Friday, June 18, 2021

Superman and Lois: Season 1, Episode 10 - O Mother, Where Art Thou?

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


The truth behind Morgan Edge's plan is revealed, as Clark, Lois, Lana and General Lane rush to protect Smallville from an enemy within. Meanwhile, Jonathan and Jordan reach out to Sara, after she storms out of her parents house, accusing her mother of covering for her father's drinking again.


New Krypton (the idea of a Kryptonian invasion of Earth) and the movie Man of Steel. .


Who names a device meant to save lives "The Eradicator?" (Granting this is a nod to the comics, it's still a weird thing.)

If the Kryptonian people are generally peaceful and wouldn't approve of Zeta-Rho's plan for restoring Krypton, why is everyone Tal-Rho brought back on-board with helping him? (Presumably he had a list of "loyal Kryptonians" to bring back and held off on bringing back his mother until it would be too late for her to object.)

How the heck did all the Kryptonians chasing after Superman get to the ground safely? (Perhaps Tal-Rho acted to save the hosts of his people at super-speed?)


Emmanuelle Chriqui does a fantastic job showing both the steel of Lana Lang and the heart of Lara Lor-Van in this episode.


The battle between Superman and an army of Kryptonians is another great moment. It's becoming a bit trite for me to say so many of this show's action sequences look like they came from movies, but it is true.

Super Trivia

The episode title is a play on the title of the movie, "O Brother, Where Art Thou."

Tal-Rho is an original character created for the Arrowverse. However, the conceit of a Kryptonian sent to Earth as a child being treated badly and being captured by a government and experimented upon has occurred in several alternate timelines; most famously The New 52 Earth 2 comic (with Val Zod) and the Kal-El of Flashpoint.

Tal-Rho's plan seems to be an adaptation of Zod's scheme to create a new Krypton in the movie Man of Steel, only instead of trying to recapture the genetic record of Krypton that was stolen by Jor-El, he's using the technology of Lara Lor-Van to place copies of Kryptonian minds in human bodies.

The device which Tal-Rho uses to transplant Kryptonian minds in human bodies is called The Eradicator. In the comics, the Eradicator was a piece of alien technology corrupted by the war-like Kem-L, who took what was meant to preserve the lives of dying cultures and turned it into a weapon that would preserve his fascist vision of a perfect Krypton by seeking out other civilizations and rebuilt Krypton on other worlds. He dubbed this technology "The Eradicator." The Eradicator later evolved into a sentient humanoid being with many of Superman's powers and was one of the four "Supermen" to emerge during the Reign of the Supermen story.

The Arrowverse Eradicator was created by Lara Lor-Van as a way to preserve the lives of the Kryptonian people. Why she named it the Eradicator is unclear. 


Dr. Donovan confirms that the minds inside the Eradicator are copies of people's minds rather than their essences. There is no way to communicate with them while they are inside the Eradicator. A consciousness requires a host to become activated.

According to Lara Lor-Van, the Eradicator works on the same principal as a computer, save that instead of placing data on a storage device, it places it within a brain. The former conciousness exists until the transfer is complete. However, this process takes days if not weeks and depends upon how willing the host mind is to accept being taken over. Until the process is complete, the Kryptonian mind can emerge at any time.

Lara says that the process that places Kryptonian minds in a human body can be reversed, but it requires them going through the Eradicator again.

The device Lara fashions to restore the humans converted by Tal-Rho requires energy equivalent to Earth's sun, if not greater. Clark empowers it by releasing all the energy in his body as a solar flare.

Dialogue Triumphs

Tal-Rho: The time has almost come, Kal-El. Our people will awaken soon. And when that happens, I need you by my side, or you will be eradicated too. 

Lana: This is my town, and at every critical juncture I’ve failed it. So don’t tell me this isn’t my responsibility. Not when I stand here about to lose everything.
Lois: I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but you have a family.
Lana: Yeah, and my husband is one of them, who is gonna to become some alien psychopath if I don’t do something. I have to save Kyle, Lois. If there’s any chance that he’s still alive, I have to do it.
Lois: What about Sarah and Sophie?
Lana: They mean the world to me, you know that.
Lois: That’s why I can’t let you do this.
Lana: No, it’s why you have to. I have to fix this for them, for me, for everybody here.
Lois: There’s no guarantee this will even work. This is alien science.
Lana: Well, it’s a good thing I’m just a local loan officer who doesn’t know any better.

