Tuesday, June 1, 2021

REVIEW: 'Superman & Lois' - Lois and Jonathan Struggle With Feeling Powerless as Clark Confronts John in 'Holding the Wrench'

The CW's Superman & Lois - Episode 1.08 "Holding the Wrench"

Clark encourages Lois to reach out for help after noticing her reaching a breaking point. Jonathan finds himself in a dangerous situation. Kyle encourages Sarah to audition for the musical revue at school.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Superman & Lois.

"Holding the Wrench" was written by Kristi Korzec and directed by Norma Bailey

What agency does John Henry Irons have if Superman is no longer his enemy? That's the question left at the conclusion of this episode. The previous one saw him in DOD custody. Clark and Lois discovered that he was the Stranger. He was the grave and immediate threat they had to deal with. And now, he has been caught. As such, he can answer the questions they still have. Plenty of those still exist as well. No one knows how he came to this world from his own. The multiverse is complicated. It's at the core of this story too. He has been defined by the relationships on his Earth. He sees the same patterns playing out on this one. He wants to avoid repeating the same mistakes. He is learning from his past in the hopes of saving the future for a new version of humanity. He saw the devastation that came from a Kryptonian invasion. He sees that inevitability already playing out here. It's baffling for anyone to suggest that Superman could turn against humanity. And yet, the drama continues to reveal just how fluid trust can be. It takes so much to earn it. It can all disappear in a second. Superman does so much good throughout the world. Any misstep could lead to the public turning on him. He already sees General Lane preparing for the worst possible scenario. The Defense Department has developed weapons that can be used against Kryptonians. That is perceived as a grave threat to everything Clark is trying to do. He takes it as an action against the honest bond this family has tried to build together. The family is fragile though. Sam has been alienated because he views his job as the highest priority in life. Meanwhile, Jonathan is looking for his own power. He foolishly believes it can be found in John's RV. That vehicle is armed to eliminate anyone who doesn't have preprogrammed access to the secrets that lie within. It's convenient that Lois can retrieve this information. With Jonathan, he wants to feel protected in the power he has in this world. He remains alienated though. He doesn't have much of a life at school. Jordan is the one flourishing at the moment even though he remains in the friend zone with Sarah. Jonathan almost dies though. That's a terrifying thought for Lois. She can't lose her child. She already suffered a miscarriage. She is still mourning that loss as well. That reveal showcases the many ways in which the two worlds are aligned. Her daughter was destined to be named Natalie. That was important to her. She got to live in John's world. In this one, Lois and Clark were destined to just have two sons. It's still devastating. Lois hasn't put in the work to process and grieve it all either. She sees the benefits of therapy. One session wasn't enough to address her feelings. It's probably not enough now either even though the show uses that sequence to reveal this newfound emotional depth. It connects with the other stories happening at the moment. Lois needs to be honest and vulnerable with her son in order to earn his trust back. That is crucial and vital to her. She needs this family to stay strong. And yet, she is also promising John that he has no reason to fear the Superman on this Earth. His standing in the world will never change. Superman saves John's life as well. They can actually be allies against this brewing conflict with Morgan Edge. That is still being developed too. Meanwhile, Kyle is upset that Lana didn't recommend him for a leadership position. He doesn't handle rejection well and those consequences impact his children. Sarah can no longer tolerate getting her hopes up about him. However, the Kent family wants to be hopeful about John. They believe he can be released into the world without causing any further problems. He takes Lois at her word even though she isn't the woman he married and lost. Jonathan saw the video of the other Earth as well. That too will likely have an impact on his mental health moving forward. But the narrative is building up to John being in an unknown place. He still has meaning and purpose in this story because of the threat he sees coming. It's no longer solely channeled through his rage against Superman. Letting that go can be a massive relief. But the show also has a duty to inform the character in a greater way too. A lot of time has been invested in his story. And now, he is adrift a little bit. He creates chaos. He has served as an antagonist. His story is much more complicated. He is motivated by protecting his family. That means something new now despite how these various relationships are different in a new world.