Because the show is fond of forced parallels, we have Tess, Lois and Clark all dealing with issues of abandonment and their flawed parents. To start with, Tess receives a musical ballerina figurine that has featured in her nightmares. She and Clark track the figurine's origin to an orphanage run by Granny Goodness. Everything seems fine on the surface, but Granny's been wiping her girls' memories and training them to become powerful fighters. Tess was once one of her orphans, but her real parents forced Granny to send her to another home. The parents were so powerful that even Granny couldn't refuse them. Now that Tess is back, Granny doesn't want to let her go and vows to train her for an upcoming war. Clark tries to rescue her, but Granny's fightin' Furies subdue him with K-tinged weapons. Eventually, they get away and Tess finds out that her "powerful parents" were the Luthors and that her real name was Lutessa. Lutessa! Bet she's glad she forgot that.
Meanwhile, Lois confronts the memories of her mother's death by watching VHS tapes Ella Lane (Teri Hatcher) made on her deathbed. Ella tells Lois that she can never fully commit to a relationship until she comes to term with the mommy-shaped hole left in her heart. This convinces Lois that she needs to patch up Clark's relationship with Jor-El so that he can fully commit, too. She meddles her way to the Fortress, but he would rather trap her in an energy beam than talk to her. Clark catches up to her once he's done with the Tess plot and frees her. Somehow, a playback is triggered, showing Clark his parents right before they sent him to Earth. They're proud of him, they love him, and so on. Clark feels so peachy that he invites Lois out for a night of karaoke so that he can propose to her. But the outcome of that will have to wait for a future episode.
At the end of this episode, Granny, Godfrey and DeSaad gather, calling themselves Darkseid's "unholy trinity." It's mildly interesting and moderately confusing. More to come in the full recap.
Discuss this episode in our forums, then see what other superheroes need showrunners! And see what our vlogger thinks about the show, below.
Want to immediately access TWoP content no matter where you are online? Download the free TWoP toolbar for your web browser. Already have a customized toolbar? Then just add our free toolbar app to get updated on our content as soon it's published.
It's a dark and stormy night outside the Luthor mansion. Tess sleeps fitfully in her bed as thunder rumbles and lightning makes shadows jerk and sway across her face. She breathes hard, tosses and turns. In black and white, she dreams about being a little girl, lying in a simple iron bed, still wearing her school uniform. It's storming in her memory, too. She holds a musical ballerina figuring that spins and plays "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy." She hears footsteps approaching and grips the ballerina to stop her dancing and silence the music. Little Tess hops up from bed, grabs a pillowcase and stashes the figurine inside. The footsteps walk past her door, casting shadows through the crack. Little Tess hurries to a secret panel in the floor and pulls out a key. It looks like she made it herself out of a small spoon. She uses it to unlock the door, then secrets it back under the panel. Tess, with pillowcase in hand, runs bare-footed down the hall of what looks like a Dickensian mansion. She runs down a wide staircase, through a grand foyer and comes to the front door. It's locked. A woman's shadow rises from another staircase, this one leading up from a lower level of the house. Little Tess runs down another hallway, her movements occasionally sped up to lend an air of surreality. She tries more doors, but they're all locked, so she hides in an armoire. The ballerina figurine begins to play again. Little Tess grabs it, silencing it, but her cover is blown. The doors of the armoire open and a woman's hand grabs her by the throat. Little Tess is dragged across the floor by her ankle. She claws at the side of the armoire, her nails gouging the wood. She cries for help. All the while, the ballerina dances.
In the present day, Tess wakes up gasping for breath. For a moment, all she can hear is her own breathing, then, faintly tinny music coming from somewhere inside the Luthor mansion. She follows the sound to the library. The ballerina figurine twirls on a table in front of the fireplace. Tess takes a few shaky steps forward and picks it up. She stares at it in horror. Somebody save her from creepy figurines!
I think that was the shortest teaser ever. It was suspenseful and creepy! I want to know what happens next! But that will have to wait, because after the opening credits we stop by the Kent farm for a visit. Strangely, it's not stormy there at all. Lois is in her jammies in the kitchen, opening a large cardboard box. Whatever is inside gives her pause. She crosses her arms and looks away, closed off. Clark comes down the stairs. "You know, if you'd just admit that you've moved in with me, you wouldn't have to sneak down here in the middle of the night and unpack your things." Lois puts on a smile to face him. She explains they're not really her things, except that they are. "What is it?" Clark asks. "Something I've been avoiding for 15 years," she says. Her father sent it to her after his visit. It was in the back of her old closet but she's never opened it. "It's the keepsakes my mom gave me after she found out she had cancer," she says. Clark reaches into the box and pulls out a blue glass bird. Lois instantly tears up at the sight of "Old Blue." Her mother kept the figurine in the kitchen window. "I haven't seen it since she -- " She can't say the last word. She confesses that she never visited her mother in the hospital. "What kind of kid refuses to visit their sick mom?" "A really scared one," Clark says. But Lois doesn't let herself off the hook. Her mother was there for five weeks, and Lois didn't say goodbye to her. Erica Durance is really good at crying scenes; she's not afraid to get red and snotty. Clark looks pained, but he doesn't know what to say. Lois turns her attention back to the box and pulls out the first of several VHS tapes her mother recorded while in the hospital. "Clark, what if she's angry that I didn't go see her?" she asks. Okay, only Joan Crawford would be angry at a small child for not visiting her in the hospital. Wasn't Lois supposed to be, like, five when her mom died? Lois doesn't think she can face it, so Clark tells her she shouldn't feel guilty. Lois wonders if Clark has felt like something was missing since he cut ties with his dad. He reminds her that Jor-El isn't really his dad. "He's a machine," he says. "It's different." Lois says Jor-El must have cared if he sent Clark to Earth, not making the distinction between real Jor-El and crazy psycho unpredictable machine Jor-El. Clark doesn't seem to want to get into all that, so he decides to go out on patrol instead. Then he remembers he's a boyfriend now, and he's like, "I can stay if you need me to." She gives Clark the go-ahead to leave, so he super-zips out of there before more emotions happen.