Superman & Lois 3×08 Review – Everything in the Open

Superman & Lois -- “Guess Who's Coming To Dinner” -- Image Number: SML308fg_0017r -- Pictured (L - R): Daya Vaida as Peia and Chad Coleman as Bruno Mannheim -- Photo: The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Sure, we all know about Romeo and Juliet, but what about Natalie and Matteo? As soon as we began to make connections about Matteo’s parents, the two young lovers have been on a collision course with tragedy. Natalie has a tough road ahead. Spoilers follow for Superman & Lois Season 3, Episode 08, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”

“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”

In the wake of learning that Bruno (Chad Coleman) and Peia (guest star Daya Vaida) are married, Clark (Tyler Hoechlin) works to reignite Lois’ (Elizabeth Tulloch) interest in taking Bruno down; elsewhere, Natalie (Tayler Buck) meets Matteo’s (guest star Spence Moore II) parents for the first time, with disastrous consequences. Meanwhile, the Kent boys clash when Jordan (Michael Bishop) interferes with Jonathan’s (Alex Garfin) training at the Firehouse, Lana (Emmanuelle Chriqui) bonds with General Lane (Dylan Walsh) over their shared fear of dating again, and Sarah (Inde Navarrette) realizes her mom needs a friend.

Conflict of Interest

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Irony put Lois in the difficult position we find her in this season. Cancer brought her, without her knowing or trying, closer to Bruno Mannheim than she could’ve ever dreamed, but in the process gave her an intensely strong emotional connection to his wife. Lois has begun to doubt her quest; is it worth exposing Mannheim if it means destroying her cancer buddy’s life?

As viewers, we know more than Lois does. We watched in a flashback as Peia literally shouted half of Metropolis’ criminal underworld into giblets, and watched her remove that creepy mask to reveal that she’s been tormenting Lois’ husband. She’s as dangerous as her husband, albeit in a generally much more direct way.

While Lois is hemming and hawing, though, Natalie is preparing to meet Matteo’s parents. John is working hard to be a chill dad, but on top of the standard concerns any dad would have, he also has to worry about the fact that she’s the child of a dead Lois Lane from another Earth, a genius-level engineer who knows Superman’s secret identity, and that this Earth’s version of her dad was tied up with one of the world’s most successful criminal leaders. Considering all that, he’s doing pretty good at staying relatively chill.

Mom is yelling

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Things go from heartwarming to bone-chilling pretty quickly when John shows up at the restaurant to check on Natalie and sees the worst outcome possible: not only is Bruno there, he’s the father of Natalie’s boyfriend.

This simmering drama boils over quickly, with Mannheim trying to beat John within an inch of his life before letting Peia try to stop his armor from making it around his body. Lois, Clark, and Chrissy are making the connection about Onomatopoeia at about the same time, and he hears John in trouble. I have to wonder–with Clark and John being friends, John being Steel, and Superman being close friends with Steel, how long is it before Mannheim figures out Superman’s identity?

Peia reveals her real self as she continues trying to kill her son’s girlfriend’s father right in front of both of the kids, and then adds killing Superman to the mix of crimes she’s doing. The doubts Lois had just minutes earlier end up turned on their head once Superman has Peia in the hospital, and we get a montage of all the fallout of the encounter, with Matteo cursing out his father and Natalie utterly heartbroken.

Super Sons

Photo: The CW — © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

While all of this is going on, Jon is formally training to be a firefighter. On his first job out, Jordan saves someone from the fire, but the blame drops on Jon. Jordan, as usual, handles it like a child. He goes on the defensive anytime anyone criticizes him, which brings all of his superhero work into question. Superman saves people because he must, but it seems like Jordan is doing it for self esteem, and he lashes out at Jon when Jon tells him how he got into hot water over Jordan’s actions. It would be great to see the show get into Jordan’s head and really show what he’s thinking and why he’s doing what he’s doing, and to ask if it’s right. That feels like a storyline that would be a great fit for a Superman show.

There are storylines woven in about Lana trying to find friends, Sam Lane trying to date, and things like that, but all in all this episode is focused on concerns directly involving Superman, and it’s overall a satisfying way to release the tension that’s been building.