Season 10 Episode 8


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 12, 2010 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
372 votes

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Episode Summary

After seeing a video of her dead mother, Lois goes to the Fortress to make a fateful decision. Meanwhile, Clark and Tess investigate a mysterious orphanage tied to Tess' past, and confront the headmistress, Granny Goodness, and one of her wards, Harriet.

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  • We learn all about Tess...sigh

    I harp on about Tess Mercer quite a bit. I realize this. Even during episodes where she barely features, I tend to find the time to dedicate a paragraph or two to the fiery vixen. It's just... she's my new Chloe. My new obsession. My new favorite thing (from Smallville, anyway). I sort of love to rant about how badly written a character she is, but I do love her. Cassidy Freeman tackles whatever silly plot is thrown at her; she admirably keeps her game face on, even when she's bogged down with such ludicrous dialogue only the Smallville writing staff can churn out. Oh, and she's incredibly hot, I've mentioned that, right?

    This episode is extremely Tess-centric, and, I'll admit, actually rather good in parts. However, the crack writing staff have effectively ruined the character for me. I'll never look at her the same again. She can no longer be my substitute Chloe. Even when she dipped her toe in every pond this side of pondsville over the course of the last few years, it has been Freeman's consistently strong performance that has kept me interested in the character.

    But this new development takes the f**king biscuit. Tess Mercer is a Luthor! She's Lex's half-sister! Her real name is -- wait for it, it's classic -- Lutessa. Lutessa f**king Luthor.

    No doubt come season's end we'll find out she's Lois' cousin (twice removed) and that she had a fling with Lana, went to college with Pete, slept with... wait a minute! Wait a minute! She's Lex's half-sister because, obviously, Lionel Luthor (John Glover is due to reprise his role in a future episode) also had a penchant for, ahem, dipping his... toe... in someone else's pond, if ya catch my drift. Lutessa has red hair. Martha Kent has red hair. There are rumors that Martha will be popping up this season... oh my Lordy... Tess is Clark's half-sister too!

    (I'm only speculating at this stage, of course, but the writers are bonkers enough to do it. Please, please do not let this be the case. There may be tears if it is.)

    As for the rest of the episode, there's a fantastic scene involving Lois rummaging through her mother's old keepsakes and finding a tape for Lois to watch. It's a video of her mother not long before her death (Teri Hatcher, separating the men from the boys, with a great stunt performance); it's a beautifully played scene, as well as a fantastic homage and also a neat passing of the baton, if you will, as Smallville's Lois receives a message from Lois and Clark's Lois (replete with old school wig). This motivates Lois to mend Clark's relationship with his own father, Jor-El, resulting in another incredibly poignant message from a deceased loved one, and probably one of Wellings' sincerest performances, even though he doesn't have any dialogue.

    The whole Granny Goodness plot is all rather light fare, even if there are hints at child abuse, but I did have fun watching a bunch of women kick the crap out of Clark. Out of a shirtless Clark. I think Clark should remain shirtless for the rest of the season (I'm only thinking of the show's very limited budget here... every penny counts.) I have to say, though, kudos to the casting team for nabbing Christine Willis (Dead Like Me's gloriously kooky Delores Herbig), she definitely made me like the episode more, and her Granny Goodness outfit towards the end made her look a dead-ringer for her comic-book character!

    So there ya have it... two episodes where the ending has saved ho-hum episodes, and now this one, a solid enough episode that is completely ruined by a mind-numbingly stupid story development. Mind-numbing. I mean, didn't Lex and Lutessa (ugh!), ya know, bump uglies?moreless
  • Tess visits a place from her past. Lois finds out more about Clark and herself.

    Well wow was that surprising or what. First of all i always point out who wasnt in the episode. No Oliver this time but looks like hes back next week. I liked hoe they included Clarks and Lois's parents in the episode it was a cool way of getting them in. Also Teri Hatcher as Lois's mom, why not have Lois from Lois and Clark, who better. The stuff with Granny Goodness was a little strange but i knew she was Darksieds helper so I think we will find out more about her down the road. Lois helping Clark with his problem of feeling like he let his dad down and herself about how she felt about her mom was good. She got to help clark for once. That brought there relationship closer as we saw and hes probably going to propose to her soon. I hope they are creative with it htough because in other Superman shows after they marry it becomes unpopular. Clark at the orphanage getting trapped and everything just seemed like he needed something to do in the episode. I did have two questions about that part though. Where did Granny go after she sucked or attempted to suck his memories away and did Clark ever go back for that little girl? Stuff with Tess was very interesting and suprising at the end. I actually didnt see that one coming. Tess is a Luthor, wow who knew. I guess the red hair could've been a clue because lex had that color too. Wow though it was definitley a highlight of the episode. Her name is Lutessa Luthor. Personally I think she should just stick with Tess because Lutessa sounds stupid. You know just when you think nothing really happens in the episode they pull out something of importance in every episode so far this season. Definitley looking forward to next weeks. It will be good as always. Talk to you then.moreless
  • Holly Freaking Cr@p

    Holly freaking everything! Oh k, So originally I was super excited for this episode. Terry Hachet was goning to finally be on Smallville & Helan Slater was coming back. Well Terry only had an appearance, and so did Slater. That was very disappointing. Very much so.

