Superman and Lois: ‘Pilot’ Recap & Review

Recently, Superman and Lois premiered on the CW as a new DC Comics TV show. And I’ve got a full recap and review just in time to get you all caught up before the second episode airs tomorrow. While we’ve had plenty of live-action versions of Superman, this show proves it’s different than anything we’ve seen before. For starters, Clark and Lois are already together but they’re also parents. And in case this wasn’t already clear, major spoilers to come.

Full Recap

(from left) Lois (played by Elizabeth Tulloch) and Clark (played by Tyler Hoechlin) standing in front of their red pickup truck

At this point, anyone who’s a real fan of Superman knows his origin story. So for this show, Clark and Lois are already married with twin boys, Jordan and Jonathan. The boys are already 14 years old and they have no idea their dad’s Superman. Until later in this episode. Jonathan’s the natural athlete and popular kid while Jordan’s more of the outcast. Jordan’s wildly different from his twin brother, and it’s partly due to his social anxiety disorder. Pretty early on, the family faces a tragedy: Martha Kent’s death. There, we find out Jordan has a little crush on Lana Lang-Cushing’s daughter (yes, that Lana Lang), Sarah.

After the funeral, the boys and Sarah go to the barn to reset the Internet router because it apparently hasn’t been working all morning. However, Clark apparently doesn’t like them going into the barn because it’s full of stuff that could kill them. In reality, it’s where he hides his spaceship. Turns out, the barn is pretty dangerous because Jordan foot slips on a bunch of metal pipes as he resets the router. Jordan falls to the ground where the pipes drop on him and his brother, who jumps in to try to cushion his fall. The boys turn out to be completely fine (aside from a minor concussion) and Jordan’s curious as to how they’ve survived. So, he (along with a begrudging Jonathan) goes back into the barn to try to figure out why their dad’s so strict about the barn. And that’s when they find Clark’s spaceship.

The Truth about Jordan

(from left) Clark (played by Tyler Hoechlin) and Jordan (played by Alex Garfin)

Then, Clark and Lois finally tell their kids about who Clark really is. At first, they don’t believe him so he lifts their pickup truck to prove it. Afterward, they’re both understandably confused and upset. And it’s not just because they lied to them. It’s also because they think Jonathan might be the reason why they survived (opposed to Jordan, or both of them, having powers). So, of course they make their way to a party that Sarah invited them to. Jordan talks to Sarah for a bit and ends up kissing her. Unfortunately, she neglected to tell him earlier that she already has a boyfriend. Her boyfriend, Sean, sees them kissing and gets all up in his face for kissing his girlfriend. Jonathan then comes to Jordan’s defense and an all-out fight ensues with more guys joining in.

As he watches Sean beat his brother, Jordan gets angry and he uses his powers for the first time. He shoots laser beams out of his eyes and amplifies the bonfire behind them. Which ultimately results in a big fire and explosion. The firefighters (which also includes Lana’s husband, Kyle) come to the rescue and they realize Jordan’s the one with powers. With all of this, Clark realizes he hasn’t been there for his kids as much as he should’ve been. So, Clark and Lois decide maybe they should move back to Smallville. They technically haven’t decided yet but we all know it’ll happen.

Superman Versus The Stranger

Superman (played by Tyler Hoechlin) with a small kryptonite dagger in his chest falling with earth as the backdrop

Meanwhile, Clark still has his Superman duties to deal with. A mysterious villain (known as “The Stranger”) starts attacking nuclear plants to draw Superman out. Throughout the episode, General Sam Lane (Lois’s father) brings him in to examine a discovery they’ve made about The Stranger’s attacks. They determine that he moves incredibly fast and left behind some kind of submicroscopic etching at both nuclear plants. When Clark looks at it, he realizes it’s a Kryptonian message: “You are not a hero, Kal-El”. So, whoever he is, he knows who Clark really is.

Later, The Stranger, again, lures Clark to another nuclear plant. But once he gets there, he doesn’t say who he is or what he really wants from him. But, much like the audience, he knows Clark’s origin story. He even knows his weaknesses, lead (reminder that Superman can’t see through lead) and kryptonite. After a great out-of-this-world fight scene, he stabs Clark with a kryptonite dagger, which sends him falling back down to earth. But of course, Clark pulls the dagger out just before he hits the ground. At the end of the episode, we find out who this mysterious villain is: Captain Luthor.

