Arrowverse Couch Club Season Two, Week 20: Superman & Lois S1, E8


This was a quiet week for the Arrowverse as every show was off except for Superman & Lois. But in the wake of the reveal of John Henry Irons as The Stranger and the growing threat of Morgan Edge, there was still plenty to break down in this episode. With Irons in custody, both Clark and Lois began to discover the shocking details about his life and why he so desperately wants to take down Superman. The revelations were especially difficult for Lois, who, after learning one specific detail of Irons’ life, began to unravel in an unexpected way. Meanwhile, Lana’s new job began causing more friction between her and Kyle, and Sarah looked to audition for her school’s musical revue.

Superman & Lois – “Holding the Wrench”

  • Did it seem like the right move to just allow John Henry to go free at the end of the episode?
  • What were your thoughts on the retcon that Lois not only suffered a miscarriage about 13 years ago, but that she was going to have a daughter named Natalie, just like on JHI’s earth?
  • Though the military’s kryptonite weapons obviously present a threat to Superman, they could also end up being useful in the looming fight against Edge’s Kryptonian army. Do you think these weapons will stick around in some capacity in the long term, or are they more likely to be disposed of by the end of the season?
  • With Jonathan and Jordan out of football for the foreseeable future, are you hoping for a quick return to the team as soon as possible or would you rather see them move on to something else?
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It’s certainly a big risk and I can’t imagine it’ll work out completely well for Clark, Lois and the military, but I do still feel like I get the logic behind this. For starters, I’m guessing the military can only hold a man who’s supposed to have died 6 years ago for so long before too many people start asking questions. Though plenty of Arrowverse heroes and people connected to them get the basic concept of the multiverse, it’s still not a widely known fact of existence. While that really should change at some point soon, this probably isn’t the best timing for doing just that sort of huge reveal that’ll certainly cause strong responses all over the world

But beyond that, I get that while John Henry does still appear to be committed to killing Superman at some point, it’s clear that he’s no longer the main threat. That distinction has definitely shifted to Edge and his X-Kryptonite, as they’re seeing more and more just how dangerous it is to have this substance that can not only give people Kryptonian powers, but also apparently place new consciousnesses in their bodies. It doesn’t take the testimony of a man who saw this sort of scheme destroy his world to know it’s a huge threat. What makes it especially tricky is that by the time there’s sufficient evidence available to prove what he’s doing, it may also be too late to stop him. So between needing to shift more of their focus to Edge and, like Clark said, possibly having John Henry out there to help down the line, I think it does make sense. You can already see his perspective starting to shift, thus reinforcing the growing theory that this whole arc will ultimately be how Steel becomes a hero on this earth

As sad and heavy as it was, I thought it was also a fascinating development that really adds a lot to her character. I don’t think we’ve ever seen Lois suffer a miscarriage in any medium, certainly not in live action, but the inherent nature of such a tragedy actually makes a lot of sense for her character in a grim way. The episode addressed her place as a non-powered human both in a world full of superheroes and the wife of 1 of the most powerful heroes on the planet, and that’s always been a fixture of her character. Lois has always had to find ways to deal w/ the fact that as smart, resourceful and ambitious as she is in life, she has a constant reminder of all the things she can’t do as well. Because of that, wanting to put more focus on the things she can do and control in her life makes perfect sense, even though she may find herself trying to apply that sense of self-control to a lot of things in her life even if it doesn’t actually apply. So when you have someone like that go through something like a miscarriage, which is of course happening to her body directly, I can understand why a somewhat warped mindset like that would feel guilt over something that she logically has no reason to feel guilt over. Even though it was over a decade ago, Lois would’ve certainly had already spent so many years focusing on what she can control outside of a lot of the superhero stuff, and since the pregnancy/miscarriage falls under a much more “normal” purview, it makes sense that would, in her mind, get folded into the category of things she can control. It explains why she’s been carrying around this lingering sense of guilt for so long, and given that this seems to be the 1st time she’s really addressing it head-on, it’s clearly gonna be a while before she’s able to truly accept that it wasn’t her fault and move on in a healthy way

