When it was revealed that "Smallville's" Tess (Cassidy Freeman) is actually a Luthor, jaws dropped. Tess, whose birth name is Lutessa Lena Luthor, was the product of an affair between Lionel Luthor and Pamela Jenkins, Lex's nanny.
"We were very excited that that didn't leak, somehow, because we've had that in the works for a very long time," executive producer Kelly Souders tells Zap2it. "It's going to have a very significant role in her life for the rest of the season. Some of it really comes to a head in episode 10. We'll see how it's impacting her and how it's going to start changing her life a bit."
Episode 10, airing Friday Dec. 3, is aptly titled "Luthor." It explores not only Tess's connection to the Luthor name, but also gives us a glimpse into what would have happened if it was Lionel Luthor, not the Kent family, who found Clark (Tom Welling) in that cornfield after the meteor hit Smallville.
"It's always fun to get to write these characters that we know and love in our world and sort of think about how life would've turned out differently for them with just a few changes," says Souders. "It's always one of the most fun episodes to break of the year, when we change it up a bit."
In the parallel universe, Clark is a villainous murderer, and Lois is engaged to Oliver. However, back in the real world, Tess is still coming to grips with the new information about her past. "We obviously have a lot of ideas up our sleeve for the end of the season," says Brian Peterson, also an executive producer. "Having the Luthor name definitely has a profound impact on you."
As we approach the last half of the final season, expect to see a lot of familiar characters return — including everyone's favorite feisty blonde, Chloe (Allison Mack). "She'll be back in 12. She comes back in a very cool and exciting way, in addition to a very very romantic way," says Peterson. "It's very true to who Chloe is and who she's becoming."
Mack is expected to appear in multiple episodes, but the showrunners don't share whether her episodes will be joined in a consecutive story arc or if they'll be scattered throughout the remaining months. "That part we can't really say right now, but she definitely will be back for several episodes in the back half of the season."
Chloe's first episode back will also see the return of the Black Canary, aka Dinah Lance (Alaina Huffman). "I wouldn't say it's a two parter, but she has a quick cameo at the end of 11, which is the very last episode in this run," says Peterson. "And then she's in episode 12 when we come back. We see her in a different light than we've ever seen her before."
Sounds like we may be going into the holiday hiatus on quite a cliffhanger.
Another familiar face in the back nine? Look for Clark's mother, Martha Kent, to return with a mission. "Becoming a senator was twofold for Martha Kent," says Souders. "Part of it was to serve the people and part of it was to protect her son. When she comes back, she'll do both."
If you're still hungry for hints about what's to come for our heroes, don't worry – we've got a few more tidbits for you.
We're all looking forward to Clark proposing to Lois, but the course of true love never did run smooth. We mentioned to Souders and Peterson that we've gotten a lot of tweets from fans wondering when Lois and Clark would get back to being journalists. "You don't see a lot of them at work," Peterson says. "That's actually part of the issue between them now, is that Clark is very busy being a hero."
"We can promise in the next run you'll see them back at the Daily Planet working together," Souders adds, reassuring.
Of course, one of the reasons Clark has been so preoccupied lately is that he's grappling with the decision of whether or not to reveal himself as a superhero. One particular catalyst will come into play: Clark's friend Oliver.
"What's going on with Oliver has a lot to do with Clark coming out, when he's going to do it, how he's going to do it, and what he needs to do before he can do it," says Souders. "Oliver really becomes a big lesson for all the people in the JLA."
And as for Lex, our favorite villain of all? The bond between Tess and Lex's clone, Alexander, is growing stronger. "Lex is definitely evolving very quickly now," says Peterson. "He's got this connection with Tess, and with her being a Luthor, he's more tied into the rest of her world in this next run of episodes than he was before."