Smallville – Season 4 – Recap – Forever

Episode Title: Forever
Original Airdate: May 11, 2005

Episode Recap:

Chloe is putting the final issue of the Torch to sleep as she signs the photographer’s (Brendan) yearbook. Apparently Chloe is the person most likely to succeed. She takes a sip of her latte, which is a bit strange considering that there was a coffee machine in there a couple weeks ago. Chloe’s computer isn’t working right, so she starts roaming the halls wondering where everybody is. She finally finds her way to the bathroom, only to discover that the person inside (some girl named Haley) has some porcelain covering over her. Her eyeballs move, though, which is pretty freaky. A panicked Chloe runs outside, but the emergency doors won’t open (ironically). She then realizes the phone is disconnected, and that the windows don’t look out at anything. A class bell rings as Chloe yells for help. Apparently she is in some sort of warehouse in the middle of nowhere.

The Kents are upset to discover that Clark has decided to go to school at Central Kansas instead of Met U or Ohio or Miami. Clark insists that this decision is not about Lana, so Jonathan gets offended that he’s staying because he doesn’t think that he can run the farm without Clark.

At the warehouse/school, Chloe frantically tries to get online but there is no service. She sees two girls talking outside, and they explain to them that they’re being watched, so she should “play along” with the act that they’re in school. Brendan comes out from a room and says that he set this all up, so that nobody has to leave high school. In here, they don’t have to face the disappointment of life after high school. When Chloe asks how he knows everybody will play along, Brendan gets some kid to come over, and by touching him, turns the kid into a mannequin. Brendan then warns Chloe to play along.

At the real high school, Clark and Lana pick up their caps and gowns. Clark reminisces about walking through the door the first time freshmen year. In a nice homage to the first season, Lana reminds him that he tripped. Lana then tells him that she is thinking about not going to college and that if she leaves Smallville she wants it to be her decision, not because it’s expected of her. She is pleased to hear that Clark is thinking about commuting to Central Kansas. Both find it strange when they discover that Chloe hasn’t picked up her cap and gown.

Lex is in his office arguing over the phone that he can excavate the caves if he wants to when Jason storms in. Lex tells him that he thought they concluded their business. Jason takes out a gun and shoots Lex in the neck with a tranquilizer, and tells him “almost.”

Jonathan is in the barn sweating up a storm and breathing extremely heavily as he cuts up some firewood. Which is exceptionally necessary for a spring day in Kansas. Martha reminds Jonathan that they do need Clark, and Jonathan tells her that Clark still feels responsible for his heart problems and that he doesn’t want him staying out of pity. Martha tells him that he’ll only be able to come home a few times a year, and that he doesn’t want one of them to be Jonathan’s funeral.

Clark and Lana walk into the Torch to discover that Chloe still hasn’t printed today’s paper. Strangely, the Wall of Weird is still up, even though she took it down at the end of “Pariah.” They notice that Chloe’s latte is not finished and her phone is still on her desk.

Lex wakes up tied to a chair inside of some lodge. Lionel is across the room, also tied up and bloodied. And with some seriously crazy hair, as well. Jason and Genevieve walk in moments later, and Lionel makes a sly remark about the oedipal complex, which gets him a slap in return. Lex tells Jason not to trust his mother, just like he doesn’t trust Lionel. What is with all this bitterness Lex feels towards Lionel? Jason puts a gun to Lionel’s neck and tells him they want the stone he stole from them. Lex is surprised that Lionel has one. Genevieve tells Lex they’re going to torture him to get Lionel to tell them where the stone is.

Lois is working at the Talon (was this ever explained?) when Clark walks in. Lois tells Clark she’s surprised he ditched school with everybody else. With a great delivery, Clark tells her “I’m on lunch break.” The expression on his face is so wholesome and innocent that it makes the line very funny. Clark asks if Chloe’s around when some girl asks Clark to sign his yearbook (Clark is most likely to be drafted by the NFL). They discover that another missing girl is also on the most likely list. Lois then tells Clark that Chloe was meeting with the photographer last night.

Lana gets into her car, goes into her purse, and takes out the stone she has. By the way, I noticed they’re being called stones again, instead of “elements” like last week. She is startled when Brendan asks Lana to sign his yearbook (she is most likely to be a cover girl). Lana signs his yearbook, as he tells her that the photo could never replace the real thing.

