‘Superman & Lois’s Drama Matches Its Action

by Frank Martin

Superhero shows are a tricky balance between drama and action. A lot of times, the action is not the problem. With unbelievable CGI technology and enough of a budget, it’s become commonplace to see Superman flying around, fighting ferocious battles, and saving the day. What’s a lot harder is keeping an audience accustomed to such adrenaline fueled scenes engaged when these very real characters have to deal with the drama of their lives. The CW in particular struggles with this as it tries cater, once again, to a more teenage demographic. It tends to focus on trivial matters in the grand scheme of saving the world. But finally, after a season and a half, Superman & Lois is tackling its most tension filled traumatic storyline yet.

Of course, Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) has to deal with the continuously growing threat of Ally Allston (Rya Kihlstedt) seeking to rule the world. This storyline has been intense from the very beginning and continues to be so. But after the cliffhanger of the previous episode — when Superman revealed his identity to Lana Lang (Emmanuelle Chriqui) — the ramifications of this confession took center stage. And the situation is not simply straightforward. Lana also has to deal with what this means for her children and her relationship with Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch). Watching this all unfold while Superman still has to save the world has been great storytelling.

Superman & Lois has accomplished something difficult with long-form storytelling. It has created periodic moments of extreme climactic tension while also keeping the very human drama of the show unraveling at the same time. And the ramifications of Superman telling Lana his secret is not over. It’s only a matter of time before this confession spills over into the children’s storylines. As this season heads to its finale, I can’t imagine how they can make the stakes even higher for all involved.

Superman & Lois airs Tuesdays on The CW.

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