TV Review: Superman & Lois, 1×8, “Hold The Wrench”

Chike Coleman reviews the eighth episode of Superman & Lois, "Hold the Wrench," which puts more focus on Jonathan Kent.

Episode 8 of Superman & Lois, aptly named “Hold The Wrench,” focused for the first time heavily on Jonathan Kent, played by Jordan Elsass.  Along with his mother Lois, both family members discover while in his RV that John Henry Irons is from a parallel version of Earth.  In this version of Earth, Superman went rogue, and Lois was married to John with a daughter named Natalie.  John goes back to the RV and almost gets killed by its AI.  He is saved by Superman, and the incident infuriates his mother.  Obviously, all this information throws Jonathan for a loop, and a lot of the episode is dedicated to how he reacts to learning that information.

For his part in the story, Superman is continually trying to convince Henry that he would never betray the trust of those he cares for on Earth.  John is unconvinced and wants to kill Superman for taking away his version of Lois Lane.  A super-powered resident of Smallville attempts to kill Superman.  As a result of being weakened, John saves Superman, only to think about attempting to kill Superman himself.  Lois stops John from committing the murder, and John is later released from the custody of the military and drives off.

So why was it important for me to tell you the whole plot in the first paragraph?  I wanted to demonstrate a problem this show has.  Superman & Lois is great when it comes to giving characters distinct personalities.  On the other side of things, the material for this episode was too dense.  If you hadn’t been watching all season, you would be lost trying to figure out what was going on.  Jordan put in a fantastic performance as Jonathan.

Most of that believability comes from just how to hurt Jonathan because he can’t help the family in a crisis.  Clark or Jordan fix the car. Jonathan is forced into holding the wrench.  He doesn’t just go to that RV for information.  Jonathan goes alone without permission to find weapons to help his dad neutralize the stranger.  While that is morally wrong, I understand the character’s eagerness to do anything he can to be involved in keeping his dad or mom safe.

Bitsie Tulloch gave the performance worthy of an Emmy when she admitted to having a miscarriage before the boys were born to her psychologist.  Additionally, hearing in the same session that she was regretful for chewing Jonathan a new one for putting himself in danger at the RV was touching.  I always knew Lois was a great reporter, but I never expected her acidic words would ever be utilized on her own son.  That was heart-stopping to watch.

My only heavy criticism of the episode is leveled at Kyle Cushing.  Everything that character does is way too predictable.  I knew he wouldn’t show up for the audition that his daughter Sarah had at the school.  The reason this is impactful is that Kyle can’t get past his own ego.  I love that Superman & Lois keeps a flawed character making mistakes because the audience will root for him when he finally turns a corner.

This was a solid episode that Pushed the narrative forward and gave Jonathan Kent some much-needed character growth. I can only hope the character gets more stories representing his struggle relating to being a part of such a superfamily.

Written by
Chike has been a film critic in Illinois for the last 10 years with Urbana Public Television. Most of his work can be found on their YouTube channel where his show Reel Reviews is posted. The films he enjoys most are the kind that surprise you with characters that are deeper than you could ever suspect. As much as he loves reviewing it’s the stories that are unexpected that bring him the most joy. He lives in Champaign with his parents surrounded by cornfields.

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