Friday, June 4, 2021

Superman and Lois: Season 1, Episode 8 - Holding the Wrench

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


As Clark prepares to face John Henry Irons, he encourages Lois to reach out to her old therapist after certain facts come to light about the man they know as The Stranger. Meanwhile, Jonathan's efforts to help his mother nearly lead to lethal consequences, as Jordan helps Sarah with auditioning for the school musical.


Reign of the Supermen (origins of Steel/John Henry Irons) and New Krypton (invasion of Earth by Kryptonians)


If The Stranger's AI is programmed to respond violently to intruders in the RV, why didn't it threaten Clark when he broke into the RV in 107? (Perhaps it only responded to certain areas, like the weapons racks, being tampered with?)


Elizabeth Tulloch nails Lois' anguish undergoing therapy in this episode and her anger at Jonathan for doing the kind of foolish thing she would do in her search for answers on a story.

Super Trivia

John Henry Irons reveals that a Kryptonite spear is his favorite weapon. This was also the preferred weapon of Lex Luthor in the comics and the weapon was later worked into Batman v. Superman.

The daughter that John Henry Irons and Lois had together in his world is revealed to be named Natalie. This is a surprise, as fans had assumed her "Nat-bug" nickname to be a reference to John Henry Iron's niece in the comics, Natasha Irons.


The Stranger's RV is lead-lined, preventing Superman from being able to see through it.

The Stranger's AI is programmed to allow some people besides him to have access to the RV. One of them is Lois Lane.  It reacts violently to intruders.

Lieutenant Trask's medical kit includes Sodium Pentothal, benzilate and a few other drugs General Lane can’t pronounce. Some of them are experimental.

The majority of miscarriages are caused by genetic issues - not because of the mother going through trauma.

The Department of Defense has developed several Kryptonite-based weapons, including fragment grenades, bladed weapons, aerosol sprays and biochemical gas..

The Kryptonite gas was an experimental, synthetic Kryptonite designed to invade the respiratory system, weakening a Kryptonian from the inside, leaving them vulnerable to more traditional tactics and weapons.

Dialogue Triumphs

Jonathan: Any idea what might be in here?
Lois: Not really, but your dad said it was lined with lead, so someone is hiding something.
(Lois and Jonathan enter into The Stranger's van.)
Jonathan: Classic creepermobile.
Jonathan: Exactly, so be careful.
AI: Identification required. Identify yourself.
Lois: Lois Lane.
AI: Voice authentication confirmed. Good morning, Lois.
Lois: How do you know my name?
AI: You are one of my authorized users. How can I help you, Ms. Lane?
Lois: Um, what can you tell me about John Henry Irons?
(There is a hydraulic noise from the next room, as a bed folds up into the wall revealing a computer console. The screens on the console have a default screen saving picture which seems to show John Henry Irons, in uniform, getting a medal.)
Lois: (grabbing Jonathan's shoulder as she takes the lead) Careful.
Jonathan: What is that?
(The two walk into the room and look at the computers.)
Jonathan: Whoa. That was easy. 

Lois: I don’t really look back with regret. I reflect, or… But I don’t usually regret, but this?
Dr. Wiles: Is it possible you’re being too hard on yourself?
Lois: No. I was enraged. You have no idea the things that I said.
Dr. Wiles: I read your articles, your critiques. Let’s just say I know what your words are capable of.
Lois: I can go full scorched Earth, and if that is my intention, you deserve it. But this person didn’t. I think that sometimes, words cut so deep that they forever change how you see a person. And I don’t know how fix this.

Lois: We’ll figure this out. We’ve been in similar situations.
Clark: Learning that the man who’s trying to kill your husband is your other husband from another world? It kind of feels like new ground to me. 

(Jonathan is sitting at the dinner table. Lois is standing over him, incredibly angry. Clark is hanging back, but not looking much happier.)
Lois: Are you out of your mind? You don’t go snooping around some guy from another world’s murder van!
Jonathan: I mean, I… I thought it was safe earlier.
Clark: Jonathan, nothing is as it seems with this kind of stuff.
Lois: I said I would go back in there with you. What were you thinking?
Jonathan: I just thought I’d look around.
Lois: Without me? Jonathan, what were you really doing in there?
Jonathan: Mom, even I knew how upset you were earlier about what we saw in there, and then that crazy hammer thing that he made, I thought that maybe I could go in there and I could look for…
Clark: Whoa, whoa, whoa, hang on. You were looking for weapons?
Jonathan: Dad, you and Jordan basically are weapons. I am the only one in this house that is completely unarmed. 
Clark: Jonathan, your mother and I will protect you.
Jonathan: Really?
Clark: Yes!
Jonathan: Because I was one second away from being dead, and Mom couldn’t do anything, and you? You almost didn’t even make it in time.
Lois: Jonathan, look at me. Look at me!
(Jonathan turns his head to look at her.)
Lois:  I let you come with me because I trusted you. I trusted that you were responsible enough to know what’s at stake, to know how dangerous this all is!
Jonathan: So now you don’t trust me?!
Clark: Okay, let’s calm down.
Lois: (shouting) You knew there was a risk! I know you did, and yet you went in anyway, alone, behind my back! What… to find weapons? You almost died, not because you were unarmed, because you were reckless and stupid! And if you had died, the only person that would’ve been to blame is yourself. Get out of my face! 