Captain Luthor

Captain Luthor (played by Wolé Parks) in a full armored suit

I think all fans alike know (at this point) that Captain Luthor won’t be Jon Cryer’s Lex Luthor from Supergirl. Especially because the last time we saw Clark and Lois in the Arrowverse, their kids were still babies. Also, they went from having one son to having twin boys due to “Crisis on Infinite Earths”, but we don’t know if they’ll bring that up later on (but it’d be cool if they reference it at some point). This new Luthor’s also played by an African-American actor (Wolé Parks), but I’m also assuming they’ll change the actor later on. But more than that, the reasoning behind how there are (and can be) two Luthors (possibly Lex Luthors) is simple: “Crisis on Infinite Earths”. Thanks to that five-show crossover, anything’s possible at this point.

But at the very least, we know that Captain Luthor must’ve somehow survived his universe ending (due to Crisis) just like how Clark’s biological parents saved him before Krypton got destroyed. After “Crisis on Infinite Earths”, we’re not sure how many universes remain but for whatever reason, Captain Luthor’s got it out for Clark. Thanks to a article, the Superman & Lois writers could go the comic-accurate route. Captain Luthor could be Alexander Luthor Jr., Lex and Lois’s kid, in a world where they’re the good guys and Superman’s the bad guy (as head of the Crime Syndicate, AKA the evil version of the Justice League). But Arrowverse shows have a habit of twisting comic stories, so as cool as that would be to see, I’m doubtful that it’ll be that simple.

Where Jordan and Jonathan’s Story Could Go

(from left) Jonathan (played by Jordan Elsass) and Jordan (played by Alex Garfin) standing in front of the Kent family farmhouse

As for the twins, I love the fact that Jordan got Clark’s powers. In the comics, Clark and Lois only have one son, Jonathan, and he later becomes Superboy. Switching it up by giving Jordan superpowers definitely makes the show interesting, especially since Jordan’s the one that could use a confidence boost. However, I think it’s very possible that Jonathan could get powers later on. As Clark says in the episode, Jordan’s powers manifested very differently compared to how his did growing up. Even though they’re twins, Jonathan’s powers could also manifest differently. Especially considering that we’ve only seen Jordan have super strength, heat vision, and healing powers. We still don’t know if he’s also inherited Clark’s other superpowers. For all we know, Jonathan could still inherit the rest and the twins just split them. But as cool as that could be, I don’t think that’ll happen.

Another possibility would be that Jordan inherits all of Clark’s superpowers and Jonathan gets jealous. As of now, he’s completely cool with the fact that he doesn’t have powers. Instead, he calls powers overrated and he’s glad that his athletic skills are, as he puts it, “legit”. But Jordan’s still got a lot to learn about his powers and seeing Clark and Jordan bond at that level could make Jonathan change his mind later. In fact, it’d be surprising if the writers don’t at least dedicate an episode about Jonathan feeling left out about not having powers. But it could get even more interesting if that jealousy eats him up inside and he turns into an evil twin. However, the evil twin trope is pretty common in media so we’ll just have to wait and see if they go that route.

Final Thoughts

(from left) Lois (played by Elizabeth Tulloch) and Clark (played by Tyler Hoechlin)

Before watching, I was worried Superman and Lois would follow the other Arrowverse shows’ format. After the first clip came out, I was relieved that it didn’t. I grew up as a Superman fan (thanks to Smallville) so seeing a newer but very different version of Clark Kent is nice. Plus, I’m excited to see where this show will go. I also found it interesting that they gave Jordan a social anxiety disorder. While I think this makes it a much more modern story, I just really hope they do it justice. Much like other diverse shows, I’d like Superman and Lois to be one that teaches me more about social anxiety disorder as well as how it affects the rest of the family.

Additionally, we’ve never seen Clark and Lois (in other Arrowverse shows) quite like this before. As far as I know, there’s never been a Superman show that genuinely shows Clark and Lois as parents. And if there is, I’m assuming it only shows glimpses, and they’re still only parents to a baby Jonathan. Usually, we see Superman shows end before we really get to see Clark and Lois as parents. Overall, I found this to be a very strong pilot episode and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season turns out.

Superman and Lois air on the CW on Tuesdays at 9/8c.

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