Superman & Lois: Alex Garfin on Jordan Kent’s Super Success

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SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Through the Valley of Death,” the latest episode of Superman & Lois.

Jordan Kent is growing up. In “Through the Valley of Death,” the latest episode of Superman & Lois, the Super Son was able to harness his super hearing abilities and save the day by discovering his father’s location at Tal-Rho’s secret fortress. With this information, John Henry Irons was able to reach Clark in enough time to prevent General Zod’s consciousness from taking over his body. Now, Superman has been reunited with his family, and Tal-Rho is behind bars — but he may not be there for long, seeing as there are still three episodes to go in Season 1.

Speaking to CBR, Superman & Lois star Alex Garfin broke down Jordan’s critical role in the events of “Through the Valley of Death” and how that will change the way Clark sees his son moving forward. He revealed Jordan will soon start to see his gifts as a blessing rather than a curse and teased a little “teenage romance” between his character and Inde Navarrette’s Sarah Cushing. He also discussed where he would like to take Jordan in future seasons of the show, what it was like to work with The Flash alum Tom Cavanagh on the Season 1 finale and more.

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CBR: The bond between Jordan and Jonathan feels like it’s grown a lot since you started out in the pilot episode. What has been your favorite part of bringing that dynamic to life?

Alex Garfin: Well, I have to say, I personally wanted to be a TV actor since I was a little kid. Because if a show goes for eight years, and you watch it when you’re 8 to 16, you grew up with these characters. They’re a part of your life, and you’re a part of theirs in a way, and the actor is very coexistent with those characters. So being able to develop a character in real time like this has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Part of that development is, first and foremost, his relationship with his brother. We really do see it start out with 14 years of Jonathan just getting everything and Jordan really just getting nothing. The parents are too busy to really be around. We don’t even know our dad is Superman! They’re just both busy reporters.

We really start to see that start to switch. As soon as they move to Smallville, Jordan feels like he belongs somewhere, and Jonathan is starting to feel like a bit of an alien. As the family descends further and further into crisis mode, I think we see these two brothers really, really, really start to look out for each other.

It’s a lot like how we all experienced the beginning of COVID, that feeling of, “School doesn’t matter.” You know, I was in school at the time. I graduated two weeks ago. “School doesn’t matter. Work doesn’t matter.” You know, even the girlfriend from school is a little less mattering than just your family and the people around you. That’s what we really saw. We saw them start to connect a lot more than they used to. It’s great.

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Jordan really came into his own this episode, particularly when he used his super hearing to find his dad. How does that impact his decisions in the final episodes?

Well, I think we saw his capability of hurting people go through the roof in the first part of it. We saw he has the capability of simply getting too angry and breaking a kid’s arm and then, all of a sudden, he’s having seizures, like Tag Harris, and then breaking his brother’s arm by getting too angry again. Now we’re finally seeing his capability of helping people and helping his own life and, yeah, that changes him for the better, I believe. I think all of a sudden, these powers aren’t just a curse; they really start to fill in their role as a bit of a blessing, at least — a lifesaver, at very least.

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Throughout this episode, we see that this whole Morgan Edge incident has really changed the citizens of Smallville. Where does Jordan fit into this new, post-Eradictator town?

Well, certainly, Smallville now — as a whole — feels much more vulnerable. It feels as if it’s at this strange spot right at the center of the world, which it was never. It was always in the middle of nowhere. Now it’s the center of the world. That puts a lot of personal pressure on Jordan as well.

But I mainly think through [Episode] 13 and 14 and even 15, Jordan, we start to see him start to really realize what it means to be more of a teenager than a kid, and that’s a big thing. When you’re 14, I really do think you’re maturity is going up like this, and your childness is going down like this, and 14 is where they kind of intersect in my mind. Now I’m getting scientific here! [laughs] But it’s like a supercritical fluid, in a way. It kind of doesn’t know what it is. It’s right between the two. I think we start to really see the adult start to win out, finally, through this last little bit of Season 1.

How does this impact his relationship with Sarah?

I honestly think it will. Right now, it’s like the pressure valve just went off in Smallville at the end of [Episode] 12. So all of a sudden, they’re able to do the things that they really wanted to do. I don’t want to spoil it. That’s as much as I’ll say, is that they’re able to start to just behave like kids, without the whole world pressing down on their shoulders. They get to have a little teenage romance! Why not? I know when I was having a teenage romance, it was very awkward and very cute at the same time.

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Jordan came very close to losing his dad in this episode. How will that impact his relationship with Clark moving forward?

