nerd radio

Get ready for the new daily show

TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Superman & Lois Season 3 Episode 9: The Dress

May 24th, 2023 by Todd Black Comments

The CW gets a bad rap for various reasons, many of which are justified. They are known for teen dramas with some of the cheesiest writing you’ll ever see. Just look at Riverdale for proof. Even the Arrowverse and its expanded members haven’t been immune from this curse. But with Superman & Lois, more times than not, they focus on meaningful and believable storylines, relatively speaking, and that helps them come off as not only compelling but something we can be inspired by. Tonight’s episode, “The Dress,” was easily one of the best examples of that and should serve as a benchmark for how not only superhero shows are written but superhero relationships.

The crux of the episode ironically focused on a flashback to “simpler times.” Lois gets nominated for a prestigious reward and Clark convinces her to go to the Gala for the nominees and even buys her a lovely dress for her to stun in. Oh, before I forget, #RIPBaseballCards, you were sold for a good cause!

Anyway, fast forward to the present, and Lois’ cancer treatments are going so well that they’re prepping for the “final steps.” Which in this case meant surgery. At first, that didn’t sound that imposing or intimidating as they didn’t make it sound like a life-threatening one. But as we find out…it is a life-altering one. Because the surgery…would remove Lois’ breasts. For anyone who’s a guy, like myself, this isn’t something we can truly think about or understand the ramifications of. Even Clark was struggling with it due to his Kryptonian makeup. And that’s why I’m so glad they brought in Lana to talk about it when she found out Lois was giving away the dress because she “wasn’t going to wear it anymore.”

Lana knew there was more to this, and the conversation they had was the perfect balance of funny, tragic, and endearing. Many other CW shows would’ve cranked this up to 11 to try and make light of the situation but not here. Props to Bitsie Tulloch for making the audience FEEL what she was going through. About how the loss of her breasts made her feel not being “feminine” anymore, and how she already didn’t feel that way. As well as how they noted she feared what it would do to her relationship with Clark in both the physical and emotional sense. It’s easy to think, “He’s Clark! He wouldn’t care!” but for someone going through that? They need to ask that question.

The transition from Lana’s talk with Lois and then Clark’s talk with her was great as it showed the different levels of fear and pain that Lois was going through. Both Lana and Clark served as beautiful foils for her and everything just felt…believable. Something we don’t always get to say in shows like this. And by the time we got to that ending scene, I can honestly say that this is probably the best version of Lois & Clark we’ve ever seen on screen simply because of all the stuff they’ve gone through in their three seasons on TV.

I honestly could’ve watched the episode JUST be about this and not felt betrayed, given the gravity and wealth of emotions being shown. But there were other things, so let’s get to them.

The fallout from the Manheim attack was the other part of the episode, as things escalated in surprising ways. We saw John Henry go full-on paranoid for justified reasons. We saw Nat trying to figure out where Mateo stood in regard to his family and how much he know. And many of them fought over how to handle Peia and her dying state.

While it was incredibly cheesy for S&L to basically pull a “Romeo & Juliet” on us (and I’m still not happy about that on the whole,) I will admit that they handled the “reunion” as well as could be expected. There was the right amount of shock, choice words, and “I love you’s.” Where it goes from here? Hard to say, but it’s likely to get more explosive, given what else happened.

The only downparts of the episode involved the brothers Kent, again, and a certain reaction to the actions of John Henry. on the brother’s part, it was still dumb for Jonathan to be holding a grudge against Jordan. He saved a life, that should’ve been the top priority. Was he reckless? Yeah, and he has to work on that, which he admitted. But this kind of “rivalry” is kind of betraying certain things and I’m glad it got temporarily squashed.

Furthermore, John Henry killing that villain had a…weird reaction from everyone. Superman’s “you always have a choice” didn’t feel appropriate here for numerous reasons. Not the least is that this guy was beating the crap out of John Henry long before Superman realized he was in danger. Second, and quite frustratingly, Superman was “dealt with” long enough to put Irons in that “kill or be killed” situation. And given all that Manheim had done in that episode alone…it’s not hard to see why he put him down. Plus, he was already dead…so…yeah.

Finally, Manheim continuing to lie to his son is really odd. He’s already been exposed, and it was obvious that he and Peia were doing some REALLY bad things, so why would he care that he JUST found out they killed people? You could argue, “he doesn’t want his son to view him different,” but he already does. And the kid is smart enough to put two and two together.

Even with those small flaws, “The Dress” had numerous moments that made up for it. The writing team is on fire when they focus on the cancer storyline, and I hope we get more heartwarming moments like we did tonight in the future.


Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!