After the emotionally charged and painful last episode, the third episode of the third season of “Superman & Lois” deals with the immediate aftermath of the discovery that Lois has been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive inflammatory breast cancer. The nefarious Bruno Mannheim’s plans affect both Smallville and Metropolis, as we see Lana and Henry Irons getting ambushed by Onomatopoeia in the mayor’s office while investigating the murder of Mayor Dean (killed by the same perp). After Clark confronts Bruno regarding his involvement in Atom Man’s current predicament of gaining superpowers, the former manages to gaslight Superman to some extent. We also saw Lois valiantly talk Judge Reagan out of committing suicide, as the latter feared for her life being pinched by Bruno’s men to assist in their dirty deeds. At the same time, Lois lets Clark and the kids know the heartbreaking truth of her being diagnosed with cancer, and the family holds each other close, promising they will avert this crisis together.
What Happens In Episode 3 Of ‘Superman & Lois’ Season 3?
Clark is tormented by a recurrent nightmare of failing to save Lois in a scenario where he sees Metropolis collapse around him. The Kent family lets their relatives, friends, and close associates know about Lois’ diagnosis. Lois’ father, Sam, asks Clark whether there is any Kryptonian technology available at his disposal to help Lois get better, but Clark remarks him that his mother, Lara Zor-El’s sentient holographic projection in the Fortress of Solitude has told him that there isn’t any. However, cancer doesn’t keep the fierce journalist Lois from exerting herself too much for what she considers the case of her lifetime—exposing Bruno Manheim.
The teenagers—the Kent twins, Natalie and Sarah—decide to gift Lois something special to convey the assurance of their presence. Through their conversation, it becomes clear that Jonathan hasn’t yet told his girlfriend Candice about the incident with his ex-girlfriend Eliza at the party in Metropolis. Meanwhile, Lois’ preoccupation with the Mannheim case ends up causing her to miss her medical appointment. Along with Chrissy, Lois discovers one of the secret clinics of a doctor under Bruno’s payroll, where they speculate that experiments on subjects like Henry Miller took place. Lois collects a blood sample from the scene to further her investigation. After learning that Lois skipped her medical appointment, Sam asks Clark not to let her daughter avoid treatment by making excuses anymore.
Henry Irons upgrades the security of Lana’s household as a protective measure after the consecutive attacks of Onomatopoeia rattled the small town of Smallville quite a bit. In Henry’s own Earth, Lois was Henry’s wife and the mother to Natalie; therefore, naturally, Lana questions him about how he has been dealing with the news of Lois’ diagnosis on this Earth. John clarifies that this Earth’s version of Lois isn’t his wife, so his concerns are placed accordingly. Later, at the Irons’ household, Natalie shares with Henry that her gift idea for Lois is to give her the kinetic watch that she’d previously made for her mother and inscribe the names of teenagers behind it. Henry isn’t too pleased with the idea and asks Nat not to confuse Lois with her mother. Nat gets irritated and proceeds with her plan anyway.
Meanwhile, Lois makes another appointment for the next day, and Clark accompanies her to the clinic. However, as a mudslide in Nepal calls for Superman’s help, he flies off to rescue the victims, entrusting Lois to stay and continue necessary medical procedures. Lois starts having stress and anxiety attacks and decides to check on Chrissy’s leads about an investigation. Chrissy, knowing that Lois missed her last appointment and has rescheduled for that day, tries to hold back information, which Lois quite easily realizes. Lois once again skips her appointment, joins Chrissy in the investigation, and enters another similar shady clinic under Mannheim’s control. To escape the armed guards present there, the duo enters a room, which turns out to be a freezer where numerous vials of blood are being kept. Unable to get outside due to the presence of armed guards, Lois decides to call Clark using the emergency caller, but being inside an insulated space that was perhaps laced with lead to avoid Superman’s detection, their signal doesn’t reach the Man of Steel. Clark returns from his mission and comes to know about Lois’ dodging the appointment for a second time, and he also realizes that he is unable to locate her anywhere on the globe. Donning his Superman attire, Clark rushes to the DOD to get Sam and Henry’s assistance.
Elsewhere, Sarah informs her father, Kyle, about Henry Irons’ visits to their household, which makes Kyle jealous enough to go check up on Lana at the mayor’s office. After realizing Kyle’s intentions of finding out whether she and Henry Irons are romantically entangled, Lana gets infuriated and berates Kyle. After returning home, she gets into a heated argument with Sarah, and after her daughter touches a nerve by calling her control freak nature the reason for Kyle’s cheating and eventual divorce, Lana slaps Sarah. Immediately realizing her mistake, Lana tries to apologize, but a weeping Sarah goes to her father, Kyle, to seek comfort.