At the warehouse/school, one of the girls very nervously warns Chloe not to be late for class. Brendan arrives and tells Chloe he has a surprise for her. He takes her into the Torch, where a mannequin Lana is sitting on a chair. He touches her, and the covering disappears making her flesh again. Brendan tells Chloe that he’ll let her tell Lana the rules. A confused Lana asks how she got back in school, and Chloe tells her they’re not in school and they’re being watched. She tells Lana that Brendan recreated the school. They put two and two together and realize that everybody who is in the warehouse is on the most likely page. Haley comes into the room and tells Chloe that she told Brendan that Chloe has a crush on him, like she wanted.

Jason has a hot poker and continuously burns Lex with it as Genevieve demands that Lionel tell them where the stone is. They’re about to press the poker against Lex’s eye when finally Lionel submits, and tells them that he gave the stone to Lana. They don’t believe him, but he tells them that he gave it to her for the same reason he gave her the map to the temple: Because she’s the chosen one. Genevieve tells Jason she’ll take care of Lana, and that he’s protected her for so long and in return she’s chosen Clark over him. Genevieve tells him he’d never betray him the way Lana has. She then takes the keys from him and leaves.

At the real high school, Clark and Lois go into Brendan’s dark room. On the bulletin board, they find pictures of the people on the “most likely” list with X’s crossed over some of them. They then see blue prints of the school, with Nash Construction written on it.

At the warehouse/high school, Chloe pretends to be writing an issue of the Torch when Brendan walks in. He starts talking about how he heard she has a crush on him. Chloe leads him on a bit when suddenly Lana hits him in the head with a desk drawer (at least I think that’s what it was). Lana, Chloe, and Haley run through the warehouse trying to find a way out. Lana quite graphically trips and falls as Haley runs up the stairs. Brendan is already at the back door and warns her that she shouldn’t have tried to run away as he grabs her arm. He threatens Chloe and Lana that if they try to escape, they’ll end up like Haley. He holds her decapitated head in his hand, and throws it down the stairs as it shatters into pieces.

At the lodge, Lionel starts manipulating Jason. He tells her that Jason’s mother is a difficult woman to resist, but he knows that he fells in love with Lana. Lionel tells Jason it must be killing him that he sacrificed his feelings for Lana for maternal warmth. Jason points his gun at Lionel, but decides to leave. Lionel apologizes to Lex for getting him involved, but Lex tells him he’s glad Lionel is there with him. He tells Lionel to knock the iron out of the fire and as close to Lex’s chair as he can. Lionel obliges. Lex knocks his chair over, conveniently landing so that the rope around his wrists lands directly on the hot part of the iron. The iron eventually burns through the rope, allowing Lex to escape.

Outside, Jason takes some firewood (perhaps the same pieces Jonathan was cutting) out of the bed of his pick up truck when he sees Lionel and Lex escaping. With gun in hand, he chases them through the woods. Jason is an AWFUL shot, by the way. Finally Lex and Lionel agree to split up. Lionel heads up a hill, where he is met by Jason. He shoots at Lionel, forcing him to fall down said hill. Jason points the gun at Lionel, but before he can shoot Lex hits the gun out of his hand with a branch. Jason runs away, with Lex in tow. Strangely, Lex decides to chase him with the branch instead of the, ya’ know, GUN. Jason reaches a cliff and begs Lex not to do anything, and that the two of them are not too different. It’s about their parents. Lex tells him he always knew he had to protect Lana from him, but Jason tells him he’s spent more time protecting Clark. Lex says that Clark has nothing to do with this, but Jason insists he’s got more to do with this than any of them. Before he can say any more, Lionel shoots him in the chest. At least one of them was smart enough to grab the gun. Jason then falls off the cliff. Well I guess he’s joining the ranks of Whitney and Adam, making Clark the sole person to not get killed after breaking up with Lana. Lionel tells Lex that Jaosn was going to kill him, but Lex thinks that Lionel was just stopping Jason from divulging information. He tells Lionel he knows that he has the stone, and that nothing better happen to Lana.

Clark and Lois arrive at the warehouse/school. Clark breaks through the front door as Lois manages to sneak inside through the vents. Clark finds a mannequin version of Chloe inside the office of the Torch. Lois, meanwhile, is turned into a mannequin herself. Just as Brendan is about to hit her with a piece of wood, Clark uses his super speed to shield her. He then chases Brendan up the stairs and tells him that he needs to let everybody go. Brendan grabs Clark’s arm, but he’s unable to freeze Clark. Instead, Brendan begins turning into a mannequin. He tells Clark he’ll see what it’s like to lose somebody he loves (yeah, not like Clark gone through THAT at all this year coughALICIAcoughEVANcough). He knocks over a mannequin Lana, but Clark uses his super speed to catch her before she hits the ground. Meanwhile, a mannequin version of Brendan falls down the stairwell and shatters. Everybody that was turned into a mannequin is now flesh again.