    Poor Lois was off by herself the whole time, but I must commend her for finding the cave and getting to Antarctica…How did she know to bring a coat?

    I liked Lindsay Hartley (Oliver Queen/Justin Heartley's wife) But I'm not sure why Oliver wasn't in the episode… But I did LOVE Tom with no shirt of for a whole 4 minutes. I don't know why he bothered to grab a shirt AND coat on his way out, but I will gladly take it!! (If I was Clark/Tom…I just would never wear clothes)

    When the show was winding down and at the 8:51 mark I was overall not impressed. (Except for shirtless Clark Kent) But then much t my surprise they made another reference to Lois & Clark getting married. THEN I Exploded When Clark Pulled out a RING! I was impressed! I kinda thought that that would come at the end of the season with only that one reference from Clark asking Lois's dad something in the barn.

    Then We find out Lex & Tess (Lexia?) are half brother and sister!! Whos brilliant idea was it to bring the affair that Lionel had in season 4 back 6 years later?! Perfect!!...But I thought Lex & Tess had kinda hooked up before?...Didn't he used to spy on her with her necklace?

    Whatever, I'm loving the whole marriage thing happening & we all want more shirtless Tom welling! I don't care why it happened, I just want more.moreless
  • A little bit too much for one episode.

    Ok, I liked this episode and it's writing but I was left a little bit unsatisfied by it all. I really enjoyed seeing Teri Hatcher playing Lois's was precious. But when Lois decided to take it upon herself to fix things between Jor-El and Clark, that seemed a bit odd. And what the heck was Jor-El doing to her?

    Now the whole Tess storyline (I say Tess because, come on, Clark was a deux machina here) was different. Granny was a good villain and it all falls into place why Tess is so messed up. She's a Luthor. Now while it goes good with the comics and having Lena Luthor, I am afraid that the writers are having problems with their history. I can see a Lionel Luthor sending Tess to Granny's after the death of Julian Luthor. After all, he thought Lex had killed Julian and their was no Mom anymore in the house due to her suicide. What would Lionel know about taking care of a little girl? But from what I can glean from the scene at the end, this wasn't the case. It felt like Tess should be the middle child of the Luthors and there was no real reason for them to send her there. But at least it makes sense with her having redhair :)

    Overall, a good ep but with the revelation that Tess is actually a Luthor, we could have done without the Lois/Jor-El storyline.moreless
  • Parents and children.

    I liked the theme of this episode. All three of our regular characters got to deal with their parents and how they might have been abandoned by them in some sort of fashion. The returns of Shanks and Slater, as well as the special appearance of Teri Hatcher, gave us some great scenes. I have to say that my favourite was Helen Slater's cameo.

    The A plot was something I had been waiting for a long time. To find out more about Tess. The producers have been going back and forth a lot with her. At the momene, I don't kow what to think about her being a Luthor. In the past, it was implied that she and Lex might have had an affair. But I like that they at least are going somewhere with her.

    The B plot wasn't as good in my opinion. After eight seasons, I think I've made uo my mind about AI Jor El and unlike Lois, I don't think Clark needs him. Jonathan was his true father anyway. And the holograms of Lara and Jor-El didn't make me think that AI Jor-El was better. On the contrary.

    Overall, it was a very enjoyable and emotional episode. Glad to see that the Darkseid arc is on the map again. Bring on Patriot.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Teri Hatcher plays Lois' mother in the video. However, in season 4's "Gone" when Clark and Lois are in her father's office, Clark looks at a picture of Lois' mother and it is a noticeably different actress portraying her who also has blonde hair.

    • Julian Sands' voice (and body) is used here as the voice of Jor-El when he records the hologram message during Krypton's last moments. However, in "Memoria," the voice of Jor-El that is heard during Krypton's last moments is Terence Stamp's, which is clearly different.

    • Trivia: Tess' birth certificate identifies her birthday as November 12. Since she then wishes herself Happy Birthday, this places the final day of the episode as taking place on the day the episode premiered.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Clark: Does St. Louise's mean anything to you?
      Tess: This might come as a surprise to you, Clark, but I've never really identified with any saints.

    • Ella Lane: Play the tapes. Think of me. Because losing a parent, it can create a hole in a person's heart. Someday you're going to meet someone special. Knowing you, I'm guessing tall, dark, and handsome. And you can't commit to that person fully if you think there's a love that you're missing from some old memory. Like me. You can't let someone leaving you stop your future with someone else. The thing about being a parent is... it doesn't end. Not with age, not with death. I will always be your mother, Lois. And I will always love you.

