Clark Kent/Superman is very much a supporting player this season as the showdown is between Lois Lane and Bruno Mannheim—a point that the final scene of Superman & Lois Season 3 Episode 4 drove home.
Bruno and Lois have a longstanding feud, one that she’s determined to see through—and come out on top of—regardless of her cancer. The cancer may even be what helps them get into Bruno’s orbit as she registered to receive cancer treatment at one of the top hospitals that he’s funded.
Of course, Bruno isn’t naive, so he doesn’t believe that Lois is simply coming around for the treatment, and he vows to figure out what she’s up to.
It’s exciting to see Lois so in the thick of the action this season, especially when given a diagnosis that would normally sideline her. Instead, she’s proving that she’s not her sickness, and the cancer doesn’t take away from her responsibilities as a wife, mother, and reporter.
Clark meant well when he ordered a mandatory rest day and asked the boys not to bother her, but he has to know that the approach would never be effective on someone like Lois who thrives on being in the loop and handling things—and being a reporter helps her feel like her old self. It’s important that she takes it easy and doesn’t overexert herself, but it’s good to let her stay busy and keep her mind off of the sickness. A sick person never wants to be treated like a sick person; it only makes them feel worse.
Bruno had a showdown with John Henry Lyons, and it left him with a little déjà vu. Once John realized that he recognized the weapons used in the attack on Lana as one of his own, he pieced together that the John of this planet was working with Bruno, a fact that both Lois and Clark already knew. It was definitely disappointing that they never informed him about their findings or that they started digging around into Bruno, but they’ve been a little busy handling the diagnosis, tracking down the bad guys, and raising two teen boys.
John established that to protect himself and his family, he needed to know who the John of this earth was. And it wasn’t a bad idea—if you’re going to walk the planet with a face that people may recognize, you better know exactly what that face was capable of.
He first approached his sister, Darlene, who looked like she’d seen a ghost when she first laid eyes on him. I’m really glad he led with “I’m not your brother” to get any of the confusion out of the way. Darlene did her best to help, but it was too painful to talk to someone who not only looked like her brother but also embodied him a little bit.
The meeting, though innocent, was on Bruno’s radar, so his men brought John in for questioning. Unlike the John of this earth, who sold Bruno military-grade weapons, our John had no intention of working for him, the other John did not respond well to threats to stand down and look the other way, especially when he realized Darlene was being held captive with an explosive on her chest.
John called his armor to come get him before locating Darlene and disarming the bomb in the nick of time. I hope she’s able to free herself of these dangerous people at some point. John then threatened to kill Bruno, but he had contingencies in place, so if that happened, his people would kill all of John’s family in New Orleans, and while it technically isn’t his family, he still can’t let them get slaughtered. Turns out that Bruno does know a thing or two about this planet’s John.
I just can’t wait for the trio to bring this cocky, egotistical leader of Intergang down. And maybe John will have a relationship with this version of his sister in the process.
The episode was heavy on apologies, with the biggest one coming from Lana and Sarah. The mom-and-daughter duo had a little trouble reconciling their relationship following their tumultuous fight. Kyle mediated the situation, ensuring that both parties were genuinely sorry for their actions because no one was right—Lana should’ve never raised her hand and hit Sarah, but Sarah should’ve never weaponized his affair against her mother simply because she knew it would hurt.
They both said and did things they didn’t mean, so there was no pointing holding a grudge. Throughout all of this, I just need to know who is watching their youngest daughter. Is she just hanging out at home by herself?
Jordan apologized to his grandfather for talking back to him when he suggested that the hero-in-training get a haircut. He’s not wrong that Jordan should minimize any identifiable qualities, but I love that they found a compromise that worked better than asking Jordan to mute his signature look. I can’t wait to see Jordan’s superhero costume because based on the addition from his grandfather, who gave him his father’s goggles from the war, it’s going to be an incredible one. The super team is only getting bigger and more super. which means it’ll be harder to bring down in the future.
