“The Ties That Bind” establishes a connection between Clark and the mines as further teases strongly hint at the imminent arrival of a certain iconic Superman villain.
This recap of Superman and Lois season 2, episode 2, “The Ties That Bind”, contains spoilers.
I’ve said this before, but the thing about Superman is that he’s so powerful any interesting conflict must disarm him. So many stories about Supes revolve around him losing his powers or being faced with losing those close to him because the point of the character isn’t anything to do with his heat vision or strength or anything else of that sort; he’s the embodiment of earnest, old-fashioned good, of mom and apple pie American values. He’s indescribably powerful precisely because all his most interesting and enduring qualities are in his essential, underlying character – with or without powers, Clark Kent is just a good dude.
Superman and Lois season 2, episode 2 recap
In “The Ties That Bind”, Clark is once again disempowered. His visions are intensifying and their effects are rendering him unable to do much of anything. He thinks the snippets he’s seeing, of crumbling rocks and chilling screams, might be of the destruction of Krypton, or perhaps a lingering after-effect of the Eradication process. The only way to know for sure, though, is to ask his brother.
Tal-Rho is being kept in a secure, red-lit DoD bunker in the grand tradition of Hannibal Lecter or Silva in Skyfall or Loki in Avengers (we should really find a better way of storing our supervillains, shouldn’t we?). He claims to have lost all of his powers anyway, but he isn’t exactly the trustworthy type, so Clark is reticent to accompany him to his own Fortress of Solitude in order for him to run some tests. Eventually, he relents, though, but takes Jordan along with him for protection, which isn’t the smartest decision but the kid’s getting older and more powerful, so what can you do?
Predictably, Tal-Rho was lying about his powers, and when Clark is once again crippled by a vision, he takes the opportunity to grab Jordan. He and Clark’s mother, Lara, a hologram consciousness the two of them were pumping for information about the visions, is able to talk him down a bit though, and Clark eventually gets himself together enough to intervene. Tal-Rho ends up back in his cell, and Clark ends up finding out what’s wrong with him – sort of, anyway. His visions are being caused by a cosmic entity that is presently inside the Schuster Mines. And judging by the brief glimpse we get of that entity in “The Ties That Bind”, it’s — as predicted — almost certainly Doomsday.
We spend a lot of time at the mines this week, which is just as well. Lois and Chrissy head up there to push about the seismic readings, and Lois later enlists John’s help to monitor them, which allows the two of them to awkwardly bond. But the crucial development is that they’re not seismic readings – something is causing the rumblings. And in the very last scene of the episode, we learn that “something” might very well have been brought through intentionally, by the company handling the mining operation.
Elsewhere, we get some development in several other subplots. Lois’s past is catching up with her, especially relating to her sister being in a cult, while Daniel Hart drops out of the mayoral race, leaving Lana to run in his stead. Jonathan’s athletic rival might be on steroids, Sarah tells Jordan that she kissed someone else at camp, and Nat proves her engineering chops by getting Sarah’s old Firebird started. The high-school politics continue to be balanced well, while some long-term conflict development takes place when Superman is saved by Lt. Anderson’s Supermen of America, a group which includes speedster Tag, who’s barely even 18. Anderson is adamant that if Superman won’t be a part of his team, then he no longer has free reign to intervene in whatever matters he wishes, which is going to be bad news for him when Doomsday comes knocking.