It’s been quite an emotional season of Superman & Lois, but “Complications” served up all the feels as it closed the chapter on Peia and Bruno Mannheim’s storyline while subsequently arriving at the end of Lois’ cancer journey.
There were plenty of tears and heartfelt moments, and though things seemed bleak for a moment, everything turned out the way it was supposed to.
I’ve said this since the beginning of the season, Lois’ cancer storyline has been the biggest surprise of the season as it’s proven that the show—and these characters—can withstand the test of time even without all the superpowers. There was nothing super about the diagnosis, the chemo, the effect it had on both Lois and the family, her coming to terms with being sick and then having to get a double mastectomy, and finally, going through the surgery on a day when everything was up in the air and unstable. And yet, Lois was the real superhero throughout all of it.
Her journey was raw and candid and shined a light on what so many cancer patients and survivors go through on a daily basis. And they found a way to tie it in with the overall big bad of the season, which was just a huge plus. Lois’ experience never felt disconnected from the main event.
Peia’s cancer journey was slightly different than Lois’, but essentially, she and her family were after the same thing—getting a cure. In her case, it ended up becoming nuclear and impacting all of Hob’s Bay and possibly Metropolis.
Bruno’s decision to give her multiple doses of the cure stemmed from a loving place, but unfortunately, he was running on borrowed time so he never got around to testing what the cure would do to a human, let alone a human with powers already in place and someone that had so much radiation already coursing through their veins.
He may have bought a little more time for Peia at the onset, but her suffering became much greater. By the end, there was nothing he could do to help her, nor could he and his son even get close enough to her to say goodbye without getting injured.
So Superman stepped up to the plate to let her know that it was okay to let go and make sure that she wasn’t alone in her final moments. He did it for the city, and his wife, whose operation was put in jeopardy due to all the tremors, but he also did it for Peia because he understood the pain that she and her family were going through, and he understood their desire to save her at any cost.
When push comes to shove, villains and enemies quickly become allies. Bruno prayed that Superman could help his wife, and despite his disdain for the Intergang leader, Superman went above and beyond to help her find peace, even delivering the body after her death.
Bruno seemingly realized the error of his way, striking up a deal with the DOD to get his son Matteo’s freedom back in exchange for information. Peia made it clear that her priority has always been to give Matteo a normal life, so Bruno’s decision honors her wishes. It’s also the noble thing to do; Matteo didn’t have any skin in the game, he was only involved because of his love for his mother. Bruno was the mastermind that needed to pay for his crimes.
In a touching moment, Bruno turned Matteo’s care over to his sworn enemy, Henry John Irons, who gave him his word that he would protect the boy at all costs. And as we all know, Mr. Irons keeps his promises and is an incredible caregiver. Plus, he knows how much Matteo means to Natalie. She was a complete mess upon realizing that she might never get to see the boy she loves again—but where there’s a will there’s a way, and it seems like Matteo will likely be joining them on the farm in Smallville.
You would think that this action would have culminated in the season finale, but the series has much more up its sleeve. While there will be a bit of a hiatus leading up to the next episode, which arrives on June 20, it will also bring Lex Luthor into the fold. We knew this day was coming considering how much he’s been talked about in relation to Bruno, but seeing “the devil” pop up on the screen in a teaser trailer made it much more real.
We’ve seen plenty of iterations of this famed villain, but Michael Cudlitz’s version may be the most surprising because he has a full set of hair and even facial hair! Where is the bald Lex Luthor we’ve come to know? It seems promising, especially since they’ve pretty much saved the best for last. Superman & Lois hasn’t been renewed just yet, and his arrival coincides with the penultimate episode, so either it will be a short-lived arc, or the forces behind the series are hoping that the storyline will continue into the next season.
In addition to Lois’ mastectomy, the series balanced out the super storylines with a deeper dive into Sarah’s downward spiral, which alerted both of her parents, who were concerned that she would once again go into a depressive state and try to harm herself. What I love so much about the scene between Kyle, Lana and Sarah talking at the diner is that they are a family that values communication; they don’t shy away from it, they talk through the important things and underscore when something is getting a little too concerning. Unlike most teens who would brush their parents off, Sarah acknowledged that she was also getting worried about herself, which allows them to have an honest chat about “the sadness” creeping in and the feelings of hitting rock bottom.