Of course, Clark also had to tend to personal matters back at home after learning that his son, Jonathan, got a black eye after an altercation with Candice’s father. That man has created so many problems for Jonathan, but this truly crossed the line. And Jonathan is lucky enough to have two parents who are going to ensure that an end is put to the behavior. Firstly, Lois got in the car and confronted Emmett for his actions, who then threatened her with a gun. And that’s when Clark took matters into his own hands, trying to take their fight out back as to avoid all the eyeballs, including his daughter’s. He should’ve listened to Clark because he was made a fool of in front of the whole town as Clark informed him never to come near his family again, and when Emmett tried to land a punch, he was quickly put into place by Clark’s superhero strength.
It’s safe to say that man is not going to be back in town for a while after heeding Clark’s warning. As for Candice, Lois graciously offered to give her a place to stay until she lands her feet, proving she truly is the best mom in the world.
What did you think of the episode? Does Bruno pose a threat to Lois? Will he try to take down John Henry’s loved ones again? Is Lois a cool mom? And do you like that the focus has shifted more to Lois this season rather than Superman?
Superman & Lois
Superman & Lois Review – Collision Course (310)
How did the DOD not see that one coming? I know audiences got the scoop that Bruno Mannheim and his son, Matteo, had a master plan to free Peia, but the DOD cannot be that naive when dealing with the world’s biggest villains, right?
Surely, they’d be on alert for even the slightest of movements. Why couldn’t they hear what Matteo was saying to their mother in there? Why was no one watching them? One of the things that bugs me most about this show is that the DOD is largely responsible for allowing villains to get away with things due to carelessness.
Eyes should’ve been on Peia at all times, particularly when she had access to someone that they didn’t necessarily trust and who had a motive to set her free.
Bruno Mannheim is Intergang’s crime boss—there’s nothing he won’t do to get his way, so the expectation should’ve been that he would try something to get his wife back. They know that he has been creating superhumans and that he stole Inverse Superman, so shouldn’t they have expected that he was working on some kind of cure? They surely underestimated Bruno’s capabilities.
It seems ridiculous that Sam Lane would allow the DOD to get ambushed like that—or that Superman wouldn’t hear it until after Peia destroyed half of the agency and escaped. The math just isn’t mathing. Of course, we’re just supposed to overlook that for the sake of the storyline, so fine. Bruno was successful in “curing” his wife, for now, though I imagine that there will be side effects that will likely kill her in the long run.
It was also unfortunate that they used Matteo and made him an accomplice as he was innocent up until this point. Parents should want to do better for their children, but in this case, Peia saw no other way out, while Bruno knew that Matteo was their only shot at getting to her. And Matteo, well, he’d do anything to save his mother, so he was an easy target who will likely have to pay the price. There’s no turning back for Matteo as he seemingly made his choice to support his parents, regardless of the consequences. Nat may not want to give up on him or hold this against him, but you can’t deny that Peia has done a lot of harm by trying to buy herself some time.
Lois Lane gave her the honorable way out–by promising to tell her story and giving her an opportunity to come clean so that she could preserve her legacy. In terms of getting the story, I would say Lois tried to coax it out of Peia. Lois wasn’t upfront with Peia about her intentions, so while I’d trust her to do right by my life story, it was an overall betrayal of trust. Lois wanted to write the story because she cared, but she also wanted to set the record straight and right the wrongs of her journalistic mishap, which landed the wrong man behind bars.
Of course, that man is Lex Luthor, so I have to side with Peia on this one. Lex may not have killed Boss Moxie, but he’s a monster who has done plenty of other terrible things and the world is better without him in it. Unleashing Lex onto the world might be the moral thing, but it’s just asking for a new powerful villain that poses a threat to humanity to regain control. Sadly, we know that Superman has always been righteous—and as a journalist, Lois is as well—so they don’t see it the way Peia does; they believe it isn’t their place to pass judgment. And thus, my guess is that by the end of the season, Lex Luthor will emerge as the next big baddy to set his sights on Smallville… if the series scores a renewal.
There were plenty of other issues bubbling to the surface, including Kyle’s persistent search into figuring out the identity of Smallville’s superhero. He believes that they all deserve to know the truth about who is walking amongst them even if this person is simply helping everyone, but the people that he confronts with his theories all know the truth, and they all know just how important it is to keep it a secret.
First, Beppo is put on the spot, then Sarah, eventually Lana, and finally, Clark himself.
Kyle’s timing is absolutely terrible when he confronts Clark with his theory that Jon has superpowers. Though, honestly, I’m impressed with how close he got to the truth. He may not have found the golden egg, but he was surprisingly on the money.
