REVIEW – Superman & Lois Episode 3 – ‘The Perks of Not Being a Wallflower’


Simply put, there is a lot to love about Superman & Lois.  This is about as solid of a start as an Arrowverse series has ever had.  What's ironic is, it's the show's ordinary family moments that are driving it's storytelling.  A Superman series is less about saving the world and more about supporting his family.  That was on full display in "The Perks of Not Being A Wallflower."

The brothers Kent continue to be one of the best parts about this show.  Teenage brothers aren't always going to get along, that's obvious with every episode.  This show also highlights the fact that these two brothers really want what's best for one another and they really help balance each other out.  That support structure is there, even outside of the support of their parents (of which they also get a lot.)  Sure Jonathan is going to look out for Jordan, but Jordan is also there to help Jonathan with his insecurities that he tries to hide.

This dynamic is very much present in this episode when Jordan decides to try out for the football team.  Given his emerging powers, you can imagine how that went.  It also saw Jonathan jump to the defensive, not out of jealousy, but out of genuine concern for his brother.  There's a bit of aggression there, directed at dad as well, but they work it out and get down to what each other are really thinking.  This is one of just many examples of a family solving their problems by doing things that families should do:  actually talk to one another.  They need each other even more than I think they realize.

We also get to see Lois during her first day with the small town Smallville paper.  She has her sights set on Morgan Edge, but her editor (who happens to idolize her) pumps the breaks on it.  This takes a lot of guts when you're talking to someone with the pedigree of Lois Lane.  What was great was that Lois didn't flip out, but she didn't exactly comply either.  This could have easily been a "take advantage of the meek" kind of moment, but the writers made a different choice.  It also shows that Lois has a deep respect for the field of journalism, not just to constantly chase stories.  Does she end up being right?  Sure she does, but she didn't whine about it, she proved it. sort of got proved for her.

Clark is certainly not without his issues, of which there are plenty.  Saving the world, balancing a family and trying to fix up the Kent family farm.  It's also refreshing to see Superman make mistakes, or at least perceived mistakes.  You think battling The Stranger is hard, try raising two teenage boys who just had their entire lives up and moved to Smallville.  Not an easy task, and even superpowers can't prepare you for what might happen on any given day.  He owns his mistakes and tries to improve them every day.  Again...normal.

We also got to finally see the real story with the Lang-Cushing family.  You had to know that things weren't sunshine and rainbows, but it's maybe a little worse than we thought.  Sarah feels smothered by her mom, and her dad seems dismissive of pretty much everything that doesn't come out of his own mouth/mind.  Again, we're dealing with teenagers here, so that was a very real moment between Lana and Sarah in the diner.  It was unfiltered and powerful, but also a gateway.  When Lana opens up to Sarah, and you see how she responds, that might have been one of the best moments of the season so far (certainly for those two characters.)  So my question as to whether Superman & Lois can maintain it's story about real people having real moments seems to have been answered.

Don't worry, there are still plenty of intrigue on the villain side.  Superman has a run-in with a new powered individual and we get one heck of a tease with this week's end scene.  I also love that Lois is kind of getting her own villain in Morgan Edge.  Not that Clark isn't interested, but nothing slows down Lois Lane when she has a story that she wants to run with.  I didn't even realize until the end of the episode that we really didn't see or even talk about Captain Luthor at all.  Normally I would say that would be a mistake, but they did such a great job with the story, that it wasn't obvious at all.  That's a really good test on how invested you are in this family and in these characters as a whole.

In an episode that so far, had the least amount of action it probably made the most progress.  Just like the family is settling in to their new surroundings, us as viewers are getting a better understanding of what this show will mainly be about.  That doesn't mean there won't be comic book easter eggs and references.  It simply means that the writers and directors of the series understand that you need much more than just that and a great relationship to make a show work.  Unfortunately, the series will be going on  hiatus soon until May.  Good thing is, they have built up quite a bit of momentum in such a short amount of time.

Photo Credit:  Dean Katie Yu/The CW