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'Superman and Lois' 1.04 Review: Haywire

Brendan Fletcher really likes playing baddies in the Arrowverse.

Tyler Hoechlin as Superman in 'Superman and Lois'
(Image: © The CW)

Our Verdict

So far, Superman and Lois faces a very unique problem in that Lois and Clark being parents is very engaging but the kids of which they're parenting have zero narrative value on their own. But! The show has started getting more interesting in spite of that.

For

  • 💥Clark Kent telling General Lane where he can put his bad attitude is very good, thank you.
  • 💥This series shines the brightest so far when it focuses on Lois. Great episode for that.
  • 💥The unbridled joy of Clark watching his son play football is very cute even if his son playing football is an absolutely terrible idea.

Against

  • 💥Lois and Clark being good parents: great. Jonathan and Jordan: extremely boring. It's a difficult conundrum.

This post contains spoilers for Superman and Lois.
Check out our last review here

Show of hands, who's counting down the seconds until Lois Lane ruins Morgan Edge's life? It's not going to come anytime soon, but man-oh-man will it be sweet when it finally happens. Because the vote for Edge's proposal to "rebuild" Smallville is on the horizon, King Millionaire Sleaze is strutting around the town pretending to be one of the people. Lois and the darling Chrissy aren't fooled, but the rest of the town is in awe of the creep, his money, and what they hope it means for their town. The Ace reporter plans to publish and op-ed that will show Smallville exactly what they're in for with an Edge takeover, but Daily Planet's current owner sends his lawyer off ahead of him to notify Lois that should she publish any "libel" against him, it will be a breach of her Planet contract and he'll sue. It'd a surefire win if he were dealing with a lesser reporter.

So far, Superman and Lois faces a very unique problem in that Lois and Clark being parents is very engaging but the kids of which they're parenting have zero narrative value on their own. Alex Garfin and Jordan Elsass are both strong actors, but there isn't a single thing interesting about their characters. Oh, Jordan likes football now! Aw, Jonathan feels overshadowed! Who cares? Go back to Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) verbally murdering Morgan Edge (Adam Rayner) in a pipe or Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) curb stomping Thaddeus Killgrave (Brendan Fletcher). The kids chilling out getting drunk is narratively useless no matter how many random nu-metas you throw into the mix. Tying it into Edge's plan to harvest the meta-making-mineral at least attempts to give it plot-worthy meaning, but it doesn't succeed.

And yet, Lois and Clark staring General Lane (Dylan Walsh) in the eye and letting him have it multiple times for trying to teach them how to parent when he was a complete failure as one himself? Perfection. Have Clark Kent — not Superman, Clark — putting Sam Lane in his place every episode! It fuels me. Kind, sometimes shy, nerd boy letting a Five Star General have it while low-key having the ability to throw him into orbit should he so choose? Yes

Of course, that ability to throw him into orbit should he so choose has always been a big sticking point for General Lane. In their brief meeting, Captain Luthor (Wolé Parks) gave the General a kind of dog tag with the "S" symbol on one side and "hell" on the other. Their exchange combined with Lois and Clark's obstinance inspire him to start a new initiative — Project 7734. Yes, that does spell "hell" upside down and backwards, and yes, comic readers have heard of it before! 

What is Project 7734?

Lane's primary motivation for starting Project 7734 in the comics is to protect Earth from extra terrestrial threats. (Astute readers will note that his son-in-law happens to be one of those.) The General uses his resources to get Lex Luthor out of prison so he can tap into his scientific mind in order to bring the project to life. There are a lot of details in the middle, but the bottom line is that the project has two outcomes. The first is Superman finding the bottled city of Kandor, and restoring it near the Fortress of Solitude to create New Krypton. The second is General Lane flipping out at the idea of hundreds of thousands of Kryptonians living on Earth and sending Doomsday, Metallo, and Reactron into action to ruin some people's lives both politically and mortally speaking. 

How will we see this play out in the context of the show? My guess is that about mid-season, Superman will finally defeat Captain Luthor and pop him into a prison. Lane will secretly extricate him from said prison — gotta be sneakier when you're actually on speaking terms with your family — and go about building the project should his son-in-law give him anymore lip. 

This is your casual reminder that General Lane is typically a giant, well... word that Superman wouldn't appreciate. 

Back to Superman and Lois

While their kids remain exhausting, Clark and Lois' relationship is as engaging as ever. Clark was meant to speak for Lois at the townhall while she figured out how to get out of the legal gag that had been placed on her by Edge's cronies. As is often the case, Superman gets called at the worst possible time. 

Lois is usually completely understanding of these moments. She knew what she signed up for when she started dating Superman! But, more and more in their recent days, she's felt like the least important part of her husband's life. Is that fair? No. Is it logical? Also no. Is it what she feels in the moment? Absolutely. (Seeing the complicated way of which you personally handle emotions played out on screen is very satisfying, by the way.) Lois knows she's not being reasonable. But she also knows that she needed Clark to be at that townhall against Edge and they lost by a devastatingly huge margin because he wasn't.

It's the cleanest kind of "messy" moment, followed immediately by shots with Lana Lang (Emmanuelle Chriqui) at the local bar. Lana has always been a kind of "meh" character for me personally, regardless of the media she's in. However, this iteration isn't so bad. She gets bonus points for both seeing Edge's creepiness for what it is and calling out her husband for refusing to do anything about it. Lana and Lois' conversation might have been solely about their husbands, but it was still a decent moment for the characters.

Superman and Lois certainly had the weakest start out of any of the Arrowverse series. But it's starting to find itself. If you were trying to decide whether to hop on or sit this one out, I recommend bingeing the first three episodes all at once (you can do so on the CW App for free). The series would have benefitted greatly from releasing these first three all at once and then moving to a weekly format, but network television is a little more restricted.