When an episode title isn’t a play on words or what seems like a random adjective, and instead a direct object that is featured, then you know it’s going to be a doozy of a story that poetically loops around itself with that specific symbol or object in mind. Superman & Lois S3, Ep 9, “The Dress” does just that in a classically wholesome fashion. Meanwhile, the main conflict becomes a huge grey area of morality questioning.
The title refers to Lois’ (Elizabeth Tulloch) search for one in flashbacks during her and Clark’s (Tyler Hoechlin) time at the Daily Planet. She was recently nominated for one of the highest journalism awards and has a gala to attend – pretty typical stuff in the life of Lois Lane. How exactly does this connect with the current narrative concerning her illness and Intergang? Call it a creative interpretation, but the dress she does end up going with can be symbolic of her and Clark’s love, through her highest times and also her lowest. It’s a small, but pleasant tribute to the relationship of Lois and Clark, but this season has found all sorts of creative ways to do so.
This episode is a lot more beyond its title, right out of the events of the previous episode, Jon (Michael Bishop) and Jordan (Alex Garfin) get into a spat. The short version of the drama is that Jordan had recklessly used his powers around Jon’s workplace at the Smallville firehouse and Kyle (Erik Valdez) wasn’t too pleased about the ensuing damage. He also had a suspicion that a super-powered individual that wasn’t Superman is involved. The CW had said that third seasons would explore the real differences between Jon and Jordan and this is really the first time thus far it has been of any significance. Still, it makes for great storytelling and this point continues to show why the creative choice of giving Superman two sons is a unique one.
The real hero, in the sense that he is being tested and had to make hard decisions the most, in this episode, is John Henry Irons (Wole Parks). If he is Superman, then Bruno Mannheim (Chad L. Coleman) is his Lex Luthor. Even in custody for questions, Mannheim still sends his goons after him and Natalie (Tayler Buck), and John Henry has to also worry about Natalie possibly dating Matteo (Spencer Moore II), Mannheims’ son. Irons is really trying to keep people apart as he tries to keep his daughter safe and even keep Mannheim from seeing his now-incapacitated wife, Peia (Daya Vaidya). As rough as he becomes, Irons gets some cool action sequences in this episode.
Lois confides in Lana (Emmanuelle Chriqui) as she reaches a good turning point in her treatment. We also get some moments that have more than likely been in panels of Action Comics or Superman at some point as Lois talks about some of her and Clark’s earliest time together. Her illness has caused her to look at herself a little differently and there’s a point where she doesn’t feel worthy of the titular dress and tries to turn it over to Lana. In stories like this objects like that have that power.
While the rigmarole of the Kent and Lane family continues little by little in this episode, the Irons are the most compelling. What began as a typical story of a father being nervous and overprotective of his daughter branching out has become almost a family feud type of deal with a hint of Romeo and Juliet when it comes to Natalie and Matteo. While Irons is no stranger to having his back against the wall in previous seasons, this is really the first time a situation has his name all over it and it can’t help but be personal. The audience can judge Irons as intensively trying to keep Mannheim in line at the cost of keeping him from Peia while we do know that she and he are kind of pseudo supervillains.
Iron’s character arc intensifies as does the action toward the final minutes of the episode when an old enemy returns on behalf of Mannheim. After which, John Henry Irons may never be the same again. It’s also a wild juxtaposition to Clark and Lois’ more domestic storyline. At this point, they have been using the same before-end credits scene they have been using for the past four episodes. We’ve known about it since the beginning, they need to do something with you know what already.
Superman & Lois s3, ep 9, “The Dress” picks things up, especially with just how personal the ongoing feud with Intergang has become while also owing a lot to the Kent and Irons family in particular. It’s almost like there are two completely different stories, different in tone, that are being told. However, they do connect.
Haven’t watched Superman & Lois S3 Ep 9: The Dress yet? You can watch it for free NOW via The CW website.