Lionel Luthor returns to Smallville in an alternate universe where his reign has left Metropolis and Smallville in poverty, and his shady dealings are enforced by his son, Clark Luthor.
Wait, what? Clark? That's right, in the alternate universe, Lex's dad was the one to find Clark in the corn field — not the Kents.
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"Lionel raised Clark as his own son with Lex as his brother," John Glover, who plays the elder Luthor, tells TVGuide.com. "Clark is the son that Lionel always wanted."
Clark Kent (Tom Welling) wakes up in the new reality to find his life turned upside down. Not only does he have a new family, but "people who are his friends on Earth are not his friends here," Glover says.
That's because Clark has been raised as a villain in the new world, Glover says. "No one trusts Clark. People are realizing that he's has been doing a lot of Lionel's dirty work for him. He's getting cocky about it."
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Under Lionel's rule — with Clark's help — all hope of prosperity has been destroyed. "Unemployment is way, way up. There's a lot of homelessness. The main street in Smallville is shut down," Glover says. "Lionel's doing very well himself, but the rest of the people in his kingdom are not doing well at all."
While the original Lionel Luthor wasn't a saint, "Lionel on alternate Earth is a bit of a ruthless, out-for-himself guy," Glover says. "He's a maniac."
Glover suspects that's because in the alternate reality, Martha Kent (Annette O'Toole) isn't around. "Martha taught him a lot about life."
Since Martha Kent isn't there to save him, maybe his recently revealed love child, Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman) will be able to. Though Lionel is dead in the regular universe, the alternate reality will give viewers a sense of how their relationship may have played out had he lived. Hint: She's not a fan. Tess grew up an orphan, "so this grown woman appears and there's a lot of resentment," Glover says. "She resents this man who fathered her, but sent her away. There's distrust."
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Check out the alternate universe below. Plus: A look at how Clark Luthor, who appears to have come to our universe, is shaking things up: