Tuesday, January 18, 2022

REVIEW: 'Superman & Lois' - Clark Must Trust a Former Foe to Learn What's Causing His Visions in 'The Ties That Bind'

The CW's Superman & Lois - Episode 2.02 "The Ties That Bind"

Clark opens up to Lois about his ongoing struggle with visions and admits that there is only one person who might be able to help. Lana receives some unexpected news. Tensions begin to rise between Lois and Chrissy. Sarah breaks plans with Jordan to spend time with Natalie.

"The Ties That Bind" was written by Kristi Korzec & Michael Narducci and directed by David Ramsey

Mysteries lurk throughout almost every corner of the narrative at the start of the second season. It's not the focal point for every story avenue though. John Henry and Natalie simply want to adjust to this new world. Fantastical things have already happened to them. They want to leave that behind and start over. Of course, that's incredibly unlikely to happen. That's their core desire though. It will take time to adjust and a willingness to be patient. That's difficult too. As such, that fertile storytelling ground doesn't need some added mystery. Moreover, some twists are obvious and would be annoying if the show dragged them out too long. Sure, the audience can question why Lana was the campaign manager for a mayoral candidate instead of running herself from the very beginning. That's a rapid change a week after it was first introduced. It always made more sense for her to be the face of this campaign because she was actually knowledgeable about the issues facing Smallville. That has now become the reality. Lana and Kyle come to that conclusion in separate ways but remain on the same page. Elsewhere, it was clear that something happened at camp that put some distance between Sarah and Jordan. It defined Sarah's entire presence in the story. That meant it was never viable for her to keep it and act like nothing had changed. She comes clean about kissing someone else. It hurts Jordan. That could theoretically make his powers more volatile. But it's also just pure teenage angst where explaining away this apparent betrayal is the most life-altering decision they have to cope with. It allows the show to continue to play things both big and small. These families support each other despite how strange their lives have been for awhile now. They can have regular conversations. They can be the focus of typical family drama. However, they sometimes have to go save the world too. Balancing it all is the priority of the narrative. Big threats loom over the proceedings though. Part of that is the suggestion that Lucy recanting her past story of life in a cult will destroy Lois' credibility as a journalist. Chrissy is more concerned about that than Lois is. And yet, it will become a priority especially when Lois is determined to make a difference in the world. She can have just as much personal impact in Smallville as she did in Metropolis. She has a partnership with Chrissy even though they remain on two different wavelengths this season. Lois is simply more compelled to investigate the mysterious earthquakes that are happening in the mines. That location is the source of so much peril in Smallville. Tal needed to dig up the X-Kryptonite in order to use the Eradicator. And now, a new company has come in saying that they are genuinely protecting the citizens of Smallville from this source of incredible powers. Lois is skeptical. The audience receives confirmation on such as well. But it's more pivotal that Clark's crippling flashes are also connected to the creature that currently dwells in the mines. He goes on his own personal journey of having to rely on Tal in order to gain answers as well as reconnect with his mother, Lara. Of course, that's all wrapped up in the idea that Tal could potentially be redeemed after his master plan was foiled by his brother. His mother still sees the good in him. Clark wants to believe in that prospect too. It's hard and challenging. Tal does almost kill Jordan again though. So any kind of self-reflection on his failings will come over a longer stretch of time. That's especially true given the other priorities for the family and the overall narrative. Again, the audience still doesn't quite know what's going on in regards to this new threat in the mines. The direction chooses to only emphasize the horror trappings of what's coming. It's deadly and unknown. It operates on such a scale that it can afford to be teased out for awhile. It creates uncertainty for the Kent family both personally and professionally. Those threats are real. Forces are threatening to force Superman and Lois out of the spotlight. They may deserve some of that accountability. They still present as the best prepared to actually handle all of these threats though. That too remains a powerful core of the drama's storytelling.