I think, mainly, it’s a cherry on top of the cake that has been brewing this entire season. We start to see a mutual respect between the two of them. Jordan never respected his father because his father wasn’t around when he was having a lot of issues. Once he found out his father is Superman, obviously, then it’s a lie and all that. But eventually, throughout the season, we start to see them develop a mutual respect.

Just as Clark always saw Jordan as kind of this ragged child that he doesn’t know what to do with — “Oh my God, I don’t know what to do about Jordan! I don’t know what to do at Jordan!” — he all of a sudden starts to see him as a person as well. The fact that they’ve flipped the switch a little bit and that Jordan saves Clark, I think it’s really kind of perfect in the way that they’re finally starting to respect each other as father and son. It’s really good.

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When the episode wraps up, we get a cliffhanger ending that suggests Morgan Edge has one more trick up his sleeve. How worried should we be?

Well, at the very least, there’s a Season 2, so I’m a little calmer than most, but maybe you should be worried. Or maybe Morgan Edge will come out a changed man. You know, maybe he’ll just be a normal citizen. He’ll get a job at a bank all sudden. Once in a while, you’ll go to the Smallville Bank: “Hey, it’s Uncle Morgan!” “Hey, kids!” No, it’s definitely not that. It’s definitely not gonna be that.

So you’re saying Season 2 won’t be a family sitcom?

Uncle Morgan knocking on the door at Thanksgiving. He brings the turkey! He burnt the whole turkey! [Morgan Edge impression] “I was really going through a rough patch in my life.”

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If you could chose any direction for Jordan Kent, what would be your dream story arc?

I think a lot of the time, especially in popular media, we get to see how a good guy has a reason for being bad. I think Breaking Bad was obviously the epitome of all of that, right? It was a good man finds a reason to be bad.

Well, what if a normal kid finds a reason to be good? Really, really finds a reason to be good and really finds a way to devote himself for it? Not just like, “I want to save the world and America!” No! There’s a reason there and there’s there’s a deep understanding there of what he’s doing. I would absolutely love to see that, although I think that would be hopefully down the line. I would want that to grow for a couple seasons. I absolutely want that to brew for a while.

Maybe we can throw in a little Red Kryptonite so he can break bad for a day.

You know what? Eventually, we’ll run out of ideas, right? [laughs] No, I think they should just start chucking all the different Kryptonites, like they started doing in Smallville. They really were two-fisted into that. Eventually, they were just like, “No, this is Magenta Kryptonite!”

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That exists!

It does! It does exist! I remember! I loved it. [laughs] I hope we actually get to do that. That’d be really fun.

What’s a moment or scene from an upcoming episode that you can’t wait for fans to see?

I’ll be very vague here! I’ll be very vague. It is sundown in the very last episode on the finale. That’s all I’ll say. Sundown, last episode of the finale. May or may not be in a field. That’s all I’ll say. It could go a million directions, definitely not the one you’re thinking, but I am very proud of that scene. I think the director of that episode, Tom Cavanagh, was really, really thrilled with that scene. So I’m excited to see how it turns out.

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Tell me a little more about working with The Flash alum Tom Cavanagh.

He knew my high school teacher! I go to a drama high school. I went to a drama high school. And I’m like, “Well, did you ever just stop by?” He’s like, “Yeah, I knew Ms. Faison.” And I’m like, “Wait, you know Ms. Faison?!” What is this tiny world!

No, him and I clicked immediately. It was an absolute joy working with him. He’s full energy, but he also gets down to business. Just him and I, our personalities just really clicked, just from the very first phone call, which ended up being two hours, which was supposed to be five minutes. So I really just love the guy.

Now that you’ve wrapped filming on Season 1, what’s a favorite memory or experience you had on set?

A lot from the finale, but I can’t talk about that. But I think, really, one of the most incredible experiences was going to the Smallville set for the first time. Not only was I shocked by the fact they built us a town, but also it reminded me of how deep this all goes, how Superman is the Americana icon. You know, you think of America, it’s baseball, apple pie, maybe Elvis. It really reminded me of how deep this all goes and what exactly I am contributing to and how can I contribute to that at 17. I am so honored for the whole thing.

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What is the mark you hope Jordan Kent leaves on the Superman legacy?

I hope Jordan — I mean, yeah, well, the mental health aspects as well. I really hope Jordan provides a depiction of someone who is going through a lot and has a lot going on. You know, that quiet kid in class, that quiet little boy in class and the little boy that throws all those temper tantrums — maybe he’ll learn to fly, and maybe that’s really what I want out of this whole thing. Not saying that he’s flying, by the way! [laughs] You know what I mean.

Superman & Lois stars Tyler Hoechlin, Elizabeth Tulloch, Dylan Walsh, Alex Garfin, Jordan Elsass, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Inde Navarrette and Wolé Parks. The series airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

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