|Portrayed by:||Nina Lisandrello|
Tess has five brothers, all of whom are police officers. She once had to partner with Detective Wolansky for two years before partnering with Catherine.
Tess starts noticing Catherine is keeping secrets and disappearing without explanation. She's especially worried when her brother finds Cat's phone at a train station where a murder took place, and Cat never said that she was there. Still, Tess promises to be a good friend and listen if Cat ever needs someone to talk to.
When Cat and Tess are investigating the murder of Judge Hanson with Wolansky and his partner, Cat is caught investigating the case after they've closed it. Their boss, Joe Bishop, suspends Cat and puts Tess on desk duty. Tess tells Cat that her lies and secrecy are catching up, and starting to hurt Tess, as well. Cat later apologizes to Tess, and the two of them catch Hanson's killer, and exonerate their original suspect. Joe reinstates both of them, and the two also repair their friendship.
Cat's sister, Heather, asks Tess to keep her busy before Cat's surprise birthday party. Cat, though, figures it out, but still comes to make both Heather and Tess happy.
When Cat is hospitalized, Tess comes to the hospital to keep her company, and apologizes to Cat for not showing up. She admits that she went out for drinks with Joe, who's married, and there was a connection that she doesn't want to admit to. When Cat looks up her nurse, Alex Salter, Tess helps her figure out that Alex is being stalked before leaving to let Cat get some rest.
Tess, Heather, and Cat later head to a girls' night out when Cat admits that she was interested in a guy, but he got back together with his ex. Tess encourages her to move on and focus on herself, which Cat agrees to do. When Heather later tells Cat that Tess was stood up by a guy, Cat and Heather meet her for drinks again, where Cat promises to always be there for her, no matter what guy she's with; Tess agrees to do the same.
Tess and Joe in 2012.("Saturn Returns")
On Valentine's Day, Tess is revealed to be having an affair with Joe, but when he mentions his wife is coming back to attend a party at the precinct in his honor, Tess is annoyed at the situation. She later notices Cat receiving chocolates and flowers anonymously, though Cat is elusive about who they're from. When Tess catches Cat destroying evidence in a case, Tess has finally had enough, and demands answers from Cat about her constant lies and disappearances recently. When Cat refuses to answer, Tess says she'll request a new partner.
Heather comes to Tess for help when Cat introduces her to Vincent Zalanski, whom Heather doesn't like. When Tess finds out that Vincent Zalanski doesn't exist, the two ask Cat for answers about who he really is. Cat still doesn't tell them anything, and Tess is hurt, telling Cat she doesn't recognize her anymore. During Joe's party, his brother, Darius, is killed while on a date with Heather, and Tess helps Cat take care of Heather afterwards.
When Joe brings in two new cops, Garnett and Newell, and an ADA, Gabriel Lowen, into the precinct, both Tess and Cat figure out Joe now has a personal vendetta against Darius' killer. Gabe questions Tess about Cat and her asking for a new partner, though Tess remains quiet about seeing Cat destroying evidence. Joe later reveals that he's created a new task force to hunt down his brother's killer, who is also tied to other vigilante murder cases. Cat, Tess, and medical examiner Evan Marks are all assigned to the task force.
When a new case comes up that is tied to their killer, Cat is hesitant to believe that it was the same perpetrator. Joe tells Tess to follow up on the other cases to find any new leads, and Tess realizes that all the cases involved the killer trying to save someone else, and also that the witnesses noticed him having animal-like features.
When she interviews Lola Lang, a woman who was saved by the vigilante, she notices an entrance to the underground tunnels nearby, and checks to see if that's where the vigilante escaped to. She catches Vincent Keller there, and chases him down, cornering him. He transforms into a beast, telling Tess to leave. Horrified, Tess shoots Vincent to defend herself. Catherine shows up then, and rushes to help Vincent, and Tess figures out that he's Cat's Vincent. Tess tries to radio for help, but when that doesn't work, she runs out of there. Vincent & Cat stop her before she can get away. Tess is then tranquilized by J.T. Forbes, Vincent's best friend.