Clark tried to diffuse the situation, but when Kyle wouldn’t let up and Clark need to whoosh off to go save the DOD, he figured it was time to tell Kyle the truth as well.
It’s always such a blast to see the character’s faces when Superman takes off, and honestly, I don’t think Kyle was expecting for his night to take that kind of a turn.
And I also don’t know if we can actually trust him with this secret. Kyle made it clear that he thinks the public deserves to know the truth about the superhumans living in their midst, so will he try to expose them? Obviously, Lana and Sarah, and even Chrissy, are devoted to the secret because they are keeping the people that it affects safe—Lana cares for Clark, Sarah cares for Jordan, and Chrissy supports Lois—but what’s keeping Kyle from blabbing? And I’m sure he’ll hold it against everyone who lied to his face the whole time and gaslit him, making it seem as though he was going crazy.
Kyle and Lana also dealt with Sarah, who got a DUI and would have been involved in a deadly accident if it wasn’t for Jordan. He risked everything to save her and Junior, and sometimes, I wish she was a little more appreciative. They are platonic friends who are denying their true feelings for each other. They always say you can’t be friends with someone you love, so I don’t see how they can continue with this friendship without consistently hurting each other. It’s also keeping them both from moving on as, particularly in Jordan’s case, he’s holding out for hope that they will get back together.
Jordan also got grounded for drinking half a beer—don’t drink and save people is the rule!—however, Jon was responsible and knew better than to put all that he’s worked for at risk. He may be sidelined at the firehouse but he isn’t going to give Kyle more reasons to let him go. It was such a mature approach for a character who has been largely immature for most of the seasons. And while it sucked to see the boys choose against hanging with their dad, it wasn’t because they thought they were too cool for him. Jon put it in perspective that their dad has been too busy for them so they didn’t sit around waiting—life was happening, and they were living it, so he couldn’t get mad at them for it. They weren’t going to drop everything the moment he finally found some time. I think it was important for Clark to reframe his assessment of the situation so he wasn’t sulking and throwing himself a pity party; his kids will hang out with him any day, but they cannot be an afterthought for so long. That’s some good parenting advice to adopt in general!
Lastly, there was a happy moment at the kickstart of the episode as Lois finally completed chemotherapy treatments and even got to ring the bell, a huge milestone in a chemo journey.
What do you think Peia and Bruno’s plan is now? Will they try to destroy Clark and John Henry Irons? And how will Nat’s relationship with Matteo—and Lois’ friendship with Peia—fit into all of this? What will Kyle do with his newfound information?
Superman & Lois
Superman & Lois Review – The Dress (309)
John Henry Irons may just be this season’s villain after all.
No, I’m just kidding. I wouldn’t take it that far, but his character has entered a dark phase and he has made things super personal. It’s hard not to when the man you are coming face-to-face with killed you on this Earth and tore apart this Earth’s version of your family, and now, he’s setting his sights on you and your daughter. It absolutely is personal—so I’m not surprised it clouded his judgment when it came to handling Mannheim and his goons.
And while Superman may be of the mindset that we “don’t fight violence with violence,” and leads with a “do not kill,” John Henry’s defenses kicked in when Mannheim sent Henry Mills, a resurrected man with indestructible powers (likely courtesy of the superman of the Inverse World, Bizarro), to kill him. He believed he had no choice, so he did what he had to do to save himself in that vulnerable moment. We have to remember that John Henry, a different version, has died before at the hands of Mannheim, and this isn’t the first time they’ve planned an attack on him. He very much believes there’s no other choice, even if he knows that Superman would approach it differently.
And thus, John Henry killed a man in the heart of Smallville—this poor town has seen so much in such a short time—and he’s going to have to come to terms with that. Of course, right now, he’s too amped up on getting revenge, but when the dust settles, I think it will definitely impact him a bit.
