Tuesday, January 25, 2022

REVIEW: 'Superman & Lois' - Clark's Visions Begin to Alter His Behavior Towards Jonathan and Jordan in 'The Thing in the Mines'

The CW's Superman & Lois - Episode 2.03 "The Thing in the Mines"

Lois reaches out to Ret. General Lane as Clark's visions become worse during heated arguments with both Jonathan and Jordan. Lana shares her frustrations with Kyle. Natalie learns that her father didn't follow through on a promise he made to her.

"The Thing in the Mines" was written by Katie Aldrin & Juliana James and directed by Gregory Smith

Clark and Lois are always worried about the decisions they make parenting Jonathan and Jordan. They worry if they were the right actions. It's a huge responsibility they have. One that has defined their lives for a long time. And yet, that constant worry is still present. They know just how influential these family dynamics can be. Lois is strong and insists that she turned out okay even though her father was devoted to his work and her mother abandoned the family. Clark was taken in by a loving couple who set out a strong path of moral conviction for him. He was trained by his Kryptonian father to have reverence for his powers and the people on the planet he currently lives on. It all seemed so easy when it came to those parenting decisions. They are so sure of themselves as individuals. And yet, they can never think selfishly. They have others to consider. That's true whenever Clark's powers freak out. General Lane always views that as a national security crisis. It's a problem that the government needs to be aware of because it could endanger the loves of countless innocent civilians. Clark and Lois always view it as a family issue. One that they must address together. No one knows what is happening with Clark's visions. They desperately want to find answers. It's all connected to the mines. This episode does reveal what lurks down there as well. It's a bizarro version of Superman! That's a huge reveal by the conclusion of this episode. This drama has already depicted the volatile nature of the Superman identity. And now, that's only going to grow more complicated this season. Part of it is an extension of Clark's identity as one of the last surviving sons of Krypton. He landed in a loving and nurturing place. Tal-Rho didn't have that same luxury. He was put on a path that only promised destruction. Clark uses his powers for good. He has given himself to the world. He will protect everyone no matter where the danger is. That's in contrast to the Superman from John Henry and Natalie's world. He sought to destroy the planet and subjugate its people. It was a nightmare that only two were capable of escaping. This identity could be corrupted or shaped in any way. That applies to the new addition to this world. It reflects in Clark as well. He lashes out at Jonathan and Jordan in ways he has never done before. It was vital for him to keep his secret identity from them. He also saw the value in raising them with kindness and respect. And now, he grows irritable and angry when Jordan wants to tell Sarah his secret and Jonathan gets into a fight at football practice. It's out of character for him. It's an extension of the emotions he is connected with from the entity in the mines. When Bizarro Superman emerges though, a fight breaks out with Superman. They are put on opposite sides of conflict. That's the expected trope of this story. One is good and the other is evil. But it's also a showcase of how Clark was shaped by the people around him and how terrifying it would be to be trapped in a situation others are seeking to exploit. The same is true of the children exposed to X-Kryptonite being recruited as soldiers for the American government. People profess the patriotism on display. It's still appropriating an image and contorting it to a different cause. One that doesn't have the understanding and respect that Clark was brought up with and he hopes his sons will follow as well. These fears aren't unique to Clark and Lois though. Every parent dreads that they aren't good enough and their children will fail because of what they did. General Lane is still grappling with how much he abandoned his daughters when they needed his strength. That too created a reality where Lucy could become enthralled by a cult. Clark and Lois aren't perfect either. They know how to have sensible and mature conversations with their children. Jonathan and Jordan are still teenagers lashing out and learning how far they can get with their behavior. Jordan accepts his father's deal about how to handle his secret with Sarah. Meanwhile, Jonathan operates under the belief that a person needs to have powers in order to be special. That too is setting him off on a dangerous path. It may be more specific to this family but it can also be understood by families who struggle with the temptations of addiction throughout the world. All of these ideas are setting up a compelling season. One that can produce shocking twists on the superhero level. But one that is also just as engaged in the scope of how this impacts the Kent family as well as the citizens of Smallville at large.