Despite the WTF?!?!? of the ending, “Tried and True” is a fairly slow-moving episode that focuses on family dynamics. In both the Kent/Lane and Cushing families, mistakes have been made. Now we deal with the fallout.
The Lane family situation is interesting in “Tried and True”. Whether or not it’s intentional, it likely parallels the experience a lot of us have had with our own families in the past few years. Lois’s remark that there is no “both sides” in this situation is completely accurate. And Sam acting like fundamental differences should be swept under the rug for the sake of family “unity” is something many of us have to deal with. But I understand the impulse of not wanting to lose those familial relationships.
It’s sad because it’s true. When you avoid those controversial topics, you can be perfectly civil and friendly towards each other. But there’s no ignoring those issues in the long run, especially when they’re an important part of who you are.
Lois and Lucy’s argument about Ally is two extremely stubborn people refusing to concede. I thought Lucy declaring that Lois refuses to admit when she’s wrong was unintentionally hilarious. We know that Lois is right, so it feels frustrating that Lucy won’t listen to reason.
Jon’s storyline is moving more slowly than I expected, but it’s still moving, at least. I appreciate that he recognized the hollowness of his victory from doping. (We could compare this to a certain sports scandal that happened recently…) However, he could have also just been disappointed that his dad left with so little time remaining in the game.
Clark and Jon’s relationship isn’t as developed as it could be; I think Clark sees Jon as the “easy” kid to parent and doesn’t invest as much time in their relationship because of it. This is something that I hope gets rectified as the series goes on. While Clark’s congratulatory statements to Jon were likely meant to be read ironically, considering Jon has been using X-K, there’s another way to read it. Clark only spends serious time with Jon when he’s succeeding.
Jordan has learned that Jon’s powers are from X-K, and he is understandably upset. He likely was very excited to have something like this in common with his brother. They are two different people, so Jordan was probably very eager to have something that they shared. Not to mention, both of them know what kind of havoc X-K can wreak on someone. Jon should be fully aware of what happened to Tag.
I wish that Jordan had tried a little harder with Jon, especially when Jon came to him at home later, but considering Jon’s erratic emotions, you can’t really blame Jordan for not wanting to deal with that again. Still, the pilot episode made it clear that Jordan’s anxiety made him not so easy to deal with either. Without knowing how Jon handled that, I can’t really compare the two.
A lot of “Tried and True” may have felt like filler, but I think the Lane/Kent family dynamics in particular will be important later. For example, Lucy’s blasé reaction to learning that Chrissy was drugged against her will makes me wonder if she will drug Lois the same way at some point, to get her to see the “truth”. Plus, Jon bonding with Lucy may cause him to seek her out later, now that his X-K use is blowing up in his face.
Reiterating my question from last week, what is up with Anderson? It’s been made very clear that Superman belongs to the world. They already had this argument when he saved the North Korean sub at the beginning of the season. He’s going to help whoever needs it, even if it’s a town in Russia in danger from an avalanche. (Wow, this episode feels timely in so many ways.)
Also, Anderson lamenting that Superman doesn’t trust him while luring him somewhere under false pretenses and then arresting and detaining him? That is exactly why he doesn’t trust you, dude. I’m convinced that he has to be in league with Ally somehow. I have no evidence for this other than he gives off a *vibe*, and it would help even more to tie the various side plots together.
I’m very curious how exactly Anderson framed this with his superiors. He makes it sound as though he had “permission” to detain Superman – despite, you know, that Superman can’t commit treason because he isn’t technically an American citizen. However, when he made his mysterious phone call earlier, he only referred to “the rogue Kryptonian”. He was talking about Clark, but did he explicitly tell that to the higher-ups?
Also, I’m sorry, but you’re going to put Kal-El and Tal-Rho together and you don’t see the potential problems with that decision? Anderson does not deserve his security clearance because he is clearly an imbecile.
I loved the little insights into Bizarro world we got from the opening sequence. A red sun instead of “our” Earth’s yellow sun, a shelled-out Kent family farm with only Bizarro and a cat remaining, Lana as one of the Supermen of America. The newspapers with backwards print were a nice touch.
What really nailed it for me was the parallel of the hallway fight scenes. They were choreographed, if not exactly the same, very similarly, except Bizarro won and Clark lost.
I cared less about the Cushing family drama in “Tried and True” than I did in last week’s episode. I am glad that it was dealt with seriously. Lana talked both to Kyle and Tonya and learned the full circumstances of the affair. She gave serious thought to how she wanted to proceed with Kyle. I’m glad she asked him to move out. Though he has recently made progress in turning his life around, Lana still can’t help but wonder, if it hadn’t been for Sarah’s accident, would he have broken off the affair?
Can I just say I was a little surprised at how long ago this happened? I thought for sure it was recent, given how everyone was acting. I figured that Kyle’s recent shift in behavior was him trying to atone for the affair. The fact that this was a six-month affair two years ago and not a few drunken hookups after his life went to hell also makes me lose any sympathy for Kyle I may have had after last week.
Also, the fact that neither Lana nor Sarah acknowledged the parallels between Kyle’s affair and Sarah kissing someone at camp is really bothering me.
Having Lana and Kyle’s talk after Anderson shooting Clark felt ridiculously out of place. How are we supposed to care about the Cushing family drama when Clark’s fate is left in the air like that? I feel like if the scenes had been flipped, it would have flowed a bit better.
Honestly, “Tried and True” highlights an ongoing problem in Superman & Lois that I hope gets corrected eventually. I feel as though the Kent family relationships are taking a backseat to the Cushing family drama. The fact that Clark and Jon have not had significant interaction in two seasons is beyond frustrating. Actually, Clark hasn’t really had a prolonged conversation with either of his sons in a while. The focus lately has been on Clark/Lois and Jon/Jordan interaction, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but they need to further explore the larger family dynamics. That is what made this show so great in season 1.
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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