What the L? Tess Mercer is a Luthor?!
That paternity reveal – though not 100 percent surprising – triggered tremors as The CW’s ‘Smallville‘ (Fridays at 8/7c) cut to black last week, and promises to have significant repercussions as the show’s final season plays out.
“I’ve know for sometime – not for forever, but for a few months at least,” Cassidy Freeman shares, her voice audibly excited about her notorious new lineage. “I always wanted [‘Smallville’] to go there, but it was always a matter of who they could get, who was going to come back….”
Indeed, although an encore by Michael Rosenbaum – who from the pilot through the end of Season 7 played Lex Luthor – continues to elude ‘Smallville’s final run, John Glover will reprise his role of patriarch Lionel in the Dec. 3 episode, which is titled (apropos enough) “Luthor.” In that outing, viewers will lay witness to an alternate universe in which Lionel claimed crash-landed Kal-El and raised him as one of his evil own. In that otherworld, Tess is a full-on member of Lionel’s fam.
Giving Tess (née Lutessa Luthor) blood ties to that bad-ass bunch “was kind of destined,” Freeman believes. “It takes someone who is already great character and it gives her some depth. It gives her so much say in this world.”
As Freeman points out, Tess Mercer was created by ‘Smallville’ as “an amalgamation of characters” – namely the Superman movies’ “Miss Teschmacher!” (played by Valerie Perrine) and DC Comics’ Mercy Graves – “so the fact that she is a Luthor now gives her some street cred.”
Reflecting on when she first auditioned for her ‘Smallville’ role, which kicked off with Season 8, Freeman says she was told that while Tess was a “mixture” of characters, “We’d kind of figure out what happens with her toward the end – and we did!” And how.
This Friday’s ‘Smallville’ guest-stars Alan Ritchson as the returning Aquaman, and was directed by series star/executive producer Tom Welling.