"Broken Trust" is rooted in a story that never should have happened, but actually ends up being one of the most impressive episodes of the series so far.
- 💥 Some strong moments sprout from a completely silly story.
- 💥 Angry Superman!
- 💥 Young Superman tales work because we care about adult Superman. A young, whiny, kid with powers that we haven't been given reason to empathize with will remain a tough sell.
This post contains spoilers for Superman and Lois "Broken Trust."
Check out our last review here.
Superman and Lois makes its triumphant return with "Broken Trust." The series returns while Supergirl finishes filming the latter half of its final season, kicking up right where we left off with Jordan Kent getting walloped by a confused and frightened Tag Harris. After his beating, Jordan finds himself dealing with weird, ringing headaches that trigger his powers. Despite being a proverbial ticking bomb, the teen refuses to sit things out when it comes to the next big game. Their new school's playing Metropolis, and Jordan has a chance to meet all of his old bullies on the field.
I've already made my feelings on Jordan (Alex Garfin) playing football clear in past reviews, but I'd like to reiterate that it's literally the most irresponsible thing we've ever seen Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) allow in any iteration of the character. At the very least, he does seem to realize that after the proverbial time bomb becomes a literal one when Jordan detonates in the middle of the football game.
Frustrations on the decision aside, it does lead to one of the strongest stand-out moments of Superman and Lois so far. When the Metropolis kids all jump Jordan on the field, the ringing kicks off again and he can't get it under control. Realizing what's about to unfold, Clark runs on the field and puts his hands in front of his sons eyes. The action both protects Jordan from being found out and illustrates a really touching moment between father and son. Clark is impervious to most things on Earth, but Kryptonian heat vision isn't one of them. The pain is visible on his face as the heat vision runs itself out. The patience and sacrifice of the moment is a really stunning moment in an otherwise frustrating story.
If there's one thing "Broken Trust" excels at, it's the synchronicity. While Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan deal with the Metropolis boys after their loss, Superman faces off with the DoD while trying to protect Tag (Wern Lee). As Jordan loses his cool, so does Supes — but one has a much more understandable reason than the other. Turns out "Broken Trust" comes with dual meaning as well. For Clark, it's the realization that that his father-in-law (General Sam Lane, played by Dylan Walsh) wasn't just prepared to shoot a child, but was also ready with kryptonite rounds should Superman try to stand in the way. For Jonathan Kent? It's when he reflexively gets in the way of Jordan losing his cool, stops him from braining some kid, and gets a shattered hand and forearm for his trouble.
It sucks to see Jon hurt — especially during one of his stronger episodes — but feeling his brother's bones snap under his fist finally helps Jordan start to realize what he's capable of. Had his fist connected with the bully's skull, he would have killed him. He's lucky his big bro got in the way. But Jonathan's life could be forever changed by the decision, and that's with the consideration that everyone involved got off easy.
Surprisingly, "Broken Trust" manages to build what ends up being the best episode of Superman and Lois so far out of the rubble of a decision that Clark never should have allowed. The brothers remain Very Good Brothers™, and Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) and Clark's adventures playing in tandem of one another without any white knight nonsense remains refreshing, but it's the Jordan's realization that he could shatter someone's life at any given moment (finally) that gives the episode some real meat.
Lois finally makes some headway in her Morgan Edge (Adam Rayner) investigation, she's starting to get wise to Captain Luthor (Wolé Parks), and Bitsie delivers an incredible performance as per usual. But tonight's greatest hits all go to Clark. Hoechlin's soft but still very scary when angry dad vibes were strong this week, and his furious "stand down" after getting shot was an all timer.
Though I've been extremely lukewarm on Superman and Lois so far, I gotta say that "Broken Trust" has me pretty excited for the remainder of the first season. All of the emotions in the latter half of the episode were earned, and diverted from the typical "you boys have no real problems" frustrations of earlier in the season. Plus, I'll never turn down an episode where Superman tells General Lane what's up.
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