Cat leaves Tess alone with Vincent so she can get proof to show Tess that Vincent is not a bad person. While Tess is with Vincent, she figures out he's an army veteran presumed dead in Afghanistan, whose prints showed up at a murder she & Catherine investigated, and is outraged when she realizes how long Cat has been keeping Vincent a secret from her. Tess escapes, but Vincent lets her go, saying she needs to talk to Cat.
Tess later finds Cat, who apologizes for lying to her. She tries to make Tess understand that Vincent was actually trying to save someone when he was killing others, including Darius' case. Tess is too upset with Cat for lying to her, and says she's going to arrest Vincent. She says, though, that she won't arrest Cat if she turns in Vincent. Cat refuses, and Tess calls Garnett and Newell for backup.
Tess goes back to the tunnels when Garnett and Newell show up. Noticing they're holding cattle prods, Tess becomes suspicious, and tries to escape; Garnett & Newell shoot her before she can. Though the bullet hits her vest, Tess falls into a storm drain, and is trapped while the water builds up. Vincent saves Tess from drowning, and when Tess asks how he knew, he says that Catherine was looking for her. Catherine later finds her, and brings her home.
Though Tess is not sure she wants to help Vincent, she covers by telling Joe that Garnett & Newell never showed up to help her out, and she was saved by Cat. Tess later comes by Cat's apartment looking for answers. Cat explains to her about Muirfield, and how Vincent was a subject who they tried to kill when their experiment went wrong. She warns Tess that if she gets involved, she'll be keeping a lot of secrets. Before Tess can give her an answer, though, Cat runs out to help Evan.
Tess later meets Cat at the precinct, where she sees J.T. watching them. Cat goes to talk to him, and Tess shows up, wanting to hear him out. J.T. tells them that Vincent ran off earlier, angry at Evan, who has teamed up with Muirfield so they could capture Vincent. J.T. tells them Vincent's missing, and all three of them realize Muirfield has him. Tess, J.T., and Cat find out where Vincent is, and head to Muirfield's office. Tess and J.T. create a distraction outside while Cat goes in to save Vincent. They're able to escape, but Evan dies after Muirfield kills him.
When Evan's research and files go missing, Tess helps Cat figure out that Gabe was the one who took it. Cat confronts him about working for Muirfield, but he says that he's actually an experiment of Muirfield, and been hunting them down, as well. Tess asks Joe about investigating Evan, intent on getting justice for his brother. Joe says he wants answers from Evan, who claimed to be the mole, about why Darius had to die. Gabe helps Cat figure out that Muirfield has a server farm that could be storing valuable information. Tess helps her get in, and then warns Cat when a strike team approaches, alerted by Cat getting in. Gabe later gives Tess a file to hand to Joe that makes him stop looking into Darius' case.
Tess and Joe's relationship is almost exposed when Detective Morelli sees them having coffee. While running security at an event where Mayor Stafford and Gabe are present, Tess notices Vincent show up, and lets Cat know. When the mayor gets shot, Tess and Cat have to find out who is responsible. They get help from Vincent, who sees the sniper, and is able to get a hold of his phone before the sniper escapes. Tess gets the information to Joe, and they find out that Gabe was actually the sniper's target.
Tess calls Vincent, knowing that Cat is with Gabe, and tells him what's going on because she's worried Cat might get hurt. Vincent finds them, and saves both Cat and Gabe from being killed by the sniper. Meanwhile, Joe has Morelli transferred to another precinct so he stops asking questions about him & Tess.
Tess and Cat are both assigned to protect Gabe, and while there, Gabe changes into a beast, and kills an assassin that was sent after him. Tess helps Cat figure out that Gabe is going after Vincent, though they're able to stop him before he kills anybody else.
When Catherine's father, Thomas Chandler, is in a car accident, Cat tells Tess she thinks her father was deliberately targeted, and thinks Muirfield did it. Tess tells her to go be with her father, and she'll follow up on the evidence. Tess later finds an e-mail on Thomas' tablet about Agent Reynolds re-entering the U.S. Cat gets kidnapped by Gabe, who is trying to kill Vincent in order to save himself. Vincent & J.T. later kidnap Tyler, Gabe's girlfriend, in order to stop Gabe, but Tyler escapes and knocks out J.T.; Tess rescues him.
