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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Superman & Lois Season 3 Episode 2: Uncontrollable Forces

March 22nd, 2023 by Todd Black Comments

One of the things that Superman & Lois made clear from their pilot episode was that things would never be afraid to be mature when the story warranted it. Unlike MANY CW shows, and that includes the Arrowverse at times, where they would do comedy storylines and nonsense “just for the heck of it” or try to feign maturity even though the plot didn’t make sense  as a result (looking at you Cecil). To prove this, tonight’s episode of “Uncontrollable Forces” showed that they weren’t afraid to tackle one of the most mature storylines you can put on television…while also not being afraid to be cringe “for balance.”

Let’s get right to the best part. As predicted last review, Lois is sick. But as we find out at the end, she’s dealing with an aggressive form of cancer. How they handled that was something that many shows could and should take notes on. From the music-filled starting and ending scenes (which were very much reminiscent of Up’s legendary opening), to how Clark reacted to the reveal in both “forms” and how the boys responded when they heard, it was beautiful. What’s more, before making this review, I read an article about the revelation and the team noted that they talked with medical professionals, cancer patients and survivors, etc., to make sure they told the story in the proper and true way.

Now, as I noted in my review last week, they do need to walk a tightrope because we KNOW Losi won’t die since she’s the co-lead of the story. However, because it’s cancer, they can do justice by those who have it and show the various struggles that one has to go through to potentially get rid of it, and the strain that it puts on the family. I look forward to seeing how well this is handled, as after this episode, I have no reason to think they’ll flub this up.

A surprising storyline that emerged from this episode was the one with Lana and John Henry Irons. Lana “witnessing” the death of the former mayor was well done too, and showing the new, terrifying power of Onomonpia. Some may not like that this fan-favorite character got a superpowered update, but in this case, I feel it works because it feels fresh and unique compared to the return of Atom-Man last week. Yes, it was cliche that the villain showed up RIGHT when John and Lana found the flash drive, and naturally, they lost the data, but it wasn’t all cliche. We found out that Onomonopia killed that worlds’ John Henry Irons, and that will lead to some big questions going forward by the villains of the piece.

We also got to see Bruno Manheim in full, and he was…interesting. Yes, they did steal from Lex Luthor a bit (Luthor grew up in the Suicide Slums, not Manheim), but they covered that by using Luthor as a reason for Manheim to become what he did. So that he could help “his part of Metropolis.” And his chat with Superman was interesting because of the debate many would have about Superman “changing things” versus as Manheim put it, “putting out fires.” I hope that wasn’t just for show to “hide” what Manheim is doing with Atom-Man and others.

As for the teens…yeah…

Look, there was always going to be “teen drama” on the show because of the “Super Sons” and their friends, and now we have Natalie to add to that. But in almost a contradiction to the cancer storyline, they went full-tilt in making the teen storyline the most “CW-like” in the worst way.

For example, Sara taking Natalie to a party in Metropolis simply because “the guy she liked on another Earth happened to be there” was asinine in numerous ways. Not the least is that Sara is a smart and rational teen in 90% of the scenes she’s in, and yet this was one of the 10%. They looked at ONE SOCIAL MEDIA PICTURE and decided to drive many hours to a party where they knew no one. And sure enough, the guy the “went to see” wasn’t what Natalie was like…surprise…

Oh, and then Jonathan got Jordan to go to the same party to “get away from Sarah” and then ran into Sara…surprise.

Now, to be clear, not everything at the party was cringe. Sara and Jordan agreeing to be “best friends” for now was good, and I hope they keep walking that line. Nat meeting Mateo and hearing how he liked the “Mystery Girl” that he saw for one day was actually a clever tie-in to Season 2. But everything else…not so much. Such as Jordan meeting his old girlfriend and her being mad that he “didn’t come to see her” and WILLINGLY being fine with him cheating on his girlfriend in Smallville so that they could “be together again” was so dumb. As was the, “we were never just friends” line. Given how the Super Sons were raised? I would be willing to bet that they befriended the girls they eventually dated. As proven by their current/former girlfriends in Smallville. And I was happy that Jordan walked away, but the scene shouldn’t have happened because it harps on the very CW trope (and TV trope in general) that a “boy and a girl can’t just be friends without dating or wanting to sleep with one another.”

Also, the beer pong scene and Jordan freezing the car afterward was just…off.

Hopefully they got such scenes out of their system for Season 3 because they have bigger fish to fry and storylines to do. It was those stronger storylines that carried this episode, and saved it from a lower score.


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!