NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Superman & Lois” are present in this review
Yes, it’s finally back! After a truly standout series of debut episodes back in February and March, Superman & Lois finally concludes its lengthy Winter/Spring hiatus this week, taking its Tuesday 9:00 PM EST timeslot back from Supergirl, and thus allowing us to finally see what comes of Tag’s sudden ambush of Jordan. “Broken Trust” has Superman desperately trying to keep Tag out of the hands of General Lane, who is naturally doing everything he can to recover his lost asset. Meanwhile, Lois continues to ruffle feathers in Smallville, particularly those of the Cushing family, as she continues poking into the affairs of Morgan Edge, while the undercover Captain Luthor works to assist her in her investigation.
Superman & Lois has been criticized by some for being slower-paced than the rest of The CW’s DC shows, and while I normally disagree with the assertion that it’s boring, personally, I do nonetheless have to admit that the series feels like it needs to stretch after its long nap, and isn’t quite in tip-top shape at this point. Still, there are nonetheless plenty of interesting storylines to enjoy this week, with Lois and Luthor occupying arguably the best storyline in this episode, especially when it allows Lois to get up to speed on the many dark secrets around her. Thanks to Luthor’s assistance, Lois discovers the hefty supply of X-Kryptonite buried under Smallville most notably, only barely escaping with her life after Leslie attacks her and Luthor, with Leslie in turn revealing herself to have Kryptonian powers!
It’s after Luthor incapacitates Leslie with a mysterious ray gun weapon that Lois finally deduces that, “Marcus Bridgewater” is not who he claims to be. Disappointingly though, nothing comes of this revelation yet. Lois simply tells Luthor that they’ll settle the issue later, after she gets called to assist with her sons. Well, that’s annoying! Still, it was interesting to see Lois and Luthor work together on a Lois Lane-approved investigation, something that should help develop them as a tragic perversion of the star-crossed relationship that Luthor had with his Earth’s Lois Lane some time ago. I wonder how long it will be before that revelation comes to light…
On another note, while Clark is trying to keep an ear out for Tag, he also butts heads with Jordan over the increasing instability of Jordan’s powers and emotions. This leads to some clever sequences, especially the culmination of this conflict, when Jonathan eventually attempts to prevent Jordan from punching out a Metropolis bully, only to get his arm accidentally broken by Jordan, in turn threatening Jonathan’s football career. As much as this latest turn with Jonathan is pretty great, it’s nonetheless becoming a bit tedious to have Superman & Lois hammer the same old tired football conflict with Jordan into the ground by this point. Clark and Jordan spend a lot of time unhelpfully arguing in circles about Jordan’s developing powers, and it’s starting to feel intrusive to the storytelling.
The result of Jordan’s latest emotional struggle does lead to a great tease for next week however, as Jordan contends with apparent migraines throughout this episode, seemingly related to the challenged development of his super-hearing. As Jordan starts struggling to cope with the world around him, the combined stress of everything he’s taking on eventually forces Clark to fly him to the Fortress of Solitude during this episode’s final moments. At the very least, Clark helps oversee the recapture of Tag before this as well, taking at least one issue off of Jordan’s plate, after Tag accidentally knocks out Sarah, and kidnaps her in a fit of confusion. I should also indicate that this Tag storyline complements Jordan’s ongoing story arc better than the same tired football arguments. Clark in particular demonstrates after being struck by General Lane’s Kryptonite rounds that, even now, he sometimes has trouble holding back his powers when he’s angry, frustrated or overwhelmed. This is actually really interesting, nicely lending itself to the Arrowverse’s more flawed, down-to-earth take on Superman, while in turn demonstrating to Jordan that managing his powers is a permanent responsibility, just like it is for Clark.
Finally, the Cushing family once again sees another unpredictable emotional twist, as Morgan Edge promotes Lana to a high-ranking community position, which further strengthens Kyle’s faith in Edge, in turn leading to more tension with Lois. Lana’s promotion seems to make both Kyle and Lana very happy, even if they’re initially oblivious to Sarah being snatched by Tag. Still, after Lana struggles through the ordeal with Tag, she eventually confides in Lois that she has faith in Lois’ investigation, and is willing to be a mole in Edge’s operation. This Lois/Lana alliance is bound to set off Kyle plenty of times in the weeks ahead, but even more pressing is the sheer amount of danger that it puts these two women in. One thing’s for sure– Bringing down Edge is not going to be clean or risk-free, and I think this character alliance between Lois and Lana is an especially exciting idea for the next several episodes.
“Broken Trust” doesn’t soar quite as high as Superman & Lois’ first five superb episodes, even if it does still manage to keep most of the show’s appeal intact. Clark and Jordan maybe need to take a bit of a break from the football scene, for starters, plus it’s kind of annoying to present such a great Lois/Luthor plot, only for it to end with Lois currently refusing to set a new boundary for her strained connection to Luthor. Even considering some of those issues this week though, there’s still a lot to like in Superman & Lois’ Spring premiere, as Lois’ investigation heats up, and drags Lana into its orbit, while Clark continues to display unexpected new layers to his challenges as a superhero in this universe. Like I said, I’m sure some of this episode’s narrative hiccups largely come down to the fact that Superman & Lois has lost some momentum after having to take two months off the air due to COVID-19 complications, though this standout new Arrowverse series is certainly capable of rebuilding that momentum over the next several weeks.