(The Stranger stands over a helpless Superman, having just killed Rosetti. He holds a spear with a Kryptonite head.)
The Stranger: On my world, we had our own 7734. Out of all the weapons I used to kill Kryptonians, this was my favorite.
Superman: I’m not your enemy.
The Stranger: I figure, why take the chance? 
(The Stranger raises the spear, ready to strike as General Lane and his men sweep into the room, with Lois right behind them.)
General Lane: Drop the weapon now!
Lois: (running in front of the soldiers) Stop!
General Lane: Hold your fire! 
Lois: You wanted to see me? Here I am. 
The Stranger: You should go, Lois.
Lois: I’m not going anywhere.
(Superman coughs.) 
The Stranger: Suit yourself.
(The Stranger gets ready to thrust the spear again.)
Lois: John, I know about Natalie! I know what happened on your world, to you, and to your family. 
The Stranger: Then you know why I have to do this. 
Lois: Please. Please, I see the anger in your eyes. It’s covering something I can relate to: the torture that comes from wondering if you failed, if there was something you could’ve done to save them, but there wasn’t. If there had been, you would’ve found it! They’re gone, and it’s not your fault, but it’s not his fault, either. 
The Stranger: You don’t know what’s coming. 
Lois: John, our worlds are different. Our Superman is good. He would never turn on us, ever.
The Stranger: How can you know that? 
Lois: I know. And if you kill him, an innocent man, a hero, what does that make you? 
(The Stranger hesitates but finally steps back and drops the spear.)

(General Lane has just finished describing all the Kryptonite weaponry the DOD developed.)
General Lane:
You should know it was my sincere intention none of this would ever be deployed.
Superman: Sam, I want to save you the trouble of lying to my face.
General Lane: I hope for the best, but it’s my job to prepare for the worst, even when it comes to you. I am sorry you had to find out like this.
Superman: Trust goes both ways.
General Lane: I know. And I know I have some work to do to regain yours.


Lois sees a psychiatrist at the Department of Defense office her father works in. We find out later in the episode her name is Dr. Wiles.

Dr. Wiles agreed to see Lois, even though she is not enlisted, as a favor to General Lane, as her husband was a cadet along with Sam Lane when they were going through military school and she credits him with keeping her husband from getting kicked out twice.

Lois speaks of losing her temper with someone and being afraid she's going to hurt them more than she already has.

Clark has informed Coach Gaines that he, Jonathan and Jordan are taking a break from football for a while. He's not happy but understands and has asked Jonathan and Jordan return their uniforms as soon as possible.

Clark is working on fixing the truck which Jonathan and Jordan bent out of shape. Jonathan tries to help Clark, offering him a wrench, but he uses his powers to handle everything.

Clark leaves to go to the DOD as Superman to assist with the interrogation of The Stranger.

Lois says she is going to investigate The Stranger's RV to see if she can learn more about him.

Jonathan asks if he can help Lois with the RV, since he didn't feel like he could help much with the truck. She agrees.

Lana is working on a list of small businesses in need for a new assistance program Morgan Edge is sponsoring.

Kyle specifically asks about the leadership program Lana was working on. She lies and says they had enough people. Kyle specifically tells her to mention his name if they decide to expand it.

Sarah reveals she was asked to audition for the school musical by Jess Kriker - the daughter of a Mr. Kriker selected for the leadership program. Sarah says Jess hasn't talked to her since the third grade.

Kyle offers to play the guitar for Sarah to sing to at her audition.

Jordan runs into Sarah as he's returning his uniform. 

Sarah reveals that she has major stage fright. She can perform with a choir, but can't stand all the attention being on her.

Jordan sympathizes and says he used to play piano and did recitals as a kid, but it got to be too much because of his anxiety.

Jordan says he'll stop by the auditions to offer moral support.

The Stranger thinks back on his romance with Lois and his daughter giving him a bracelet before he went to face Superman.

The John Henry Irons of Earth-Prime was an Army Ranger who served two tours in Afghanistan. Upon leaving the military he went into the private sector and made a name for himself as a mechanical engineer. He died six years earlier under mysterious circumstances. 

Superman asks The Stranger if his life was different on his Earth.

The Stranger recalls flying his ship as his Superman was attacking him, while he was trying to fly away towards something.

The Stranger reveals that the Superman of his Earth was a hero up until he joined with an army of invading Kryptonians and that what happened on his Earth is starting to happen on Earth-Prime.

The Stranger refuses to answer any questions until he is allowed to speak to Lois Lane.

Lois and Jonathan go through the personal photos on The Stranger's computer. They seem to suggest a background similar to that of the Earth-Prime John Henry Irons, with photos showing him working on a drafting table, in a factory, in uniform, playing football, graduating and, eventually, photos of him with his Lois Lane and their daughter.

