Superman and Lois, starring Tyler Hoechlin and Bitsie Tulloch as Clark Kent and Lois Lane, finds the super couple in the midst of several super-sized life changes, particularly when it comes to their 14-year-old twins.
Superman and Lois, premiering February 23 on The CW with a special two-hour event, is not what I expected, yet quite delightful. There were some issues (more on that below), but overall, I’m happy with this pilot and quite excited to see where the story goes. Anyone could tell you that I’ve been waiting for Tyler Hoechlin’s Clark Kent to get his own spin-off for years now, and I’m happy to see this dream fulfilled.
Below, I’ve put together a few teases about what’s to come on this super-sized episode, as well as my (mostly) spoiler-free review.
‘Superman and Lois’ premiere screener secrets
Clark and Lois
When the Superman and Lois premiere picks up, things are changing. There are changes at the Daily Planet, for the twins (Jon and Jordan), and especially in Smallville.
The couple is presented with an opportunity to change their lives, particularly the pace of their lives, and it’s tempting — more so for Clark than for Lois. Though Lois is surprisingly content with following Clark’s lead (in this case), perhaps partially because she’s sniffing out a mystery that piques her interest.
In short, Clark and Lois have a lot of adapting to do, which is essentially the biggest plot of this premiere episode.
The twins’ potential powers
One of the biggest conflicts between Clark and Lois is whether to tell their children that Clark is Superman, and, in turn, whether to tell them that they may have alien powers. The Superman and Lois premiere dives into this issue, exploring the many reasons that Jon and Jordan have been kept out of the loop (and there are many).
Above all, it comes down to safety, like we’ve seen so many times before. But, as the trailer for the episode reveals, this secret is not one that is long-standing on this show. But the question remains: Do one or both of the twins have powers?
Well, the boys get themselves into a couple of dangerous scenarios that may put this theory to the test.
The supporting characters of ‘Superman and Lois’
Though the Superman and Lois premiere is particularly focused on introducing and developing the Kent household (so much exposition), we get our first glimpse at several of the characters that will be joining us on this journey.
My favorite, so far, is Lana Lang, who comes across as one of the sweetest women you could ever meet. Though she’s currently in her strained relationship with her husband, she remains cheerful. There’s even a glimpse that Lana and Lois may develop a friendship, which is especially exciting.
Kyle Cushing is your simple conservative, small town, peaked-in-high-school man. He’s haunted by the things he has seen while working for Smallville’s fire department. He’s a drinker, often alienating his wife and children. He thinks he knows what’s best for Smallville all by himself, so I expect plenty of clashes between Kyle and Lois.
Lana and Kyle’s daughter, Sarah Cushing, gets more time on-screen than her parents (combined). She’s a lot more complex than you’d expect, relating to Jordan’s mental health struggles after her own experiences. There’s also the fact that one of the twins has his eye on her. So what’s he willing to do to get her attention?
As for other characters that have been revealed to be joining the show, don’t expect much. Some aren’t around, while others play a bit part. This is very much an episode dedicated to the family.
This is not ‘Supergirl’s’ Clark Kent
As I said before, the Superman and Lois series premiere is not at all what I was expecting. This roughly 80-minute episode feels more like a film than episodic television, which enhances the experience quite a bit.
This feels like a fresh start with familiar faces. Yes, Tyler Hoechlin and Bitsie Tulloch are reprising their roles (now full-time) as Clark and Lois, but these are not the characters we previously knew. They come across as more experienced and beaten down, trying their best to live a normal life after all of the shit they’ve been through.
As a fan of Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman, I’m pleased with this version of Clark. He’s a clumsy, emotional, and strong-willed man, and he has his fair share of flaws, which is everything Clark Kent should be.
The pilot was rather lacking on action, which I found quite surprising. Don’t misunderstand, there are still some great action sequences… just far less than I expected for a longer-than-normal episode. Instead, they’re focusing on the family dynamic and the challenges that Clark faces at home.
It’s likely the direction the show will be headed, focusing more on Clark Kent than Superman, though there are (and will be) plenty of moments for the Man of Steel to suit up and save the day.
It’s a bit rough to sit through this episode and see all of Clark’s faults as a father, though there’s definitely the promise of better parenting from him in the future. As for his role as Superman, the writers have managed to capture Clark’s feeling of responsibility to protect and yearning for a normal life with Lois surprisingly well.
As for Lois, she doesn’t come across as a titular character on this episode. Her primary focus is being a wife and mother, which is rather disappointing for the most famous journalist in the universe.
There are teases of where Lois’ focus will fall this season, as she’s about to latch on to a story and delve into the mystery, who or what that may be, that currently surrounds both Smallville and Metropolis.
But, for the most part, the Superman and Lois pilot was not promising for those hoping for Lois to feel like a titular character. It’s quite possible this will change as the season progresses because this episode had a lot to set up with Clark, his role as Superman after decades of wearing the cape, and the twins.
Is ‘Superman and Lois’ part of the established Arrowverse?
If it weren’t for the knowledge that Superman and Lois and Batwoman were supposed to have a crossover event this season (which has been cancelled because of COVID-19), I would be even more confused about where this story takes place.
There’s no mention of other heroes from the shared universe at all, nor a real acknowledgement of the crisis that completely changed their lives and left them with 14-year-old twins (instead of just baby Jon). There’s not even a glimpse of the suit Clark had on Supergirl or the crossovers, as that’s now been retconned entirely and we’re supposed to believe Clark has had his new suit for almost his whole superhero career.
They could be off in their own universe for all we know (which, honestly, I’d probably prefer at this point). It’s the only way for the writers to tell the story they want to with Clark where it doesn’t take away from what has happened with Kara (and Clark) on Supergirl.
Supergirl has mentioned Clark numerous times over the years (and many in the pilot alone), so it’s interesting (and rather disappointing) that there’s absolutely no mention of Kara on their pilot episode. I hope that changes as the season progresses, as this Clark’s relationship with Kara has been shown to be rather important.
All in all, so far, I’m impressed with what Superman and Lois has managed to do. It’s not the strongest pilot by any means, though it has quite a bit of potential for the future of the show. Given the concerns that former writer Nadria Tucker brought up at the end of last year, which she was let go for, I’m hesitantly waiting to watch future episodes and see if any of those issues were actually addressed.
(Oh, and the kids are at least bearable, thankfully.)
Superman and Lois airs February 23 with a special two-hour event on The CW! Check back after the episode for our full review!