Superman & Lois S3 Ep 13, “What Kills You Only Makes You Stronger” acts as the finale of season and is almost an anomaly among the other episodes in the best possible way. It’s all about new beginnings and endings in this episode that blew up the internet with a perfect 10/10 reimagining of Superman’s most iconic battle and enemy. There’s also a lot to process with the characters as the seasonal arc does conclude, but fates are left open-ended and the viewer can’t help but think that there must be more to it.
The show drastically changed in tone when Lex Luthor (Michael Cudlitz) was released from prison after nearly 20 years in the previous episode. With a gritty villain’s journey during his time there and a hunger for revenge on everyone who put him in there, no villain in the series thus far has ever been so personal. This episode sees him take revenge on the judge who sentenced him there (Karen Holness) before turning his attention to Smallville and Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch). It took all 13 episodes of the season, but finally, all those post-credits scenes added up to something.
In Smallville, it really is all smiles after all the drama that transpired over the season. It’s been over a month and Lois is healthy and well. Clark (Tyler Hoechlin) wants to take his family on an international trip to Italy, John Henry (Wole Parks) becomes the new tech scientist of the DOD with Sam Lane (Dylan Walsh) and also starts to date Lana (Emmanuelle Chriqui), while Jordan (Alex Garfin) and Sarah (Inde Navarrette) make up and go separate ways. Natalie (Tayler Buck) also remains close with Matteo (Spencer Moore II) as he also joins the DOD. But the biggest development from our Smallville cast is that Kyle (Erik Valdez) and Chrissy (Sofia Hasmik) are together and expecting a baby.
If the third season was ever intended to be the final one, then whether or not these feel like satisfying character conclusions is up to the viewer. For the most part, it seems like a lot of stories are just beginning and several endings are appropriate as we’ve seen the spark between Kyle and Chrissy since the season began, it all seemed like the natural conclusion. The same could also be said for John and Lana. Jon (Michael Bishop) also had a nice arc as he became a firefighter and even reconciles with his football coach from the previous seasons.
The videos online of Lex Luthor’s scenes and the final fight scene are going viral and starting to reach views in the millions. The gray area that was the feud with Bruno Mannheim and Intergang must’ve left viewers hungry for some good ol’ good vs. evil. This Luthor is almost like a Sons of Anarchy villain as he preps a familiar fighter for the ultimate confrontation against the Man of Steel. This is really where the title of the episode poetically comes into play and how it’s done is just ripe with DCEU and DCAMU influence. It’s a sequence that no comic book fan, not just Superman fans, should miss. It looks great too, with Hollywood-tier CGI that stands out from all the previous action scenes.
Season 3 of Superman & Lois has been a fast-paced and sometimes slow ride these last couple of months. The villains vastly outnumbered the heroes this time around and we got to see some really unique re-imaginings, from Onomatopoeia to Atom Man to this episode’s surprise appearance. Even Lex Luthor was a new take on previously seen on the CW. One of the greatest things to come out of the seasons was Lois’ story and struggle. It has all the makings of an iconic comic book limited series for 12 issues that stands for what her character really is.
The final ten minutes just have to be seen even by those who don’t watch the show. The ending feels very similar in tone to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which raises the question of whether they made it expecting they were going to be renewed for another season or if this was the note they wanted to finish on. Some interpretations can be that they wanted to present the story of Superman as it is, a never-ending battle that he will win at the end of the day because of his family and adopted home or they were just commemorating the 30th anniversary of a certain Superman story. Now, with the developing news of the fourth season, it will be interesting to see how they continue now that they are able to.
Superman & Lois is and always will be a renascence for Superman in television. The human interest of Smallville, the comic book action of Superman: The Animated Series, and the science fiction elements of Krypton all come together for a new prominent take on the Man of Steel. Here’s to what was a fun third season and to a good fourth one.
Haven’t watched Superman & Lois S3 Ep 13: What Kills You Only Makes You Stronger yet? You can watch it for free NOW via The CW website.