TV Review: Superman & Lois, 1×12, “Through The Valley Of Death Review”

Chike Coleman reviews episode 12 of Superman & Lois, "Through the Valley of Death."
User Rating: 8

My feelings on episode 12 of Superman & Lois are simple.  This episode was an easy watch that didn’t skimp on just how important members of the Kent family are to each other.  The fact that Superman used every bit of strength to let his boys know that John Henry Irons was the only person who could help save him was interesting.  In the moments leading up to Superman’s plea to locate John, it was nice to see Jordan and Jonathan working together to locate their father.  The biggest character moment in this episode came from Lois.  I love how she stood up for her husband and continually defended him against not only Irons but her father as well.  I swear I say this every week, but the emotional performances from Bitsie Tulloch bring dimensions to the character that I never considered.

The weakest performer for me was Morgan Edge.  He came across like your typical pantomime villain.  Luckily even though the dialogue was bad, Adam Rayner continues to slowly peel back the abuse suffered by his character at the hands of his father.  I do like the stark contrast in methodology.  Ultimately this show works because of its depiction of empathy or the lack thereof for being different or making different choices.  That is ultimately what keeps the show watchable for me as a viewer.

I was happy to see the consequences of Kyle Cushing’s ignorant behavior.  The town treats him like a pariah, and he has to win over their trust due to the damage he caused.  I definitely felt like that was an appropriate punishment for him. However, I don’t think it’s fair that his wife and kids also must suffer because of his mistakes. I was glad to see that the family was able to start bonding again and that the smallest member of the family, Sophie was unaffected by everything because she was at a neighbor’s house.  I want more moments with the Cushing family that are positive because we don’t seem to have enough of those in the entire series. If Superman & Lois is supposed to be about family values and what it means to hope in a world of hopelessness, then that needs to be displayed on more than just one family.

Wole Park gave a phenomenal performance this week as John Henry irons. I love that initially, he was more than willing to stick to his guns about gunning down Superman. He sees Superman as irredeemable based on the tragedy he suffered, but I was relieved to see that he put his past behind him and decided to listen to the person who meant the most to him, even if it wasn’t his version.  The problems that I have with this shell are that it takes too long to get to the meaningful parts, but all the actors are constantly on their A-game, so watching the story unfold becomes palatable.  The plot could move a lot faster with a slightly higher level of energy, and the show would still be phenomenal. In fact, it would be better than phenomenal because the dynamics would constantly be changing, and it wouldn’t be a slow approach as it is right now.

I’m looking forward as we draw closer to the finale. My only problem is I don’t know how they can grow every character more before we get to that final moment.

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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