‘Superman & Lois’: Adam Rayner Explains Tal-Rho’s Master Plan
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Superman & Lois Season 1, Episode 11, “A Brief Reminiscence In-Between Cataclysmic Events.” So if you haven’t watched it yet, come back after Lois calls the other Man of Steel.]
The true story (at least, we think) of Tal-Rho’s origin was revealed as Superman’s evil brother, better known as businessman Morgan Edge (Adam Rayner), messed around with a captive Clark’s (Tyler Hoechlin) memories of his own past. And while this allowed the show to expand on the fabulously cinematic montage of his Smallville youth, early romance with Lois (Bitsie Tulloch) and first rescues, complete with a homemade costume, it also offered a counter-balance to just how bad it was for Clark’s supersibling before Krypton went kaboom.
Now that we know what Rho is up to (reviving his doomed planet) and what he’s willing to do to fulfill his mission (threaten the Kents until Clark submits), it was time to talk with Adam Rayner himself for some insight into this insidious and completely original character being introduced to the Superman canon.
It’s pretty brave of the show to go and introduce a brand new character into this iconic family tree.
Adam Rayner: Yeah. I was as surprised as anyone. I signed on to be the troublesome billionaire, which was fine with me. And I was already out here ready to go when [showrunner Todd Helbing] introduced me to this idea. And I was, of course, thrilled because it just seemed to be so much fun. And also the idea of being related to Superman!? Yes, very brave in the sense that there’s no precedent for it. It’s sort of breaking new ground in the mythology of it all, which I suppose they have to discuss with DC Comics and all that kind of stuff.
I can only imagine the conversations that had to happen for this character to be introduced.
Me too! I don’t know who’s ultimately in charge, but there must’ve been long conversations. I’m just so glad to have been at the center of that. It’s so much more than what I signed on for, so it’s always nice when that happens.
So after seeing this episode, what would you say is his major gripe: Why is Tal-Rho so pissed that Clark isn’t using all of his powers to dominate?
He’s a fanatic in a sense, ideologically. He has this overriding mission, but at the same time, he has this emotional need to unite with his brother and, in a sense, have a family again. In his mind, the two go hand-in-hand. But of course, for Clark, they’re completely opposed. We can’t be brothers and have one destroying humans, whereas for Edge, in his very extreme ideology, this is totally fine. We kill humans and we’re now good Kryptonian brothers again. Everything’s great! [Laughs]
Nothing bonds brothers like destroying civilizations.
[Laughs] Exactly. And he doesn’t see any contradiction there. History shows us that ordinary people with the same sort of wants and desires as all of us do terrible things to people they don’t consider to be legitimate. And that’s sort of how Edge is behaving. A human’s life is of no value to him.
And what would you consider his weaknesses?
Well, I mean, he ends up having almost no weaknesses at all, as you’ll see. His weakness as Morgan Edge would be that he still values his own life. He values being Morgan Edge. He values his place on Earth. So we’ll see how that [plays into] his ultimate destiny as prescribed by his father.
Speaking of, we got a scene at the end of the episode that sort of reveals that he did not have the best father.
No, no. Zeta-Roh is a piece of work. And he could really actually be considered the mastermind villain here rather than Edge himself, because Zeta-Rho doesn’t show any sympathetic traits whatsoever. He has a mission, this resurrection of Krypton, so even he can sort of hide behind a “higher goal,” I suppose. But he’s such an unpleasant character.
We know Superman has the Fortress of Solitude. What is Morgan’s fortress called?
That’s a good question. It’s the Palm Springs Fortress of Solitude. [Laughs] It’s the summer fortress. It’s just a seasonal thing. I’m not sure. I guess it’s pretty much solitude for him as well. It’s just a lot warmer.
The way that the episode ends with what looks like Superman turning…I am guessing that is leading us toward what John Henry Irons predicted, with multiple Supermans trying to destroy Metropolis?
Not in as many words. Versions of that, but not that exactly.
Superman & Lois, Tuesdays, 9/8c, The CW