Tuesday, January 11, 2022

REVIEW: 'Superman & Lois' - Clark and Lois Clash While Dealing With a New Complication to Their Family in 'What Lies Beneath'

The CW's Superman & Lois - Episode 2.01 "What Lies Beneath"

With the dust still settling in Smallville following the confrontation between Tal-Rho and Superman, Lois and Clark struggle as a couple while Chrissy adjusts to running The Smallville Gazette with Lois. Jonathan faces new challenges on the football field, and secrets threaten to destroy Jordan and Sarah's growing relationship. Kyle grows concerned over Lana's involvement with a new mayoral candidate. John Henry Irons and his daughter Natalie attempt to make this new Earth their home.

"What Lies Beneath" was written by Brent Fletcher & Todd Helbing and directed by Gregory Smith

Lois lost a daughter named Natalie during a miscarriage. Natalie lost a mother during a massive assault on her planet. The two of them can't immediately slide into those roles for each other though. They can't satisfy what these relationships were or are expected to be. They don't know each other. And yet, so much is projected onto the bond that they should have. It's difficult for Natalie to adjust to her new circumstances. So much is familiar to her. None of it is the same though. She believes her mother has this perfect life with a new family. They are the heroes saving the day. Natalie is brilliant. She found a way to this universe as well. She is glad to have her father back. But everything is different too. Everyone knows that tensions exists within Lois and Natalie because of this distant relationship. They know nothing should be expected of them. And yet, they feel compelled to offer something of support. The entire Kent family came to rely on John Henry during the fight against Morgan Edge. Superman is celebrated amongst Smallville now as a local hero. He saved this place. The family dynamics made him strong enough to prevail. And yet, so much can change on a deeply personal level. Everyone assumes that Clark and Lois have the perfect relationship. It isn't always easy. Clark knows what's wrong but it's annoying whenever he mentions Natalie. Lois has to cope with how this emptiness terrifies her. She mourned the loss of a child. That was personally devastating to her. And now, she is opening her home to someone who needs love and support at this perilous moment. Nothing is fundamentally easy. In fact, the world isn't even safe from danger for very long. By the end of this premiere, a new threat is already starting to emerge that Superman will have to face. In doing so, the entire town will be placed in peril once more. Of course, that is put on equal footing with the mayoral race Lana is working on as well as the various romances amongst the teens. It's just as dramatic when Lois walks in on Jonathan and his new girlfriend when they are home alone. In that moment, she is terrified and immediately fears the worse. She needs her family to better communicate with her. It's a lot of pressure and demands. She is pushing that on everyone in her world. Everyone can feel it too. They know she's off. They comment on it constantly. They know the solution too. It takes her developing the conviction to actually express it with her loved ones and actually confront it. They support her every step of the way too. It's awkward in several moments. It's all done to benefit this family in the long term. And again, that will be necessary given the threats to the family unit. Clark sees himself as a savior for the entire world. He can warn his family when an earthquake is coming. However, he leaves to save a failing submarine too. He is devoted to saving as many lives as he can no matter where they are. Government officials would like him to be aware of the politics and only serve certain agendas. That propaganda is already being driven into the minds of the next generation of heroes. Clark is horrified by seeing his image used as an American recruitment tool. He stands by his morals. He wants others to respect that. He inspires others to act. That is dangerous so many times. The threats continue in Smallville. It can be hopeful as well. The past doesn't always have to be marred by some bad memories associated with places or events. That doesn't ensure no consequences though. Those must be navigated too no matter how noble Superman wants to be with his overall objectives. He still faces off with people who want to employ him within their own quests for power and security in this world. He still holds firm to his convictions. He has ownership over his image as well. That can't be taken away from him. But the world doesn't know the significance of the symbol on his chest. To them, it's just the visual clue of heroism. It can inherently be trusted. Superman has put in that work. Others are now trying to benefit from that. Clark has had some tolerance for the American government in the past. That partnership may only continue to fray now that General Lane no longer serves in the role that is fully aware of who Superman is and the family that means so much to him. That creates a lot of excitement and tension for the new season. It's easily understood and seamless while still being just as dramatic and focused on the dynamics within the family.