Episode six of Superman & Lois is the worst episode of the series. It’s filled with horrible decisions made by every main character and tonal inconsistencies with established story plots. This show continues to try to be the best possible version of Superman that can exist on TV, and Tyler Hoechlin proves that he can be that version, but the stories given to his version don’t allow the character to reach the heights we have seen that he can.
“Broken Trust” follows on the midseason finale where Tag is assaulting Jordan Kent for answers about why he has superpowers. Alex Garfin, unfortunately, proves that he may be the weakest member of the cast. Nothing within Jordan’s responses to Tag or how he interacts with his family ring as earnest or emotionally honest. Clark does his absolute best to train Jordan in using his abilities, and all that Jordan wants to do is use those abilities to get revenge on the Metropolis football team who picked on him before his abilities were discovered.
I am fully aware that all teenagers are supposed to be immature while learning and growing as time goes on, but this character makes so many asinine decisions that it’s impossible to root for any maturity to come from him. “Broken Trust” isn’t based entirely on how he wants to live his life with his powers and the relationship he fractures with his own brother Jonathan. After winning the football match against Metropolis, Jordan instigates a fight with the lead quarterback, and to stop him from punching the guy in the face, Jonathan takes the hit and has his arm completely fractured. Jordan Elsass really shines here in terms of his adjustment to the way things are with his brother and demonstrates the responsible person his dad hopes Jordan would become.
As nice as this contrast is, it doesn’t hold a story together overall, especially when you add other elements with the Cushing family. Lana receives and accepts a job offer from Morgan Edge, highlighting further proof that the Cushing’s cannot tell when they are being deceived. Kyle seems to be too much of a loyalist to the town to see the forest through the trees, and Lana continually only wants to do the best for her family, considering that she failed them so often earlier on in the series. This storyline makes thematic sense but makes the characters look stupid.
The only way to make this series more intelligent is to respect the characters’ knowledge. The writers seem to want to drag out this story for as long as possible, and in the meantime, it makes the characters virtually unwatchable. The best way to make the show better is to engage in the lore. Give us things that you know audiences appreciate about Superman as a character and then invite new stories that give diverse voices a chance to shine. That’s the only way to give hope to a show that is built upon that ideal. Without those diverse stories, the audience’s trust in Superman & Lois will be broken instead.