DC shows have been a staple on the CW for over a decade. The Arrowverse spawned six series and two web series but is finally drawing to a conclusion this year with the finale of The Flash. That isn’t to say that The CW will be without its comic book series, as the channel prepares for a new DC pairing. Arriving March 14, in a two-hour block branded ‘Super Knights’ fans will return to Smallville in the Superman & Lois season 3 premiere, which will lead into the series premiere of Gotham Knights.
The third season of Superman & Lois sees the return of most of the principal cast, with the exception of Jordan Elsass who is replaced by Michael Bishop as Jonathan Kent. This newest outing of the Kent family might be their toughest yet. With new villains popping up and a mystery that envelopes many in Smallville, Superman and Lois have their hands full. Not counting the plenty of human moments between our characters that make this series shine.
With the first two seasons standing as shining examples of what superhero television can be, does the third season continue that streak? Read on to see what the third season of Superman & Lois has in store.
[Warning: light spoilers and impressions from the first two episodes of Superman & Lois season 3 are below!]
A return to normal for the Kent family
The third season picks up shortly after the cataclysmic events of season two. However, having stopped the collision of two planets, Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) is looking to return to normal life. Well, as normal as being Superman can be. Careerwise, he’s working with Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) and Chrissy (Sofia Hasmik) at the Smallville Gazette, which is vastly different from the Daily Planet. He also seems happy working there, not having to hide his secret while at work. It feels like the Smallville Gazette is becoming a pseudo-headquarters for Superman and his investigative team.
Speaking of being happy, the Kents are happier than ever. Lois and Clark’s relationship is the best it’s ever been with the duo flying off for romantic getaways and flirty banter that would make any child cringe from embarrassment. This happiness is so expansive, that others around Smallville cannot help but notice it.
The twins, Jonathan and Jordan (Alex Garfin) are also settling into a comfortable reality in their teenage lives, even when everything isn’t always okay. Jonathan is looking for more independence and freedom, now that their 16 birthdays are upon them. Throughout his journey, similar to Lois’, audiences are treated to a more human story with human problems. His story of attempting to get his license, and having to practice driving with his parents was both relatable and hilarious as well.
Jordan on the other hand is similar to his father in that his story is a better balance of hero and human. Having the powers, Jordan is looking to embrace them, wanting to become a hero just like his father. This journey comes with plenty of challenges with higher stakes than Jonathan learning to drive. There’s a scene in the first episode that highlights this, putting Clark’s desire to keep his children safe and Jordan’s need to save others in conflict.
Appealing to Jordan’s human side, are his feelings for Sarah (Inde Navarrette), leading to some awkwardness between the two. It’s great to see that this budding hero also experiences real-life issues. Issues that every one of us viewers experienced in high school.
Life adjustments in Superman & Lois season 3
The Kent family aren’t the only people in Smallville looking to begin again after the events of the second season. Lana (Emmanuelle Chriqui) has embraced being mayor fully, though part of that seems to be to run away from her pending divorce from Kyle (Erik Valdez). Kyle himself has some complicated feelings about the divorce, but both he and his soon-to-be ex-wife are focused on healthy co-parenting instead of working through their problems.
Lana is front and center in these first two episodes. At times she felt equal to the two main stars, completing the trifecta of tentpole stories in which this season is to be built. Her role as mayor and cleaning up the previous one’s mess is integral to the story they are trying to tell. It’s also a great call, Chirqui is fantastic in the role and she deserves more screen time in any project she’s in.
While many characters seem to be doing well in life, John Henry Irons (Wolé Parks) and his daughter Natalie (Tayler Buck) are having a harder time adjusting. Irons is now working with Samuel Lane (Dylan Walsh) at the Department of Defense but wants Natalie to have as much of a normal life as possible. However, being ripped from her world and into a reality where her mother is no longer her mother is tough. Factor in a genius-level intelligence and Natalie is a fish out of water.
One of the most exciting parts of the first two episodes was the moments focusing on Natalie and her growth. Seeing her opposite Walsh’s Samuel was some of the best scenes. As well, the audience gets a great look at the bond that the younger characters have developed, which was a treat for me.
Part of this season’s mystery involves the John Henry Irons’ of this world, an individual who came with a lot of baggage. While that is not our John’s life, the other John’s actions have consequences that impact Parks’ character.
Cracks in the facade of a happy family life for Superman and Lois
As the story unfolds in the first two episodes, it becomes apparent quickly that these characters’ happiness isn’t meant to last. Clark and Lois begin this season on a high, but reality smacks them in the face. It’s hard to determine the direction that the series is planning on taking these characters with this curveball. This story is easily the most emotional storyline from this season and the one that might have the greatest impact on the show.
On the superhero front, it’s hard to determine who or what is the big bad of this season, if they continue throughout the entirety of season 3. That being said, the forces at play in these two episodes are impressive. The villains so far reflect the duality in Superman and Jordan rather well, with some of them formidable humans and others super-powered individuals. They are exciting and absolutely terrifying, which ups the ante for season 3 of Superman & Lois.
Final Thoughts on the Superman & Lois season 3 premiere episodes
Superman has always been one of my favorite superheroes, with Superman & Lois serving as a shining example of what good comic adaptations can be. So far, season 3 is just as good if not better than the previous seasons. It expands on what already made the series great; focusing on family, using Superman as a beacon of hope, and balancing the younger skewed stories with adult ones.
Hoechlin continues to shine as Clark/Superman. Whoever cast him for the Arrowverse did the world a favor, because he’s perfect for the role in every way. His charm is intoxicating as Clark and his heroism is exceptional as superman.
Michael Bishop is a welcome addition to the Kent family, taking over as Jonathan. Joining a series already in progress as a recast is difficult enough already, but Bishop makes it look easy. I found myself enjoying him more as Jonathan than I ever did with Jordan Elsass in the role. Where the original Jonathan came off annoying and cocky, Bishop has a charm similar to Hoechlin. Bishop also feels more like a teenager rather than an adult pretending to be a teenager, closer in line with Garfin who always felt younger than Elsass even though they were supposed to be twins.
While everyone is fantastic in these episodes, Elizabeth Tulloch is leagues above the rest. Her take on Lois hasn’t been my favorite in previous seasons, but her performance in these two episodes is stellar. The story that the writers have planned for her finally gives her something substantial in which to show her talent.
I enjoyed these first two episodes of the third season and cannot wait to see where it goes from here. Season 3 of Superman & Lois is the perfect time to jump back into the series. And for those who have been along for the ride, you’re in for a treat when Superman & Lois returns to The CW.
Superman & Lois returns on March 14 on The CW. Are you excited about its return? Let us know on Twitter or in The Cosmic Circus Discord. If you haven’t already, check out our season 2 review from the series.