‘Superman & Lois’: Emmanuelle Chriqui Explains Lana’s Heroic Stint as Supermom
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Superman & Lois Season 1, Episode 10, “O Mother, Where Art Thou?”. If you haven’t seen it, go underground and dig up some X-Kryptonite and come back when you’re ready!]
And we thought only daddy issues ran amok in the Kent family!
In the latest hour of S&L, Clark (Tyler Hoechlin) learned that his whole family — at least his alien one — had some stuff to work out as evil mogul Morgan Edge (Adam Rayner) explained that he was, in fact, his half-brother from the same mother, Lara. Not only that, Edge was using something called The Eradicator on longtime Smallville residents to build his army of “subjekts” because they’d spent their lives being slowly exposed to the X-Kryptonite beneath the town, which made them easier to control.
Supes’ only chance of stopping him? Snagging the Eradicator and downloading his late mom’s consciousness into someone just as impressionable in the hopes of finding a way to stop Edge. Cue Lana (Emmanuelle Chriqui), who offered her own noggin for the experiment, since it was also her best shot at saving her already Eradicated (and miserable d-bag) hubby Kyle (Erik Valdez).
The episode is momentous for several reasons — the expansion of the Kal-El family tree, the seeming culmination of the X-Kryptonite arc, the new twist in Edge’s master plan teased at the end — but it’s the more domestic developments the story is setting up that we’re most into. Now that Lana has finally met Superman, how will that impact how Clark interacts with the former Ms. Lang off-duty? Does she hold onto any of Lara’s memories following her stint as Supermom’s conduit? And will Kyle start to lighten up after escaping Edge’s control? Or at least stop wearing his wraparound sunglasses on the back of his head?
We chatted up the so lovely Emmanuelle Chriqui about all of our Cushings concerns, as well as the show’s terrific balance of action and heart, as well as what could be coming down the pike, post-Eradication. And she’s just as excited about it all as we are!
First off, I thought it was such a cool idea to bring in Lana as this character who… they’re not really playing a love triangle, this is just his good old friend.
Emannuelle Chriqui: Yeah, it is. It’s cool. It’s unique to the universe. I think a lot of people were thinking, “Is she going to be a redhead? And is she going to be up against Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch)?” But no, she’s not! And I think they’re building the relationships so beautifully actually…as real adults, not catty girls.
Now, I will say I was so worried though because Kyle was such a jerk.
[Laughs] I know, we all were! We all were worried. Just like, “Oh God, he’s so unlikable.” I would speak to my friends or my family, and they’re like, “Wow, he must be really good because I don’t like him one bit.” And I was like, “Yeah, he’s really good because Erik is literally the antithesis of his character.
That is so good to hear! And I feel like the events of this episode could kind of reset the table for the Cushings?
I think so too. People were wondering where Kyle was headed with the whole Morgan Edge of it all. And I think that the fact that he…I think people are going to be surprised and relieved by the end of the episode. We’ll start to see his good colors coming out, which I think is important—certainly as a woman and as an actor—because I was like, “What the hell is wrong with Lana, staying with him?!”
She’s a catch! And what is this also going to do to Lana, being implanted with Lara’s consciousness? Tat’s a hero move! How much of her knowledge does Lana bring out with her?
You mean, once she’s turned back to normal? Oh my God. Damian, that’s a great question. I don’t know the answer to that, if any, actually. That’s a question for [showrunner] Todd Helbing.
I was waiting for her to realize that Clark is Superman.
I know. And this is the thing, there were definitely touches of that in the episode. I imagine that they’re going to explore that at some point. Did you catch the recognition beat, just before I turn and Superman says “Lana”… the way he says her name, I looked at him in a certain way?
They’re definitely starting to veer off that a little bit. And I think the fact that this is the first time that we’ve seen Lana and Superman together is also [big]. The fanboys are going to be talking about this episode! And I think this episode dropped a lot of things for the future.
Oh definitely. When you kind of resolve a big storyline like this before the finale, we saw how it’s planting the seeds for something bigger. Could this position Lana and Kyle to be more incorporated with the hero stories?
Interesting. I think once again, that remains to be seen. The thing that’s cool and sort of a challenge in our show is that the normal people are doing extraordinary things, right? It’s not just the superheroes that are saving the day, which I think is so awesome in our show. The challenge is that the Cushings are a little bit of a silo unto themselves in the show, so unless it’s a direct storyline that intersects with, in this case, Morgan Edge and Superman, we’re a little bit on our own. I guess it just will depend to see sort of what happens in the future. But I think Lana’s bank days are over. That’s my guess. [Laughs]
She’s definitely fired! But that also opens the door for more domestic stories for the Cushings, which is such a sweet spot for the show. It’s so good at telling a grounded look at life in Smallville amid the Superman stuff.
That makes me so happy to hear. Because again, I think it’s a balancing act, of superhero and family drama. Some episodes, you have a little more breathing room where it’s less action-y and more family-driven. And then other times it’s super, super action hero-y and less family stuff. But I think there are definitely a few episodes this season that are the sweet spot of the show, where they strike that balance. Because I’m with you. I love those stories a lot.
And you what, I just keep saying that we have the best cast ever. And it’s a crazy thing because I really do believe that if enough people other than just the CW audience tune into our show, I really, really believe that the level of talent on the show from an acting point of view, would be really recognized. We have such a freaking talented cast.
Well, hopefully, the episodes dropping on HBO Max will help folks find it over the summer.
The first six, I believe are on HBO Max…so hopefully other people tune in because I think we have a special show. I was going to say a special little show, but…it’s not little at all! [Laughs]
Superman & Lois, Tuesdays, 9/8c, The CW