Superman & Lois season 3 episode 5 review: Head On

Superman & Lois -- “Head On” -- Image Number: SML305fg_0008r -- Pictured (L - R): Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane and Chad Coleman as Bruno Mannheim -- Photo: The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Superman & Lois -- “Head On” -- Image Number: SML305fg_0008r -- Pictured (L - R): Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane and Chad Coleman as Bruno Mannheim -- Photo: The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

“You know, you’re friend, Superman, accused me of the same thing.” Spoilers for Superman & Lois season 3, episode 5 follow.

Superman and Lois head to her second chemotherapy appointment, and her first at Bruno Mannheim’s hospital.

Back in Smallville, the teens prepare for their Valentine’s dance.

Superman and Lois season 3 episode 5 recap

Belly of the Beast

After recovering from her first chemo session, Lois and Clark begin the plan that they concocted to get into Mannheim’s facility, so she goes for her first treatment at his hospital. So, after getting her treatment started, Lois heads off to try to ascertain any information that she can find while Clark talks with two other chemo patients, and sees the toll this takes on both the patients and the family.

Once Lois heads off to get any info at all about what Mannheim’s doing with Superman’s blood, she almost immediately gets ambushed by him. But this is where it gets interesting with him. We’ve seen him talk about what he wants to do to both Superman and John Henry, but we actually see it in this episode.

He easily could’ve taken Lois out, but instead, he tells her that he is still going to treat her because that’s what his hospital is for. Bruno’s motivation for his hospital, but really his entire enterprise, stems from a systemic issue that he is trying to fix. He legitimately wants to help people, but he’s still a monster, as we see later in the episode. Because of all of this, he’s genuinely much more interesting than Mannheim in the comics.

But the best part of the episode comes when Clark begins to talk with the two other chemo patients in the room. Them allowing him to see the pain that they are going through, while also seeing the pain that he’s hiding so that he doesn’t burden Lois, there’s a catharsis to it. Cancer, arguably one of the worst diseases to ever go through, somehow brings out the deepest kindness in so many people, and this episode conveys that so well. It’s heartbreaking and cathartic all in the same breath.


While all this is going on though, Mannheim sends an assassin named Deadline to the D.O.D to try and get more information about where they’re keeping sensitive equipment and samples. Turns out, this character is an extremely deep cut, as this writer who has read over 10,000 comics in his life has never heard of the character, even after having read books he’s appeared in. Yet, Superman & Lois is so good that they make this nothing villain incredibly fun to watch in the scene that he’s in.

The fight between Superman and Deadline at the D.O.D. is such a great fight because, for most of it, Superman is getting beaten. By a lot. He’s not even being depowered either, that’s just how good Deadline is with his intangibility. So, seeing Superman struggle with that throughout this entire scene creates an incredibly engaging fight that also allows Superman to adjust and create new strategies to take him out throughout the fight.

Valentine’s dance

In the least important part of the episode, the boys get ready for the annual Valentine’s Day dance as Matteo arrives from Metropolis looking for Natalie. So, the two go to the dance with each other, which devolves quickly between the two. But this also allows for the show to build up Nat and Sam’s relationship in a great way.

Using Nat’s fear that she’s behind in the romance department is such an incredibly human, and teenage, feeling that Sam can relate to all too well because of his fear of intimacy, which he openly tells Nat about in order to reassure her. He’s trying his best to be the grandpa that she desperately needs, so when she actually calls him Grandpa, it’s so perfect.

The rest of this part of the episode, it’s harmless, but inconsequential and not really even worth mentioning more than this.

Superman & Lois, despite a couple of lackluster moments in this episode, excels once again with great character building and an incredibly engaging final action sequence.

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