There are no "previouslies" this week, and it's just as well because this episode is like something from a whole different show. Lucky for us, it's a much better show.
We start off outside the Luthor mansion, over which a shroud of perpetual ill weather has been draped. A stained glass medallion within the window bears a medieval-looking "L" that the show must want us to remember for later, since we are invited to gaze on it for several moments before swooping into Tess's study. Tess walks into the room, followed by an Asian woman who's carrying a small metal case. "Not that I've been getting any sleep lately," Tess says, "but this had better be important." Tess's evening visitor turns out to be a lawyer, and she tells Tess about certain conditions of Lionel's will. She hands the case over to Tess, saying it hadn't been discovered until after Lex had died. "You can imagine our surprise when Lionel's heir turned out to be... you," the woman says with undisguised snootiness. [Yes, especially since Tess only discovered it herself two episodes ago. And late-night visitors aren't allowed to be snooty. - Zach] Tess takes the case, making a mental note to have Miss Snooty fed to piranhas later. Once she's alone, Tess opens the case to find a purple silk-wrapped bundle inside. She unwraps it, but we're not allowed to see it for ourselves just yet. Instead, we see only a glimmer of reflected light across Tess's face. Ooh, something shiny. Before she has much chance to study her new thingamajig, she gets a call from Clark. "Calling another woman at this hour," she says, answering the phone. "What would the industrious Lois Lane think?" She's trying to make her voice sound normal when she's clearly shaken by whatever Lionel bequeathed her. The resulting tone is quite humorous. She even smirks slightly, like she knows how silly she sounds. Clark asks her to meet him at Cadmus Labs. Tess is instantly nervous, but agrees to go. She stuffs the purple bundle into the kind of gigantic purse that the women on this show only carry when they need to stash weird and mystical objects that will be discovered accidentally in the next scene.
Cadmus Labs. The place is still in total disarray from that whole attack of the Lex clones business in the season premiere. Clark greets her in a darkened hallway with a stack of printouts. Tess tries to act casual as Clark tells her that Emil has sorted through all the files and discovered that one of the clones is unaccounted for. "There's another Lex on the loose," he says. "Lex on the Loose" sounds like a teen summer movie, possibly starring second-tier actors from the High School Musical franchise. Tess pretends not to understand why Clark would be looking for him here: "I closed the books on this place months ago." "Supplies are still being sent here," he says. Tess meets Clark's gaze with some difficulty. She suggests that "someone" must be helping the clone survive. With her back to him, she says, "You're assuming that he's a threat just because he's a Luthor." Isn't that what you assumed, too, Miss Luthor? "Whatever happened to everyone deserving a second chance?" she asks, looking at him with big, hopeful eyes. "Luthor blood is Luthor blood," Clark spits. "It's poison." Lutessa Luthor looks very sad. When Clark goes to check a lead-lined room, Tess tries to get ahead of him but Clark warns her away. "They're dangerous," he tells her. "They're born that way." This was basically my only real annoyance with the episode, that they backtracked on Clark's recent character development in order to give him an emotional arc for the story.