After Vincent is kidnapped by Muirfield and disappears, Cat searches for him compulsively. Tess becomes worried, afraid that she's going to lose Cat the way she lost Joe due to him losing his job. Gabe, who took over Joe's position, is trying to help Cat find Vincent to make amends after Catherine inadvertently helped Gabe become human. Cat is able to locate Vincent, but finds out his memory is gone, and he can't remember her.
Tess is reluctant to help out with Vincent, feeling like she's losing Cat because of him. However, when Gabe finds out Vincent's going after Li Zhao, the man who created Muirfield, Tess decides to help track him down to help Cat out. When she finds Zhao murdered, she calls Cat, and becomes worried that Vincent is more dangerous now. Cat is still determined to save Vincent, even though he pushes her away.
After Vincent shows up at Cat's apartment, Tess helps Gabe search for him in order to help Cat. Cat, though, thinks they'll both lock him up or arrest him, and tries to keep them out of the loop. When Cat goes missing, Tess gets J.T. to help her & Gabe find her. Inadvertently, Tess figures out that Cat has been spending more time with J.T. than with her trying to find Vincent, and is hurt by this discovery. Cat is eventually found, and discovers that Vincent is going after other beasts.
Tess meets up with J.T. to get answers about Cat. J.T. tells her that he's only helping Cat out to protect Vincent, and Tess is still her best friend. J.T. is just hoping to get Vincent back, and Tess empathizes, as she's trying to get Cat back. The two bond over this, and start to become close.
Catherine asks for Gabe's and Tess' help to find out who is controlling Vincent. When Agent Tucker is murdered in a vicious attack, Tess, Cat, and Gabe figure out it was a beast. Cat goes undercover to find out what Vincent knows, and gets Tess' help to fool Vincent so he can't figure out she's lying. While helping her out, Tess suspects Cat is hiding something from her.
Cat figures out that Vincent is going after Sebastian Clifton, another beast who killed Agent Tucker. Tess, Gabe, and Cat go to the home of Nigel Clifton, where they expect both Vincent & Sebastian to show up. There, Tess finds out that Vincent hurt Catherine, and that's what she's been hiding. Cat & Vincent stop Sebastian, while Tess & Gabe save the other guests by evacuating Nigel's place. Tess figures out that Gabe is falling for Catherine, and encourages his feelings just as Vincent starts to get his memory back.
When Catherine tries to move on from Vincent, Tess tries to cheer her up, but Cat ends up getting involved with Vincent's missions again. When a beast attacks Cat in her home, Tess helps her to find out who it was. When Vincent finds out it was Zach Hayes, his fellow army soldier, Cat becomes suspicious. Tess runs a background check on Zach so that Cat can go to her high school reunion. However, she later finds out that Zach's DNA ties him to a murder, and Cat could be in danger. She, Gabe, and Vincent go to Cat's reunion, where Vincent saves Catherine's life by killing Zach.
Gabe asks Tess to help him find out who Vincent's handler is, because he suspects that the handler will try to kill Vincent in order to eliminate all beasts. When Vincent is sent on a mission to kill Curt Windsor and ends up kidnapping Curt's daughter, Tori, Tess tells Cat that though Curt's a beast, it doesn't justify Vincent trying to kill him. When Vincent brutally murders Curt, Tess is worried that Vincent's becoming more beast than man, and Catherine will get hurt.
After Vincent is nearly killed by his handler, Tess helps Catherine, J.T., and Gabe try to figure out who it is. Catherine & Vincent end up going to have dinner with Reynolds, Catherine's biological father, in hopes that he will help them find out who's trying to kill Vincent. Tess stays behind with J.T. to try and decrypt a call made from Vincent to his handler. She skips her family's Thanksgiving dinner, and ends up spending the evening with J.T. He kisses her, and though he pulls back and apologizes, Tess kisses him back. Tess later finds a clue on the call that helps Gabe and Cat figure out that Reynolds is Vincent's handler.
