Superman and Lois season 1, episode 12 recap – “Through the Valley of Death”

July 14, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
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Superman and Lois season 1, episode 12 recap - "Through the Valley of Death"


“Through the Valley of Death” pits Superman against himself while many more long-term possibilities present themselves.

This recap of Superman and Lois season 1, episode 12, “Through the Valley of Death”, contains spoilers.

After a brief hiatus, Superman and Lois returns in “Through the Valley of Death” with an episode that feels almost like a finale… until it tees up plenty of potential developments for the remaining episodes of the season. It’s also an episode that really crystallizes the show’s themes of family and togetherness while nodding in the direction of other Superman villains and motifs, suggesting much more to come when what we’re getting is already really good.

Superman’s “eradication” at the hands of Morgan Edge/Tal-Rho and his father, Zeta-Rho, makes a neat container for a lot of the ongoing ideas present here – is Superman corruptible? Is the future (even one from an alternate Earth) guaranteed to come to pass? – while also, plot-wise, trying to make a real container for General Zod, whose consciousness Edge and Zeta-Rho plan to forcibly implant in Superman. The way that this plays out is little more than a namecheck for now, but saying General Zod aloud in any Superman story works like saying Candyman in the mirror – eventually, he’s probably going to appear behind you, and who knows what happens then?

Anyway, the potential for an evil, off-the-rails Superman forces John Henry Irons, brought back into the fight by Lois at Clark’s urging, and General Lane to both consider the possibility of killing him. For Irons, this is his worst-case scenario coming to pass. For Lane, this is the ultimate conflict between loyalty to his country and to his family. Lois is unflinching in her insistence that Clark can break through the eradication and regain his senses, but neither Irons nor Sam are so sure. This is the big moral dynamic of Superman and Lois episode 12.

There’s a lot of impressive CGI during Superman’s battle with Irons in his full Steel regalia, but it really works on a character level more than anything else. Lois Lane is listening to the battle from afar, imploring Irons to talk Superman down since his one wrist-mounted Krytonian-destroying rocket needs to be saved for Edge. If he can’t control his urge to kill Clark, mostly because of what he saw Superman do in his reality, then he stands to doom this one too. Of course, he makes the right decision, recognizing Clark’s humanity and pushing him to break free of the eradication by focusing on those he loves. It’s a great moment, and it allows the two of them to go after Edge together.

Edge has been tasked by his father to complete his mission or be solely responsible for the death of Krypton, so he flies the Eradicator up into the air and begins cooking it with his heat vision for some thus-far nebulous purpose, but he’s interrupted by Irons’ rocket and then a meaty right hand from Superman. He’s taken into custody, but as Superman and Lois season 1, episode 12 ends, his eyes flicker, and we hear the voices in his head reminding him once again to complete his mission. The story doesn’t end here in “Through the Valley of Death”. But what’s going to happen next?

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