When the news came out about Superman and Lois Lane getting their own show in the Arrowverse, fans were pretty skeptical. People wonder how they can do these two legendary characters justice. It’s safe to say that this season did more than enough to prove naysayers wrong, showing that this is currently the best show on the CW. This season finale has perfectly tied into the themes of family and bonds while wrapping up many plotlines in its action-packed hour.
Superman & Lois airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the CW, then streams free on the CW app.
If you missed it last week, you can read about the review for the previous Superman & Lois episode here.
Story: Parental Conflict
A season finale of any show has a lot to prove by ending most of the story on a good note. It’s especially nice to have many references and plot points sprinkled throughout, making it feel like this episode is wrapping up the season with a big bow. Superman & Lois does more than enough to achieve this accomplishment of having a good ending. The threat of having Jordan eradicated and turned evil is compelling to both Clark & Lois. Besides the apparent situation of losing their son, both of them have different impacts and solutions to the problem.
For the Man of Steel, it represents a conflict of what to do, because he knows he can’t punch his way out of it. He could, but that would mean killing his son even though it would save the world. With Lois, it’s the fear of losing another kid which ties back to her miscarriage. Especially with no superpowers, she feels helpless to provide support for Jordan. These scenes are heartbreaking to watch, with the desperation coming from both Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch. You’ll feel their pain convey through the screen as these two performances are simply outstanding.
Not to dwell too much into the solution, but I like how they work Lois into it. Taking the machine that Morgan Edge used on Clark and trying to use it on Jordan is an intelligent callback. This is mainly because Lois insists on using it, as she has a deeper connection to Jordan. Since we’ve seen their scenes throughout the season, it doesn’t feel like a reach at all. Also, we get Jonathan involved as he protects Lois with weapons from John Henry Irons. It’s great to see the whole Kent family involved in saving Jordan’s soul.
Characters & Performances: Heart & Soul
It might seem like a weird compliment, but Alex Garfin does a good job not acting ridiculous while Zeta-Rho possesses him. Think about it; an evil, over-the-top villain inhabits a teenager, and it could go down several different campy paths. He could really play it wild, resulting in it being an enormous distraction. Instead, Garfin plays him like an empty vessel, making it so the voice of Zeta-Rho is all you hear.
We also get a full-circle moment for John Henry Irons, as he genuinely is an ally of Superman instead of an enemy. Wolé Parks delivers a phenomenal performance as someone who’s trying to move on with his life. The pain is still there from the events of his Earth present in his mind, but he’s trying to make a better life for himself. The end of this episode sets up an interesting conflict for his character that’ll be fun to follow next season. Yet, the cliffhanger for John (and in essence season two) feels a little anticlimactic.
Cinematography & Sound: Welcome to Smallville
This episode represents a stark contrast to the look of Smallville compared to the one we saw in the pilot. When we first see this small town, the colors were muted as the cloudy weather represents the dreary nature in the air. Juxtapose the first episode with this one, and you’ll see a real difference. These shots have a lot more color, and the sun is shining bright. It shows how much life there is in Smallville now, as the end of the episode shows a lot of optimism going through. Honestly, if you would edit these shots and place some excellent music over them, the video would look like a commercial for Smallville. I’m not sure if that was intentional or if it was just the luck of the weather, but it’s visually and thematically pretty lovely.
Another interesting touch is the sound design that we hear throughout the episode. Superman is trying to find Jordan with his super hearing, but it gets overwhelming for him. It’s an intelligent way to show how stressed out and panicked he is to find his son. We hear sounds from all over the world as he flies into space to get a better angle. Still, to no avail, he has a hard time finding him. We also hear natural sounds from Smallville, like birds chirping, helping make this town seem more realistic.
Editing & Pacing: Wrapping Things Up
The pacing felt right as it didn’t feel like the events weren’t wrapping too quickly. The story had time to breathe and not once did it feel rushed. With the slow burn of this series, it paid off dividends to have the narrative getting time to develop instead of speeding up the action. The last third of this finale felt like a clean slate and with the exception of the very ending, it felt kind of like a series finale. If this was the last episode, there would be definite satisfaction as to how things ended. There’s optimism going forward with Smallville and the Kent family that’ll be interesting to see play out in season two.
There’s a couple of editing tricks that are featured throughout that feel seamless. When Lois goes into Jordan’s mind, we see a couple of flashbacks from Jordan’s perspective. The one that sticks out is when Lois calms down Jordan after he has a panic attack. It combines old footage with new additionals that they shot to show what Lois actually says to her son. This addition is a pivotal one and it just shows how savvy the people behind the scenes are.