Tess informs Gabe and Catherine of an explosion at Tori's place. Gabe & Cat realize Reynolds was trying to kill Vincent & Tori, who they found out is also a beast. Tess helps Gabe & Cat come up with a plan to arrest Reynolds. When the initial plan doesn't work, Cat tells Tess she's worried she's losing Vincent to his beast side. Gabe & Cat are able to catch Reynolds with evidence to incriminate him, but before he can be jailed, Vincent intercepts Cat and tries to kill Reynolds. Cat shoots him so he won't kill Reynolds, and arrests her father. However, she & Vincent break up.
J.T. gets arrested trying to get medical help for Vincent, and Tess goes to bail him out. When they come back to his place, they find Vincent passed out after Catherine tranquilized him. J.T. panics, thinking Vincent is dying, and says that it's "all his fault." Tess asks him what that means, and J.T. admits that he was the one who signed Vincent up for the Muirfield experiment, not knowing what exactly they intended to do. Tess comforts J.T., saying that though it's cost Vincent and him, it's also helped Vincent save a lot of lives, including Cat's.
Vincent's identity is exposed after he is treated for his gunshot wound at the hospital. Cat decides to move on, though Tess knows she won't be able to let go of Vincent that easily. When Dana Landon, an FBI agent, asks Catherine to help her out on a case, Cat agrees to go undercover. However, she's nearly exposed; she manages to save herself, and though Gabe, Tess, and Dana are in the dark, they let her continue on with the assignment. Tess tells Gabe that he was right to let Cat stay undercover, even though he was worried about her. When Cat kisses Gabe to thank him, Tess is happy to see that Cat is moving on.
On Tess' birthday, Dana sees the gem Catherine was after being worn by Tori, and tells Gabe, Cat, and Tess to arrest her. Tess and Gabe are both worried about Catherine keeping her emotions in check around Vincent & Tori, though she insists she'll be fine. When they get there, though, Catherine loses her composure, and arrests Tori when Vincent refuses to hand over the gem. At the station, Cat insists that she's not jealous about Vincent & Tori dating, but Tess realizes that she is.
The precinct is later taken hostage by a group of thieves who are after the gem. Catherine manages to sneak away to save the hostages, while Tess is trapped with Dana and the other hostages. When they realize that Cat has escaped, the thieves threaten to kill Tess unless Cat turns herself in. Before they can, though, Vincent turns himself in, and says that he has the gem. When Vincent warns the thieves about him "getting angry," Tess warns the thieves that they don't want that, making Dana suspicious. Vincent fights off the thieves, helping the hostages escape. Tess starts to soften her position towards Vincent after he saves her life.
When J.T. is kidnapped by the people who hired the thieves, Tess works with Dana to direct Catherine & Gabe to the place where they suspect he was taken. Catherine is able to rescue J.T., but Tori dies after trying to save him. Tess & Dana later find out that J.T.'s kidnapper, Tony Barnes, is actually Frank Darnell. Dana goes downstairs to question Frank's other hostage, and it turns out to be her husband, Sam, who she thought was killed six years before.
Tess is worried when Captain Ward takes over leadership of the precinct, and threatens to fire both her & Catherine for not closing more cases. When Sam is attacked, she tells Ward about investigating Sam's attack to keep her job. Catherine & Tess later figure out that Sam is the culprit, and that Darnell was working for Sam. J.T. calls in a fake case to help Tess keep her job as a Valentine's Day gift. At Dana & Sam's vow renewal, Tess, J.T., Vincent, & Cat realize that Sam is trying to shift the blame onto Gabe, and fake his death so they can find out what Sam's plan is. Tess tells J.T. that she does appreciate how he helped to keep her job, and rents a hotel room, where they spend the night together on Valentine's Day.
Tess follows Sam, but he's able to escape. She & Cat later find Jacob Sutter, who Sam turned into a beast, and he attacks both of them before escaping. Jacob is killed, but Sam escapes again, though they figure out he's trying to get revenge on the people who killed his son. Tess finds Sam's next target, Xavier Wright, who Sam also transforms into a beast. After Catherine catches Sam and Vincent is able to save Xavier, the two embrace, which is seen by both Gabe & Tess. The next morning, Catherine admits to Tess that she slept with Vincent. Though Catherine insists it didn't mean anything and she's staying with Gabe, Tess is not sure Catherine has made up her mind.
