One of the best aspects of seeing a superhero’s journey is to look at their origin story. For me, it’s my favorite part of seeing the tale, no matter how many times we’ve seen it. I don’t care how many times we’ve seen it; show me Peter Parker getting his powers or Bruce Wayne becoming Batman. We got a special treat this episode by looking at some of the origins of Clark from the angle of seeing his early days as Superman. This episode is a special treat for any Superman fan and does a surprising lot to advance the story.
Superman & Lois airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CW, then streams free on the CW app.
During the first 5 minutes of the pilot for this show, we see a montage of Clark’s origins to fill in the viewer of his story, just in case they weren’t familiar with it. Some of those moments have been expanded beautifully in this episode. At the end of the last episode, Superman is depowered from his solar flare and stumbles towards the fortress. We don’t see the outcome at first as we’re thrust to the main meat of this story, the flashbacks. The young Kent boy is journeying through the Artic and eventually makes the fortress. We quickly transition to him as an adult as he journeys to become Superman.
Now there’s been a lot of reference to the mythos throughout the show, but it’s an embarrassment of treasures in this hour. We get so many Easter eggs packed all over from different eras. Even a surprising one has a Daily Planet news station from when Clark was a tv news anchor. It’ll be fun to go back and watch it all over again to see any hidden ones. Besides taking inspiration from the comics for references, they play a big part in telling this tale. There are shades of the classic Superman comic, Superman for All Seasons, that explore his transition from Smallville to Metropolis. To see him find his footing in the big city and come out to the world as a public hero makes this story so fascinating.
Also, with us seeing the early days of Metropolis’s Hero, we get to see the retro costume in action. The look is heavily inspired by the Max Fleischer cartoons, and it’s the perfect representation. I never thought we would see this suit in action until watching the pilot for Superman & Lois that showed the costume for just a couple of seconds. Now, the majority of scenes have this outfit and its fan service done right.
Characters & Performance: Just Like the Comics
To say that Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch have been great so far is a huge understatement. Each week, it’s like they’re bringing the essence of these classic characters that feels like the most comic-accurate version so far. Yet, the situations they’ve been placed in are wildly different from other versions as now they’re raising twin boys. But for this moment, we get to see Clark and Lois working together at the Daily Planet that feels simply spot on.
Lois Lane is the headstrong reporter that fights for injustice throughout Metropolis. But, in a refreshing twist, her focus isn’t on Superman as she feels like everyone is paying a little too much on the Man of Steel. Meanwhile, Clark falls in love with the famous reporter because she is determined to fight injustice. It’s the most believable love story we’ve seen from these two, as the connection is based on mutual respect. It’s kind of like Superman is the third wheel, not Clark Kent.
Another aspect that the show gets right is the social justice crusades that the hero did early on in his history. When the classic character first appeared in comics, he wasn’t fighting giant monsters or aliens. Instead, our hero fought against mobsters and corrupted politicians in the big city. So first, we see Clark’s guilt when Lois explains that Nazi symbols appear in minority communities and the following arson attacks after it. He then focuses his efforts on fighting against the inequity that plague his city.
Cinematography & Sound: No Words Needed
Throughout the season, the majority of the action has taken place in Smallville. We get a special treat by having most of this episode take place in Metropolis and the fortress. Seeing the city and all of its beauty is a joy to see. Especially getting to see it at nighttime. Yet some shots of the area look out of place, like how sometimes there are no people on the streets even know it’s supposed to be busy. As mentioned before, the retro Superman suit is fantastic and shot fantastically. The shadows that strike on the outfit as the big symbol on his chest is picture-perfect. Also, the score done by Dan Romer gets to really stand out. His theme for Superman during fight scenes is exhilarating and evokes a sense of hope.
Editing & Pacing: Montages Galore
With so many details in Superman’s life, we get a couple of montages in the mix. They’re only done with regards to Clark and Lois. The first one we get is them working together on a piece and tracking down who’s been terrorizing the neighborhood. It’s handled beautifully as no words are accompanying the piece, but the actions are clear. We see them warming up to each other and falling in love. It just shows that you don’t need any dialogue sometimes to convey the power of a scene.
Now with this episode, we don’t know why we’re seeing these flashbacks or the setup for them. The devastation hits as it’s revealed in the third act, and it’s a punch in the gut. It seemed curious how the last episode wrapped many plot points, but now it is clear. We’re in the endgame with a clear path to the finale in sight.