‘Superman & Lois’ Season 3, Episode 9 Recap & Ending, Explained: Did Lois Embrace The Changes?

The third season of CW’s Superman & Lois posits Lois’ battle with cancer as its prime focus, and in doing so, takes viewers through an emotional roller-coaster of a ride. After a series of shocking revelations in the previous episode, life in the Irons household gets shaken as a rift is created between Natalie and John Henry regarding their relationship with the Manheim family. As their identities get revealed in front of John Henry, Bruno and Peia launch a vicious attack on John Henry and Superman, but Peia’s cancer catches up to her, and she collapses, prompting Bruno to agree to let Superman take her to DOD for immediate assistance. After learning of Mateo’s parentage John Henry forbids his daughter Natalie from seeing him, and his protective instincts act up hard. Meanwhile, the Kent twins get into a row due to Jordan interfering in Jon’s fireman drills, which results in Kyle suspecting the presence of a new metahuman in Smallville. All of the entanglements are, however, superseded in this episode by a much more important discourse: how do terminally ill patients cope with the anticipation of undergoing bodily changes? Bitsie Tulloch’s poignant performance as Lois showcases that brilliantly.


Spoilers Ahead

Happier Times

The episode opens with a flashback sequence to seventeen years ago, at a time when Clark and Lois were working at the Daily Planet in Metropolis and trying to decide on the venue of their marriage. The duo got informed about Lois’ getting nominated for the Metties Award for her excellence as a journalist and being invited to the grand gala. Lois was concerned that she didn’t have a proper outfit for the occasion, but Clark assured her, stating he had something in mind.


At present, Clark and Lois are informed by the medical personnel at Hob’s Bay that Lois’ body is responding positively to her breast cancer treatment and that they can proceed to the next step, surgery, and removal of the organs. After such a strenuous ordeal of going through the treatment, which was demanding for both Lois and her family, the news of improvement should come as a relief. But Lois’ expressions don’t convey the same initially. A terminal illness like cancer presents multifaceted problems, and Lois has been afflicted by every single one of them throughout her treatment, and the situation seems similar on this occasion too.

Did Bruno Reveal His Machinations To The DOD?

Meanwhile, the villainous Peia is held captive by the DOD, and reasonably, Sam and John Henry are unwilling to let go of the murderous metahuman. Bruno arrives at the DOD with his lawyer to demand a visit to Peia, and Sam allows John Henry to handle the situation instead of Clark. John is unwilling to cooperate unless Bruno fulfills the demands of DOD, which include returning the things Bruno stole from the agency: Superman’s blood, X-Kryptonite, and the corpse of Bizarro. Mannheim disagrees with the terms and leaves, only to later send his henchmen to Smallville to attack John Henry and Natalie. John Henry somehow manages to defend himself and Nat using his advanced-tech weapons. John informs Sam about this and plans to raid Bruno’s office.


Clark is unaware of the situation and goes to meet with Bruno to appeal to his caring side for his wife and comply with the DOD’s demands. As Clark earnestly tries to convince Bruno to see the reason, John leads a SWAT team inside Bruno’s building, confiscating every belonging. Clark states that he almost succeeded in coercing Bruno into giving up the stolen assets when Henry barged in, despite knowing that Clark was already trying to deal with the situation. At this point, John Henry totally makes the situation personal, which clarifies his intention to use Peia as leverage against Bruno. Knowing this, Sam dismisses John Henry from the case. Things between Bruno and John Henry just gradually go from bad to worse in this episode.

Does Natalie Get To Meet With Mateo?

Being basically in a security lockdown due to her father’s overprotective nature, which had been triggered by continuous attacks from Bruno, Natalie mopes around due to her separation from Mateo. She meets her Smallville friends, Sara and the Kent twins, who aren’t really supportive of Mateo after knowing his parentage. Out of all people, Natalie didn’t expect Jon to not be on her side because, despite his girlfriend Candice’s father being a criminal, the Kent family assisted Candice in every way possible. Jon later makes amends with Natalie, and the friends arrange for a meeting between Natalie and Mateo. Mateo professes his love for Natalie and also informs her that John Henry is not letting his mother’s family meet with her.


