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Smallville “Abandoned” 

Photo Credit: The CW

You knew it was coming.  It was just a matter of time.  You see, over the years we’ve had some great cameos on Smallville from people related to the Superman universe.  Who can forget Christopher Reeve as Dr. Virgil Swan or Margot Kidder (Lois Lane from the Richard Donner films) as his shady assistant?  And of course, we can’t forget Dean Cain as Dr. Curtis Knox, the creepy immortal mad scientist.  But for every Dean Cain there must be a Teri Hatcher, and finally after ten long seasons, we finally got a Teri Hatcher cameo on Smallville  in this week’s episode “Abandoned”, and folks, it was worth the wait. 

While Lois is moving in with Clark at the farm, she discovers a tape of her mother (Teri Hatcher) that she made before her death which inspires Lois to visit the fortress and try and patch up things between Clark and Jor-El.  Meanwhile, Clark and Tess (an interesting pairing that I quite enjoyed) visit an orphanage to check out Granny Goodness, a minion of Darkseid who erases the memory of young girls and trains them to become soldiers for Darkseid.  Tess learns that not only was she once at this orphanage as a child and hand picked by Granny Goodness to become her star pupil, but that she was abandoned (Ahh…the title makes sense now) by her biological father…wait for it….wait for it…drumroll…still waiting for it…dramatic Ryan Seacrest-like pausing….LIONEL LUTHOR!  Yep, Tess is a Luthor.  Is your mind sufficiently blown?

Let’s talk about this for a second because I feel with the cameo of Teri Hatcher this new revelation might have been a bit overshadowed.  Tess Mercer’s birth certificate clearly states that her name is Lutessa Luthor (really, Lutessa?  Was Lionel smoking the meteor rock when he came up with that name?).  Perhaps Lex knows that she is indeed his sister and that’s why he left his whole empire to her after his departure.  Tess, who has arguably been the most interesting character this season thus far, has a brand new demon to deal with: her heritage.  Will she succumb to her inner demons much as Lex did or can she redeem herself and continue to help Clark much like Lionel did in his later days?  I suppose time will tell, but I think it’s going to be rough goings for her for the time being.

But despite all of that excitement, the real buzz is around the big Teri Hatcher cameo.  Did it live up to the hype or did she phone it in?  Well let’s be clear, there’s only so much you can do when your cameo is relegated to a VHS video-taped message, but Hatcher made what might have been something dull and cheesy on paper a very poignant and memorable Smallville moment. The emotion and the gravity of the whole scene just felt so…genuine, which (let’s be honest with ourselves), Smallville doesn’t always quite pull off.  We love Lois because she has such a rough exterior, but we love her even more in those rare vulnerable moments and Erica Durance really had a chance to shine in this episode.  Well done to all parties involved.

Lois wasn’t the only one who got a blast from the past this week.  Clark also got to see a message from his parents (via hologram) that they left for him as Krypton was exploding.  It was a nice little surprise to see Helen Slater again as Lara and I felt like the whole sequence made Jor-El likable again after being such a tool at the beginning of the season.  He really only does want the best for Clark and wants Clark to learn from his own mistakes (cue “Circle of Life” music)..

My only gripe of the episode?  No Oliver again!  What the hell Justin Hartley?!  What are you doing that’s so important?  I appreciate the sentimentality of this episode and the furthering of the Darkseid storyline, but come on!  How hard would it be to give me some Green Arrow action?

Despite my personal emerald archer gripe, this week’s episode was very good and MUCH better than last week’s which was too convoluted for its own good.  Smallville has some serious momentum as it heads towards the mid-season break and I hope we continue to see them roll out episodes of this caliber until then.

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