REVIEW: Superman & Lois S1 Ep 8: Holding The Wrench

Superman & Lois Ep 8 is finally here and after an amazing reveal and battle last week, it seemed Superman & Lois would be hard pressed to top themselves. But hey, they did it. This weeks episode dispenses with the shock and awe and instead delivers some incredible emotional blows that will land dead center in your feels.

With John Henry Irons in custody, it’s up to Superman and General Lane to interrogate him, while Lois and Jonathan look for answers in his RV of doom. Meanwhile, Jordan helps Sarah with a talent show at school after her father let’s her down.

Superman & Lois Ep 8 Review | The Aspiring Kryptonian
Photo Credit: The CW

Before we get any further into the review, please note there will be spoilers ahead.

Let’s start with the talent show, since it’s the least interesting part of this episode. And that’s saying something because it’s still very interesting! Like I’ve said before, the Lang family, and Sarah in particular, have provided some compelling, real, emotional, and grounded storytelling, with this episode being no exception.

We again see Sarah’s strained relationship with her father, as he tries to be there for her only to let her down again. While Jordan actually comes through in this episode as a nice guy with some truly kind and sweet moments. Let’s hope that streak continues.

Added stress is put on Lana’s relationship with Kyle as well, via the manipulations of Morgan Edge’s evil assistant Laura Lawson. Can I say, I love that they went with another double L name for this new character? Classic. I also love how lame Smallville is in this show, I really do. The talent show scene really showcases this, and I think it’s a much more realistic depiction of a (dying) small town than we saw in the Smallville show, where the town seemed very alive, vibrant, hip, and bustling.

Superman & Lois Ep 8 Review | The Aspiring Kryptonian
Photo Credit: The CW

Superman & Lois Ep 8 starts out with Superman and family fixing the giant dent in Clark’s truck left by ramming John Henry’s hammer. I really enjoyed this, because it shows Superman slowly pushing the metal to fix the dent. I love seeing them show his powers in small (and more importantly, never before seen) ways, like they did on Supergirl having her pull things out of the oven without mitts when baking.

Superman then arrives at the DOD to question John Henry Irons, and they have a heated conversation where Irons finally reveals that he was married to the Lois Lane of his Earth, and that Superman turned evil and killed her. Seeing the reactions of those listening in was really great to see, the changes in their faces when it comes to disbelief was incredibly done. Unlike the other CW shows, Superman & Lois continues to be far from formulaic and this episode’s emotional beats and pacing reinforce that. General Lane also gets a turn to interrogate Irons, and surprisingly (to me and others who know General Lane from the comics), passionately stands up for Superman’s integrity against Iron’s insistence that he can’t be trusted.

Lastly, we’ll touch on the emotional centerpiece of this story, who is Lois Lane. The entire episode is framed by a scene of Lois in a therapy session, with most of the other scenes in the episode taking place in a flashback. We come to learn that Lois and Jonathan find out for themselves the identity of John Henry’s wife, by viewing video archives in his RV. Lois is particularly affected by seeing that John Henry and the other Lois had a daughter named Natalie (not Natasha, like we previously assumed). Later, after his mother tells him not to, Jonathan decides to investigate the RV further on his own, where he not only witnesses a disturbing video of his dad killing his mom on the other Earth, but gets himself trapped and nearly killed as the RV’s defence systems kick in. 

Superman & Lois Ep 8 Review | The Aspiring Kryptonian
Photo Credit: The CW

Superman arrives in time to save him in an epic slow motion scene and after Lois’ initial relief that her son is alive, she LOSES it, and tears into Jonathan like never before. This, her powerful and intentionally hurtful words to her own son, is what leads her to her one time therapist.

In the therapy session we learn that Lois and Clark’s first child, a girl named Natalie, was a miscarriage. Her unresolved grief over Natalie (freshly dug up by the John Henry investigation), and the experience of nearly losing another child that day, prove to be the catalyst for some very real, raw, and heart wrenching moments in this episode. Bitsie Tulloch brings it all the way home, showing off just how great an actress she is, with an amazing emotional performance, in not one, but two separate scenes, acting across from two separate co-stars. Any reservations I had about her in the role of Lois are melting away, she genuinely continues to impress.

In the end, Superman & Lois come together to foil an attempted breakout by Irons, who at last, relinquishes enough of his bitterness and resentment to give this Superman a chance. This is another tense and emotional scene, which I absolutely adored.

I’ll end this review on a personal note. As a man who has received ongoing therapy, the like of which was featured in this episode, I have to say that the depiction was very realistic and very positive. I’m always grateful when television or film presents such therapy in a positive light, continuing to remove the stigma from professional psychological help. The depiction in this show being particularly moving, reminded me of just how greatly seeing a therapist (in addition to my faith) impacted my life for the better. I’d like to encourage anyone reading this to give seeing a psychologist a try if you feel depressed, anxious, or have some baggage you’ve never fully worked through. Sometimes just talking about things out loud makes all the difference. If you have questions, I’d be willing to talk with you about it personally if you want to contact me directly.

Superman & Lois Ep 8 continues the shows seemingly impossible streak of each new episode being better than the last! With some truly powerful and emotional moments, combined with amazing superhero action, and the continued excellence of storytelling, this episode is one to be remembered.

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