Mannheim and John Henry’s children were seemingly the voice of reason for their parents, who couldn’t see past their hatred for each other. Matteo introduced a new point of view by suggesting that John Henry wasn’t the all-out good guy Nat believed him to be as he was preventing him and his father from seeing their dying mother. Nat reminded her father that of all people, he should know what that feels like. I see where she’s coming from, however, there’s obviously a reason for John Henry’s decision, and it was the force Mannheim into giving the DOD back all the things they stole—namely Bizarro. It’s a negotiation tactic, and though not many agree, John Henry felt that it would be the most effective. And honestly, I think as someone who has lost his wife, he knows the exact pain point to get someone to do something.
Of course, Mannheim didn’t respond well to being told that he cannot see Peia, and it turns out that Superman’s approach likely would’ve yielded better results because while John Henry has suffered a loss, Clark can identify with what Mannheim is going through having a wife that’s battling the same kind of cancer. This may be a show about superheroes and villains, but at the core of it, there are very real and very human issues, feelings, and emotions guiding them all.
Again, I think it’s a little far-fetched to call John Henry a villain because, at the end of the day, it was clear that Mannheim was provoking him by trying to get him and his family killed. He’s just being a protective dad, and I do wish Nat would be grateful for that at least a little bit. I know she’s a teen, but she can very clearly see the dangers surrounding her.
And hopefully, after seeing his father’s underground lair with the Inverse World’s Superman, Matteo will realize that what his father is doing is wrong. Trying to save your wife is understandable, but there are limits. Mannheim thinks that he’s trying to cure cancer with his experiments, but he’s not seeing the larger picture or the potential harm and damage it’s doing.
It’s heartbreaking to see Matteo and Nat in the middle of this family feud. While I believe there are times when love trumps all, I don’t see how they can make this work while staying faithful to their families. It was doomed from the beginning. And if Mannheim doesn’t stop, Superman and the DOD—along with John Henry—will be forced to put him behind bars, I can see Matteo being resentful at potentially losing two of his parents, which, well, won’t bode well for his romance with Nat.
The teens of Smallville are taking on larger responsibilities with each passing episode but on Superman & Lois Season 3 Episode 9, they were tasked with protecting Nat. While letting her go see Matteo when it was forbidden may have been a naive move on their part—young love—it was sweet to see the Kent brothers make up after saying some pretty nasty things to each other. And Sarah is almost like the sister they never had.
Lois’ storyline continues to be heartbreaking, but I’m genuinely grateful for how real and raw it is. I can’t say for certain, but the straightforward conversation about losing her breasts—and the hardships of being a woman with PMS, cramps, cellulite, and stretch marks—definitely seems like a scene written by a female writer(s). And it makes a difference! Representation of all kinds is so important on television, and it’s nice to see strong female leads simply acknowledge the things that make us all superheroes, and yet, somehow, insecure, all in the same breath. Amid a writer’s strike, I just want to say thank you to the writers of this particular scene.
Seeing the flashbacks to the dress when Lois was at a high, and then watching her navigate those feelings about herself during one of her lows, was visually stunning. Losing your breasts is a big deal, but as Clark pointed out, it doesn’t take away from her beauty and it won’t make him love her any less.
The flying scene was just the cherry on top, providing a piece of calm and reprieve amid a chaotic day. It’s moments like these that make everything worth it in life.
And also, Clark is a superhero not just because of his super strength but mostly because of the way he loves his wife and takes care of his family. Being a good man is the real superpower.
There wasn’t much time for Henry and Lana’s relationship to flourish this week, but she did make the first step—and I am shipping it wholeheartedly.
What did you think of the episode?
Superman & Lois
Superman & Lois Review – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (308)
As far as first impressions go, that wasn’t the ideal first dinner date with your significant other’s parents.
Superman & Lois Season 3 Episode 8 kept unraveling the mystery of Bruno Mannheim and Peia, his wife and the warbled assassin known as Onomatopoeia.
Fans had an advantage as they about Peia’s darker side for a bit longer before Superman and Lois were clued in, but once they finally had the missing piece of the puzzle, it all began to make a lot more sense. And it’s a very distressing situation for everyone involved because personal feelings are also in the mix.
This isn’t just a villains versus heroes ordeal—it’s much more complex and impacts every single person.
Nat and Matteo are genuinely in love, and now they’ve got a Romeo and Juliet situation on their hands as they’re the victims of two feuding families.