Clark looks through his telescope as Jonathan comes up to the loft, noting that he hasn’t seen Clark use it in a long time (yeah, like when Lana moved away…). Jonathan tells Clark that he had a chance to get a full ride to Met U, but stayed because his father needed him to help him on the farm and part of him always resented his father for that. Jonathan doesn’t want to be that kind of father, but Clark tells him that he wants to be that kind of son. Jonathan looks proud, and gives Clark a hug.

Chloe packs everything up in the eerily empty Torch. Outside, she talks about the future with Clark and Lana. In a generally ironic comment for all three of them, Chloe tells them that after this experience, she cannot imagine anything scarier than being stuck in the past without moving on. Lana tells them that she decided that she’s going to stay in Smallville, and that she tried to escape to Paris but that there’s a reason why she was drawn back home. She says that she’s not sure she’s explored all possibilities here. Major allusion here to the Clark/Lana relationship. Chloe whispers “Maybe things don’t change much after all” as she catches up to Clark and Lana.

Episode Review:

First and foremost, what is the deal with the preview for the upcoming episode? For the past two weeks, the previews have been exceptionally vague, with absolutely no information whatsoever about what might happen. Considering that this episode and last week’s episode didn’t really further the major story arcs at all, it’s surprising that they’re not giving us any indication at all what might happen in their massive, 90 minute finale.

As I just stated, not much really happened this week. I’m guessing that since the season finale is 90 minutes (a Smallville first), that they’re basically saving everything for next week. Aside from the Luthor/Teague scenes, there wasn’t really any advancement in the season’s major plotlines. Just like last week, the Clark/Chloe scenes were kept to a minimum, and (aside from the final scene) there wasn’t much indication that Clark and Lana are considering to get back together.

Before I get into what DID happen this episode, a few things caught me as odd. It’s been a while since I’ve dealt with the whole deciding what college to go to thing, but I’m almost certain that the decision is made before the last day of school. Also, considering their financial situation, you would think that Clark’s parents would be a little more hands on with where he’s going to college. Further, even though Clark and Lana have drifted a great deal this season, I found it a bit strange that he didn’t even know what her plans for college were. On top of that, Chloe had no idea what Lana’s plans after high school were either, and the two of them have been as close as they ever were this season. The whole thing just seemed very unbelievable to me.

Since I’m picking nits anyway, not much was explained about Brendan, this week’s freak of the, er, week. Was it the act of signing his yearbook that got them to the warehouse, or did he touch them and take them down there himself? I understand that touching them turns them into a mannequin, but since touching them again turns them back into flesh, how was he able to transport them to the warehouse? They also didn’t bother giving any back story about how he got these powers. And I complained about this a couple weeks ago, but I don’t like how people exposed to Kryptonite suddenly have no qualms whatsoever about murdering innocent people.

Just like last week, the highlight of this episode was the interaction between the Luthors and the Teagues. It was a bit unusual seeing Lionel and Lex as the lesser of two evils (quite literally), but I still don’t quite understand why Lex expresses such hostility towards Lionel. I would think that Lex would feel more remorse over the fact that it was his double that forced Lionel to give up on his dreams of helping people by returning to the dark side. Instead, Lex just seems to be constantly reminding Lionel what a bad person he is, when Lionel is basically treating Lex the way he always wanted to be treated (telling him he loves him, trying to protect him, etc). However, the fact that Lionel was so willing to needlessly put Lana’s life in danger shows that he hasn’t completely abandoned his evil ways. I’m also curious as to what exactly Jason knew about Clark, and in turn what information Lionel was trying to hide from Lex.

The WB hasn’t hidden the fact that somebody was going to get murdered before the end of the season, and I felt that there were only really three possibilities: Genevieve, Lionel, and Jason. It looks like Jason got the honor, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see Genevieve see the same fate in the season finale. It will be interesting to see Lana’s reaction to his death, especially since she doesn’t know that he was really just using her (initially, anyway) and was actually in cahoots with his mother.

I don’t really have much else to say about the episode, and not much really happened. As it stands right now leading up to the season finale, Clark has one stone, Lionel has one stone, and Lana has one stone. I expect the finale to be huge, considering its length and the fact that the past two episodes have stalled significantly after a hot streak of several really good episodes.

Between now and the season finale next Wednesday, I am going to post a column analyzing the character development of the significant regular characters (Clark, Lana, Lex, Chloe, and Lionel) throughout the season. A lot of the characters have changed relatively drastically this past season, and so look for that column to be posted either late this week or early next week.

I’d love to hear what anybody thinks of this past season, the upcoming finale, or the past few episodes. Send me an e-mail with your thoughts, I respond to everything I get.