On Superman & Lois, a lot of time is spent on Clark Kent juggling being a hero and learning to become a better father. While all of this is happening, Lois Lane is trying to expose Morgan Edge. While all of that is fascinating in its own right, the Kent children tell quite the story of their own. Jonathan and Jordan Kent couldn’t be more different from each other, which adds quite a bit of tension throughout its run.
Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) is levelheaded, comfortable in his skin, and incredibly confident. In the first three episodes, he stands out as the moral center of the show. Sure, we see him teasing his brother, but what teenager wouldn’t? What we learn about him while watching this show is that Jonathan is also incredibly empathetic and reasonable. He sees things in his brother that their father is missing.
When Jordan (Alex Garfin) joins the football team without Clark knowing, Jonathan tells his brother that their father will be upset, as he tries not to beat him over the head with it. Later, when Clark finds out and scolds Jordan, Jonathan is the one that comes to his defense. He ensures to their father that Jordan can control his abilities. Jonathan should have every reason not to be as understanding as he is. He got upended to a small town and suddenly finds out his father is Superman. We haven’t even tackled the fact that his brother has powers while he doesn’t.
Now the one thing Jonathan excels at is football, but now his brother is upstaging him. With all of that happening, he still tries his best to be a good brother. One wonders if that will continue or how that will evolve, as Jordan is the one that needs the most care. He’s emotionally unstable at times, which is a dangerous combination when one possesses abilities as he does. This fact, of course, concerns his parents.
When Clark takes Jordan to the Fortress of Solitude, Jor-El’s hologram tells Clark that Jordan will never be like him. This revelation leaves his son angry and bitter, which ends up blaming it all on his father. We will look at this as an angst-ridden teenager in any other show, but this is a young man with insane expectations. Imagine being the son of Superman and hearing your grandfather say how you’ll never live up to your father. That’s pretty rough.
On top of all of that, Jordan also has feelings for Lana’s daughter, Sarah Cushing. (Inde Navarette) In the pilot, he kisses her. It leads to a fight with her then-boyfriend, which becomes the catalyst to activate his heat vision. Jordan then spends the next episode not being allowed to go to school. It’s hard to imagine anyone dealing with this well at all. In episode three, both the boys find out that Clark has been eavesdropping on their conversations for a long time. This invasion of privacy is a privilege Superman has through his abilities, but it creates tension with his sons.
Eventually, there’s growth from Jordan once he joins the football team. He’s able to control his new-found strength to some degree. The best part is, he even gets to make some friends. Maybe there’ll be a little bit less angst in the upcoming episodes. Even Clark learns something from prior experience with his Dad that gives him the motivation to let Jordan play. This television show is primarily about Superman, but they confirm his two sons are not just cannon fodder. They’re teaching Clark valuable lessons and growing as young men themselves. Their character development is just as important as the man of steel.