REVIEW: Superman & Lois – Season 2, Episode 11 “Truth and Consequences”

In the 11th episode of Season 2, Clark and Lois face off with a troublemaker named Lucas. The result is an exciting race to stop him before he unleashes the truth about what really happened in Metropolis during Thanagar War!

In episode 11 of the second season, “Truth and Consequences” Lois is going to be a film critic. Her first review is for Superman: The Movie. Read more in detail here: film critic in superman.

REVIEW: Superman & Lois – Season 2, Episode 11 “Truth and Consequences”

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This season has been difficult for the Superman family (which is simpler to pronounce than “the Kent/Lanes”). The characters in “Truth and Consequences” take one stride forward and two steps back, but not in a terrible manner. Their development is realistic – inasmuch as a program about flying aliens with heat vision can be realistic – with change taking time, halting, and suffering growing pains as it develops gradually. This week’s character arcs and action are on fire; regrettably, the conflict is set off by one of the show’s worst moves since its beginning.

Bizarro Jonathan goes for Superman’s closest allies in order to kill him and unite with his lookalike. With an increasingly stubborn Jonathan, Clark attempts to get over his rage. Jordan is determined to reclaim Sarah. As she prepares to assume office, Lana feels alone. John Henry and Natalie make an attempt to assist Superman.

As “Truth and Consequences” begins, the showdown that “Bizarros in a Bizarro World” left us with continues. Jordan rushes to defend his brother from Bizarro Jonathan, only to be tossed aside like garbage. While Jordan has been training with Sam, Bizarro Jonathan has been a practicing superhero for some time and has trained from his world’s Superman. That means things aren’t looking well for Jon when his main challenges are an inexperienced adolescent and Lois’s scolding. Another example of this show’s grasp of superhero iconography emerges at this point: Superman smashes through the wormhole and returns into our planet just in time to rescue the day. Bizarro Jonathan is weakened by our yellow sun, much as Superman was by Bizarro World’s red one, as Clark explains later, thus he has little hope of keeping up with Superman. However, if Jon begins to see the same visions that Clark experienced when Bizarro arrived, it’ll only be a matter of time until the evil version of his son is able to combine with Jon and create something too powerful for the Man of Steel to control.

*SPOILERS*

 

The rivalry between Clark and Jon has been simmering all season, which adds to the intrigue of the setting. Clark seems to have learnt his lesson about alienating his kid in “Bizarros in a Bizarro World.” In “Truth and Consequences,” he reveals that he misunderstood some of the lessons he learned in Bizarro World. While he does tell Jon that their differences don’t matter in the face of multi-dimensional Armageddon, he isn’t taking steps to fix the problem; he’s just sweeping it under the rug and hoping it goes away, and Jon knows that. Clark is more horrified by the cult of notoriety that surrounds Bizarro Superman, and he feels that Bizarro’s lack of a hidden identity is what led to his son’s corruption. In other words, Clark, as previously, feels that everything he’s doing is correct, and it’s his way or the highway once again. But it’s much worse this time because Jon has had enough of being evaluated by someone who has lied to him his whole life, and Jordan – who had to sneak behind his parents’ back to train with his grandpa – agrees. Clark digs in and yells Jon down without even attempting to understand. Jon claims that his lie was to protect someone, whereas Clark’s is self-serving. It’s irritating to watch Clark be so stubborn, but it makes sense, and it’s a more believable manner of dealing with his and Jon’s issues than a rapid reversal.

But “Truth or Consequences” isn’t just a philosophical conversation between an obstinate father and his enraged kid. When Clark refuses to stop Bizarro Jonathan so Lana won’t find out he’s Superman, Lana gets abducted as a consequence of his secret identity. Now Jon has some ammunition: Clark placed someone he describes as his closest friend in grave risk to preserve his secret, and Jon asks why this is OK but Jon’s saving Candice from homelessness and a dangerous drug dealer is not. Isn’t he making a valid point? Isn’t it true that being a hero is all about saving people who are in danger? His deception was successful, but Clark’s was not. Of course, Clark and Lois are too preoccupied with shouting at the boys to notice, and here is where the concept gets pushed a bit too far; I understand that they’re stubborn and believe they’re always right, but they’re meant to be grownups, right?

