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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Superman & Lois Season 2 Episode 1: What Lies Beneath

January 12th, 2022 by Todd Black Comments

Yes, I know, this is the S1 poster, we’ll have the other one up next week! Besides, this is a good poster!

Anyway, I really liked Superman & Lois Season 1. It took parts of the Arrowverse, Snyderverse, and added in some key comic elements (while also adding in some fresh content) to make it feel something truly special. It wasn’t flawless, especially near the end, but it focused on the family and it shined as a result.

…which is why it honestly why it hurts so much that this S2 premiere fell really flat for me. And I mean REALLY flat. If it wasn’t for some massive clean-up at the end…I might have given it a 1-star review, which is not something I’d EVER have thought I’d say for this show given how good it was in S1.

As I had feared based on the first trailer for the show, the arrival of Natalie from Jon Henry Irons other Earth shook up Lois pretty bad, and that led to serious conflict between her and Clark. In theory, this should’ve been fine, but instead, they did some very CW things that didn’t add up at all.

First, they did the “three months later” and noted multiple times that Lois was acting this way for this long, and hadn’t talked to Clark about it. If you recall, one of the episodes from last year that I didnt’ like was when Lois had a very cheap blow-up at Clark despite knowing (and then admitting) that it wasn’t his fault. And yet, despite all they’ve been through, and the years they’ve spent together…she chose to snap at him at every point instead of just letting him in to help, or at least to talk.

Then, when it came to her admittance as to WHY she was doing what she was doing…it made no sense. As well as featured lore that we had never heard of before (at least to my knowledge it wasn’t mentioned in regards to Lois’ mother) and we were supposed to believe that she felt like her mother because of how she didn’t react to a girl that wasn’t her child? Huh? She didn’t react this badly to when John revealed that they were a couple, and yet this triggers her?

Which brings us to Natalie, who not only came off horribly in her true debut, but she came off as the most bratty teenager ever, even for the CW! Not the least of which was basically ignoring her father (and even calling him “Henry”, really?) and saying that she wished she had died…instead of…you know…BEING BACK WITH HER DAD!?!?! Which if you recall, was all that he and she wanted, to free their world and be together. But because her “not mom” has a “perfect family” suddenly her dad isn’t good enough for her? What?

And thank goodness for Lois admitting that she would never try and replace her mother, because that would’ve been weird on multiple levels. But again, why did it take three months to get to this point? Just as important, why did John think that the best thing for his daughter was to take her to the place where she had the most memories that weren’t hers? He couldn’t even talk to his “sister” last season if you recall, and he expected his daughter, who hadn’t been on Earth as long as him, to do better? That’s not a good parenting job there, John.

Then…naturally, there was the CW-verse way of handling relationships. Jordan and Sara ended last year on a high-note, and then Sara goes away for a 1-month camp and suddenly…she has adverse feelings about being with Jordan? Something tells me she fell for someone at camp, which is already bad, but then her scenes with Jordan were cringe in a variety of ways. Especially given all Jordan and her went through last season in terms of helping each other out of their shells.

Oh, and Jonathan getting with that girl…at 15? Really? That’s where they decided to go with this? We get it, there are plenty of teens who make that action (and usually regret it later) but seriously? That also reflects on bad parenting and I would like to think that Jordan would’ve been smarter than that.

Adding to the woes (yep, still not done), is the newly arrived Lt. Anderson. Who is very much symbolic of an “America first” person that we are seeing all too much of recently. And yes, I acknowledge that there are people who act EXACTLY like him…and yet…he came off as not just cartoony, but whiny. “I don’t know you at all”, you think? You don’t even know his life, and you think you “know him”?

What’s more, how he handled Superman was just stupid. All but telling him that he NEEDED to put America first even though (as shown many times last season) he’s shown that he saves EVERYONE is proof that he doesn’t even care about Superman despite his claims, just that he wants to use him as a tool. And even the way he talked was weird, because he talked like a child. Very high-pitched and like he was about to break down emotionally because Superman didn’t give him what he wanted.

Then when the “American Supermen” showed up, that was when I basically had my last straw moment because yes, we did learn about the “special school” last season, but for them to randomly show up now? And wear the crest (that literally one interview could prove they’re not affiliated with Superman) as if they were actually Superman? That’s dumb even for comic-book logic. Lex Luthor did it because he wanted to show he was BETTER than Superman and that he could be the true symbol of the people. This guy is doing it (by his own admission) because of branding. Wow.

Ok…that’s about 1000 words of bashing. Sorry about that. So what WAS good about this episode?

Well, not surprisingly, when they actually acted like the characters we know them to be! Such as when Clark had that, “are you kidding me Jonathan?” moment when Jon’s girlfriend just repeated what he said but he believed her and not his own dad. Or, when Clark gave “the talk” in a way that was perfectly Clark Kent (and a message that sadly a lot of young people need to hear this day and age).

Add to that, Lana and Clark’s talk about their friction with their spouses (I didn’t mention Kyle’s bad storyline because I’m just too tired, lol) was perfect. I love how they’re still highlighting this long-time friendship and that they’re comfortable enough with each other to talk to one another like this.

And yes, that ending with Lois and Natalie was nice after it started off badly, and having John and Natalie be in Smallville feels like the right move.

Having something “breaking out from under Smallville”? Not so much, but we’ll see how it goes.

In the end, “What Lies Beneath” felt like the most CW episode of a show that honestly has done its best so far to NOT be a CW show. The characters didn’t act like themselves for the most part, or ignored past growth (Kyle…are you hearing me Kyle?!?!), the new characters didn’t add anything, and the plot at the whole felt rushed just to help build up to what might come next.

I’m really hoping things grow from here in the best way, because this series is too good to crash and burn.



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!