I’m definitely curious to see if this comes up again, as this material got some fantastic acting out of Bitsie Tulloch. Of course she’s always great as Lois, but the raw emotion she was spilling out in this episode was downright uncomfortable to watch at times, but in a way where that was clearly the intention and thus successful. Not that I specifically want to see her having to constantly unearth past traumas, but we know these characters are always gonna be dealing w/ issues beyond the usual superhero stuff, so material like this that remains compelling is very much welcome. We’ve just got to make sure to have our tissues ready

First off, it’s worth noting that we’ve already been down this general road of Superman taking issue w/ a government agency stockpiling kryptonite to use against him if he ever turned, as that’s essentially what happened w/ Clark and the DEO in season 2 of Supergirl. But while that thread ended w/ the DEO getting rid of their kryptonite, I don’t think this show will be beholden to the same ending, especially considering the way it’s mostly dodged around the rest of the Arrowverse all season

Instead, I think it’s a lot more likely that the military will end up keeping at least some of the kryptonite weapons, as the coming war w/ Edge’s Kryptonians will likely be enough justification for them and Clark to truly recognize the necessity of them. If Sam makes it through this season alive, I do see him and his son-in-law ultimately rebuilding a good chunk of their trust by that point, which would really have to happen in order for Clark to be OK w/ him overseeing whatever stockpile the military still has left. It’d be sure to help create more drama down the line, but I could still understand the thinking behind keeping at least some of it

It should be interesting to see them explore other elements of their school and budding friendships, but I certainly hope this is only a temporary leave from the team. They’re already going through enough issues as it is, and not being able to return at all to a sport they both enjoy would probably just feel like it’s piling on too much. Between breaking his arm last week and almost getting killed this week, I’d hate to see Jonathan lose this activity that’s been something so big to him for such a long time now. Of course we’ll have to see how his arm heals after these 6 weeks of being in a cast are up, but it remains entirely possible that the writers can heal him properly. As for Jordan, I’d also want to see him return, but it’ll be crucial for him to take this time to better control his powers so that he doesn’t seriously hurt anyone else or have another superpowered outburst. In the long term, I feel like football could actually be an effective way to help w/ that, having to always keep a good balance of exerting enough power to be successful, but not so much that someone gets hurt. Plus it really seemed to be helping w/ his confidence, which is always a good thing, though maybe getting back into piano and spending more time w/ Sarah will also do the trick on that front

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I think so. He has a long way to go before he sides with Superman but I think he is on the right path. He just needs to make sure he remembers this isn’t his Earth and that Clark hasn’t killed his wife here.

This was an amazing character development and it was acted brilliantly. My only real comment on this is that I am a little tired of miscarriages/pregnancy/breakups being the only real female backstory character development we get in superhero stories. But Elizabeth Tulloch did an amazing job with it.

It was a fantastic job. I cried in that last scene between her and Jon when she tells him.

Every hero needs a ‘kryptonite’ and in Clark’s case it is literal. I really like the idea of there being back-ups in case superheroes go rogue. Maybe it’s the Batman fan in me, but I really think it is a balance that needs to be there. So I hope they keep them around, maybe not in the forefront but at least somewhere in the background.

Kinda? I like the football atmosphere but maybe we’ll see Jordan go to theater with Sarah? As a theater kid I would love to see it, but I know the show would get ruined for plot. :laughing:

I just want there to be something for Jonathan. The boy needs something for himself besides Lois.

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Oh, forgot to add. There was another great moment to mention Kara in this episode and it flew right by. “The Kryptonians are coming” “Kara is already there”

Are we just ignoring her completely forever? :frowning:


I feel like this really isn’t quite the case anymore. Don’t get me wrong, it’s happened plenty of times, but if you’re taking about superhero stories in general, there are plenty of female characters who have gotten development well beyond just these sort of things. Like most aspects of representation, there’s still room for improvement, but I haven’t gotten the sense that this widely applies to female characters in general currently

Very true. They don’t have to always be brought up to be a lingering, looming presence over Superman

I doubt they’d have an entire musical episode, but this could always be worked in as a subplot w/ Sarah and Jordan. The scenes would probably be mostly them talking in between practices or something, but I could see it working. You’ve gotta make sure they have something to do, and for Jordan, that won’t and shouldn’t always be focused on his developing powers

