I was mistaken last week, Superman & Lois S2 Ep 9 is here and the series isn’t quite over yet. 30 Days And 30 Nights wasn’t the finale and thank goodness for that because Clark only has a minute of screen time.
We can expect the conclusion of season two at the end of this month. But for now, we are treated to a classic world-without-Superman story this week with 30 Days And 30 Nights.
After following Ally (Rya Kihlstedt) through the interdimensional rift in the mines to the inverse world, Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) is not seen for the next month. Judging by the episode’s title, it was one of the 12 with 30 days. From there, you have its structure – what is the world like without Superman? The episode uses this opportunity to bring the stories of Smallville to their climactic point. It’s not a question of can everyone handle themselves without Superman as denizens of the Arrowverse are versatile at this point. Everyone maintains hope that he will return, so it’s by no means bleak. After all, Superman goes on lengthy off-world missions all the time.
At long last, the Smallville mayoral election comes to its conclusion. Lana (Emmanuelle Chriqui) and her kids host an election day community party as the votes are counted and the results are announced by the end of the episode. You’ll have to see if Lana’s family values approach paid off. However, it was a bit hypocritical of her to exclude Kyle (Erik Valdez) from the event. While it wouldn’t be a good public relations move, granted, the way she told Sarah (Inde Navarrette) how Kyle made his decision and not every he does is their concern is contradictory to her campaign message of Smallville as a family unit. The episode seems to acknowledge this with a small reflective shot of Sarah.
Sarah also has her own things going on with Jordan (Alex Garfin) as their relationship comes to a crossroads. Jordan is unable to fully attend the event because he is helping Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) and Sam (Dylan Walsh) tackle an X-K operation, which is the main conflict to keep us entertained with action. Jon (Jordan Elsass) also helps his family out with Candice (Samantha Di Francesco) acting as their informant. It does help lessen his mom’s anger that he was looking out for someone he cared about and wasn’t truly selling. Poor Jon has also been the town pariah for losing the school’s football season. You know a town is small when high school football is one of the main sports events they have to offer.
The Kents aren’t torn up about Clark’s absence in the meantime and are more than enough to tackle the X-K problem by themselves. This isn’t Lois’ first rodeo, Sam knows he will return, and Jon is hopeful that he can make amends with his dad since he left upset with him. Jordan is also the only character to express any sort of doubt or cynicism about Clark coming back, at one point referring to himself as the one with the superpowers. Chill, Homelander.
Speaking of Homelander, Steel (Wole Parks) sure makes him look dumb when he saves that plane suffering an engine failure. See, the trick is to use the air static, essentially becoming part of the aircraft and not an outside force acting on it. In true Reign of the Supermen fashion, John Henry fills in for Clark. He’s anything but a rookie hero but getting caught up playing Superman causes him to forget about his wife and Natalie’s (Tayler Buck) mom’s death anniversary. It still weighs heavy on her, and she scolds her dad for seemingly forgetting her.
What’s to like and not to like about this episode before the CW leaves us on the edge of our seats for a whole four weeks? Superman’s absence in 30 Days And 30 Nights isn’t designed to test the characters but to allow them to progress in their respective season arcs. When a whole episode is dedicated to them without the main hero and villain, you can expect a lot of progress. Jordan gets some super-heroics in as we possibly witness the early exploits of the Arrowverse’s very own Superboy. He still has a really long way to go even though his powers have long been established in the series.
The mystery of where all the X-K is coming from also thickens. Nothing is revealed yet, but every major drug operation has a benefactor. The next step in the X-K case would be determining who that is. We have no clues yet, so let the fan theories come rolling in. Is Lex Luthor back to his old tricks? Is Stagg Industries in Gotham at it again? Maybe I’m thinking too hard. It could be someone in Smallville, maybe even someone who we’ve already seen on screen. The X-K arc of this episode is like a movie in which you’d expect there to be a post-credits scene but isn’t. That can be a good thing as it keeps you guessing and can keep the story’s direction ambitious.
What is also ambitious, perhaps too ambitious, is the message of John Henry and Natalie’s vignette here. Is it to remember to mourn? Don’t move on too quickly? John Henry’s brief memory loss proved to not be a major issue so there’s no urgency to make him remember his wife. Natalie did see him and Lana hitting it off (another nod to the comics) and that, along with him not noticing she tried her mom’s waffle recipe really set her off. John Henry brings up the point of moving on and ultimately being happy for the life she lived, but Natalie seems to dismiss it. I remember the flashbacks of Natalie in space looking for her dad and felt they could go back to whatever story was being told there. They could expand and tie in more on Natalie’s past with her parents so some moments don’t come across as unclear fodder for some viewers.
Superman & Lois S2 Ep 9 shows that Smallville is still hopeful even without Superman. It’s episodes like these that remind us how strong the Arrowverse cast is in terms of character showing that the suit and cape don’t always need to be center stage. After the four-week break, it looks like Bizarro World comes full circle next episode judging by the title.
Haven’t watched Superman & Lois S2 Ep 9: 30 Days And 30 Nights yet? You can watch it for free NOW via The CW website.