‘Superman & Lois’ Season 2 Episode 9 Recap: “30 Days and 30 Nights”

Pictured (L-R): Inde Navarrette as Sarah Cushing and Emmanuelle Chriqui as Lana Lang Cushing -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

An episode of a Superman show where Superman is only in it for a minute tops sounds like it would be a horrible idea. People tuning into Superman & Lois expect to see a lot of Tyler Hoechlin’s chiseled jaw as Clark saves the day or deals with family drama. They aren’t expecting an episode that is just & Lois. Yet it works.

Daddy’s Gone

The episode opens with Lucy easily breaking Ally out of the DOD like it is where they take shoplifters at the mall and not a heavily guarded government building. Ally goes through the portal to Bizarro World and Clark follows her after flying around in a circle a bunch of times. I don’t know how that helps him not get ripped apart like the poor cultists in the prior episode, but it worked and thus he’s gone for an entire month.

They really take the time to underline how important Clark is to the world and his family in this episode. Disasters are happening that he could have helped clear up. Lois has never been without her husband for this long and you can tell it is getting to her. Jonathan has to deal with a father who he felt didn’t love him anymore being gone and not knowing if he’ll return. Jordan has to deal with the pressure of being the one with powers who can save people in the absence of his father. 

It is a clever concept to emphasize how important the lead is to the characters and let them step up in his absence and advance their stories. Yet this was the lowest rated episode of the season in linear ratings. You can never really know why an episode got the rating it did, and Nielsen ratings are flawed, but I have a decent idea why it did: Only one minute of Superman. He’s the main draw. People didn’t start watching the show for Lana Lang’s mayoral run or dating drama. If you are watching for Superman, it is understandable you wouldn’t be thrilled to see scenes of a girl dumping a boy for not paying enough attention to her with no Superman in between.

I applaud Todd Helbing and the writing team for taking a creative risk, but from a ratings standpoint, they should probably keep episodes where the lead is barely in it to a minimum. I’m sure Tyler Hoechlin was happy to have a week where he could take naps and watch sports, but maybe do something like this again in season five when the show is very established. Sorry Tyler, but for the enjoyment of the fans your butt must be in spandex for at least five minutes of an episode. It is what it is.

Getting Dumped The Same Week He Saves His Girlfriend’s Dad

It took Clark on Smallville ten seasons to fly. This show is not taking it slow with Jordan’s powers as he saves Kyle from an out-of-control fire at an X-K hub. Apparently when space rock dust catches fire it turns into a fire tornado. Who knew? Jordan can’t even get boyfriend credit for saving Kyle from a fiery death. Sarah just assumes he’s a flake because he can’t really tell her he’s half-Kryptonian. After he bails on her to help Sam and Lois shutdown an X-K factory, she dumps him. 

Fans have understandably been annoyed with Sarah this season. She cheated on Jordan at summer camp, tried to get him to be friends with the girl she kissed and now she’s dumping him? It doesn’t look great. Though if you think about it from her perspective, it is more understandable. Her boyfriend is shutting her out and flaking on her. She doesn’t know the reasons. If I were in this situation, I would not be satisfied with a boyfriend vaguely gesturing towards family problems with no specifics. 

Do I think the show expects fans to sympathize with Sarah more than most do? Maybe, but I do think fans should keep what she knows in mind. We know Jordan is a teen hero who saved Kyle, Sam, and Lois this week. For all Sarah knows, Jordan was bailing on her to play Fortnite. Sarah is not a perfect person but feeling like your man is not paying enough attention to you is a valid reason for a breakup. 

Parenting A Boy Who Can Shoot Lasers From His Eyes and Fly

Most parents have levers of control over their children to punish them when they misbehave. It can be allowance money or a phone or a game system. In certain households, it can be a slipper flying at a head. What do you do when your kid has superpowers and your nigh invincible husband is gone? That is a real question because when Lois tries to tell Jordan he can’t be going rogue and saving people, he reminds her he’s the one with powers. It was the CW equivalent of “I’m the captain now” from that Tom Hanks boat film I didn’t watch.

Jordan is lucky that Lois is a kind person who wouldn’t slap her son in the face with kryptonite even if she secretly thought about it. Instead, Sam talks her into letting Jordan help. With Clark gone, Lois doesn’t really have a lot of options, so she allows it, and it is a good thing she does because Lois and her father would have been very dead without her teenage son to take care of the X-K powered hooligan. 

I do hope they explore this dynamic more. How much control does a mother have over a teenager that can fly? Probably a lot less than a normal mother. Will Lois have supervision over Jordan’s secret heroics, or will that be Clark’s domain when he returns? I think she should have a say. She was in labor for 26 hours with him and Jonathan.

Bizarro Jonathan

The episode ends with Jonathan getting a headache like the headaches Alice on Batwoman got when her alternate universe counterpart showed up. That show established that only one version of a person can exist in a world. The other dies. The headache signals the arrival of Bizarro Jonathan as he strolls up to the Kent farm in the 90’s Conner Kent Superboy costume. Lois immediately knows that boy did not come out of her vagina. A mother knows her son and she must know her Jonathan wouldn’t wear red pants and a leather jacket like he’s the villain in an early 90’s teen film. Bizarro Jonathan informs Lois and Jordan that Clark was too late. 

Do I think Bizarro Jonathan is up to no good? Yes. Not just because he’s dressed up like he’s going to take your lunch money. It narratively makes sense for our Jonathan to be a stark contrast with Bizarro Jonathan. Perhaps Jonathan can help takedown Bizarro Jonathan and get redemption for huffing space rocks like a moron. 

Random thoughts about “30 Days and 30 Nights”:

  • Lucy needs to go to prison. If your cult activities result in Superman being gone for a month, you have responsibility to the people he could have saved. Lucy has hurt a lot of people without thinking about it. Lock her up!
  • Lois not wanting to mention how many times she’s been tied up to Sam was the funniest part of the episode. We all know it must be double digits. Lois just naturally runs into trouble.
  • I know some fans don’t care at all about Lana’s mayoral run, but I hope her victory presents more story opportunities for her.
  • There are few things sadder than a mattress on the floor. Hopefully Lana’s victory will lighten his responsibility for paying for two places so he can afford a bed frame. No one likes going home with a man to find a mattress on the floor. The bartenders of Smallville deserve to have sex on a mattress that isn’t just flung on the floor. They have dignity!

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