It’s interesting, when the pilot revealed that Jordan has powers and Jonathan doesn’t, I actually thought we’d be getting more scenes between Lois and Jonathan as the non-powered members of the family. Not that there wasn’t anything between them before this episode, but it’s been more balanced than I anticipated. But now that this specific dynamic has been given more direct attention, I imagine it’ll play more of a role in their developing connection throughout the series, and I think that’d work out just fine

Yeah, this continues to be by far my biggest problem w/ the show. I know it should just be a nitpick, but it’s legitimately pissing me off how if this was the only Arrowverse show someone watched, they’d just have to assume that Kara doesn’t exist in this universe or hasn’t come to earth yet. The whole “you’re not alone anymore” line these X-Kryptonians keep saying will probably pay off w/ Clark saying something like “I’m not alone, I have my family,” etc. But the fact that we’re getting this deep into the storyline of Kryptonians coming to earth, even if it’s not in their own bodies, w/out so much as a hint toward Kara is just a disservice to her character and legacy. At this rate, the producers could ultimately confirm that this show actually does take place on an earth besides Earth-Prime and I honestly wouldn’t even be that surprised

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Okay, I have been reading a lot of older comics lately so maybe that’s why I was thinking this. But you are right, it has been less recently. But either way, the acting was amazing and I am still thinking about it.

I was thinking more that whatever show the school puts on would probably get ruined, not the tv show. I think one musical CW episode is enough. :laughing:
As for Jordan, we really solved his super-hearing problem in one go, huh? But I am excited to see him practicing piano and being excited about it.

I hope so. Both of the actors are great.

Huh, that would be fascinating. Re-reveal the multiverse to everyone. Cause Kara and crew haven’t mentioned Clark or anyone this season, right?

That’d certainly explain it. Gotta get some modern material to balance that out

Tell that to Riverdale

I guess he did, yeah. I’m assuming this episode takes place the day after the last one since Superman said that he’d be the 1st to question Irons in the morning. Maybe the adrenaline rush of saving his dad helped fix it somehow? That’s really the only thing I can think of

There’s been the usual few passing/general mentions, but I don’t think anyone’s specifically mentioned him present day. Maybe there is some sort of strange effort to keep these shows further apart due to something that happens later on in 1 or both of them. But even if it’s something connected to a spoiler, I would’ve hoped that the producers would’ve just come out and said we’d have to wait and see before they could explain in detail. I know I’m overthinking it (what else is new?) but this has just been driving me crazy all season

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Never watched Riverdale but good to know.

Yeah, it gave him the clarity to understand his powers better?

Oh, that’s a good point. I didn’t think about that. I just figured it was due to where Kara has been for the first half of the season, but something in the second half does make sense. I guess we will find out eventually. :woman_shrugging:

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Same here, but I know enough about it from its reputation. After seeing enough cringe compilations, I don’t know how anyone is still watching it

I had thought of this too, like S&L didn’t want to spoil Kara being trapped in the Phantom Zone. But any of the producers/cast could’ve just said that Kara wasn’t gonna be brought up initially because of something that happens in Supergirl w/out saying exactly what it is. Besides, now that we know what happened and that Kara is back anyway, they wouldn’t even be able to use that excuse for the back half of S&L

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I’ve been thinking it would have been fun to have Supergirl and Superman occasionally run into each other at the Fortress, they keep using it so much in both series.


That would be a fun running gag for next season when (hopefully) filming restrictions have been lifted and Melissa is able to appear. But even then, the Fortress raises more continuity concerns since it looks distinctly different from the 1 featured in SG


I also see no way that the current Lex Luthor actor would fit into the tone and feel of Superman and Lois.


At the very least, I’d like to see them try. Though I do enjoy seeing Cryer have fun in being such a maniacal villain, he’s also good at playing Lex more seriously and w/ less camp, so it could just take the right direction. Plus we still haven’t had any direct interactions between him and Hoechlin’s Superman even after Crisis, so that remains on my checklist


I like the Natalie thing because of how the name reverberated with Sam and Jon. Also, Lois and Jon’s reconciliation.

Letting John go is the proverbial gesture of good faith.

