I actually rewatched episode three.
Yes, I can be pathetic.
There are some nice and subtle touches I saw the second time around.
First, the bit with with painting the home. Lois far, far too serious about it to begin. The “paint-fight” that broke out and the silliness, parents playing with their kids. It was a happy, family moment… and of course it gets interrupted by someone needing saving. And Lois goes back to fooling around with the boys because, after all, Clark dashing off to save the world is perfectly normal in her world. She’s learned not to stop everything because of it. At least she and Clark no longer have to come up with excuses in their own home, that has to be a relief to both of them.
The bridge save was, of course, classic Superman. On second viewing I noted that even before he lifts the big broken span he’s catching vehicles as they fall. At the end it turns out he’s got blue paint on his right hand - a bit of family life leaving a trace on the Superhero. It was a nice touch.
The bit where Clark is sort of listening to the whole world and smiling at the pleasant, happy bits was a very nice touch. Being Superman isn’t all bad. As much as he is aware of the bad parts of the world he is also tuned into good things, too. I really, really liked that bit. We don’t often see Supes happy, or see the pleasure rather than the duty his powers bring him.
I liked the boys asking about dad’s powers. Clearly, this is most relevant to Jordan, but it’s more evidence of the boys accepting their dad’s secret. Both boys have snark - “crazy-ass laser eyes”, “don’t feed him after midnight”, and Jonathan comparing Jordan to an indestructible car with death beams for headlights… inappropriate and insulting as only a teen can produce, but funny in a dark way. They’re using humor to deal with their discomfort. It’s a lot better than using dialogue to express this.
I didn’t catch it the first time, but when Jordan is being bullied by Sean and his friends in the school hallway there’s a moment his eyes start to flash red. This is clearly what really causes Jonathan to intervene physically. But then it fades - is that due to “inadequate” power or because Jordan knows not to use his super powers against a mundane person, and has the will to enforce that, even when faced with physical danger?
The bit with Sarah reading the riot act to her mom with the Kent brothers across the booth from her is great. The two boys are clearly getting more and more uncomfortable being there, but can’t run away, either. They don’t say a word but they really communicate the sheer discomfort and “I don’t want to be here” anyone would probably feel. In the background other people in the diner turn around and start staring, too. If this show survives and develops it will be because there is so much “show” and less reliance on dialogue than many other shows.
Oh, yes - Superman expressing his frustration by crumpling up heavy metal objects and tossing them away. Because even Supes gets angry sometimes and needs to burn off steam. He doesn’t say anything about this, but the viewer gets it, and Lois gets it.
I think on a certain level Clark is just a little too blasé about his wife’s car being firebombed. I realize that Lois has always been headstrong and diving into danger, but she’s not fireproof the way her husband is. I think it’s also pretty clear that even if Clark is not eavesdropping on her he very much is listening in her direction just in case she needs help.
I think Jonathan’s speech to Clark about why Jordan should be allowed to play football was a bit more adult than I would expect from a 14 year old, on the other hand, being able to express his thoughts in such a manner would be an indication of him growing up, and is an extension of him watching out for his brother. And someone had to make the valid points that Jordan’s “powers” in regards to physical strength weren’t that outside the bounds of humanly possible and would allow him to compete with larger kids. Which made me consider that in quite a few scenes Hoechlin’s Superman is not the tallest or brawniest character in the room. It’s a bit of a subversion of the exaggerated physique of the cartoons and some live action shows. It works, though, because Kal-El’s strength is not at all dependent on his size or muscle development, it’s because of his magical, physics-defying superpowers based on yellow sun radiation. Anyhow, I kind of like the brothers being on the football team together, but in different positions. I would really hate both of them to be quarterbacks, that would be too hokey.
What I would like to see:
More between Lois and Jonathan about being the under-powered person in a relationship, and how both she and Clark had to learn to deal with that.
A bit more about the fact Clark is an alien. It doesn’t have to be crazy overt, but an occasional reference to it, preferably in a humorous manner and not just like Jordan’s early angry outburst in the pilot, would be a nice touch. An occasional mention that his sensory experience of the world is completely different than a human’s - he sees and hears much, much more than humans ever do.
In the far distance: Jordan’s powers manifesting or being used again. They may be something he can access only under extreme emotional stress. Or maybe not (enhanced strength might be something he always has now).
Visit from Cousin Kara. Maybe other superheros, but I’d definitely like to see at least Kara at some point.
I’d like Jonathan to get something in the way of powers. A different set than Jordan, preferably, and just a difficult to manifest/minimal. Could be something as simple as, say, both Clark and Jonathan hearing a dog whistle or something else outside the range of human hearing when no one else around them does. not earth-shaking, but still a difference indicating that Jonathan is half Kryptonian, too.
And note that is all more about the family than whatever super villains they might encounter.