Superman & Lois 1×04 Review: “Haywire”

Haywire Superman & Lois
Image: The CW

“Haywire” is aptly-named, because it certainly didn’t take long for things to start falling apart for the Kent family. Football is beginning to come between Jonathan and Jordan, Lois continues to fight against Edge’s attempts to silence her, and Clark struggles to find the right balance between parenting and being a superhero.

As anticipated, in “Haywire” Jonathan is a tad bit bitter over the fact that Jordan is being treated like the savior of the football team for being able to tackle well, when he is the one who has devoted his life to the game. So far, he hasn’t taken anything out on Jordan – just asides to Clark and hanging out with the injured Tag – but I do hope that eventually the two of them can talk about this. I suspect that if this isn’t addressed soon, it will fester and erupt later, causing even more problems.

It’s hard to be angry at Jordan for this, though, especially after his conversation with Sarah sharing that it’s the first time he’s really been happy or good at something. But I can’t help but appreciate Sarah’s concern for Jonathan as he struggles to deal with suddenly having his place usurped by his brother, who until recently didn’t even really like football.

Jonathan is such a good kid. I couldn’t help but think that all throughout “Haywire”. He was so worried about Tag, trying to do everything he could not only when he thought there was something weird going on, but also constantly trying to stop that one kid from making fun of him for being poor. (It’s Smallville and it’s been established the town is not doing well; he is far from the only poor kid, and that just seems like a ridiculous reason for them to target him.)

I really wish they weren’t being so abrupt with Lois and her writing at the local paper – Leslie showing up out of nowhere felt…well…out of nowhere – but I love getting to see her and Chrissy together, and I love that Chrissy actually voted “no” at the town meeting even though she was the sole vote of opposition. But I think the best thing was Lois tearing into Edge the way she did at the mines. She is my hero. I wish I had the stones to talk to people the way she did to Edge.

It took a few episodes, but we’re starting to see a little bit of spine from Lana in “Haywire”. I never thought that she was all aboard the Edge train the way her husband is, but she didn’t seem concerned about what was happening. Edge’s creepy, cryptic behavior towards her, on the other hand, seems to have jarred loose her instincts and raised the red flags. I hope she teams up with Lois and Chrissy in order to take down Edge. Lana and Lois going for drinks is a great start and I love the two of them together, but please have them talk about something other than their husbands next time.

Although, truth be told, I am very glad that they had Lois admit that she appreciates how much Kyle loves Lana and Smallville. I think he’s a giant jerk but I’m hoping that there are some redeeming qualities in there, and I like that they didn’t have her sitting there and dumping on Lana’s husband all night. Even though she totally could have. Because he’s the kind of guy who says things like, “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear.”

Haywire Superman & Lois
Image: The CW

If Superman & Lois is doing one thing well, it’s the varying types of predatory men. Edge is a villain, so he is obviously meant to be an unsettling figure, but it’s not the way he threatens Lois that gets to me the most; you expect that of the bad guy. No, it’s the way he spoke to Lana in “Haywire”, questioning her decisions, telling her she’s wasting her potential where she is. And after the way the episode ended, with his remark about finding “talent”, I’m worried that he is going to do something to her.

And then there’s Kyle, who seems to think that a woman can only be uncomfortable with a man if he’s flirting with her (and I highly doubt that guy would even recognize flirting), and who is so enamored of Edge that he doesn’t seem to care about how his wife feels. And last we have Samuel, who has the audacity to think that children are wasting their father’s time and complains that Clark’s priorities are out of whack because he actually wants to be there for his family.

Even without the scene from “Heritage” where Luthor hinted to Samuel that Superman may not be what he seems, I would get the sense that he is going to end up being a problem. Clark became Superman because he wanted to help people, and one could argue that since he has the ability to help, he has a moral obligation to do so. But expecting Clark to just be Superman 24/7 and not live his own life is ghastly, and Samuel dismissing his daughter and grandchildren is honestly disgusting – especially since it’s Clark’s love for his children that helped him out with Killgrave. 

Think about it; Clark was seriously struggling against Killgrave, and it wasn’t until he heard Jonathan’s call for help that he was able to muster the strength to fight back (and that clapping force wave thing was awesome).

But also, I have serious doubts about Samuel’s ability to lead when he and the army can’t control a human being. Who allowed Killgrave to make explosives in his cell? The guy is clearly obsessed with Superman, so perhaps not having Superman there would have been better in the long run. Why is the military always so inept? What are you using that big-ass budget for if not, like, training and weaponry?

Haywire Superman & Lois
Image: The CW

I absolutely love that Clark and Lois found out about what Samuel said to the boys and confronted him about it. Another thing that Superman & Lois does well is having people discuss their issues like adults; communication is important and I’m glad that they give it to these characters. I think that Lana and Kyle need to have a more serious conversation about their issues. They made up at the end of “Haywire”, but I think there are still underlying problems that need to be addressed.

On that note, can I say again how much I love Clark and Lois’s relationship? He promises to speak for her at the town meeting and then misses it, and when he gets home, the first thing he does is apologize for not being there for her when he knew it was important. And I love that she said she was angry but that she also felt bad about it because he is literally Superman and had a really good excuse. They hashed it out and gave each other space, and at the end when he tried to make up for all those missed date nights by decking out the barn, that was the most adorable thing ever.

In “Haywire”, we finally find out both why Edge is so interested in Smallville and how he got an army of people with special abilities – there is X-Kryptonine in the mines. This is what happened to Tag and could possibly happen to other kids who were at the party. It also potentially explains what happened to the missing workers; when Leslie mentions that they may have trouble finding willing volunteers, Edge tells her not to worry about it. It seems like the missing workers may have been casualties in Edge’s experiments with X-Kryptonite. 

And hey, since X-Kryptonite was accidentally created by Supergirl, perhaps they could, I don’t know, finally mention her on this show? Clark and Lois have both been on Supergirl, and I can’t imagine that the boys, upon hearing that their father is an alien, didn’t immediately assume that his cousin was as well. Have they even met her? I don’t really understand how everything works on this new Earth.

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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