It was refreshing to see this as a priority scene, especially when other things are happening that could be considered bigger and more important in the grand scheme of things. It’s a necessary reminder to talk to your loved ones about what’s going on and let them in. Kyle and Lana were undoubtedly very mad at their daughter for the DUI, but that didn’t mean they were going to turn their back on her. They were there to support her and help her work through it. We all make mistakes, but it’s how we pick ourselves up that truly matters.
And for Sarah, step one was channeling all of her energy into something that gave her purpose—a job at the diner. It’s not ideal, but it’s reality.
Sarah has been going through a lot, but part of that was the guilt she felt for what she said to Jordan. And the fact that Jordan didn’t just forgive her and welcome her back with open arms threw her for a loop. While I genuinely like Sarah as a character, it’s evident that she kind of takes advantage of Jordan’s kindness, so it was also pretty great to see him stand up for himself and set up a boundary. He loves Sarah so much that he cannot just be friends with her, especially with how she treats him sometimes. I’m sure they’ll patcht things up sooner than later—though with the Lex Luthor of it all looming over the next two episodes, their little squabble might not even matter.
As for Kyle, his pep talk to Sarah also gave him some perspective on his fight with Chrissy. He was 1000% being a jackass when he held it against her for lying to him about Superman. He didn’t even acknowledge that she was protecting this major secret. While I want to believe that Kyle is a changed man who can be trusted with this information, I just don’t think that’s the case. His reaction was proof that he is not equipped to handle something this important. He may have come around in the end, but it only takes one moment of weakness to destroy everything.
We also cannot overlook Jordan’s big moment—his X-Ray vision coming in! It’s true that he always gets his powers at the worst possible time, but on the bright side, at least he’s getting them! The scene between Jon and Jordan was also very sincere. They may have their moments of tension, but there’s a brotherly love there that’s undeniable, and despite Jon being jealous of Jordan, he still made it a priority to help his brother work through his moment of panic. It seems like being a firefighter that helps people during dire times is a career that will suit him.
What did you think of the episode? Are you glad the Mannheim storyline is over?
What will happen with Inverse Superman now that he’s seemingly recharged and booted up?
Superman & Lois Season Finale Review – An Engagement, a Pregnancy, and Doomsday (313)
From Bizarro to Doomsday, Superman & Lois delivered an action-packed Season 3 finale that forced Superman to face his biggest threat to date.
Since getting out of prison after 17 years of being wrongfully incarcerated, Lex Luthor focused on getting revenge against those who wronged him, specifically Lois Lane.
He made it clear that the reason Lois didn’t listen to him initially and ran with the inaccurate story that put him behind bars was because she had the protection of both General Lane and Superman. And since she didn’t heed his warning to put down the pen and retire, he knew that the only way to get to her was to eliminate the safety net.
For the next 33 days, Luthor poured every inch of himself into concocting his master plan, which involved killing Bizarro over and over again and making him immune and indestructible. Luthor always knew he wanted payback, but Bizarro was the secret weapon that simply fell into his lap, and Luthor wasted no time taking full advantage. By the time he was done with him, the Inverse Superman morphed into a beast that set his sights on the Man of Steel in one of the most epic fights to ever play out on The CW. (And just as a reminder, with The CW doing away with most of its programming—and giving Superman & Lois a shortened fourth and final season with virtually no cast— so this fight scene is likely as good as it’s ever going to get for the network.)
Things weren’t looking so hot for Superman, but while it’s one thing to have an immense amount of power, Superman has two things that Bizarro doesn’t—brains that he can use to outsmart him and love; and the love he has for his family is what brings him back from the brink of death and energizes him.
Pretty soon, Doomsday and Superman’s heads to the moon far away from any humans that can be harmed, though there’s no telling how it ends.
With General Lane in Luthor’s possession, and Superman otherwise occupied, Luthor has Lois right where he wants her–vulnerable…or so he thinks. The one thing he didn’t account for (and how could he?) is that she’d have another asset in her corner—a son who inherited his father’s powers. Of course, Jordan is still pretty new at this and just getting the hang of his powers, but I’d say it’s enough to keep his mom out of harm’s way and stall until his dad returns.
