Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Superman & Lois Season 3 episode called "Complications." Read at your own risk!
Superman & Lois teased the entrance of Michael Cudlitz as Lex Luthor before Season 3 even began, but the season is almost over, and he hasn't shown up. Fortunately, the trailer for the Season 3 penultimate episode has arrived, and wouldn't you know it? The biggest bad of Superman lore is in it. Not only that, but he's rocking a full head of hair and some long facial hair, and I'm digging it.
Bruno Mannheim's saga seemingly came to an end following Onomatopoeia's death in the latest episode. Mannheim struck a deal with Sam Lane that his son Matteo would get the criminal charges dropped for his role in freeing his mother from custody if he informed the D.O.D. of his various criminal activities. Mannheim's exit will apparently usher in Luthor, which may not be that surprising for those that have been paying attention to Season 3.
Superman & Lois dropped a promo ahead of Lex's debut in the series. Check it out, and get a look at what may be the toughest-looking Luthor I've ever seen:
Lex isn't rocking his patented suit or clean-shaven look, but he still very much seems to be the man in charge in these short scenes. We get a brief look at Lex Luthor's time in prison, a mention from Lois that he's "the devil," and an ominous threat made to someone. We learned in a previous episode that Lex was behind bars for the murder of Boss Moxie, though we also know he's innocent of that crime and that the Mannheims were responsible for it.
We'll likely get more context on Lex's story since his arrest in the upcoming Superman & Lois episode "Injustice," based on what is found in the synopsis. Here's what's said about the episode, which may bring some added context to the promo scenes:
Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) and Clark (Tyler Hoechlin) clash with Jordan (Alex Garfin) over his carelessness around using his powers in public, while Jonathan (Michael Bishop) struggles with Kyle's (Erik Valdez) change in behavior at the firehouse. Meanwhile, Sarah (Inde Navarrette) grows frustrated with Lana (Emmanuelle Chriqui) after she accidentally makes things more complicated with Jordan. And finally, after seventeen years behind bars, Lex Luthor (guest star Michael Cudlitz 'The Walking Dead') set to be released from prison.
Jordan and Jonathan are around the sixteen to seventeen age range, so it's safe to say that if Superman ever fought Lex Luthor, it was likely before they were alive. I imagine that Luthor is being released from prison because Mannheim confessed to the murder of Boss Moxie alongside the other crimes he committed, which would connect the two storylines pretty well.
Lex Luthor might be innocent of one crime, but Superman & Lois fans likely know he's a bad man with worse intentions when it comes to Superman and Lois Lane. I have little doubt he'll be squaring off against them once he's officially on the scene, though I have no idea how The CW series will set the stage for more of Lex in future seasons as Season 3 draws to a close.
I am curious about just how much of what we've seen in Season 3 will factor into Lex's upcoming story. For example, we saw that Bizarro was back from the dead at the end of this latest episode and looked more like the iteration from the comics than he did in Season 2. Is Lex going to pull Bizarro into what he's got planned, or is that just an adventure for another time? I can't help but feel a bit nervous about all future storylines with no firm confirmation of Season 4, but I am very much excited about the potential of what's to come.
Superman & Lois airs on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Season 3 is almost finished, but thankfully, there's a full lineup of shows on the 2023 TV schedule to dive into for anyone needing another show to watch when it is over.