Superman & Lois S3 Ep 2, ‘Uncontrollable Force’ is a powerful and emotionally charged episode. Written by Katie Aldrin and directed by Elizabeth Henstridge, the super heroics take a bit of a back seat in lieu of some well placed character developments.
Lois’s opening sequence expertly sets the tone and Elizabeth “Bitsie” Tulloch really shows off her acting skills by staying silent during the entire montage. Although it’s not confirmed what is going on with her until later in the episode, Tulloch’s performance gives us everything we need to piece it together. She then plays Lois a little “off” for most of the episode raising suspicion from both Clark and Chrissy until events force her to reveal her devastating news in front of Superman. One of the best things about this show is the chemistry between Bitsie Tulloch & Tyler Hoechlin’s Lois & Clark and this episode spotlights it well. Hoechlin’s final scene is truly heartbreaking as we see Superman realise how powerless he is against this new development.
Speaking of Tyler Hoechlin’s performance, it’s nice to be seeing Clark Kent in a reporter role. Clark’s eagerness to be working in the field he knows really comes through and makes his farm boy awkwardness believable. We see little of him as Superman this episode, but his exposition scenes with Bruno Mannheim paints Chad L. Coleman’s portrayal in a new light. This isn’t the half-witted human gangster liaison/pawn of Darkseid (whether or not he’s still affiliated with Darkseid is yet to be determined), but instead he’s someone who believes their actions justify the means. A hero of the downtrodden people. Someone who has little patience or time for Superman, and definitely isn’t afraid of him. Though he is associated with the mysterious villain of the season, it’ll be interesting to see his motivations play out.
The four main teenaged characters have a real bonding moment this episode. This was a welcomed sight as they struggled to find solidarity with each other last season. Nat (Tayler Buck), Sarah (Inde Navarrette), Jonathan (Michael Bishop), and Jordan (Alex Garfin) come together as friends when they crash a party in Metropolis and cause a bit of mischief. Michael Bishop really owns his take on Jonathan Kent which lessens the sting of recasting Jordan Elsass in the role.
Possibly taking cues from the comics, Emmanuelle Chiriqui’s Lana Lang and Wole Parks’s John Henry Irons share quite a bit of screentime. John Henry and Lana were a couple during her short lived Superwoman series and it’s been revealed they’ll be rekindling that relationship in the upcoming Steelworks book. Although no overtly romantic gestures have been shared between the Superman & Lois versions of the characters, it’s nice to see them connecting.
One of the more surprising character directions is that of Erik Valdez’s Kyle Cushing and Sofia Hasmik’s Chrissy Beppo. Last episode’s moment of mutual solace has definitely left an impression on both of them and begs the question if their flirtations will become something more meaningful. Regardless, it’s nice to see these characters are still active and important players in the show, and I’m sure their actions will have dramatic consequences later on.
All this and we get three more appearances of the mysterious masked villain. Who they are, who they truly work for, and what they’re trying to keep covered-up is still building, but we know it deals with more than the goings on of Metropolis. One thing’s for sure, the writers of Superman & Lois have always played with the source material in new and unexpected ways and the reveal of this character will no doubt be a surprise.
Star rating: ★★★★☆/★★★★★
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