Why Is Lois Feeling Restless Despite The Positive Response To Her Treatment?

As the flashback sequences show, Clark had bought a beautiful red dress for Lois that she could wear to the Mets gala. It’s special for both of them, as Lois has never had someone gift her a dress before, and Clark sold his entire baseball card collection to buy the expensive set for his special one. In the present day, as a cloth giveaway drive is happening in Smallville, much to Clark’s dismay, Lois decides to donate the dress. Faced with the situation when she has to undergo double mastectomy, Lois gets despondent, thinking her appearance will be permanently affected and she will not be able to wear the dress ever again anyway. Clark tries to comfort her, but seeing Lois adamant in her decision, he goes to Lana to deposit the cloth stash.

Lana learns about the situation from Clark and goes to Kent’s household to cheer up Lois. A meaningful conversation between Lana and Lois about femininity and the role of the female body in their identity follows, and Lois shares her fear of cancer tearing apart her body bit by bit. From losing the sense of the taste, hair to a sunken appearance and the removal of breasts, she fears a situation where she isn’t recognizable to herself or even to her family. She fears it will affect her marriage, too, as the mental strain won’t let her get intimate with Clark anytime soon. Lana assures her that, if anything, Clark should be the least of her worries, as he loves his wife so dearly that he will not let these aspects ever bother him. Later, as Lana leaves, Clark returns and asserts Lois’ importance in his life, which will not waver by any means.


What Did Bruno Do To Get Back At John Henry?

John Henry returns to his home in Smallville to double-check the security measures and finds the super-powered Atom Man, aka Henry Miller, breaking in under the order of Bruno Manheim. Atom Man wrecks John Henry’s tech rig and starts thrashing him across Smallville. Clark responds to John Henry’s distress call and clashes with the supervillain but gets disoriented when he is thrown far away during a collision. Before Clark can stop it, John Henry calls for his high-tech hammer and kills Atom Man with a single strike.

It is hinted that this act puts Clark somewhat at odds with John Henry, as taking lives has never been Superman’s way. Moreover, Natalie confronts John Henry about his decision not to let Mateo or Bruno meet Peia, knowing full well that she might not have much time left anyway. At Bruno’s apartment, Mateo angrily accuses his father of being the reason for Peia’s condition and fears that he might not see his mother again. Bruno takes him to his secret hideout, where he is trying to regenerate the corpse of Bizarro, which, according to him, is supposed to be a way for Peia’s complete recovery.


John Henry’s predicament is understandable, as he has seen the side of Bruno that the rest of the lot haven’t. And even though Clark is aware of that, the Big Boy Scout’s extremely hopeful demeanor and humanity cloud his judgment about Bruno somewhat. Unlike the Man of Steel, John Henry is a regular human, and he cannot afford that lax attitude, especially when he has people to look after. But even then, he is resorting to pretty extreme methods, which he will surely look to rectify before going too far.

Was Lois Able To Come To Terms With Her Bodily Changes?

In the past, Clark accompanied Lois, who was adorned in the gorgeous dress, to the gala, and his honest admission of how disarmingly beautiful she looked completely won her over. In the present, Clark returns to Lois and states that he loves Lois Lane as a whole, which can never be quantified by mere parts of her. He will keep loving her irrespective of the  changes in her appearance, and it’s immaterial whether in their conjugal life, they can get intimate or not when the surgery provides a chance for Lois’ recovery. The symbol of hope and positivity finally manages to brighten Lois’ mood, and she proposes to recreate a special moment from the memory of the gala night.


The duo gets dressed to the nines, Clark in his suit and Lois in the red dress, and as the duo embraces each other in a loving bond, Clark slowly starts hovering above. The episode ends with Clark and Lois reiterating their love for each other and kissing, as a sweeping score makes the scene even more magical. A better super-couple has not been found yet, and they are exemplifying the meaning of love with each episode of this season. In the upcoming episode, we will see John Henry working on himself to reign in his over-the-edge attitude as Bruno continues to make efforts to rescue his wife from the DOD. But somehow, we can’t help but feel that the trials and tribulations the Kent couple faces in each episode are superseding the rest of the problems and are genuinely presenting some of the best-written bits small-screen superhero entries have to offer.

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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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