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11/15/2012 04:47 am ET | Updated Nov 15, 2012

'Suburgatory': Malin Akerman Debuts As Tess' Mother, Whom She's Never Met (VIDEO)

Tess and George have a special relationship on "Suburgatory." As a single father, he's strugged to do what's right by his daughter, and he's become very protective of her. So it's understandable that he would have a difficult time when Tess' mother suddenly wanted to be a part of her daughter's life again. Malin Akerman debuted as Tess' mom Alex, and proved she could do heartfelt and funny -- all in the same scene.

She almost blew their first meeting by showing up at George's, while Tess was in the city where they were supposed to meet. But finally, mother and daughter were in the same house, which proved overwhelming for Tess.

After some urging from Dallas, Alex went upstairs to meet her daughter properly for the first time, and it was a heartfelt and touching moment. Tess wasn't ready to talk about Alex' guilt over abandoning her infant daughter, so instead they talked about Tess' struggles to fit in with the oddballs of Chatswin.

As for George, while he clearly still has his own issues with Alex and how she abandoned him to raise Tess on his own, he was able to put all of that aside for his daughter, telling her he only wants her to be happy. He will continue to be put to the test, though, as series creator Emily Kapneck told TV Guide Alex will be back for the holiday season.

Keep tuning in to "Suburgatory" on Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

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