    • Clark: I'm here to help you.
      Harriet: No one here needs saving... except you.

    • Granny Goodness: I lost your broken soul once. Trust me, I'm not going to let you go again. I have plans for you, Tess. You will be my most valuable soldier in the coming war. Whether you want to be... or not.

    • Granny Goodness: Don't fret, my child. I'm here to ease your pain.
      Clark: I have no pain.
      Granny Goodness: Oh, but you do. You are an abandoned soul. It's not your fault your parents didn't want you. Let me help push all that anger away.
      Clark: No.
      Granny Goodness: It's tempting though, isn't it?
      Clark: No. Challenges are what makes us who we are. The people that I've lost, the things that I've learned. I wouldn't be the same without them.
      Granny Goodness: We've all had moments that we regret, and people who let us down. I can take that all away. You just ask any of my girls. I'm the most compassionate one of all.

    • Lara: My son, I've only had the joy of knowing you a few weeks. I wish I could be with you always to guide you and protect you.
      Jor-El: We don't have much time.
      Lara: My dearest Kal-El, our love will always be with you. I can already see you carry within you your father's independent spirit.
      Jor-El: But more importantly, your mother's never-ending bravery. And her compassion of heart.
      Lara: Your father tells me the new world you're journeying to, Earth, is full of complicated beings capable of great emotion. My wish is for you to live a full and wonderful life, but I need you to know you were born of a great love. And your brilliant father has devised a way for you to carry on without us.
      Jor-El: The ship I designed to carry you to your destiny can only hold one Kryptonian. One who has so much potential. So unlike your father. Your mother and I cannot come with you. To do so would be to burden your innocent soul with our frailties and failures. But you have within you the best of both of us. And I'm sending with you all of my knowledge, and none of my ego or regrets. They will die with me here on Krypton. Whatever trials I put you through, I will never lose faith in you.
      Lara: Quickly, before it's too late. We may not be able to save our planet.
      Jor-El: We are confident you will become Earth's greatest savior. And never doubt that just as you are a part of us, we will always be a part of you. Farewell, my son.
      Lara: Farewell.

    • Godfrey: So I do have a higher purpose.
      Desaad: Yes, Godfrey. Your golden voice is broadcast around the world.
      Granny Goodness: Not impressed. And you, I see you're enjoying your clubs. They seem more popular than ever.
      Desaad: Our unholy trinity is complete. I bind their bodies, Godfrey breaks their spirit, and you, my beloved friend, you clear their minds, preparing the way for Lord Darkseid.

    • Lois: Clark Kent and karaoke. Isn't that one of the signs of the Apocalypse?

  • NOTES (7)

    • Justin Hartley is credited but doesn't appear.

    • Teri Hatcher is credited as Special Appearance By.

    • Teri Hatcher (Ella Lane) is no stranger to the world of Superman: she played Lois Lane herself in the ABC series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman from 1993 to 1997.

    • Lindsay Hartley (Harriet) is the real-life wife of actor Justin Hartley (Oliver Queen).

    • Lena Luthor

      The full name on Tess's birth certificate is Lutessa Lena Luthor. Lena Luthor was introduced in Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #23, in February 1961. She was Lex's younger sister, who was unaware of her brother's identity after their family changed their name from Luthor to Thorul out of shame at Lex's villainy. In various versions of the character, she is always Lex's estranged or dead sister, and in the comics, Lex even named his daughter Lena after her.

    • Granny Goodness & The Female Furies

      Granny Goodness first appeared in Mister Miracle vol. 1 #2 (May 1971), and was created by Jack Kirby. The hag-like mistress of Darkseid's "orphanage," Granny Goodness ruthless torments her proteges and turns them into ruthless warriors. Her loyalty made her one of Darkseid's Elite, although her status has waxed and waned over the years depending on her success. Among her elite warriors are the Female Furies, a band of superpowered women. One of them is Mad Harriet, a seemingly deranged woman with yellow skin, green hair, and power spikes on her knuckles. Another is Lashina, who in the comics uses energy-charged whips capable of cutting through steel.

    • International Airdates:
      Sweden: May 6, 2011 on TV6
      UK: July 26, 2011 on E4/E4 HD
      Norway: September 24, 2011 on Max
      Turkey: November 13, 2011 on CNBC-e


    • Lois: I'm Watson to his Holmes.
      Referencing the famous fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887. Sherlock Holmes is a consulting British detective who lives at 221B Baker Street. His roommate, partner, and chronicler is Dr. John H. Watson, a former Army surgeon.

    • Lois: Just like you're Scooby to his Shaggy.
      Referencing the Hanna-Barbera star Scooby-Doo, the canine star of several animated series who's teamed with the gang of Mystery Inc. in solving various cases involving ghosts and monsters. Shaggy is his partner, a hippy with a voracious appetite matched only by Scooby's.