|Notable affiliations :|| The natural order|
|Main Actor/Actress :||Lindsey McKeon|
|First appearance :||In My Time of Dying|
Tessa was a reaper serving Death and the natural order, who has crossed paths with the Winchester brothers (particularly Dean Winchester) several times. After the Fall, she became part of Metatron's conspiracy of angel suicide-bombings, and forced Dean to kill her with the First Blade.
Little is known about Tessa's past, but she has apparently existed as a reaper on Earth for reaping dying humans for a long time. Due to living long enough to reap many dead or dying humans, Tessa saw a lot of humanity over the years - including fallen soldiers' sense of duty to try and still fight the war from beyond the grave even though their part in the fight is over, (In My Time of Dying) and how humans lie to themselves about their deceased loved ones being in a better place out of fear of what death is and what awaits them in the afterlife. (Death Takes a Holiday)
In mid-2006, Tessa was assigned to reaping at a hospital in Shiloh County, where she reaped a female orderly who choked to death in a staffroom, and a little girl patient. Tessa also attempted to reap Dean Winchester, in critical condition in the hospital at the time, when Dean went into cardiac arrest. However, Dean's spirit, which was enduring an out-of-body experience, saw Tessa in her true form looming over his dying body, and assumed her to be killing him and forced her away from his body, prompting her to flee while Dean's body was successfully revived.
Tessa, realising that she couldn't reap Dean and get him to come with her after he'd freaked out from seeing her true form, took the form of a comatose hospital girl and posed to Dean as a fellow dying patient in an out-of-body experience. Under this disguise, Tessa pretended to adapt to dying and convince Dean it was just fate and would have to happen, but Dean believed otherwise and that they could fight to make their own destiny.
Eventually, after Dean had worked out that Tessa was the hospital reaper in disguise, he went to her and confronted her with the truth. Dean initially refused to go with Tessa no matter what, but Tessa warned him that at this point he could only come with her to the other side or stay behind as a ghost; and if Dean stayed as a ghost, he would slowly devolve into an insane and violent angry spirit over the years, becoming the very thing he despised and hunted. This warning and news from Tessa horrified Dean and shook his original resolve to stay behind and fight. But before Dean could say yes to go with Tessa, Azazel suddenly arrived and possessed Tessa, and used her reaper powers to heal and restore Dean and wipe his memory of the out-of-body experience. (In My Time of Dying)
War of the sealsEdit
A couple years after what happened with Dean at the Shiloh hospital, Dean and Tessa crossed paths again, when Tessa came to Greybull, Wyoming to restore death to the town after the local reaper had been kidnapped by demons. After Tessa restored Dean's memory of their first encounter at the hospital, Dean and Sam (who had entered the Veil via astral projection) asked that Tessa hold off from reaping those whose time was already up until they could find the demons and the missing reaper. Though Tessa didn't care about the angel-demon war over Lucifer's seals and the Apocalypse, she agreed to hold off for the time, but warned that Cole Griffith would be the first one she reaped once she restored death to the town. But shortly afterwards, Tessa was attacked and kidnapped by Alastair, who took her to the local funeral home and immobilised her in a reaper trap with the missing town reaper.
When Sam and Dean tracked the two kidnapped reapers down, Alastair prepared to use Death's scythe to kill Tessa and the other reaper in order to break one of the seals. Alastair succeeded in killing the Greybull reaper and was about to kill Tessa, but Tessa escaped with Sam and Dean when the latter two telekinetically broke the reaper trap. With the seal saved and Alastair defeated, Tessa set about reaping the townsfolk whose time was up, starting with reaping Cole. Before Dean was restored to his body, Tessa gave him advice and a warning that he was right to trust his instincts that whatever the angels were planning for him wasn't good. Tessa then vanished and restored death to Greybull, causing those whose time was up to begin dying of their fatal afflictions.
In 2011, while Tessa was in the Sudan, she was summoned by Dean during a near-death experience to contact Death for him. Though Tessa refused to do it for Dean, Death came and responded anyway. Death agreed to give Dean what he wanted (to rescue Sam's missing soul from Lucifer's cage and restore it) if Dean could handle taking Death's place for 24 hours. When Dean temporarily took Death's place for the wager by putting on Death's ring, Tessa was assigned to assist Dean with being Death - Tessa held the list of those whose time was up and Dean was to reap, and she would reap their souls after Dean ended their lives with death's touch.
Dean and Tessa's first two assigned reaping jobs were a gunman shot while robbing a store, and an overweight man who suffered a heart attack while eating a pizza, respectively. When their next target was Hilary, a hospitalised little girl with a heart condition, Dean refused to reap Hilary and chose to let the girl live, against Tessa's warnings that there would be consequences for disrupting the natural order like that. This quickly resulted in Hilary's nurse, Jolene, getting in a fatal car accident (forcing Tessa and a reluctant Dean to reap her), and it resulted in Jolene's devastated husband almost killing himself and a busload of people.
