Superman and Lois is having a busy second season. Bizarro has turned up, and they’ve done a different spin on that character. Jonathan Kent is, unfortunately, acting like a teenage boy. Lois is having problems with her estranged sister, Lucy, and her ties to a strange cult that might be related to Bizarro. And Superman’s relationship with DOD General Anderson is steadily worsening. There’s also some drama with Clark’s friends the Cushings, and that’s not getting any better. Having seen the episode, I’m still not sure why they titled it “Tried and True,” but it was another good addition to the series.
The show opens with a weirdly lit series of scenes showing the events that led to Bizarro coming to Superman’s Earth. When he ends his tale, we see that he’s been relating this to Superman and holo-Lara. The summation of all this is that the pendant that the DOD now has is dangerous, as is Ally Allston, and that Bizarro (who still hasn’t been called that aside from a few jokes) and Superman don’t get along even when not actually fighting. Back on the farm, Lois and Clark update each other and talk about their next few tasks.
General Anderson gets a severe dressing-down from a superior officer, Hardcastle, who runs over several areas of concern. Anderson actually manages to make himself more dislikeable, which is an accomplishment. Jordan, excited by what he doesn’t know is a lie from Jonathan, stops by his brother’s room to check in about developing powers. It’s an impressive contrast between Jordan’s actual excitement for his brother and Jonathan’s growing guilt over his lies and behavior. Jonathan gets even more conflicted after getting a call from his coach. He shares his news, which gets his parents excited, and then, as people get ready to leave for the day, Lois suggests Clark should check in with Lana. That, to me, is another great example of how Lois and Clark have an actual mature relationship on this show. Lois urges her husband to check in on a friend that he used to date, and there’s no big drama involved. Speaking of Lana, breakfast is tense at her place, with both daughters worried about what’s going to happen in the aftermath of the revelations of Kyle’s affair. Sarah, once again, shows what a great kid she is. Her big party was arguably ruined the night before, and she’s not only not wallowing, she’s doing her best to take care of her mother.
Lois’ research on one of current problems gets interrupted when some unannounced guests show up, and there’s a tense meeting between Lois, Sam, and Lucy. Sam is doing his level best to play peacemaker (ironic for a career military man), although his daughters aren’t making things any easier. On a more somber note, Superman attends the funeral of the powered agents of the DOD that Bizarro killed. No one really remarks on his presence, but General Anderson gets some very unwelcome attention from a grieving parent. Because he’s such a nice guy, Superman doesn’t make any comments about this, but does tell the general they need to talk. The kids at school get two quick scenes, with Jordan being concerned about people. First he talks some more to Jonathan about his developing abilities, then with Sarah about the mess going on with her family.
Speaking of that ongoing issue, Kyle drops by the house to plead his case with Lana. She’s a lot calmer than a lot of people would be in that circumstance, but she ends up asking him to leave. At the farm, Sam is getting at least some of what he wants as Lucy looks at family pictures and at least she and Lois aren’t actually attacking each other, physically or verbally. Superman’s attempt to talk to General Anderson goes badly, which is par for the course at this point, and made worse by his dashing off to save the day when his super-hearing detects a problem. Superman has always been a global hero, and that is actually one of the points of contention between him and Anderson, and his latest destination isn’t going to help that any.
The Lane girls find some neutral discussion territory as it turns out Lucy is very knowledgeable about football, and excited about Jonathan’s game that night. Clark comes home and is pleasantly surprised by this development, but doesn’t stay long after getting a call from Lana. Anderson gets briefed on Superman’s latest mission and reacts about as badly as you’d expect him to. Clark and Lana meet up at the diner, and she pours out her heart to her old friend. Clark is supportive and understanding, both listening and offering advice when asked. Going their separate ways, Clark goes to the game and Lana decides to visit someone and get some more information on her current dilemma. The coach gives a good pre-game talk, and Jonathan sneaks off to do more of what he shouldn’t. The Lane family is in the stands, apparently still enjoying themselves and each other, and I support Sam’s choice of gameday fare.
Lana has a very difficult interview, asking some difficult questions, but handles everything with more calmness and grace than many would. Things start going off track at the game on several fronts. Clark gets a work call he has to take, and slips away. Jonathan, while disappointed, helps cover for his departure like a pro. With Sam off getting more snacks, things deteriorate with Lucy and Lois. Despite her temper and occasional ferocity, Lois actually isn’t to blame for this. Sam returns to see the aftermath of the latest outburst, and I wonder how Lucy is getting to wherever she’s going next. Superman responds to a summons from General Anderson, and let’s just say the General hits a new low, and I’m not sure (really hoping not) that his supervisors know what he’s up to. We also get an interesting mirror of the opening scene of the episode.
Of course, Smallville High wins their game with Jonathan’s enhanced help. Candace, his girlfriend and remarkably bad influence, wants to celebrate the win, but Jonathan’s conscience is starting to bother him. Jordan, not being stupid, hears some things and puts together what’s actually going on. His attempt to confront his brother goes really, really badly, and Sam walks in on the end of it. We see enough to know that Jonathan is really losing control on many levels. That ends at about the same time Superman’s meeting with Anderson comes to a very unpleasant conclusion. Lana pays a call on Kyle at work, and they have a very difficult conversation that Kyle is completely surprised by, largely because he’s an idiot.
At the farm, Sam and Lois have a conversation about parenthood and its difficulties, sparked off by Jordan storming off as soon as they get home. Sam is very regretful about how a lot of things have turned out with his daughters, and at a loss about what to do. Jonathan tries to patch things up with Jordan, but his brother is understandably not very interested, and some of his comments get Jonathan worried. Which might well be too little too late. The episode ends on the ominous note of Sam bringing some very bad news to Lois, and Superman in a dire situation. They really need to get a hold of some of the Arrowverse heroes to help out at this point, since Steel is out of action for the foreseeable future.
What I liked: The relationships on the show are all believable and actually work, even when things are going badly, like between Lois and Lucy or Jonathan and Jordan. The insight into what Bizarro is and what he’s doing was interesting and unexpected. I feel bad for Sam, caught in the middle between his two daughters. Superman is trying to do the right thing, and caught between several bad choices. While I don’t like Anderson at all, I will say I don’t quite understand why Superman is keeping as many secrets as he is. Even on his way to being lost, Jonathan is still helping out his father.
What I didn’t: I somewhat get where all the people I’m about to complain about are coming from, but I really don’t like how they’re acting or the choices they are making. Anderson is being a dick, and he really needs to learn about working with people, not having people work for him. Jonathan is making horrible choices, and I can understand what’s behind at least some of them, but he’s going to land in a very, very bad place. Lucy is obsessed, and just can’t let go of things for long enough to even enjoy a game with her sister and father. Kyle is just plain foolish, and handling everything in the worst possible way.
I am still enjoying the show, just not liking some of the subplots cropping up. I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5, especially as I didn’t see some of these twists coming. I hope they figure out a way to get Superman some help fast.