Could a seemingly-throwaway line of dialogue in last night's episode of Superman & Lois have revealed a major, upcoming plot twist? It seems unlikely, but given the twists and turns that have already happened in the freshman superhero drama, anything is possible. The line in question came from Jor-El, who met an unfortunate fate shortly after. Given the high drama of the moment, it was easy enough to miss -- and while it stuck out like a sore thumb to us, it seemed last night that nobody on Twitter had yet started speculating about it. So let's dig into our latest crazy Arrowverse conspiracy theory...!
In the episode, Superman finds himself flashing back through his life, with a heavy focus on his relationships with Jor-El, Lois, and Martha. As it turns out, these flashbacks are being "farmed" by Morgan Edge/Tal-Rho in order to gain leverage on Superman.
Using the knowledge of Superman's secret identity, and the fact that he has children to protect, as leverage, Rho tried to extort the Man of Steel into joining him. When Superman told him that threatening his family wasn't a way to get anything, Kal-El's half-brother was frustrated.
"I appealed to you as a brother and you attacked me; a Kryptonian, and you stole from me; a friend, and you destroyed everything I've built," Rho told Superman in the episode.
The next spoken line of dialogue comes from the Jor-El hologram/AI, who appears to Superman, declaring that Rho is "none of those things."
Now, there are pretty obvious reasons why Jor-El would say Tal-Rho wasn't Superman's brother (they're half-brothers, and Lara was estranged from Rho's father for good reason), or his friend (he wasn't, and never made any offer of friendship in good faith). The idea that Rho isn't a Kryptonian, though, is harder to parse.
It's likely that Jor-El was simply speaking hastily, or perhaps was responding to a slightly different line from an earlier draft of the script. After all, Angus Macfadyen doesn't appear to have ever shared a physical space with the other Superman & Lois actors while filming his role. But it's also possible that Rho really is not a Kryptonian, or at least not a full-blooded Kryptonian.
Such a move would be evocative of a similar plot point in the never-aired third season of Krypton, in which Nyssa Vex (Wallis Day) would have turned out to be Thanagarian, with her family hiding as Kryptonian nobility for strategic reasons. This would have allowed her to take on the role of Hawkwoman. In that case, her father would have murdered and replaced the real Daron Vex -- something that plausibly could have happened before Zeta-Rho's arranged marriage to Lara Lor-Van.1comments
Given the name Rho, it's hard not to guess whether he could have some tie to Kanjar Ro, the Justice League villain whose last name has a phonetic similarity, and who has been referenced but never seen in the Arrowverse.
Superman & Lois airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, following episodes of The Flash.