Supergirl season 6’s eighth episode made several references to other Arrowverse shows & characters. Superman & Lois should do the same in season 2.
Supergirl remembers its Arrowverse connections in a way Superman & Lois should. When Supergirl debuted in 2015, it mentioned Superman, the titular character’s cousin who landed on Earth years before her. One season later, the series moved from CBS to the CW and became fully integrated with the rest of the Arrowverse, which included Arrow and The Flash. Supergirl has managed to maintain its ties to the shared universe six seasons in.
In Supergirl season 6’s episode 8, called “Welcome Back, Kara!”, the Girl of Steel makes several references to other Arrowverse characters. She brings up Clark when showing her father, Zor-El, around the Fortress of Solitude as she explains why she didn’t go there in her early years despite her cousin’s encouragement; Kara mentions The Flash’s Iris West-Allen, from whom she takes journalistic inspiration when thinking about how she’ll write her next piece about National City and the phantom attacks that happened while she was gone; Supergirl also references other publications throughout the Arrowverse during Andrea’s CatCo meeting, including the Gotham Gazette, Central City Citizen, and the Star City Sentinel.
Although Supergirl’s characters have not interacted with others outside of their show this year, largely due to having no crossover event, the references are a reminder of these relationships and the connection forged over the years. This is in stark contrast to its sister show. One of the biggest complaints some fans had about Superman & Lois season 1 was that it never really felt like it belonged on the same Earth as the other Arrowverse shows. Most, if not all, the references to other Arrowverse shows were cut and there was no major acknowledgement of the impact Crisis on Infinite Earths had on the events of the show, either. If it wasn’t for John Diggle’s brief appearance in season 1, Superman & Lois would have been completely siloed from its Arrowverse predecessors.
Supergirl’s latest episode just goes to show the gaps Superman & Lois needs to fill in season 2. Currently, Kara has built stronger ties across the shared universe whereas Clark has yet to do the same. The references don’t have to be excessive, but there should be something in there to remind the audience (and the characters) of its larger connections to the world in which it dwells. Despite all the superheroes living on Earth-Prime, each series had its own tone and separate storylines and tribulations for their characters to overcome. Still, Superman & Lois ultimately failed to draw connections to the other shows outside of the crossovers, with the most glaring oversight being the lack of references to Supergirl, which first introduced Tyler Hoechlin’s iteration of Clark Kent.
Supergirl making mention of the other Arrowverse characters and their respective cities most crucially reveals how bonded the titular hero is with this world. It’s something Superman & Lois should take note of and adjust accordingly for season 2. There is a way to stand on its own merit as a series (like Supergirl has) while also being more closely tied to the Arrowverse at large. With Supergirl being in its final season, it’s time for the Man of Steel to forge his own connections with the remaining shows and its various heroes in his cousin’s place.