Superman: You know, you don’t have to do this. There’s always another way.
Lana: I don’t think you really believe that. Also did Superman just lie to me?
Superman: (laughing) It’s not lying. I’m just, uh… I’m just an optimist.
Lana: I guess that’s what makes you a hero.
Superman: You’re the hero right now, Lana.

Lara: Tell me. What is it like being with my son?
Lois: Most of the time, it’s easy. And sometimes it’s very difficult. Most of the time, I feel very secure, and then I’ve also had some of the most terrifying days in my entire life. But there’s always love and respect.
Lara: A partnership?
Lois: Very much so. 
Lara: On Krypton, I had all the hopes and dreams one could ever have. And I lived them all. And then one day, those hopes and dreams were for the son I just had. Thank you, Lois, for making them come true.


Morgan Edge reveals that in addition to having Kryptonian powers he can also speak Kryptonian.

Morgan Edge reveals that he is a full-blooded Kryptonian named Tal-Rho. He says he was being quite literal in addressing Superman as brother, saying that his mother was also Lara Lor-Van.

Tal-Rho's father, Zeta-Rho, was Lara Lor-Van's first partner. They had been genetically matched, but Lara found their pairing less than ideal and left Zeta-Rho to pursue a romantic pairing with Jor-El.

Zeta-Rho had plans to colonize and enslave other worlds, but never got the chance to fulfil his plans within his lifetime. After learning of Jor-El's plans to save his family, Zeta-Rho sent his son to Earth as well.

Tal-Rho threatens to kill Superman if he doesn't join in his plans for Earth.

Sarah accuses Lana of covering up Kyle's drunkenness and storms out of her house to stay with a friend, Denise.

Lois tries to call Lana to warn her about Kyle, but Lana isn't answering her phone, being too focused on trying to get Kyle to talk about what happened ever since he first went to Morgan Edge.

General Lane says he will send some of his men, who have mobilized in Smallville, to get Lana.

Clark fixates on Tal-Rho's claim that he can restore their mother.

Lois suggests Clark find out if that really is possible, assuring him they'll be find with half the DoD on their front lawn.

Clark goes to the Fortress of Solitude, where Jor-El confirms it is possible Zeta-Rho acquire Lara's technology. He also confirms that Tal-Rho is telling the truth about he and Superman being half-brothers.

When Clark asks why Jor-El never told him about his half-brother, Jor-El says he never saw any need to do so. He also says that using Lara's technology to take over human bodies was not the way Lara had intended to preserve the memory of Krypton. She had intended for their minds to be preserved in the same way the Sunstone created a hologram of Jor-El.

Jor-El says that the Eradicator Lara Lor-Van designed is beyond his understanding and that he cannot help him to use the technology directly.

Jordan texts Sarah, but she's ignoring him.

Jonathan tells Jordan about the video he saw in 108 of another world's Superman killing another version of their mother.

When Jonathan raises his concern about the idea of saving Krypton maybe getting his father to join with Tal-Rho, Lois says the difference is that, in the other world, that Clark Kent didn't have a family, and in Earth-Prime he does.

Kyle tells Lana that he went to Morgan Edge behind her back because he thought she'd lied to him about the Executive Training program because she didn't believe he was good enough - not because she was trying to protect him.

General Lane and his men capture Kyle Cushing. Thankfully, it turns out their Kryptonite weapons are effective on Tal-Rho's soldiers.

Sophie Cushing is said to be staying with Lana's parents.

Lana notes that it has been so long since anything strange happened in Smallville.

Lana singles out one odd person among Edge's personal staff: Dr. Dabney Donovan, who is listed as Edge's personal physician. He was the one who conducted all the health exams for everyone enrolled in the Executive Program.

Lois recognizes Dabney Donovan as a former professor on the tenure track at MIT and says he has dual PhDs in genetics and molecular neurochemistry. 

They try to interview "Kyle" about where the Eradicator is being kept, but he refuses to speak except to make threats.

Jonathan and Jordan meet with Sarah at the local diner.

