Smallville

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A Backstory With a View

Luthor mansion, night. Tess has Jor-El handcuffed in the wine cellar. She apologizes for the crap accommodations. He wants to know who she is. "A friend," she says. Jor-El: "We both know that's not true." Tess explains she kidnapped him in order to protect both him and Kal-El. Jor-El accuses her of only wanting to protect herself. Dude, don't piss her off. She'll cut off your arms and legs and imprison you in her mansion forever! Tess explains to him the whole convoluted plot about Zod looking for the Blur and Tess letting Zod think that Jor-El is the Blur. "Zod doesn't even know Kal-El exists," Tess says, obviously pleased with herself. Her eyes burn brightly. She tells Jor-El his son is safe -- for now. Jor-El doesn't understand why Tess is involved in any of this. Well, see, Michael Rosenbaum didn't want to sign on past the seventh season, so they needed someone to play the Lexian role of master manipulator and alien obsessive. Tess takes a seat on an upended wine crate and leans toward Jor-El, speaking earnestly about the Earth's impending doom at the hands of humankind. "Your race is the only answer to saving it," she says. Jor-El searches her face, but says nothing. She goes on: "That's why I released you from that orb." Her tone suggests she expects to be thanked for her deed, but Jor-El is horrified: "We are abominations that never should have been created!" Kind of like most of this season's episodes? Tess frowns. Jor-El thinks the Kandorians will destroy the planet if they ever get their powers. Tess perks up: "Not if they turn out like your son!" Jor-El thinks it's a mistake to think that his people are any different from humans. "Our sacred book of Rao teaches that where there is light, there is darkness," he says. Tess wants him to help her protect Kal-El from Zod just for that reason. Jor-El worries about Zod killing his son, with or without powers. Tess smiles slightly, having turned the conversation back onto the course she'd wanted. "If you want to save your son, you're going to have to make a sacrifice," she tells Jor-El. From out of the shadows, she pulls a replica of Clark's Emo Blur shirt and tells him he must convince the Kandorians that he's the Blur. He takes the shirt from her. Sad music of impending fatherly sacrifice plays. Jor-El gazes down at the S symbol on the shirt, then up at Tess. She cocks her head at him in question; he nods slightly in answer. Meanwhile, I'm wondering how Tess knows what Clark's Emo Blur shirt looks like. Isn't he supposed to be a mystery to people? Isn't that why he's the "Blur" and not the "Clearly Defined and Easily Seen Object"?

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Smallville

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