Clark thought he was doing the right thing by punishing Jordan and forbidding him from using his powers, but with danger lurking in every corner—and the imminent threat of Lex Luthor (Lois knew he was coming for her)—it would’ve been more beneficial to have him continue training specifically for this moment.
Superman exchanged a telling look with his family before flying off to handle Doomsday, and in that look, he made it clear that Jordan was under no circumstance to help him. As a father, it only makes sense that he wouldn’t want to put his son in the line of danger.
But what’s next? Doomsday is bred to kill, and he won’t stop until Superman is neutralized as those were Luthor’s orders. What’s the solution?
It almost seems as though there were two different episodes smushed into one, with the first half providing a happy and positive update on the families in Smallville, while the second half unveiled Lex’s plans and set the tone for what’s to come in the final season.
I thoroughly enjoyed both parts—even if I’m far too skeptical when things are too good as I know the other foot is about to drop—particularly as it gave us some good momentum on all the characters that make this show so fantastic, and the ones that won’t be around much, if at all, next season.
Lois’ recovery was tough and personal but she finally arrived at a place where she felt ready to be intimate with her husband again—and it was so beautifully captured. Clark being so soft with her when placing a hand on her chest was incredibly touching. They truly did right by her storyline this season, giving a realistic glimpse into a cancer battle rather than using it solely as a plot device.
It was also so nice to see her genuinely smile with excitement as she talked about their family vacation—Lois deserves this triumphant moment, and it’s a shame it was cut short by Lex.
Fans who have been picking up on vibes between Lana and John Henry finally got their moment as well. Not only did the two go on a romantic first date, but they also hooked up in a hot and steamy moment as she was determined to make him regret accepting Lane’s offer to move to Metropolis.
And yes, that’s an attempt at seemingly writing off John Henry and his daughter Nat for next season, which is a bummer, but it’s also a natural progression for the characters as they’ve always been destined to work closely with the DOD, doing what they do best and creating tools and gadgets to help them fight the enemy. Plus, it makes sense that Nat would go to the DOD Academy where Mateo just enrolled—it’s a promising future for her that allows for so much more than Smallville could ever offer someone with her brains and skills.
Kyle and Chrissy Beppo also had quite an eventful episode as they not only found out they’re expecting their first child together, but Kyle even hopped on stage in front of the whole town and asked her to marry him. I enjoy this coupling, so no complaints, but I wish Chrissy continued to have a storyline of her own separate from Kyle instead of being reduced to his secret hookup for most of the season. Chrissy was always on the same playing field as Lana and Lois—and she deserved to stay there.
Lana has put on a happy face throughout it all, even telling Kyle that she was happy for him and asking to spoil the baby, but it has to hurt on some level. She’s watching him become the man she’s wanted him to be for years, and that has to be so hard. Someone else got the version of Kyle that she always knew he could be, but he never was for her.
However, Lana is right when she says that they are better as friends—and they make great co-parents, so at least there’s that. She’s tough and strong, so she’ll get through this. It may have taken her a little longer to move on than it has Kyle, but at least she’s seeing a future outside of her relationship with him.
This is also a good time to remind anyone who is online dating to just be super cautious about who they allow into their lives.
Sam Lane was so eager to get back out there that he allowed the enemy to get too close to him, and he paid the price.
The moment he introduced his new girlfriend to his absolutely stunned grandchildren, I knew there was something off about Gretchen and the way she was so eager to be involved in his life.
It’s a shame because someone in Sam’s position should’ve vetted anyone he ended up meeting and pursuing for this exact reason. He works for the DOD for crying out loud—there have to be some protocols because this was just too easy.
It’s also a bummer because Sam let his guard down one time, and now he’ll never trust anyone else with his heart again.
And finally, Clark gave Jordan a pep talk that convinced him to apologize to Sarah. He admitted that his anger stemmed from them not being together, and they agreed to remain cordial but go their separate ways, which is honestly for the best considering everything that transpired between them.
