The CW took viewers back to Smallville on Superman & Lois Season 1 Episode 1. It's darker than before, setting it apart from what came earlier, resulting in an entirely unique vibe, unlike any Smallville we've seen.
Clark and Lois raising children were either going to help or hinder the narrative, and the series forges a unique path and uses the teenagers to its advantage in a big way.
Jonathan and Jordan are polar opposites, but they go to extreme measures to keep the other safe, as evidenced by how Jonathan swooped in to save the day when the other teenagers attacked Jordan.
Of course, their home life is strained because of what's been happening, but I didn't expect the kids to find out about Clark being Superman so soon. I figured that would be reserved for a big midseason finale down the line.
Jordan's powers surprised me, largely because they came out to play in the series premiere, but it gives us a lot to chew on between episodes.
Part of this series's allure is that it doesn't appear to be following the same playbook as other Arrowverse series, taking the franchise in a bold and mature direction, free from the shackles of the conventions you would expect from a superhero drama.
Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch elevate the project as Clark and Lois, having arguments about real-world issues and how they will adapt to be better parents.
Clark has suffered great loss in his life, and losing his mother really left him shaken. Still, it urged him to return to Smallville, where people either love or hate him.
Clark: I can't just abandon the world.
Lois: The world will always need Superman. Right now, this family needs you more.
Clark needs to find a sense of meaning in the madness, and I suspect his driving force will be when he inevitably crosses paths with The Stranger, who very well might be a Luthor.
The episode-ending revelation came out of nowhere, largely because I assumed the Luthors would not be seen in the flesh on this series, especially since they've been heavily featured on Supergirl.
But then again, Crisis on Infinite Earths changed everything we thought we knew about the Arrowverse, and that's how Clark and Lois wound up with two teenage sons.
Veering away from the already-established Arrowverse might be what allows Superman & Lois to stand on its own two feet. Keeping the storylines more grounded should give the freshman series legs in the long run.
It's hard not to be intrigued about what will become of all the characters after just the opener. All of the teenagers were well-written, and their actions had a purpose. However, my favorite scene was when Jordan told his father that Superman sucked while playing a videogame.
Although it's a lighter moment in a series that I wouldn't mind being a little darker in the future, the joke landed beautifully.
I like my superhero shows and movies to be dark, not full of light, and overall, Superman & Lois is on point as a show that will be shrouded in darkness as we delve deeper into the villains' plans for Smallville.
This iteration of Lana wasn't all that impressive. Maybe it's because the expectation is that they will grow closer at some point, creating needless drama along the way.
Sure, Lana was helpful when the family touched down in Smallville, but it seems like her daughter, Sarah, will be far more integral to the plot. Sarah is quite similar to earlier iterations of Lana, so maybe that was the original intent.
Samuel: You told the boys you're Superman.
Clark: Couldn't lie to them anymore. This is going to keep my family together.
Samuel: Clark, it's going to tear it apart.
But it was obvious Lana's husband, Kyle, was jealous of Clark upon his return to Smallville, leading me to believe that he thinks there is still something brewing between his wife and Clark. Even when Kyle saved the boys, it was obvious that interactions with Clark were difficult for him.
As for Lois, she needs to be protected at all costs. I love this iteration of Lois. She barely got the right material when she appeared elsewhere in the Arrowverse, but every single part of her journey rang true on the premiere, and I can't wait to see how she progresses.
Getting more insight into Lois and Clarke's relationship made a significant impact on the drama. Although we could have been left in the dark about the beginning of their relationship and marriage, flashbacks were spliced into the narrative and worked well to fill in all of the blanks.
The special effects, the cinematography, and the overall production values were also much better than anything The CW has produced to date. Investing more money into the early stages to get people hooked is always a possibility, so I'll reserve further judgment on that until there are more episodes behind us.
Lois: We came here as a family.
Clark: It's too dangerous for them to know.
Lois: It's more dangerous if they don't.
As things stand, Superman & Lois is off to a killer start. Hopefully, the intrigue will be dialed up as we delve deeper into this revamped world, but there is nothing to quibble about overall.
If this is the shape of things to come for the Arrowverse, consider me a viewer of all shows, past and present. Something needed to change, and we're getting the first taste of what that change means with Superman & Lois.
The big question will be how it holds up in the episodes to come. But with a convincing new direction, characters, and a villain who will probably make their lives hell, it's going to be hard to go wrong.
Most of all, we need conflict to propel the story. So far, so good!
That's all I got, Superman & Lois Fanatics!
Did you like this new take on Superman & Lois? What did you think of the Luthor name drop at the end?
Which characters are you sold on, and which do you think could have used some more development?
Hit the comments.
Be sure to watch new episodes every Tuesday at 9/8c out of The Flash.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.