In the meantime, Jonathan’s car gets stolen along with the watch Natalie wanted to gift Lois, and he asks his girlfriend Candice whether her father knew anything about it, given the fact that he tried to inquire quite a lot about it the previous night. Candice gets disgusted, thinking Jonathan is trying to make assumptions due to her father’s past criminal background, and storms off. Natalie and Jordan use their respective tech help and powers to locate the car, which was indeed stolen by Candice’s father and his gang, and using a bit of theatricality like Batman by using a smoke bomb, the trio retrieves the car (due to Clark’s strict rule that Jordan not use his powers without supervision). However, the watch isn’t found inside, and later, Candice finds it in her father’s stash and comes to Jonathan to return it. Feeling shameful over her father’s actions and the number of times Jonathan has stood up for her by taking the blame for her and her father’s drug (X-kryptonite) dealing by sacrificing his educational and sports career, Candice wants to move away from Jonathan’s life. Jonathan stops her and is now ready to finally confess to her about the incident that took place in Metropolis.
After Bruno’s thugs discover Lois inside the freezer, they bring her out at gunpoint, and Chrissy uses the chance to get outside and ring the emergency caller, and Lois calls Superman at her loudest pitch. Locating them, Superman appears almost instantaneously and knocks out most of the thugs just by the shockwave of his appearance. One of the thugs subdues Superman using Kryptonite energy-emitting gauntlets, and John Henry gears up in his steel armor to rush to the spot. After getting Clark out of danger, the duo prepares to question the thug but gets a vague statement from him regarding them being the next as the thug detonates himself along with the entire compound. Lois and Chrissy had managed to escape safely by then.
After returning home, Clark questions Lois’ actions about deliberately avoiding her treatment, and Lois finally gets candid about her fears and the pressure she’s feeling regarding the treatment. The concern and tension that are reflected in the rest of her family and associates are making her feel more feeble than she is at the moment. Clark assures her of getting through this together as a team. Later, Sam calls her daughter to check up on her and also reveals the test results from the blood sample she brought back reveal it was Clark’s blood.
The next morning, as Lois is finally prepared to go through the medical procedures with Clark by her side, they are greeted by the teenagers, Henry Irons and Sam. Natalie gives Lois the watch, which has her mother’s memories attached, and an elated Lois embraces her. Later, Henry Irons opens up to Natalie about being really worried about Lois’ condition, which makes him appear to distance himself in fear of admixing his past life with the present. The episode ends with Clark and Lois driving out of Smallville as the husband and wife prepare to face a future that is uncertain, but together they are more than capable of tackling whatever comes next.
The central mystery about Bruno Mannheim’s plans gets more interesting with each episode, especially because of how it manages to connect all the key characters. In the comics, villains like Lex Luthor often used Superman’s DNA to create clones, especially characters like Bizzarro and Superboy Conner Kent. Is Bruno Mannheim aiming to create a superpowered villain like that to protect his crime empire from Superman’s inevitable attention? Or will it be something like “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” where the toxic concoction of human DNA from Atom Man and Superman’s Kryptonian DNA ends up creating Doomsday? If that’s the case, we can see “Death of Superman” being adapted into live-action once again, and this time to better effect because of the superior writing.
On the other hand, the Cushing family drama continues to tear the members apart from each other. Lana is obviously overworked between cleaning up the mess of corruption from the previous administration and tackling the new threats of Bruno Mannheim’s right-hand person, or should we say metahuman, Onomatopoeia. But that was no excuse to slap Sarah, her daughter, whom she has been neglecting due to work stress. In sharp contrast to the other family of four, the Kents, it seems the Cushing family just can’t catch a break. Jonathan’s sincerity toward Candice is laudable, but we would like to see him contribute to a more familial side, given how strong a bond he shares with his mother.
The third episode of the third season of “Superman and Lois” does a brilliant job showing the realities of a terminal illness like cancer. Often, those who are conditioned to a tough lifestyle feel uncomfortable or even totally ignore their most obvious difficulties, and that’s the case with Lois too. The realization of her being afflicted with a disease that just eats away at a person physically and mentally is horrifying for an all-around active person like her, and she finally realizes she can’t cope with that on her own. Her father Sam was emotionally unavailable during her childhood, which led to this not-admitting-to-suffering, not-taking-care mentality of hers. Therefore, when in this episode Sam came to know about the diagnosis, he broke down, and it sure hurt us like hell. The series has always prided itself on discussing some real-life issues without resorting to easy escape, and the cancer awareness message in the season shows that boldly.