Lincoln Cole is the main antagonist in the Fifth Season episode "Mercy" of the TV series Smallville.
He was a scorned tormentor who sought revenge against Lionel Luthor.
Lincoln's life was ruined when Lionel used the company Apex to try to take LuthorCorp back from Lex.
Holding a personal vendetta against Lionel, Lincoln began a strategically and integral game against his former employer. First, he trapped Lionel in his limousine and appeared to him in the TV wearing a silver mask. He had the limo stopped in the middle of a train track and forced Lionel to play a game of hangman.
If he loses, the car will get hit by the train. Frantically, Lionel calls out letters as the train comes closer and closer. He eventually guessed the phrase, which is spelled out "No Mercy". Just in time, the doors unlocked and Lionel exits the limo seconds before it gets destroyed by the train.
He passes the Smallville sign, where the words "Having fun yet?" were spray-painted across it.
Lincoln then posed as the man checking Lionel's office for electronic devices while Lionel was acting impolite to him. After the man leaves, the figure's face suddenly appeared on his laptop and repeats one of Lionel's rude comments. Nervously, Lionel looked around for surveillance equipment, and the figure declared that he sees everything.
Suddenly, all the lights in Lionel's office go out. Lionel grabbed his gun and made a call to 911, only to hear the figure's voice answer the call.
The figure sneaked up behind Lionel and knocked him out, wanting to play another game. Lincoln placed Lionel in a dark room with buckets of an unknown liquid. Lincoln appeared masked again on a TV and told Lionel the next game; he must fill the buckets with the liquid, which is highly flammable, carry them on a pole, and balance the pole on a hook hanging from the ceiling.
Lincoln had previously killed Lionel's driver Alex in the same room having failed to balance the buckets and was burned to death. At first, Lionel refuses to play the game, but the figure tells him that the room will be consumed by flames in ten minutes. Pipes beneath Lionel's feet start sending flames shooting through the floor.
In the flame-lit room, Lionel is carefully carrying the liquid to the hook while fire surrounds his feet. Several flames flare up as Lionel spills some liquid. The figure continues to mock him, accusing Lionel of killing his parents, but eventually, Lionel is able to balance the liquid on the hook.
He is suddenly thrown into another room, where the figure declares that it's time for another game, but this time, he will need a partner. Lionel then sees Martha, who is sealed in a soundproof, impermeable chamber.
As water begins filling the chamber, Martha and Lionel desperately try to talk to each other. Lionel finds a switch which allows them to converse, but he is unable to shatter the glass-like chamber.
Lincoln shows him a sign with the words "a Toad like Fever" spelled out. He must find a hidden meaning in the words, or Martha will die. Martha and Lionel were still trying to solve the word puzzle. They figure out that it's an anagram, with the true meaning scrambled. Martha's body was now halfway submerged in water.
Martha and Lionel have unscrambled the letters and come up with the phrase, “To dare Fake evil”, although they still can’t find any meaning in it. The water level is now up to Martha’s shoulders.
Lionel frantically screams that his captor wants him to fail, and he begins thinking of a new meaning of the anagram, “Failed Takeover”.
At this moment, Martha is completely submerged in water. Panic-stricken, Lionel figures out that Apex was the failed takeover. Martha’s glass chamber shatters just in time, and Lionel and Martha embrace. Cole then shows them a stairway out of the room, which will lead to their final game.
They go up the stairway and walk into an elevator just as the floor electrifies. The door of the elevator immediately locks them in.
The figure reappears on a TV inside the elevator, and a box opens with a gun in it. Either Martha could kill Lionel, or Lionel could kill Martha, and the winner goes free. If one of them isn’t dead, the elevator cable will explode, and they both will die. Lionel tells Martha that she should live because Clark is a very “special boy” and he depends on her, especially now that Jonathan Kent is gone.
Even though Lionel continues urging Martha to shoot him, she can't bring herself to do it. Lionel decides to shoot himself, only to discover that the gun is empty. The figure enters the room next to the elevator and reveals to Martha and Lionel that he was never going to let them go; the game was rigged.
He takes off his mask, but Lionel can't seem to recognize him.
Lincoln Cole is the man that was checking Lionel's office hours earlier for electronic devices. Lionel begs him to let Martha go. After Lionel apologizes, the man explodes the elevator cables, and the elevator begins falling. But Clark Kent managed to find their location and rescue them.
He was apprehended at a bar by Lex Luthor. Lincoln admitted that he didn't care if he was caught, he just wanted Lionel dead. However when he discovered Lionel survived, Lincoln went into a rage and had to be sedated.