Sam escapes from prison, and Tess asks J.T. to help them find out where he is. Both of them argue about Cat & Vincent, and J.T. confronts Tess about the fact that she hasn't talked to him since they spent the night together. Tess, though, deflects him by telling him to find Sam first. They find out Sam is going after a secret society at a charity ball. Gabe, Cat & Vincent go to the charity ball and arrest Sam, while Tess stays back with J.T., where he tells her that he wants to know why she acts like they don't have a relationship. Tess then fires back that J.T. is the last man she ever imagined herself being with, but she admits that she's constantly thinking about him when they're not together. J.T. asks if she means that, and Tess kisses him.
Tess spends the night with J.T., but when he gets a call from Cat the next morning, Tess is worried about Cat knowing, and asks J.T. not to tell her. However, Catherine is calling because Vincent was arrested for Curt Windsor's murder. Catherine suspects Gabe turned him in because she broke up with him to be with Vincent. Tess helps Cat find a way to keep Vincent from being exposed. J.T., upset about what has happened with Vincent, yells at Tess for worrying about nobody finding out they slept together, inadvertently telling Cat. Cat, though, is more focused on Vincent than Tess & J.T., and lets them know she thinks Reynolds is actually the one who framed Vincent.
J.T. tells Tess & Cat that Vincent is planning to confess to the murder, but soon after, he escapes from jail and becomes a fugitive. Cat figures out that it was because Vincent was trying to keep her from coming forward as a witness and risk losing her job. When Vincent skips town, J.T. apologizes to Tess, and the two finally get together.
Tess becomes worried when she realizes Cat's missing, and asks J.T. to find Vincent, because he's the only one who can find Cat. They eventually find Vincent outside the city, and come up with a plan so Vincent can track and find out where Cat is. J.T. gets arrested by Gabe, who puts pressure on him to give up Vincent. Tess, though, gets J.T. released, and confronts Gabe over his personal vendetta against Vincent. Gabe, though, claims he's trying to protect Catherine.
Cat calls Tess, and asks for her help to keep the police away from Vincent, but Tess lets her know the police are looking for Cat, as well. J.T. finds Tess, and tells her Cat & Vincent might have a plan to exonerate Vincent, and that he has a plan, though Tess doesn't hear it. Tess later finds video footage of Vincent, and gives it to Gabe; however, it turns out to be a decoy that J.T. set up to send the police on a wild goose chase. Gabe confronts Tess about lying to him, but she lets him know he won't be able to prove it, and she's no longer helping him.
Gabe suspends both Cat & Tess in a desperate effort to capture Vincent. When Heather comes back to town, Cat asks Tess to keep her occupied while she & Vincent try to find a way to stop Gabe. Though Tess tries to deflect Heather's questions about Cat, Heather tells her she knows that Cat's been suspended. Tess admits that Cat is in love with Vincent, and Heather leaves, angry. Cat later finds a witness who implicates Gabe of murder. Gabe, though, finds out and, in a desperate attempt to keep from being discovered, ends up getting Heather kidnapped. Cat, Tess, & Vincent save her from her kidnappers. Tess later brings the witness, Jack Watson, to Ward, and Gabe is arrested, while Tess is reinstated.
Jack goes missing from protective custody, and Tess brings Gabe in for questioning. Cat lets Tess know that Gabe killed Jack, and though both she & Ward know Gabe is guilty, he accuses Vincent, and says he's being framed. Ward is forced to let Gabe go. Cat & Vincent get an offer to go into witness relocation until Vincent can get exonerated. Tess & J.T. agree to find Jack's body so Gabe will not be able to block Vincent's exoneration. Tess helps J.T. find a way to track Gabe, and they find Jack's remains. Gabe, though, shows up, and stops them from getting the evidence they need. When they refuse to let him leave, Gabe threatens to expose Vincent, claiming he'll do anything to protect Catherine. Tess & J.T. leave and let Gabe go, realizing he's gone insane.