Superman & Lois Truth and Consequences

The second major issue is that this tension arises as a consequence of a dreadful story element. When Clark discovers Bizarro Jonathan wandering the streets of Smallville, he comes disguised as Clark Kent to confront him. Then, when Lana comes out of a shop, he decides that rather than divulge his secret identity, he would let the superpowered crazy from another realm escape. Why did he walk up dressed as a civilian? Isn’t it much more logical to arrive dressed as Superman? Even if Lana didn’t accompany him, he might be seen by any number of Smallville inhabitants. Why take the chance when your hidden identity is so valuable? It’s tough to overlook the fact that the whole problem might have been averted if he had employed half a brain cell, especially since the remainder of “Truth or Consequences” rests on it.

The truth vs. falsehoods problem — especially, the deception that Clark is Superman – is the motivating force for the remainder of the family’s difficulties. Jordan is losing Sarah since he is unable to inform her about his abilities because doing so might reveal Clark’s true identity. Lois is unable to tell Lana or Sarah about Bizarro Jonathan, and her attempts to make things better for Jordan only make matters worse. When Sarah approaches them for assistance, all Lois and Jordan can do is dismiss her with vague platitudes that come across as callous and dismissive. It’s enough for Lois to question Clark’s secret identity’s wisdom, wondering whether it’s harming more people than it’s helping, or even if it’s protecting the ones it’s supposed to protect. As much as I despise the clumsy manner in which “Truth or Consequences” arrives, I appreciate this subplot because it adds a fresh dimension to the discussion over whether or not a superhero should have a secret identity. Clark has been working for a long, but it’s beginning to endanger others and sever the relationship he believed he’d formed with his family.

Superman & Lois Truth and Consequences

What Clark is missing is that he’s actually making the same mistake Bizarro did, but in a different way. He’s got himself caught up in being Superman as well, but instead of seeing himself as a celebrity, he treats Superman like a secret that must be kept at all costs, something only for him. He won’t train Jordan to be a superhero because only he can carry that burden; he won’t allow Jon to keep a secret because only he can know which are worth keeping and which aren’t; he won’t trust his friends or the rest of the world with the truth because they’d take away his life as a family man. There is a fundamental contradiction in this, as the man who claims to put his faith in the basic goodness of humanity doesn’t trust it to know his name. This is illustrated through Clark’s family and what they’re feeling knowing he doesn’t trust them; Lois laments that they’re being torn apart, and Jordan replies, “Maybe we’re not that close to begin with.” Is this not a fair assessment of Superman and the people he protects? In exploring this, Superman & Lois reveals itself even more as a masterclass in examining Superman’s flaws and making him human while not betraying his character.

The rest of “Truth or Consequences” is great as well. The subplot with John Henry and Natalie’s sidequest to help Superman isn’t much in itself, but the tension lying under it makes it much more compelling. Natalie sees the looming crisis as a repeat of what happened to her world, and the possibility of an army of Superman-level bad guys is something she doesn’t want to face again. John Henry’s attempt to comfort her and assure her that he won’t let it happen are sweet and what any father would do, but they ring hollow because he couldn’t stop it the first time, and he’s still not equipped to fight a legion of evil Kryptonians. I think John Henry and Natalie will be important in the final battle, whatever that may look like. It’ll have to be pretty spectacular because Superman & Lois hasn’t been skimping in the action department. The fight with Bizarro Jonathan at the end is a bone-cruncher, but what makes it so satisfying is how it’s informed by the earlier one, with Jordan looking completely outmatched before turning the tables on his arrogant opponent. Jordan’s “This is for my brother” is one of the most cheer-worthy lines on the show, and it nicely complements the soft, loving “Bro” Jon gives Jordan before reading his ill-advised letter to Sarah. These two look out for each other in whatever capacity they’re able to, and they’ve still got my favorite relationship in the series. Finally, Clark telling Lana that he’s Superman is a great way to cap off this leg of the trust arc; it’s a baby step where his family – and his philosophy – are concerned, but for Clark, it’s a big deal.

Plot – 7
Acting – 9 points
8 – Progression
Design for Production – 7
Themes (nine)

8

Good

“Truth and Consequences” is a complicated episode about breaking trust and being adaptable when horrible things happen. It basically succeeds, but is hampered by a main narrative point’s idiocy and Clark and Lois’ insufferable self-righteousness. However, the action is fantastic, John Henry and Natalie’s anxiety builds a looming dread for the climax, and Jon and Jordan’s friendship is as sweet and strong as ever.

Superman 3 is a superhero television series developed by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. It stars Dean Cain as Superman, Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane, and Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor. The show ran for four seasons from 1996 to 2000 on ABC before being cancelled. In 2006, the WB network rebooted it with Smallville. Reference: superman 3 review.

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