Once Henry Irons realized who Matteo’s parents were, he immediately went to fetch his daughter, and an altercation with Bruno and Peia almost cost him his life. Understandably, he’s adamant about Nat never seeing or speaking to Matteo again, even if he was just as much in the dark about his family’s criminal involvement. Henry Irons is protecting his daughter at all costs as he knows exactly what Mannheim is capable of. And it’s hard to side with Nat here considering she’s thinking primarily with her heart when it comes to Matteo. She may trust him but getting involved with his family is simply too dangerous, particularly considering the previous history between Henry and Mannheim.
It’s also hard not to feel for Matteo who just learned the truth about his parents all while watching them nearly kill his girlfriend’s father and seeing his mother collapse to the ground, weakened by her powers and the cancer. His life will never be the same, and he may lose the people closest to him.
Lois Lane has been invested in bringing down Manhheim for years, and with the reveal that Peia is his wife, she seemingly finally got the ammunition she needed. However, her friendship with Peia clouded her judgment, and she forbade Chrissy from running the story and revealing Mannheim’s private relationship. While that seemed like a bad idea initially, it’s probably for the best as the story basically wrote itself once Henry Irons confronted Mannheim and Peia was forced to use her powers. No one ever thought that sweet Peia could be the person causing all this mayhem.
Mannheim is a murderer, no doubt, but he’s been assisted by his wife, who has her fair share of blood on her hands. And they both let Lex Luthor take the fall, which weighs heavily on Lois as she’s the one who reported on the murder of Boss Moxie and put Lex behind bars.
This is a lot to process for Lois—on top of the cancer—especially as she formed a bond with Peia and trusted her.
Superman wanted to give Peia the benefit of the doubt considering her cancer spread and weakened her immensely, but Henry was right—her behavior and criminal actions cannot be excused simply because she’s sick. She can’t hide behind the cancer because she didn’t hesitate to attack Henry to defend her husband. She’s dangerous.
Mannheim, however, let his personal feud with both Henry and Superman take hold, allowing his wife to risk her life and nearly kill herself for vengeance. When push came to shove, he needed to trust his foe to save his wife.
Again, it’s a messy and complicated situation with a lot of personal feelings involved.
Peia is now being held captive at the DOA with her powers, Mannheim has a lot of explaining to do to his son, and Lois has a new story to dig into that includes possibly clearing Lex’s name.
It’s something to keep her mind off of the cancer treatment that has intensified and gotten quite unbearable. The series has been giving an accurate portrayal of what a cancer patient goes through, specifically depicting Lois’ battle and how it’s impacted her relationship with her family, herself, and even her career.
Though Lois may not be entirely motivated to take this on right now, she’s also not one to pass up on this kind of an opportunity, so with Clarke and Chrissy’s help, we know she’ll do it justice.
Chrissy also has a lot on her plate right now as well as she’s navigating her new romance with Kyle and her fragile relationship with Lana. A journalist needs the town’s mayor on her side, but it’s obviously a new situation for everyone involved and Chrissy doesn’t always know exactly how to handle it.
It’s not any easier for Lana, who is realizing that seeing Kyle move on so quickly has impacted her in a way she didn’t imagine, especially when she doesn’t have anyone to go see The Cure with.
We’ve never really had much interaction between Lana and Sam Lane, but it was nice to see them cross paths. Sam is the best person for a heart-to-heart about moving on because he’s been single for decades and is finally opening up to the idea of dating again. It’s advice Lana needed to hear, even if she isn’t exactly ready to embark on something new in her love life. And yes, I’m still confident that she will eventually realize there’s plenty of chemistry between her and Henry!
The Kent boys are also navigating a new world as Jordan figures out his powers while Jon is a firefighter-in-training. They got into a bit of an altercation during which Jordan made himself seem more important than Jon, but Sarah made sure to bring him down to Earth and remind him that it wasn’t fair to diminish Jon’s role after he finally found something that made him feel special and worthy. Hopefully, Mr. Cushing won’t fire Jon, but Jordan’s identity may be at risk as he’s been leaving behind traces of ice at every single fire scene piquing the interest and curiosity of Sarah’s father.
Has Jordan been made?
What did you think of the episode? Do you like how things are unfolding this season and bringing Lex Luthor to the surface?
Is Mannheim the foe that you always imagined he would be? And will we ever find out how Peia got her powers? I sure hope so.
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