Tuesday, March 8, 2022

REVIEW: 'Superman & Lois' - The Government Turns Against Superman as Anderson Believes He's Been Lied To in 'Anti-Hero'

The CW's Superman & Lois - Episode 2.07 "Anti-Hero"

Superman pleads with Lt. Anderson to investigate Ally Allston. Lois receives some very upsetting news. Lois helps Lana prepare to fight the good fight. Jordan is still irritated with Jonathan for lying to him.

"Anti-Hero" was written by Max Cunningham & Michael Narducci and directed by Elizabeth Henstridge

Anderson assumed he would operate with so much power in his new position. No one would question his authority. Superman does exactly that. He did that even when his own father-in-law was in charge of this unit within the Department of Defense. Of course, most people aren't aware of that personal connection. Instead, Anderson projects all his failings onto Superman. This one person is responsible for Anderson not being able to succeed in this job. As such, Superman must be wrapped up in some big conspiracy that must be exposed. That way Anderson can be celebrated as the hero he so clearly is. He's absolutely delusional. He wields so much power though. He can arrest Superman for treason. It makes no sense to Lois and Sam. They can't do anything to save Clark. He is locked up alongside his brother. Tal-Rho delights in the shocking turn of fates. He isn't suddenly seen as a hero. He still has public disdain for humanity. He simply enjoys Superman being knocked down. He's not as perfect as he claims to be. He isn't deserving of that total support. Clark knows a much bigger threat is coming. He knows Ally Allston is the true threat. She seeks out the pendant that can gift her even more power. Anderson has it. And so, he believes it's a way to further cement Superman's shifting loyalties. He only wants to see a conspiracy. The world has been blinded by Superman for far too long. He isn't sufficiently loyal. He must be put in his place. It's the government's job to force him into submission. Anderson can do whatever he wants because the world is in such unchartered waters. The Kryptonians require special confinement. Their powers must be dampened. That doesn't give him the right to torture and kill. He embraces both of those tactics. He becomes the monster. He's shouldn't be anywhere close to these power structures. Of course, the show is rather cryptic about how much his superiors know about what's going on. It seems like he got their approval for arresting Superman. After a certain point, he simply goes rogue. Superman can then use that to get back in the good graces of the American government. He keeps his brother locked up in the same prison after all. Anderson becomes a fugitive. He kills the Superman who wiped out his team of loyal soldiers. He got that revenge and is now hunted for it. He ultimately gets Ally exactly what she wants. He's so blinded by the fact that he must be a hero that he doesn't see the danger he has brought onto the world.

Clark is so preoccupied with clearing his name that he can't be there for his family during their own turmoil. He heals Tal-Rho. His brother was struck with Kryptonite bullets. He requires a huge blast of sunlight to survive. Bizarro Superman dies. Clark could only do so much. He chose which life to save. Both reflect a reality that easily could have been his if other choices were made. He can't linger on those uncertainties. He has to focus on the moment. That's where the threats are most dire. His family is in danger. So much of that tension comes from grounded drama. Jonathan is caught at school with a bag of X-Kryptonite. He takes the fall for Candice. He refuses to name her as the one selling the drugs. He won't do that even though his family is livid over why. Upon listening to him, they understand his impulse to be great and believing this is the only way to achieve that. The opportunity presented itself. He succumbed to the temptation. His parents thought he was better than this. However, this was a huge test of his character. It's been a devastating disappointment. One that doesn't have to ruin his life. It's still a massive test that will serve as a turning point for him. He will be shaped by this experience. Everyone fears how transformative their personal lives seem to be at the moment. The Cushing household is just as distraught after the revelation of Kyle's affair. They don't know how to go on. The two central families can often rely on each other to get through their tough times. Those relationships are built on trust. They know they can always have a sympathetic voice to offer support. It's also telling who they confide in. Sarah doesn't go to Jordan for solace on her uncertain feelings about her dad. Instead, she embraces her camp crush. She offers the advice to figure it out through talking. If she wants to see him, that should be her choice. She does. Meanwhile, Lois inspires Lana to believe in herself as a mother. Her family's troubles shouldn't be used to slander her in the mayoral campaign. She would be a great defender of the citizens of this town in that office. People rally behind her for a reason. Mayor Dean can't say this town is a family while simultaneously attacking one of its longtime citizens because she's his opponent. That makes him a hypocrite willing to do whatever it takes to win. Lana calls him out for that. She earns support for that move too. These characters grow because they know they don't always have all the answers. With the big threats that target this world, Superman and his allies often believe they have to act in absolutes. They must be certain. It can't always be as simple as that. They too need support as they embark on this heroic path no matter what happens along the way.