Between the kryptonite weapons and the red sun tech, there would be enough to mount a good resistance against the x-k army. Where the transferred kryptonian personalities (consciousnesses?) succeeded in turning JHI’s Kal-El, I will speculate we will see that play out, but our Supes will decline, then a super slugfest plus maybe some of those weapons.

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It’ll also depend on just how many X-Kryptonians Edge ends up getting. If it only ends up being a few like what we saw on that board toward the end of the episode, then I’d hardly count that as an army. But if that’s just the beginning and it ends up being dozens of them, then we’re in for a much tougher fight

It felt right to me to let John Henry go at the end of the episode. Superman and Lois want to build that trust between him and themselves, and this trust could not go far if he was still locked up in a prison indefinitely. I am surprised that the military and Lois’s dad just let him go though. He seemed to be very intelligent in creating new technology as well as weapons to attack the new threats coming, he seemed to have an awful lot of insider knowledge, especially in helping Lois’s dad prepare for a war with Kryptonians, and they see that he has proven to be a threat to Superman which is dangerous. Will they touch on this in the next episode about just letting him walk away and will there be repercussions for Superman, probably not. I did enjoy the fact that John is now comfortable with who he is to tell the AI to delete the Luthor persona and start a new one for him. Also as Superman said, he will need as many allies as possible in the coming war.

What more is there to say about the miscarriage storyline? The actress playing Lois should be up for an Emmy for this performance. As much as I love the Arrowverse, I believe this is the first time I felt a performance was Emmy-worthy. I enjoyed the framing of the episode with a therapist session and then flashbacks where we were not sure who Lois was taking about having a fight with. The way she blew up at Jonathan was so gut wrenching, I did not like her in that moment, but then when we found out about all the grief over losing a daughter that she has been pushing aside then you understand. You always see Lois as this strong willed person who dives right into danger and is not scared of anything. You can picture her throwing herself into her work to move on without moving on. When she finally breaks down, I was in tears as well. I know several people in my life who had suffered miscarriages, and now it is something that is talked about, but many still feel guilt and hide their grief over it. Lois had two rainbow babies to help her, but she never allowed herself the time to grieve the loss of the first one.
This also allowed her to finally talk with Jonathan about what it is like to have to be the special humans in the orbit of the superpowerful. They should bond more, as she has had to deal with it for a lot longer and her husband is world known whereas Jordan is still secret. I love the phrase they are left holding the wrench. Perfect.

The kryptonite weapons are here to stay. There was no grand scene where we see them destroyed and General Lane is not going to destroy because he would rather have some contingencies in place, especially now with all he has heard from John. They will need every advantage against the upcoming army, and as comics show even when they say they destroy all weapons against Superman, they always have them secreted away. They may tell Superman or show them destroying to keep trust at end of season, but they will keep a stash away in case. Depending on how much damage this Krypton army does, they may make more.

While I enjoyed the football aspect, it has been done before. It always seems football and Superman go together, as I remember Clark trying out for football on Smallville as well. The issue with sports is they always have to hold back with powers, so it seems like they are faking it when playing because they can’t show their full potential. Now, doing something more intellectual such as performing in a play or musical might be better because for example Jordan can show his full self and not have to hide anything because he is Super. Jonathan may go back to football, but I would like to see him pursue other activities as he kinda got pushed to the side when Jordan came in. On the other hand he seemed to love football and he knows all the plays and he does not have powers (yet) so he could play fully.

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I have to wonder if the military will be keeping tabs on him so that they’ll know where he is if/when they’ll need him back to face the X-K army. Clark would probably be more trusting and not be constantly monitoring, but we’ve seen that Sam still isn’t there yet

I also found Clark’s reaction pretty understated. For all his super senses, he really needed to ask “Are you OK?”? Clark, your wife was the furthest thing from OK in that moment, and it hardly takes powers to see that

The Emmys really need to consider the CW for big awards, and it really sucks that they’ve never gotten it. I guess they’ve only ever seen the CW as a teen-centric station, and while their core audience is certainly younger than most channels, there are plenty of adults who watch and enjoy these shows. Besides, that distinction alone shouldn’t be enough to disqualify them considering the CW is still 1 of the major networks

Very true, I can’t imagine how his budding powers could help him much when it comes to the precision of the arts like this

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