could be booze, sex, gambling, getting bangs when you don’t have the face for it and even a cult. You could see the frustration on Lois’ face that Lucy wouldn’t really hear her. Cults, even ridiculous ones, are masterful at separating people from loved ones. Since Lois is a naturally aggressive person, she played right into Ally’s Cult 101 narrative of “Everyone is out to get us! I’m a victim!” I am interested in how Lucy will be deprogrammed or if this downward spiral will continue. 

Kyle Cheated? Yeah, That Makes Sense

Lana continued her quest to become mayor as Mayor Dean started poking around for dirt about Sarah. This was concerning for Lana and Kyle considering Sarah’s suicide attempt two years prior. Unknown to Lana, Kyle had a secret of his own that could be used against them. A bartender at a dive bar was his side piece. I don’t think anyone was that surprised that Kyle cheated. Remember Kyle at the start of the series? The man was railing at Lois about the mainstream media and getting so drunk that his own daughter had to take care of him. Kyle and Lana fought often. It is easy to see Kyle flopping around on that woman like a fish out of water while she pretended he was rocking her world.

Kyle has had character development from those days, but he’s still not a saint. When he got sober, he should have confessed to the affair and let Lana make an informed decision about whether or not she wanted to stay married to him. I’m sure he had every excuse in the book. “It is over. I don’t need to revisit that and hurt Lana by telling her”, “It wasn’t me. It was the booze”, “Things are good now. Why rock the boat?” Men will do all these mental gymnastics to get out of accountability. 

I would be in favor of Lana and Kyle divorcing. I know Todd Helbing and the writing team like to use them as a dark contrast to Lois and Clark, but not every couple needs to stay together. It could provide fresh storytelling opportunities for Lana to be a single woman. John Henry is in town and he’s single. What would him finding new love look like? Lana hasn’t dated since high school. Throw those two in some scenes together and see if they could have a season three romance.

Random thoughts about “The Inverse Method”:

  • Jonathan is officially on the X-Kryptonite. Clark probably would have noticed if he was at that practice, but he was busy with Bizarro. Hopefully it doesn’t take them too long to notice something is wrong.
  • All the mentions of Lois and Lucy’s mother means she either has to come on this season or next season. They have to address the woman who traumatized them.
  • I am glad Tag survived. I predicted that most if not all of the Supermen of America would die and I was right. If Tag had died, it would have been indirectly Jordan’s fault since he’s the reason Tag has powers in the first place.
  • Sam training Jordan sounds like an interesting way to make him more relevant to the narrative since leaving the Department of Defense. Sam could teach Jordan some valuable lessons or he could put nonsense in his head. It could go either way.

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