10 Redeemed TV Characters Who Didn't Deserve It

8. Lionel Luthor - Smallville

The Walking Dead Negan
The CW

Lionel Luthor (John Glover) was one of Smallville's standout characters - the velvet-voiced, relentlessly scheming father of Lex (Michael Rosenbaum), who proved a sheer joy to watch thanks to John Glover's superb performance in the role.

Lionel becomes increasingly villainous throughout the show's first few seasons, most egregiously attempting to have Chloe (Allison Mack) killed, forcing electroshock therapy on Lex, making concerted attempts to reveal Clark's (Tom Welling) secrets, and when he becomes terminally ill, even attempting to swap bodies with his son.

Oh, and let's not forget that the guy had his own parents murdered so he could use the insurance money to fund his company, LuthorCorp.

Yet as the show went on, Lionel became a more "heroic" character, the Kryptonian AI Jor-El guiding him to help Clark conceal his true identity. It's later revealed that he even formed a secret society in the past, Veritas, to protect Clark, and eventually goes to his grave in order to keep Clark's truth a secret.

John Glover is so terrific in the role that you want to buy Lionel's redemption, but the sheer scope and extent of his wrongdoing still makes it an extremely tough sell.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.