‘Superman & Lois’ Season 3, Episode 2: Recap And Ending, Explained: Is The Man Of Steel Facing His Worst Crisis Yet?

After the calm, hopeful beginning of the third season with “Closer,” the second episode of “Superman and Lois” slams viewers back to reality for a rude awakening. In the previous episode, we saw Superman clash with supervillain Atom Man, aka Henry Miller, who apparently received superpowers after getting released from prison. A mysterious hooded villain (possibly the character Onomatopoeia) kills Atom Man and distracts Superman so he can retrieve his body. During a questioning session with Dr. Darlene Irons about her brother, Prime Earth’s version of Henry Irons’ involvement with the Intergang leader Bruno Mannheim, Lois learns from the doctor that she might be pregnant. Later, Dr. Irons informs Lois that that might not be the case at all and that she wants to run some tests on Lois to learn the reason for the similar symptoms. At the end of the episode, we see Bruno Mannheim experimenting with Henry Miller’s corpse in an attempt to bring him back to life while being accompanied by the mysterious hooded figure.

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Spoilers Ahead


What Happens In Episode 2 Of ‘Superman & Lois’ Season 3?

As the episode begins, we see a saddened Lois getting zoned out and distracted on a number of occasions throughout her daily life, presumably because of the false pregnancy situation, although she is unwilling to discuss it with Clark or anyone else. At the “Smallville Gazette,” Chrissy informs Lois that she had arranged an interview with judge Tara Reagan in Metropolis, who mysteriously acquitted Henry Miller despite denying his parole three times in the past. Seeing Lois being absentminded, Clark offers to join her.

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In order to help Natalie settle in, Sarah drives her to a party in Metropolis and lies to her mother, Lana, saying she and Natalie are going to have a movie marathon at the latter’s place. Separately, Jonathan convinces Jordan to go to the same party as well, as he wants to meet his ex-girlfriend, Eliza. Natalie befriends a teenage boy over their mutual interest in horror movies. Sarah and Jordan meet and agree to be friends to avoid the awkwardness of their breakup. Meanwhile, Eliza tries to reconcile with Jordan and wants to hook up, but Jordan backs off by letting her know that he is already in a relationship. Later, a brief altercation ensues between the teenagers of Smallville and the preppy teens of Metropolis regarding party games, which results in Sarah and co. leaving the party after drenching a party host with beer.

In Smallville, former mayor George Dean calls Lana and sounds extremely frantic. Before being brutally murdered by the shockwaves of Onomatopoeia, he manages to apologize to Lana and tell her something about the pride of Smallville. Terrified and grief-stricken at the discovery, Lana goes to check up on her daughter, Sarah, at Henry Irons’ place and realizes she has been too busy with her mayoral duties to focus on anything, let alone her daughter’s harmless lies. Henry Irons invites her to lunch, where they discuss what the last words of the mayor could possibly mean. Lana remembers the insignia at the mayor’s office having an inscription about the pride of Smallville, which might provide them with some clues regarding the murder mystery. The duo finds a USB drive lodged at the back of the insignia, and as they are about to play it, Onomatopoeia attacks them using shockwaves, momentarily incapacitating them and getting away with the drive.

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At Metropolis, Lois and Clark meet Judge Reagan and interrogate her about Henry Miller’s acquittal. Initially, Reagan stalls them, saying the reason was on medical grounds because Miller had a terminal brain tumor, but Lois counters her statement, saying Miller survived months after and displayed newfound superpowers. Clark notices the increased heart rate of the judge and realizes that Lois’ questions have rattled her badly. Confirming their suspicion of a much more severe conspiracy ongoing behind this, the mercenary Elias Orr and his henchmen arrive on the scene, give Reagan a call, and drive Clark and Lois out. Outside, Clark once again notices Lois’ visible anxiety and drifting off and lets her know that she can share with him what’s eating her anytime she wishes to.

Their conversation is cut short after Lois notices Elias Orr driving off, and she instructs Clark to follow him in order to discover who’s behind this. Now in his Superman attire, Clark reaches the vicinity of Bruno Mannheim, to whom Elias was reporting. Mannheim notices Superman and calls him in. The two have a passive-aggressive conversation in which Mannheim dodges the accusations of being the leader of the intergang or being involved with Atom Man’s situation. Instead, he claims to be a hero for his community, for the people whom Superman failed to save (not literally, metaphorically), and sort of tries to threaten Superman from ever hovering on his turf again.

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Lois spots Judge Reagan about to jump off a building to take her own life and approaches her to calm her down. Leaving Bruno to his own devices, Superman arrives at the scene as Lois tries to talk Reagan out of it. Despite Lois’ continuous pleas, Reagan seems determined to commit suicide, as she hints that she has been entangled in some extremely dangerous situations already. Superman overhears that in order to instill some confidence in her, Lois shares the truth about being diagnosed with cancer, and she urges Reagan to fight her situation like Lois has to do from now on. Lois manages to talk Reagan out of it, and later, a visibly distraught Clark embraces Lois. At home, Lois shares with Clark how she is still coming to terms with the discovery, and she never wanted her family to see this vulnerable, scared side of her. Clark reassures her, saying she is the strongest person he has ever met, and he has no shred of doubt that they will overcome this crisis together as a family.

In his secret hideout, Bruno and Onomatopoeia continue to experiment on a resurrected Henry Miller. Henry Irons and Natalie take their leave from Lana’s house after upgrading her security system as a possible deterrent to the ongoing attacks in Smallville. After a day of frolicking, the twins Jonathan and Jordan reach home, and as they see their parents sitting in the kitchen, they notice something is off. Lois shares the heartbreaking news with her sons; voices fade, and the sons reach out to their mother to embrace her in a tight hug as the episode ends.

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Thoughts

The second episode of the third season turned out to be one of the most emotional episodes of the series, not only due to the shocking and painful discovery of Lois being diagnosed with cancer but also due to the elements she brought as a character and a deceitful Bruno’s attempt to demotivate Superman. The mystery of Mannheim’s plans reaches Smallville as ex-Mayor Dean pays the price of being involved with a dangerous set of people that went beyond his usual small-town beauracracy-related corruption. Still, at least during his final moments, he tried to redeem himself by apologizing to his political rival and current mayor, Lana Lang, whose family reputation he had previously tried to malign. What could have been on the USB drive that Dean wanted Lana to see or hide in the first place, and how that relates to the larger conspiracy in Metropolis, remains to be seen.

Bruno’s accusation that Superman is not changing the world despite being one of the strongest entities on the planet is once again a carefully constructed half-truth used to plant seeds of doubt in the mind of the Man of Steel. As readers familiar with Superman’s lore know, as a champion of the downtrodden, Superman does plenty to inspire hope and positivity among people. What he does not do, and quite consciously so, is babysit people to solve their problems or get involved with direct political intrigues (Red Son storyline being the example of the worst case scenario as to what could have happened if he did), which might result in sending the wrong message that he is partial. Bruno knows this pretty well and still manages to craft a hero image for himself as a person of color; he claims to have brought real change to his community instead of just a superficial show of heroism that he thinks Superman can do. This season is already shaping up to be solid with the convincing, bold performance of Chad L. Coleman as the nefarious Bruno Mannheim, someone who doesn’t miss a beat while trying to intimidate someone like Superman, who is staring right back at him.

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But the threat of evil industrialists isn’t the only thing that will bother Clark, as he faces the worst emotional crisis possibly since the death of his adoptive mother, Martha. In total contrast to the uplifting tone of the first episode, this one forces the Kent family into a bitter reality. The beginning of the episode hinted plenty to indicate Lois being off her game, but initially, viewers were led to believe that was due to her expectations of once again being a mother being squashed on such short notice. The writers did a brilliant job of disclosing the news in such a tense moment involving Judge Reagan’s suicide attempt; where despite being emotionally wrecked after hearing the news, Clark cannot allow the world to see through his pain, and it is Lois who saves the day by instilling some hope in the scared victim. The chemistry and understanding between Clark and Lois are precious, heartwarming, and probably the best in superhero fiction, which makes the viewers all the more shaken at the discovery of the crisis situation the family is going to face. The ending with two anguished sons embracing their mother, while tears roll from the eyes of Clark and Lois, and the background theme hits the highest note, will torment viewers for a long time and move anyone to tears. Even Superman cannot cross some hurdles; he needs his family by his side to do so. This is something the series will focus on this season going forward.


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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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