When Beth Bowman, Cat's high school friend and a reporter, asks her if Vincent was part of a failed military operation that created super soldiers, Tess realizes Gabe called Beth, and lets Cat know. Cat tries to get Gabe to back off by agreeing to go on a date with him. However, he finds out Cat's plan, and Beth keeps asking questions. Cat tells Beth Gabe is a spiteful ex-boyfriend, and Tess tells her that Gabe is dangerous, and got Heather kidnapped. Heather, though, claims she wasn't kidnapped, and has a meltdown. Tess tries to console Heather, but Beth believes she's trying to hide the truth about Vincent. Heather, though, finally tells Beth that she was kidnapped because of Gabe. Tess encourages Heather to press charges against Gabe, while Beth calls off her story.
When Vincent is exonerated, Tess & J.T. keep an eye on Gabe so he won't try to stop it. When he turns himself back into a beast and escapes, J.T. and Tess tell Cat & Vincent. Before they can, though, Gabe kills Beth to frame Vincent. However, Tess convinces Ward to not arrest Vincent if they can prove Gabe is the real killer. When Vincent goes after Gabe on his own, Cat calls Tess, and she & J.T. find Vincent before he can kill Gabe. Gabe, though, mauls J.T., and Tess becomes fearful she might lose J.T. Gabe tries to kill Vincent, but he's killed by Catherine before he can. Tess, though, tells them that J.T. is not expected to make it because he's lost too much blood. Miraculously, J.T. makes a full recovery because of two mysterious government agents, and Tess & J.T. are reunited.
Tess is a very forgiving, easygoing person. However, she can also be very sarcastic, direct, and outspoken, especially when dealing with criminals and suspects. Tess is having a secret affair with Joe, which may stem from low self-esteem in the dating department.
Tess is tall and attractive, with brown skin and long brown hair.
Catherine and Tess are best friends, as well as partners. The two confided in each other about relationship troubles, and both trusted each other more than anybody else. When Cat started to become distant because of Vincent, Tess was both angry and hurt, thinking she had done something wrong that made Cat no longer want to confide in her. When she found out the truth, Cat apologized to her, realizing how much she had hurt Tess' trust in her. Tess agreed to keep Vincent's secret for Cat's sake, not wanting to see her best friend to get hurt. She shows her loyalty to Catherine when Vincent goes missing, and Cat becomes obsessed with doing whatever she can to get him back; Tess wanted to help Catherine, worried her focus on Vincent would consume her life. When she realized Gabe was interested in Catherine, Tess encouraged his attraction, hoping he would help Catherine focus on herself again. When Catherine left Gabe for Vincent again, Tess stayed on Cat's side, choosing to support her friends. Tess tries to get Catherine to mediate between her own life and protecting Vincent's secret, not wanting to lose her best friend.
J.T. and Tess begrudgingly worked together initially, trying to help Catherine and Vincent. Tess didn't trust him, since he was looking out for Vincent and she, for Cat. When Vincent disappeared and Catherine was obsessed with finding him, Tess and J.T. started to become friends, bonding over how they had lost their best friends. Tess feels like she intimidates other men, and J.T. feels like he can't get along with other girls because of his secrets and nerdy personality. J.T. tells Tess that he's not intimidated by her, and Tess says she enjoys spending time with J.T. When Tess realized she was attracted to J.T., she denied it, believing that she could never make a real relationship work. J.T. still made an effort to show his interest in hopes she would reciprocate. When Tess finally acknowledged how she felt about J.T., they started a relationship. Tess was scared about how it was the first real relationship she had in a long time, and she really wanted it to work. J.T. believed that they could, encouraging Tess to have faith in them.
Tess and Joe were having a secret affair, as Joe is married. Tess didn't like being "the other woman" because she genuinely cared about Joe and was hurt at the situation. After Darius' death, Tess was worried about Joe and his desire for vengeance, and also realized he was starting to repair his relationship with his wife, leaving her feeling lonely. When Tess tried to break it off, Joe refused, but she still was worried about them being exposed. After Joe was fired, Tess was dejected, though she understood why. She didn't get over losing Joe until she started falling for J.T.