All in all, this is a big show for the CW and the first episode is a great start. I only hope that they manage to maintain the pace and mystery of this opener. If they can, then it could be another classic Superman TV show.
This recap of Superman and Lois season 1, episode 1, “Pilot”, contains spoilers.
It’s quite a big deal, putting Superman back on a weekly show, so the CW has quite a lot on their shoulders. There’s been nothing since Smallville, and you can argue, quite rightly, that Smallville was never really about Superman, at least until things started getting a bit silly towards the end. However, Superman and Lois seems to have decided to just jump right in and not get bogged down on backstory or lore.
Superman and Lois Episode 1 really sets out to impress. Right from the start, we get the usual CW voice-over that spouts exposition, but it feels warranted here to catch casual viewers up on the action. I have to admit, I wasn’t aware of the CW Superman in Supergirl and the CW’s Crisis event, but it seems here that I don’t need to. A montage explains the origin, so that gets that out the way, and before you know it, Clark meets Lois, and they are married with children before the end of the first act. There is no will-they-won’t-they here, it’s just straight into the story, and that was probably the wisest thing to do here.
Before there’s time to catch a breath, Clark has been fired from the Daily Planet, Morgan Edge is foreshadowed as this arc’s bad guy, and Clark and Lois have to return to his hometown, for the funeral of Ma Kent. While out in the barn looking for the router (who put the router in the barn anyway?) an accident with Clark and Lois’ two sons leads to a life-threatening accident, but the boys are unharmed and it’s not long before they have discovered a spaceship that leads to the Kents explaining to their offspring that dad is Superman.
Meanwhile, another arc reveals that Superman and Lois’s dad General Lane have a mysterious super-powered antagonist causing havoc at power plants and leaving cryptic (Kryptic?) clues directly addressed to Clark. This armor-clad mystery villain seems to know a lot more than he should about Superman, and that thread looks set to drive the rest of the series.
Back at home base, Lois is worried about the boys. Jock son Jonathon may have inherited latent superpowers, while more anxious Jordan seems to be growing more and more distant from the family. When it’s finally revealed that it’s actually loner Jordan that has the powers, the family decide that it may be better to stay in Smallville away from the hubbub of Metropolis so they can keep an eye on Jordan, and Lois can investigate why Planet boss Edge is so interested in the town.
In a final shot, the mysterious Superman stalker is revealed to be nonother than “Captain Luthor”.
This first issue, sorry episode, has a lot to do, and the good news is that the CW has pulled out all the stops to give Superman and Lois a real fighting chance of being a hit. It zips along at a great pace, doesn’t waste time with the usual Superman baggage, and spends a lot of money on the effects.
Superman and Captain Luthor slug it out in almost movie-worthy set pieces, and Tyler Hoechlin looks good as Superman. Oddly though, he seems to look much slighter as Clark, which makes me think that suit he wears is padded.
Less successful is Elizabeth Tulloch’s Lois. Surly, moody, and almost cold in a lot of scenes, this Lois seems to have lost her love of life in this show. I would have preferred a more spirited performance, but maybe she will grow on me. Perhaps the director wanted a less go-getting Lois, but just a little more electricity would have been nice.
Jordan Elsass and Alex Garfin are fine as the Kents’ sons, but they actually look nothing like each other. It’s quite strange how unalike they are, and I know that they are meant to be very different personality-wise, but would it have killed casting to find a pair that even looked slightly as if they were from the same family?