The Stranger reveals that Superman killed Lois Lane on his world and that she was his wife and the mother of his daughter.

Lois and Clark discuss the pictures she found and what The Stranger told him over the phone.

Los makes reference to the events of Elseworlds and how she and Clark have had to clean up the mess caused by an evil version of Superman before.

Clark offers to come home so they can talk in person. Lois says he doesn't need to do that.

Lois offers to come and talk to The Stranger, even though she doesn't want to. Clark thinks maybe he can empathize with him without it coming to that.

Lois tells Jonathan she wants to take a break before going back into the RV.

Kyle once again pushes Sarah to audition for the musical, having gotten a lot of sheet music so she can pick out a song.

Lieutenant Trask is an interrogator on General Lane's team who has apparently tortured people in the past. Before turning The Stranger over to him, General Lane decides to talk to him personally, since they were apparently allies on his Earth.

Jonathan goes back into the RV on his own. After looking at several pictures of Natalie Irons (who he comments seems cool) he stumbles across the video of the other Lois Lane being killed by Superman.

Jonathan breaks into the Stranger's weapons locker. This triggers the defenses of the AI, who tries to kill him. 

Lois calls Clark with her signal device when she realizes where Jonathan is and that she is locked out of the RV. Clark is barely able to get there in time to protect Jonathan from a lethal safeguard, which he destroys.

Lois shouts at Jonathan for being stupid after he admits he was trying to find The Stranger's weapons thinking maybe he could use them to protect himself.

Leslie Larr approaches Kyle. She tells him Morgan Edge was disappointed he elected not to take part in the executive program and that Morgan Edge had specifically asked about him.

Kyle confronts Lana about how she lied to him. Lana covers by saying that Leslie Larr is mistaken and that Morgan Edge doesn't tell her everything, despite Kyle's insistence she's basically his right hand.

General Lane tries to win The Stranger over by warning him about Lieutenant Trask. This doesn't work, however, as The Stranger says his General Lane would never torture or drug a prisoner. 

The Stranger tells General Lane that he died a hero on his world and that Superman killed him.

Flashing forward to Dr. Wiles and Lois' meeting, Lois finally tells Dr. Wiles that the person she yelled at was Jonathan. She doesn't give the details beyond him being stupid and nearly dying.

It is revealed that Lois had a miscarriage roughly 18 months after she had Jordan and Jonathan. She lost the baby - a girl she was going to name Natalie, after her father's mother.

Lieutenant Rosetti kills Lieutenant Trask and reveals himself to be one of Morgan Edge's subjekts.

Jonathan goes to the school looking for Jordan, when Jordan is ignoring his texts. He finds him at the auditions, getting ready to watch Sarah.

Kyle doesn't show up to play with Sarah. This leads Jordan to volunteer to play the piano for her instead.

Sarah sings Amos Lee’s “Little Light”

Like Derek Powell in 105, Lieutenant Rosetti is unable to totally control his power.

The Stranger knows the layout of the DOD facility and which section of the base Lieutenant Rosetti is taking him - Sector 5.

Sector 5 of the base houses a Research and Development lab that is developing Kryptonite weapons. The lab is room 7734.

The base is put on lockdown as Superman goes to apprehend The Strange, not knowing that Rosetti has gone rogue.

Rosetti releases a Kryptonite gas to fight Clark.

Clark is able to use the weapons against Rosetti, who is weakened by Kryptonite as much as he is.

The Strranger kills Rosetti with a Kryptonite spear. He is about to kill a weakened Superman, when General Lane and his men arrive. 

Only the fact that Lois asks him not to kill Superman and her assurance that he is not a killer in this world keeps The Stranger from killing Superman.

Rosetti was a third-generation military man who never showed any signs of being superhuman. This leads Clark to think that The Stranger is telling the truth and that maybe Derek Powell was right about Morgan Edge transferring alien sentience into human hosts.

Lana listens in on Leslie Larr speaking to the executive training program.

Sarah confronts Kyle about his not being there for her.  He defends himself by saying he had gotten some bad news about a job offer and had to blow off some steam.

Sarah tells Kyle she should never promise her anything.

The Stranger is set free and goes back to his RV.

Lois apologizes to Jonathan and explains that she was venting over the grief she thought was past from her miscarriage. She promises to teach him how to deal with the fear of being vulnerable and says they have to stick together as the two extraordinary humans in a family of superpeople.

Superman says that The Stranger being released is a show of trust, given that they believe there is a war coming with Edge's Kryptonians and they need all the help they can get.

The Stranger says that just because he let Superman live doesn't mean he's ready to fight by his side. Superman says he understands but that if he changes his mind, he can contact Lois.

Upon reentering his RV, The Stranger tells the AI to erase the profile for Captain Luthor and to start a new one for John Henry Irons. He also asks the AI to shut down for a bit, as he wants to drive on his own for a while.

The Bottom Line

An amazing episode and probably the best bit of acting from Elizabeth Tulloch to date.

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