How do you think the series will continue on without Sam, Lana, Sarah, Kyle, Chrissy, John Henry and Natalie as series regulars, especially as we may never see any of them again and there were so many developments with their storylines? It seems like a huge miss for the series as they are so integral to the series and are responsible for making the small town of Smallville what it is.
And how do you think Superman will bring down Doomsday? Will Lex Luthor finally get what’s coming to him, rightfully this time around? He’s just giving Lois so much more ammo to put him away for good.
Grade the season in the comments—we’re giving it a solid B!
Superman & Lois Review – Lex Luthor’s Arrival Reveals His Master Plan (312)
Superman & Lois Season 3 Episode 12–also the penultimate episode of the season—introduced Lex Luthor in all his glory.
As Lex was acquitted and released from prison, he set his sights on his #1 enemy: Lois Lane, before hatching and revealing his post-prison master plan.
If the episode had solely focused on Lex Luthor’s arrival, it may have felt out of place, but it found the right balance of introducing this new yet familiar menacing figure all at once while keeping in tune with the tone of the series. Luthor’s arrival was interposed with the introduction of Smallville’s new superhero, SuperBoy, which brought forth plenty of drama with Sarah and Jordan, while also managing to deliver some parenting strifes for Clark and Lois with both Jordan and Jon.
There was even a tornado, which I was fully convinced was conjured up by Lex Luthor, hinting at a new supernatural take on the iconic character, though it turned out to be a mere coincidence. There’s truly never a dull moment in Smallville—one moment there’s an unanticipated tornado, and the next moment the scariest man on the face of the Earth is just casually walking the backroads.
Lex’s release from prison was paralleled with his time in prison, showing that even behind bars, the CEO of LuthorCorp yielded all the power and was able to manipulate people into doing whatever he wanted through sheer force. He’s a bully in every sense of the word, but seeing how he obtained control of Stryker’s Prison is enough reason to make us fear him.
This version of Lex is rough around the edges; a blue-collar villain, if you will, who swaps the dapper suit for a jean jacket and freshly shaved head.
And it somehow makes him even more terrifying. Michael Cudlitz plays him well.
Mere minutes into his prison stay, flashbacks reveal that he managed to get his goons to show the others who was boss, and by the end of the day, he was catered to hand and foot, enjoying a fancy meal with a glass of wine. He’s a man that will get his way, one way or the other.
He’s a man who was misjudged and cast away by society only to regain his freedom—and it gives him the room to do a lot more damage than previous iterations of the character. He’s a man scorned, looking for vengeance and comeuppance for those who wrong him, something Lois is all too aware of.
She assumed that Lex would have it out for her the minute he was released from prison, but what she didn’t anticipate is that he would make a beeline for her house, simply to show her that he’s kept tabs on her and threaten her if she doesn’t agree to his terms to retire.
He also made a point by walking all the way to their house, proving that while he has men who will carry out tasks for him, he’s not above doing the dirty work when necessary.
And honestly, Lex’s anger is justified; Lois and her words are the reason he’s in jail. It wasn’t sloppy reporting as she followed the evidence, which led her to Lex, but it was an error nonetheless. And sorry doesn’t really cut it when you’ve missed out on two decades of life, a point he drives home when he informs her that his daughter, who was 14 when he was locked up, is no longer willing to speak to him.
However, he can’t overlook the fact that he’s seeing the light of day once again because Lois chose to do the right thing and clear his name, ignoring every warning from Peia about how he’s the devil incarnate and the world is better with him behind bars. Lois knew that setting Lex free would likely unleash evil onto the world—including herself as he’s had two decades to plan his perfect revenge—but her journalistic integrity couldn’t let him sit behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. She had to do the right thing and set the record straight.
And now, with her decision to give in and give up her career in journalism, she’s making herself a target for Lex.
As for Superman, well, he’s clearly someone that Lex has in his line of sight as well, otherwise he wouldn’t be risking it all to get his hands on Inverse Superman, who has really evolved into a creature of the night type monster thanks to Mannheim’s experimentation.
When Lex and his buddy Otis make their way down to the underground bunker once occupied by Mannheim, they find Inverse Superman literally gorging on rats—and he doesn’t waste time turning Otis into dinner.
What’s Lex’s plan for Inverse Superman? Will he try to coach him into killing Superman?
