Superman & Lois: Why General Lane Will See Significantly Less Screentime In Season 4

It's that time of year where TV renewals and cancellations run rampant. Fans brace themselves for the worst and rejoice at any positive news. But for fans of The CW's "Superman & Lois," it's been a bit of a mixed bag.

The good news is that the network decided to renew "Superman & Lois" for Season 4. It was somewhat of a surprise given how The CW has scaled back its DC adaptations, especially with "The Flash" ending after its ninth season. However, "Superman & Lois" is largely separate from all that (unless the multiverse is involved), so the network is keeping it going a little while longer, with a catch.

For starters, Season 4 will have a reduced episode count. While the first two seasons had 15 episodes a piece and Season 3 had 13, Season 4 of the show will only get 10 episodes. Additionally, many cast members have been cut entirely or had their parts significantly reduced. That includes Dylan Walsh's General Samuel Lane, the father of Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch) and father-in-law to Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin). His wife, Leslie Bourque-Walsh, seemingly confirmed General Lane wouldn't return in any capacity for Season 4, writing on Instagram, "Congrats to the families of S&L for finally getting the update of their fate. We now know General Lane was cut due to budget. It was a fun ride. Bye." It may be possible he could return in a limited capacity to round out his character, but fans should be prepared to say goodbye to Lois' dad.

No General Lane would be a major loss for Superman & Lois

General Lane has been a constant presence on "Superman & Lois" since the first season. He's a no-nonsense workaholic who's committed to his family and, on multiple occasions, has served as a useful ally to Superman. Given his role, it's strange to consider how he couldn't factor into the story going forward, especially since Deadline reported that Season 4 would "lean more heavily into its core premise as a family drama going forward while still honoring its superhero roots." General Lane is integral to both the family drama and the superhero aspects, but it goes to show just how much The CW is willing to cut.

Another Deadline report detailed who else was on the chopping block, including Emmanuelle Chriqui, Inde Navarrette, Erik Valdez, and Tayler Buck, among others. However, that article suggests any of these actors could return for Season 4, albeit in a reduced capacity and if they have an interest in returning. This could also apply to Dylan Walsh, although his wife's post on Instagram sounds like he's done for good.

Walsh's departure signifies how "Superman & Lois" Season 4 has trimmed the fat and then some. He was a crucial support system for the Kent family, and his involvement with the Department of Defense factored into many storylines. Walsh's reduced capacity means the show's truly going to focus on the core Kent family, and Superman himself will likely battle any enemies all on his own, without much help from anyone else. 

Season 3 of "Superman & Lois" airs its finale on The CW on June 27. Hopefully, General Lane gets a fitting sendoff in that episode, at the very least.