Though Dean had lost the wager by taking off Death's ring to stop Jolene's husband, he put it back on anyway for him and Tessa to reap Hilary and set things right before any more death happened. Dean ended Hilary's life with a touch, and Tessa then reaped the girl's spirit, before Dean took Death's ring back off. (Appointment in Samarra)
After the Fall in 2013, when all the human souls who died from then on were left scared and confused in the Veil due to Heaven being closed off, Tessa was left unable to do her job to ferry the lost souls to Heaven, and was left constantly hearing their screams of torment and confusion. The lost souls' constant anguish and Tessa's helplessness over being unable to help them made her suicidal and drove her insane.
Tessa was contemplating killing herself, when she was contacted by Gadreel and recruited into Metatron's ground-forces elite unit on Earth. Unbeknownst to Gadreel, Metatron had Tessa and the other elite recruits brainwashed into suicide-bombers, who believed they were suicide-bombing Metatron's angel followers for Castiel in hopes of reopening Heaven. The brainwashed recruits were afterwards placed among Castiel's angel army, specifically in its human-healing division at a hospital, and were programmed to find Metatron's angel followers and suicide-bomb them using a blast-focusing rune they carved into their chests.
After elite forces recruit Oren suicide-bombed the Metatron loyalist Esper at an ice-cream parlour, when Dean learned from Flagstaff that Tessa was among the others in the angel army's human-healers, he tracked Tessa down. Upon finding Tessa was indeed a suicide bomber, Dean forcefully captured her by binding her with demon handcuffs and defused her suicide-bomb rune, then brought her back to Cass's army base as a captive for questioning. Tessa refused to give Dean or Hannah the location of the remaining bomber Constantine, and was fully and realistically convinced due to the brainwashing that Castiel was the one who'd recruited her and the other bombers.
While Dean and Tessa were alone in Tessa's cell, Dean tried to appeal to Tessa as a friend due to their history with each-other, and discovered from her that there were many other like-minded angel and reaper suicide-bombers out there. Dean intended to use the First Blade to torture Tessa into giving him the other bombers' names, but Tessa committed suicide by impaling herself on the Blade while it was in Dean's hand, killing herself and ending her pain. (Stairway to Heaven)
Tessa was originally a reaper who was devoted to her job of reaping humans when their time was up, and had little regard for anything else that overrode her duties and simply wanted to do her job. Due to this, Tessa could be apathetic even to very cataclysmic and serious matters like the Apocalypse, being neutral towards and detached from said affairs to do her reaping job. Due to centuries of experience reaping, Tessa had seen a lot of humans' fear of and views on death and her assigned victims' feelings about whether to stay or go. She was able to offer a sympathetic side towards her targets, and an understanding of how a lot of them would feel that they still had a duty to the world of the living, when really their part in the fight was over and it was time for them to go.
After the effects of the Fall resulted in all the human souls that died afterwards being left stuck in the Veil, Tessa was left in worsening pain and a sense of helplessness from being unable to do her job to get the souls to Heaven or do anything to ease their screams and torment. This eventually drove Tessa to join Metatron and be brainwashed into one of his suicide-bombers. As a brainwashed bomber, Tessa had become ruthless, unbalanced and suicidal from being unable to help the lost souls and wanting their screams and her own pain to just stop. Tessa was willing to kill a few humans if she thought it meant helping reopen Heaven to the lost souls, and she became willing and almost eager to end her life so the souls' screams and pain around her would finally stop.
As a reaper, Tessa usually existed in the Veil (but had gained corporeal human form by 2014), and she could end humans' lives with little more than a touch when their time was up, and transport their souls to their afterlife destinations if they agreed to come with her. She could appear in the Veil either in her true form, or in a human appearance she selected for herself. Tessa could also restore human spirits' erased memories with a kiss, and she could heal fatal bodily injuries and restore a near-death spirit to its body. As a spirit in the Veil, Tessa was invisible and intangible to the physical world, and she could teleport at least in the Veil in a very similar manner to ghosts.
Tessa, being a reaper, could be killed by the First Blade, an angel blade or Death's scythe. High-level demons such as Azazel and Alastair were capable of overpowering Tessa; Alastair was strong enough to forcefully abduct and trap Tessa easily, and Azazel was even capable of possessing Tessa like he could human bodies. Tessa could also be bound by demon handcuffs, and could be trapped and immobilised by a reaper trap.
- By the time of Stairway to Heaven, Tessa has gained physical form like other rogue reapers. Tessa's corporeal human form is identical to the human appearance (that of a dying hospital patient when she first met Dean) she took in the Veil; suggesting either that the patient survived and was possessed by Tessa years later, or that Tessa had gained physical form through different means than possession, unlike another corporeal reaper who'd possessed a human.