Other Memorable Moments
- Superhero or mere mortal, parenting teenagers—and all their raging hormones—is hard, and it didn’t go so well for Lois and Clark when Jordan disobeyed them and decided to go public with her alter-ego. He helped his dad stop a tornado, but instead of whizzing away before anyone saw him, he stuck around for a photo-op, proving that he’s absolutely careless about protecting his identity and superpowers. He doesn’t realize the weight of what he’s doing and rather, chasing the clout and trying to stroke his ego, which makes sense considering he’s always been pushed aside by the popular kids. However, I’m with Sarah on this one–he’s letting it get to his head and he’s losing the charm he once had in the process, including the level-headedness. Even his parents are stunned by his behavior and realize they have to rein him in before it’s too late.
- Jordan thinks that he’s so much smarter than everyone, but he failed to realize that the two Smallville encounters will prove that Superboy has a connection to the small town. If Junior put two and two together, it won’t be long before everyone else does. And then what?
- Can no one really see past the goggles? I know, I know, goggles are better than glasses!
- Clark, however, overstepped by going to talk to Kyle about treating Jon differently. He may have noticed his boss’ behavior changed upon learning the truth about his father’s identity, but if he wanted his dad to handle it, he would’ve asked him to. Clark’s decision to head over to the firehouse and ask Kyle to treat Jon like all the other guys simply proved Jon’s point about his father controlling his life. And, naturally, Kyle felt offended and took it out on Jon. Overall, it was messy and would’ve been better if Clark just let Jon handle his own problems. But what will come of it? At this point, it seems like the show doesn’t really know what to do with these two characters.
- The parents of Smallville are all really busy, but they still manage to meddle in their children’s problems all too often. Case and point: Lana telling Jordan’s parents that he was letting the powers get to his head. It further drove a rift between Jordan and Sarah, though, at this point, they really just need space from each other.
- Sarah decided she was over this version of herself, including the one who lied to everyone to keep Jordan’s secret, and she asked her mom to dye her hair, which was a cute bonding moment. I can’t wait to see how she changes it up.
- Lois may be taking on a new villain in her life (an unwelcome distraction), but she’s still very much in the healing process from the cancer as it’s a full-time job. Maybe Lex is the push she needs to get back to her old self and regain the confidence and the fire. She was the Lois Lane when she didn’t even wince when confronting him on her front porch—a very targeted move on his part as he encroached onto her personal territory.
- It’s also nice that amid all the drama and chaos that the series is introducing as it barrels toward a season finale, it isn’t losing sight of Lois’ health journey that’s been so crucial to the plot this season.
What did you think of Lex Luthor’s arrival? Should Superman and Lois be scared? And who do you think his daughter is? How will she play into all of this?
Is ‘Superman & Lois’ New Tonight? What We Know About Season 3 Episode 12
Superman & Lois will not be flying onto The CW tonight, June 13.
Fans looking for new episodes will have to wait a few extra weeks for Superman & Lois Season 3 Episode 12 as the drama announced a brief hiatus following the June 6 episode.
The next episode will air next week on Tuesday, June 20, 2023.
It will also mark the penultimate episode of the season, which means it’s the final episode before the show’s season finale. The previous episode, Superman & Lois Season 3 Episode 11 brought the Bruno Mannheim and Peia storyline to a close before introducing Lex Luthor, so it’s safe to say the series will be staring down DC Comic’s biggest villain to date.
The synopsis for “Injustice” reads: “Lois and Clark clash with Jordan over his carelessness around using his powers in public; after 17 years behind bars, Lex Luthor is set to be released from prison.”
Check out the promo teaser:
Luthor’s addition to the plot is likely the reason why The CW has decided to greenlight a shortened fourth and final season of Superman & Lois, allowing the writers to explore Luthor’s presence in the lives of our superheroes—both with powers and without—and wrap up the storyline without leaving fans hanging.
Superman & Lois Season 4 will return for 10 action-packed episodes.
There’s no bigger showdown than Superman and Lex, and it’s exciting to know that the upcoming episode next week will be the beginning of it and that we’ll be able to see it all the way through to the end, with a fitting and proper conclusion.
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