Jonathan tells Sarah the truth - at least in so far as her father has been possessed by an alien mind and that Morgan Edge is responsible. 

Los says that Tal-Rho wouldn't be giving Superman time to make a decision about joining him if his plan didn't require time as well. 

The DoD finds Donovan and the Eradiactor.

Donovan is willing to work with the DoD, but says he barely understands how the Eradicator works and that reversing the process will require the person who made it.

Lana volunteers to act as a host for Lara Lor-Van.

Lois asks to talk to Lana in private, so she can try to talk her out of volunteering. Lana thanks her, but says it's her responsibility to fix this since she didn't stop Kyle from building up Edge to the locals and recruited everyone for the Executive Program.

Jonathan and Jordan try to take Sarah to see her father. General Lane is called out to talk to them.

Jonathan once again tells off General Lane for acting like his secrets are helping anyone.

"Kyle" mocks Sarah's concern for her father and says that Kyle is dead.

"Kyle" recognizes Jonathan and says that he'll be the first to die when he finally escapes.

Clark has a private talk with Lana, as Superman, where he says he admires her courage.

Lara Lor-Van recognizes Superman as her son instantly.

According to Lara, the Kryptonians are a peaceful people who did not, for the most part, believe in Zeta-Rho's philosophy.

Lara confirms she had no intention of using her technology to supplant another race.

According to Lara, marriages were arranged through the great houses by genetic pairings for many years on Krypton and many older families still underwent the process, but marriages for reasons of love became more common before Krypton's fall.

In an act of pettiness, Zeta-Rho stole the sunstone crystal containing Lara Lor-Van's mind from Jor-El's rocket. This left Kal-El with only a hologram of his father to teach him of Krypton's culture and their family history. 

Clark tells Lara that he had a mother on Earth - a woman named Martha - and that she made sure he was raised properly and loved.  

Lara realizes from the way Clark looks at Lois that she must be his chosen love. Clark confirms this and tells Lara about Lois and their sons.

Jonathan tells Jordan that he should talk to Sarah alone.

Jonathan says he's never going to apologize for telling the truth but right now Jordan being there for Sarah will mean more than anything.

Sarah is upset because now she's afraid the last thing she said to her dad was calling him a drunk.

Leslie Larr informs Tal-Rho that the Eradicator has been captured, but Tal-Rho is not worried and asks her to get the others ready for their arrival.  She also says he believes his brother has chosen humanity and will not stand with them.

Superman meets with Tal-Rho and learns his history and why he wants to conquer humanity in the way that he does.

Tal-Rho's rocket landed in England, where it was found by a rural couple. Rather than being welcome, he was threatened, and killed them reflexively with his heat vision after the man brandished a gun. He was later captured and turned over to the British government, being experimented upon until he escaped around the time of his 19th year. He went on to take the name Morgan Edge and started building an empire to enact his father's plan.

Lara talks to Lois in private and asks what it is like to be with her son, before thanking her for having made all her dreams for the life her son would have on Earth come true.

Jordan apologizes to Sara for not making it to her performance in 109, but she says it's okay, guessing it had something to do with the craziness around her father. 

Jordan says he is sorta glad he wasn't there since it gave Sarah a good memory of her father.

Clark powers his mother's device by releasing all the energy in his body as a solar flare - a technique first executed in the Arrowverse in S106.

Tal-Rho flies away when he senses that Superman is up to something.

Clark activates his mother's device and all the possessed people are restored to normal.

Somehow, all the Kryptonians chasing Clark were safely placed on the ground in Smallville.

Sarah goes to confront her father and is there when Kyle goes back to normal.

The DoD cannot fine any sign of Morgan Edge or Superman. 

Superman crash-lands in some icy region, clearly almost powerless.

Tal-Rho meets with Leslie Larr at the Shuster Mine and says it is just them for now, but all is not lost.

Untelevised Adventures

Tal-Rho details how he came to Earth and became Morgan Edge.

We learn that Superman's mother had a first marriage and a son before she married Jor-El.

The Bottom Line

A little heavy on exposition, but with enough great character moments to keep things from getting too dull. However, the last five minutes and the best action sequence in the show's history more than make-up for it.

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